Pencil it In

“Pencil it In” (245 words)

By Sarah Pasquarelli

Her blue feet dangled four feet above the ground. Neither of my brothers could shift their eyes any higher than that. For Tommy, four feet above the ground was about eye-level so he just had to keep his face forward like we were all trained to in school. But Luke had to keep his head tilted down like when you pray in church. It was too bad she never took us to church; maybe he’d seem less uncomfortable.

For some reason, I looked at her face first. She bothered to put on her mascara, so she must have had a big day planned for herself. Mascara was usually a sure sign that she was at least going to go grocery shopping, but there was no milk in the fridge and no bread in the box. She must not have been hungry. Or maybe she lost her coupons.

She was also wearing her favorite dress that she normally saved for dates with handsome men. Maybe that’s what the mascara was for, too. But, if she had planned to go on a date then she would have put on her red lipstick. I scanned back up to her face to find pale, pink lips. Maybe she just decided not to go. Maybe the man wasn’t handsome enough.

My last clue was waiting on the coffee table. An envelope with “For My Kids” written on the back.

They say a letter means that she planned it all along.