A Disaster.

February 10, 2018
By JenDovehaven PLATINUM, Pohang Kyeungbuk Heunghae-ub Namsongri 3, Other
JenDovehaven PLATINUM, Pohang Kyeungbuk Heunghae-ub Namsongri 3, Other
36 articles 6 photos 0 comments

The early afternoon sun beat down over Disney Land. If one had circled above it, they would have seen the crowds wandering through the huge park, like migrating ants, shrieking on roller coasters, commenting on the dullness of exhilarating rides, taking pictures of themselves, waiting in unbelievably long lines, and reveling in the lanes between rides. They would never have noticed the two petite girls pressed against the gift shop who towered above most of the buildings. Perhaps even people on the ground three feet away would not have noticed them despite their bright clothes and frightened faces. Mildred and Hanna were the two children. They had arrived in the early morning, less than an hour after the park opened at nine a.m. and had spent the sweltering morning enjoying themselves, even though they had been served Cool-Aid and turkey drumsticks oozing oil and a substance which pretended to be honey mustard. This was all forgotten now, though bits of sauce still lingered on their cheeks. Both their eyes were fixed on a single form, slowing melting into the crowd in front of a large pink tinted building with the words Gift Shop printed above the door ornate, but chipped, plastic letters. There was nothing strange about this figure. A blue shirt with princesses on the back, dark brown hair pulled into a pony-tail, tiny feet in bright green shoes, battering the air from the Baby Bjorn on her chest, certainly nothing that would make the smaller of the afore mentioned girls, Hanna, suddenly bolt into the drifting masses, in the general direction the woman -had gone wailing,” Mother!!!!!!!!!!! Wait for me!!!!!!!!!” or why her sister stared after her looking stricken.
Mildred’s thoughts didn’t swirl, they leapt about careening into the sides of her head, then falling into a confusing heap of facts, images, fears, and realizations. Her baby sister, her responsibility, was losing herself in the crowd. She couldn’t lose her, even if she was found, her Mother would never again trust her, and she would never again trust herself even with her dog. Her sweet baby sister, who liked to warm her feet on the heating vent, wrapped in her flannel Hello Kitty night gown, could get lost forever, forced to sleep in doorways and eat wild apples and fallen bread crumbs, if she didn’t think of something. But what to do? Her Mother had taught them that if they ever were alone and unsure of anything, no matter how menial, to stay together, and find her. Hanna had made the first part of the instructions impossible to follow, but the other part! Her Mother could find Hanna, and she would be proud of Mildred for finding her so quickly, even if she had lost Hanna. She turned towards the window of the shop. Her Mother stooped in front over of a shelf of picture frames, searching for the best one, and patting Baby Andromeda, who sat on her chest, blowing bubbles, and fluttering her hands at Lars, their brother, who was tickling her toes. They had no idea what was happening. They all appeared blissfully happy, but any moment they would turn around and see her standing alone and Hanna disappearing into the queue in front of the door way to Space Mountain, a nearby ride. Mildred focused on her sister again. She was nearly halfway across the courtyard in front of the gift shop, and suddenly there was a huge foot about to step on her sisters miniscule one, Mildred uttered a low frightened cry just as her sister dodged away from the offending foot. This hardened her resolve, which beforehand had been a wisp of an idea. She would protect her sister, even if it meant that when their Mother looked out she became agitated. Mildred had to keep the baby safe. So, she lurched into the crowd after Hanna.
Hanna was frightened. She had been admiring a purple and gold princess dress in the window, and, ever so slightly, dancing to the music from the nearest ride, and so had not heard what her Mother had said. All she knew was that her Mother had suddenly left her, and that she was frightened of this huge crowd and the roar of noise they made. So, she arbitrarily decided that her Mother needed her, and had only left her by mistake. But where was she? Fear welled up inside Hanna and she began to whimper. Mildred grabbed her hand.
“Don’t fret, Mother will be back soon. All we have to do is wait. It’ll be fine, I promise.”
Sadly, despite Mildred’s best efforts her voice plainly revealed all the nervousness she was futilely try to hide. That frightened Hanna even more. She, very grudgingly, acknowledged that Mildred was older than she, and that older people knew best. But she also knew that they were nearly always in control of the situation, and Mildred obviously was not. So, she surveyed the crowd again. There. Just a few yards from the doorway stood a dark-haired woman in a blue shirt. She would of know otherwise when the woman had turned around, but Hanna was already running towards the entrance, when the woman moved to leave the line, revealing that she was at least ten years younger than their Mother, with a small stubby nose, and huge green eyes, accented by her matching green lipstick. Running alone through the crowd was much more frightening than going protected by her Mother, or even by Mildred come to think of it. All she could see were legs, all moving in different directions, with different strides, and imposingly bright shoes. She tripped, but apart from the man whom she had collided with, complaining that folks should look after their kids better, and pushing her in the other direction, no one reacted. She felt ready to cry, as she was bruised from the fall, muddy, scared, and since the man pushed her completely disoriented, her quarry swallowed up in the crowd. She stopped for a moment, forced the tears threatening to cascade from her eyes back into their ducts, and looked for her family, though the only person that would be out was Mildred, since Lars, their brother, was with their Mother, who had Andromeda. And they were still deep in the gift shop. Suddenly she saw Mildred. She was dashing through the crowd, much more carefully than Hanna, though twice as quickly. Her short brown hair was bouncing along behind her, and cheeks were red from the combined heat of running and that of the afternoon, but she obviously had a purpose which Hanna noted with relief was getting to her. Hanna began to struggle towards her, but her way was blocked by a grey-haired man in a sweaty Mickey Mouse shirt, carrying a huge stuffed bear, surrounded by three crowing little boys, who, except for their hair color and size, looked nearly identical to the man. Hanna ducked around him, bumped into one of the little boys, staggered into an elderly woman dressed as Cinderella’s God Mother, and found herself in the line for the Gift Shop. There she forgot about Mildred, who stood on the other side of the Bear Man’s crowd, staring at where her sister had been. Hanna even forgot about her fear, and how much her Mother needed her, she thought only of the wall of dolls ahead of her, shining in their bright dresses and melding into a bright shining sea. She dodged past the line, and slipped inside.
Mildred stood staring at the crowd. Hanna had just been running awkwardly towards her but then a man passed by and she wasn’t. Mildred looked around the crowd, and into the window of the Gift Shop. Only the corner of her Mother’s long blue skirt was visible in this window, easily identifiable by a small bleach stain at the tip. But there with her back turned to the doorway stood a little girl with short brown hair, dressed in a mouse eared hat, a pink princess shirt, striped orange, red and pink leggings, and high heeled brown leopard spot clogs, positioned directly in front of a wall of dolls, staring avidly at them. Mildred heaved a relived but annoyed sigh, and forced herself into the crowd. Now that she was used to it, running through a crowd, level with everyone’s waist, was not so bad. She was hit only once, and even then, she did not fall over. Now that she was more relaxed, she was tempted to stop and gawk at all the people in costumes and enjoy the delicious smells, which swirled through the air bringing images of cinnamon and sugar coated churros, salty pretzels, hot-dogs dripping in cheese, and cool, sweet drinks. But, she forced herself forward and she quickly reached the queue in front of the gift shop. Her Mother had told her never to go to the front of lines without waiting her turn, and secretly Mildred prided herself on never breaking a rule, but her sister, who could easily be seen through the door, was starting to move, now towards a wall of stuffed Cheshire cats, and she would lose her if she didn’t break the rule. So, she took a deep breath, reassured herself that her Mother would understand, and sprinted to the front of the crowd. Once located Hanna was relieved to be found, albeit slightly annoyed at being forced to leave the wall of dolls, and, her newest interest, a small blue fairy that flew when you pressed a button, disguised as a flower, on her back. Upon finding her sister, Mildred realized how tired she was from the nervousness, fright, and all the running, dashing, and ducking of the past quarter hour. Therefore, she guided her sister, who also was showing signs of fatigue to a foam bench made to look like a throne near a shelf of brightly colored post cards. They sat down, watched the people strolling through the store, and picked at the foam. They sat like this for nearly half an hour, almost asleep, and too tired to be frightened, despite the noise of the crowd. At the end of this time, a voice blared across the loud speakers demanding that Mildred and Hanna Richards to go to the nearest park worker, information booth, or checkout counter, and tell the worker there their names. Afterwards, they would be taken to their Mother.


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