A Blade of Grass
Melissa R. Mendelson
I screamed when I saw the sandbox. My mother tried to put me on the sand, but I wrapped my arms around her neck, kicking my legs away from its surface. I begged her not to drop me. Her sigh brushed across my cheek. She finally put me down on the grass. My ears picked up the mumbles and snickers from the other mothers nearby, and I followed my mother’s gaze over to the kids playing in the sandbox. She went to grab a handful of sand to show me that it was okay, but I pulled her hand away, digging my fingers into her skin. She yelled and rubbed at the scratch mark. Again, the other mothers laughed, shaking their heads at me.
“She has quite the imagination.” My mother sat down on a nearby bench, keeping her back to the other mothers.
“Stop being a baby,” a boy yelled from the sandbox. “What? You’re too good to play with us?”
“It’s not safe.” I played with a blade of grass.
I wanted to be wrong. I wanted to play in the sandbox, build up some sandcastles, but I know how this ends. The boy scooped up some sand and threw it at me, but I knew he was going to do that. I moved before the sand could touch me, carrying the blade of grass with me. I sat back down, and a shadow of cloud fell over the sandbox.
I closed my eyes as their bodies fell.