Top Hat

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Emmie turned 7 years old today. Her tummy grumbled as she leapt out of bed. Her brown curly hair haphazardly fell in her eyes. She lazily brushed it back from her face and ran into the living room. Her mother was face down on the couch with the television tuned to a home shopping channel. Emmie nudged her mother, but the mother moaned and shooed her away. This was all too familiar to Emmie so she walked to the kitchen, pulled down a bowl, a cereal box and grabbed some milk from the fridge. She took her bowl into the living and sat down in front of the television. She turned the channel to a cartoon. The cartoon rabbit made silly noises and ran from a man with a gun.

Emmie was bored with the cartoon so she switched it to another channel. It was a movie. A beautiful woman was kissing a beautiful man. Emmie wanted to grow up and be that woman some day. She looked back and her mother finally stirred. She sat up and quickly ran to the bathroom. Emmie could hear her mother getting sick. Emmie sighed.

Her mother came out of the bathroom and asked if Emmie wanted some bacon and eggs. Emmie nodded no. Her mother came back and gave Emmie a kiss on the cheek. She said she had some errands to run but would be back by dinner and they would go out to Orange Freeze for dinner and ice cream–a birthday treat. Emmie smiled but she knew it would never happen.

After her mother left, Emmie decided to go on her own adventure. She bundled up and walked around the corner and down the street. She stopped in front of the toy store and drooled over all the toys. Toys she would never own. She continued to walk. Passerby’s staring at her. One old man even asked where her parents were. She was about to turn around and go home when something caught her eye. It was turquoise top hat in the window of a clothing store. Emmie stopped and stared at it. A lady who was minding shop saw her and motioned for Emmie to come in. Emmie obeyed.

The shopkeeper asked of Emmie’s evening activities and if Emmie wanted to try the hat on. Emmie tried the hat on and admired herself in the mirror. It was beautiful. She could be that beautiful woman in that movie. The shop owner saw the enjoyment on Emmie’s face and asked her if she wanted to borrow it and that it was a very special hat. Emmie didn’t have any money and she didn’t know you could ‘borrow’ things from stores but the woman was so nice that Emmie couldn’t help herself. So the lady wrapped the hat and Em­mie ran home with it.

Once Emmie got home, she immediately put the hat on. Suddenly, she felt a tug in her feet then a tug on the top of her head. The hat was trying to float off. She pulled it back down but this time Emmie floated up with the hat. She flew around the room wildly, knocking lamps over and pictures off the wall. She squealed with delight. She was flying! Emmie screamed ‘down’ and she floated gently to the ground. She ran outside and yelled ‘fly’ and with a whirl, took off soaring higher and higher until she was above the trees and buildings. All night she flew through the sky, delighting in the twinkling lights below.

Emmie remembered that her mother would be home soon so she flew back down the shopkeeper and stepped inside. She took the hat off and handed it the lady.

‘Did you enjoy yourself, young lady?’

Emmie nodded and thanked the kind lady. As she was walking out the door, the shopkeeper yelled, ‘Happy Birthday!’

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- Total nr. of readings: 2,218 Copyright © The author [2020] All Rights Reserved. This story may not be reproduced without the express written permission of the author except for personal use.

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