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.
“I FOUND HER!”