For Part 1, click here; for Part 2, click here; Part 3, click here; Part 4 here; Part 5 here; Part 6 here
April stood from her squat in front of the flower and looked around. She hoped to see Rex bouncing toward her with such an ungainly waddle, he would knock her over on her bottom fitted with Tiana Pull-ups, from the Princess and the Frog. But Rex was gone. “He die,” she told herself, still looking around the backyard for him.
“He’s with me. Rex is here with me.”
April frowned as she tried to match the voice to one she knew.
“If you want to see Rex again, come over here. He’s waiting for you.”
April heard Rex’s gentle whine, and giggled as she bounded heavily toward the back fence. Lyrical sounds of “Rex… Rex… Rex…” rolled from between her lips. She no longer cared that she didn’t know the voice speaking to her. She only cared to rub and tug on Rex’s soft fur and feel the cool wetness of his nose and tongue on her cheek.
After several tumbles, April’s two-year old legs finally brought her to the back of the fence. The mushy ground surprised her because she never knew her backyard to be this way. She stopped, lifted her feet one at a time, not sure how to get out of the muck. She peered down at her shoes to see what kind of dirt she got into, and fell on her bottom. She thought about her Pull-ups and Princess Tiana, and wanted to cry. Her face fell and a whimper escaped her, when she felt a wave of warmth inside her belly. She heard her mother call in a voice that told April to go to her at once, but the outside world disappeared. She no longer saw the sunshine or the grass of her backyard. Her home was not there. Nor was her mother.
Through the wavering tears in her eyes, April could see Rex’s nose reach her face, and she felt his tongue brush against her lips. She laughed and lifter her hand. Her tears receded. She saw Rex and hugged him. “You die,” she said.
Around her, April heard other baby voices, and turned to see a large room filled only with toddlers and babies, all gripping onto something they seemed to love. Just like her.
Feeling scared and alone, she held tight onto Rex. A toddler next to her, a little bigger than she was, lifted his finger and pointed up. “Look,” he said, his voice on the verge of sobbing.
April turned around and lifted up her gaze. Floating in the air was a shiny man. He was golden and sparkly, like a dark sun. The man smiled, bringing peace to the room, and said, “Stay here for a while, my darlings. You are safe, and will be back with your families… soon. When you are hungry, you will eat. When you’re tired, you will sleep. You will be very cared for until you can go back home.”
April felt glad at the man’s words, but not just his words. His voice, and even the way he looked, made April very happy. She looked around at the babies and other kids in the room, and could see they were also happy. She turned back to Rex and gave him another big hug. Pulling carefully on his fur, she lifted herself up and ran a few steps. She looked back to Rex and laughed as he clumsily ran after her, collided into her, and knocked her to her bottom.
Rolling over, she saw the man look out a window as big as the wall. For just a moment, she was sure she saw her mother and father with a crowd of other mothers and fathers. They all looked scared… But just that quickly, the view went away, and no parents were to be seen, only starry lights in a black sky. Pretty, April thought, and ran toward Rex, the vision of her parents forgotten.
If not next week, then the following... I'm still figuring out what's going to happen next....