A sister and brother enlist the help of a store security guard to locate their lost Mommy.
|"Hullo Mister." The half-eaten doughnut halted its passage to the security guard's awaiting mouth. He peered down at a pair of young children tightly grasping each other's hand. He smiled a greeting. "Do ya work in this store, mister?" The questioner was the little girl. He'd soon learn that she was in charge and did most of the talking. The smaller boy spent most of the time sucking furiously on one of his thumbs, and staring wide-eyed at the man in uniform. "Why as a matter of fact, yes I do. How may I help you?" After an uncomfortably long appraising glance that caused him to squirm, the young lady answered. "Me an' my brudder can't find Mommy. She must be losted." Quickly glancing about at the throng of shoppers, the guard did not espy a frantic mother. "Oh dear. What's your names?" Shaking her free forefinger, the big sister replies. "Nuhuh. Mommy tol' us not to tell strangers." "Oh, I see. That's a good policy. So, your Mommy is lost? Can you tell me her name?" "I already tol' you, Mommy." With this, the girl juts out her tiny chin. "Well yes, I understand that, but what do other people call her?" "Daddy sometimes call her yes dear. Nanna calls her word. She says all the time, "My word, I can't believe you did that." Clearing his throat to stifle a laugh, the man tries another line of questioning. "How about your mother's height? Is she smaller, or bigger than me?" Shrugging, she says, "I dunno. She's not here. She's a big people like you." Gesturing with his hands, the stumped guard asks, "Fat? Skinny? "Hey. Mommy says fat is a bad word. Hmmm, she does tell Daddy she gots baby fat still. She says its 'gravatin'." "Do you remember what your Mommy was wearing?" "Somethin' called peace." "Excuse me, peace?" "Ya. This mornin' she says to us. Can't yous leave me to get dressed in peace?" "Okay. okay. Let's try this. Did she leave home in a coat, or a jacket, or a sweater?" The child nods. "Yes." "Okay, good. What colour is it ? The coat?" The girl shakes her head. "Mommy wasn't in a coat." "Oh no? What then ? A jacket? A sweater?" "A sweater, but Mommy said she was meltin'. It's in the car." Straightening his shoulders, the guard took a different tact. "Let's try this again. When you lost your Mother, was she in a dress, or perhaps in jeans?" "Nope." Just then, the little boy pulls his thumb from his mouth, his lower lip quivers, and he wails. "I want Mommy!" His big sister shushes him, and pats his bowed head. She moves to shield her sibling before the guard moves as if to hug the boy. Message received. loud and clear. The security guard purses his lips. "So, your Mom wasn't wearing a dress, or jeans?" He scratches his head. Suddenly, he snaps his fingers and the startled children flinch. "Wait. Was your Mommy trying on clothes? Did you see mirrors?" This time, both brother and sister nod in unison. "Me an' him made faces." The littler one crows, "Like this," and he rolls his eyes and sticks out his tongue. Peering into her brother's face, and smiling for the first time, the big sis adds, "There's a whole lots of mirrors. We made a silly show. A frowny-face lady whispered, "Shoo, shoo", so, we walked away." Garbled words escaped from around the boy's wet thumb that sounded like, "Mommy losted." Favouring the children with a reassuring grin, the man in uniform explained his thoughts. "It sounds to me like you were in a store changing room. Um, do you remember a colour? What colour were the walls, or the carpet?" Stroking her own fleece jacket, the little lady speaks. "The walls're sorta soft. They feel like this. Oh look, this colour is pretty." She points to a blue flower near her zipper. "Was the changeroom blue?" At this point, the young gentleman tug's on his sibling's sleeve, and adds, "Don't forget the snakes." She wrinkles her nose and replies. "Oh doodlehead. That wasn't no snake. It's a letter for my name. I praxtix it all the time." Rubbing his big hands together, the man did his thinking out loud. "Okay, let's see what we've got. Lots of mirrors, the colour blue, and the letter 's'." Slapping his thigh, the guard hoots. "I think I've got it. hang on, let me make a call." As they watched and waited unblinking, the boy and girl witnessed the guard speak into a wall-mounted phone. Their mouths gaped open as they heard a message broadcast over the store's intercom system. "Will the undoubtedly worried woman who was trying on clothes at Sears, and answers to the name Mommy, please hurry to Walmart to reclaim her daughter and son. They have reported you as lost, so we will wait for you at the lost and found counter." (830 words)|