She shrieked maniacally into the air, sweaty, haggard, with each of her heartbeats like a hammer pounding each inch of her body. Five minutes, five hours, five days, five years had passed since she’d seen her daughter’s tiny face. Her desperation released a massive orb of panic, and those surrounding her felt the horror upon impact.

The doors to the department store were locked while security guards urgently searched under each rack of clothing, behind every mannequin, even in shoe boxes that the two year old couldn’t possibly fit inside of.  Meanwhile, Morgan’s panicking parent couldn’t help but think that while those doors were locked to keep everyone in, Morgan’s captor could have gotten further away with every passing second.  Mothers foraged frantically through racks, checking each individual coat pocket to make sure the toddler hadn’t curled up for a nap in their depths. Older children dropped like army rangers and shimmied down shined isles on their bellies, scanning left and right for tiny feet in a place that they didn’t belong. Everyone that entered Macy’s on that frantic Friday afternoon pressed pause on their life and rallied for a sobbing mommy. Every parent recognized the terror in her voice from their worst nightmares. Every child felt for a comforting hand and searched relentlessly for the child who had no hand to hold, or who could possibly be holding the wrong one… 

In a land of strangers, tiny Morgan wasn’t much more than a shrunken Alice floating in a sea of her own tears; lost, alone, and frightened. The forest of fabric surrounded her and swept her baby body in directions unknown. The rhythm of the music kept her tiny feet moving in every which way, eventually tripping over themselves and bringing her down to the ground on her belly. She had tumbled in the right direction, and found herself face to face with a little boy who couldn’t be much older than herself. Her hero in a hoodie reached out his hand to hold hers. He jumped up, helped Baby Morgan balance herself back onto her baby feet, and then proudly turned to his mother with an announcement to make.


11 thoughts on “Macy’s

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  1. You have captured the scene very well. While reading the story, I had feelings like I am living it. I am in the departmental store and finding little Morgan. Probably, I am the hero in hoodie.

    Lively piece of writing.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. You did so well at capturing the urgency and panic in a situation like this. It reads like fiction, but felt very true. I wondered where you were when all this was going on, and whether you had a personal relationship to Morgan or the little boy that found her.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks. I am, indeed, Morgan’s panic-stricken mother! Ten years later she still gives me these tiny heart attacks as much as she can. I was trying to get away from the first person “diary entry” type of essay, so I figured the easiest way would be omniscient storytelling. I hope it worked 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. What a whirl that was. Kids must be hardwired to give their parents a heart attack!

    My favorite was the rescue because it felt like a release of tension from and over full balloon: Her hero in a hoodie reached out his hand to hold hers

    Liked by 1 person

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