Wendy groaned as the internal monologue began its daily assault on her sanity.
Or look up fan art or fan fiction.
Her mother shot her a warning glare from across the lounge room. Nan pointed at another picture and brought her attention back.
Wendy held back an eye roll/dramatic sigh combo.
And definitely no impulse merch purchases. My phone and laptop and tablet are useless out here!
“My move!” Gracie snatched up the dice.
Mary Poppins must’ve had a lobotomy. Little kids are annoying and demanding.
Wendy leant back on her hands, her legs stretched under the coffee table. The carpet was scratchy, digging into her exposed skin. Looking down, she saw the red marks crisscrossing her limbs from when she’d change position to stop her legs from falling asleep. Or to escape the sweaty palms of Gracie as she wriggled around for no reason.
“Your turn,” Gracie passed the die over.
They were slippery.
Kill me now, please. Send me to some place with more than just fans cooling the rooms. Hell would be cooler than this.
Sighing she tossed the die across the board. “What number did I get?”
Gracie tapped in her fingers as she counted. “Eight!”
She smiled. “Very good. Can you move my piece eight places please?” She’s getting better at this.
Before she did as she was asked, Gracie shot to her feet, completely alert. “Is that Pop?”
Sure enough, the rumbling of the old boxy car filled the air along with the barking of the dogs. Both girls were on their feet and rushing to the door.
The smile bloomed over her face as the old man closed the door to the vehicle, bumping it with his hip to make sure it was shut.
“Hello girls!” He hollered.
Bare foot, Gracie rushed forward and threw her arms around Pop’s waist.
Wendy waited on the porch. It took everything to resist hopping from foot to foot and flapping her hands in frustration. Come on, I want my hug too.
Pop waddled over, Gracie standing on his feet. “Wendy, my little darling.” He drew her into a cuddle. The combined heat drove them apart quickly. “Into the cool of the house,” he ordered.
Pop smirked. “I know. How many fans are on?”
“All six in the lounge room.” Gracie replied. “I counted.”
“Hmm, hopefully it’ll be cool enough for you to watch this and feel like you’re really there.” He dug into his pocket and pulled out a bright pink USB stick. “Aunt June told me to give this to you. Something about re-watching while you’re out of internet service.”
Wendy gaped. Her heart leaping into her throat just as she started to scream. “OhmyGodOhmyGodOhmyGod!”
“What is it?” Gracie asked over and over until Wendy dropped to her knees and placed her hands on the little girl’s shoulders.
In total seriousness, Wendy spoke. “We’re going to watch a show and I swear, you’re going to fall in love with it.”
Gracie pulled a face. “Pinky swear?”