The Magical Piñata

>> Tuesday, 4 March 2008

The Days Go By Oh So Slow, Nightmare of You

A title I got from WritingFix serendipitous story title generator :D

Anya never had a birthday party, not even a birthday present. All she ever got for her birthday was a visit to her mother in the hospital.

Her father worked very hard to keep the both of them and her grandmother alive. For every meal they took they were grateful that they got to fulfill their stomach.

Her sandy blonde hair was always tied into two messy short braids by her grandmother and tugged behind her ears, with a faux diamond barrette her mother had intended to give her two years ago. Her pale face, soul-less eyes and tiny body twitched hearts, more so her background. She was a quiet eight-year-old, always sitting at her seat silently listening attentively to the teacher or her classmates.

No-one could recall the last time she spoke or even made a sound.

Her classmates knew her birthday - they had asked the teacher one day when she was absent from school - but they did not dare to give her the presents they had prepared. It could be a birthday cake, or a scrapbook, or dry pressed roses they stole from the florist a week before. Afraid, of her cold response.

Her mother was on coma due to a strong blow at the back of her head. On the way home from the supermarket on Anya's sixth birthday, she was hit by a car and thrown up to air, and fell on her head. The barrette for her daughter was held so tightly in her hand it cut her. Anya just stared at her mother in ICU and later the barrette Nurse Vern gave to her. She hugged her legs and cried.

Nurse Vern had since became Anya's only friend. She visited Anya every Sunday after church in the playground, maybe sit at the swing, or play the slides, or the see-saw. They would sit by the bench under the shade, welcoming the warmth by the Sun, quietly. Even so she knew the one-hour quiet emotional support wasn't enough for her to recover from the abrupt blow two years ago.

Nurse Vern, Anya's father, Anya's grandmother, Anya's favourite English teacher and her classmates decided that, on her ninth birthday, they would organise a small birthday potluck in the playground. Soraya brought candies; Hans brought syrup; Jonine brought marshmallows and chocolate sauce; everyone else brought everything else sweet. Nurse Vern collected candies from the staff in the hospital and made into a piñata almost Anya's size.

Anya's grandmother brought her granddaughter to the playground early in the Sunday morning. She just glanced at her nervous guests. Happy birthday, they said to her. She was surprised, they could see it. And they were secretly relieved. At least they could identify her response.

Nurse Vern gave Anya a wooden stick. She looked up at the nurse with questions on her face. "Don't you remember it's your birthday today?" Nurse Vern knelt down and said gently to her.

Anya looked down at the stick in her hands. Nurse Vern pointed to the colourful, patchy piñata hung low at the cherry tree. "That's a piñata." Soraya blindfolded her. Anya grabbed Nurse Vern's jeans. She pushed the little birthday girl to the piñata. "It's a magical piñata. Swing your bat and hit the piñata. Make a wish before you swing."

Anya wished inside her heart and started swinging the bat. Her classmates all shouted directions to her excitedly. Left, left, right, right, just above you, turn around. The piñata swung right and left.

"You have to say your wishes outloud, Anya, only can you aim the piñata," Hans braved himself and shouted to her. Anya turned towards the direction of the voice, panting.

"Yes, say it aloud, Anya!" Greg shouted.

"The piñata won't let your hit him if you don't tell him your wish!" Francin shouted.

"A piñata is deaf, Anya!" Derik shouted.

Anya stood still, panting. The noise tuned down. Holding breath.

"I... I wish... I wish mother will open her eyes so I can tell her I love her and I've missed her," she said as loud as possible, and swung her bat as hard as possible. The piñata opened; the candies fell down like rain, and so were her tears. Hopes showered her.

Anya's father ran towards her and hugged her tightly and cried along with her. She had never spoken a word for two years. He had not shed a tear for two years; resisted the image of his wife in his mind for two years; the thought that his wife will be gone forever, lingered on for two years. Her classmates crowded around her, telling her repeatedly how much they loved her, crying.

"Come." Nurse Vern held Anya's small wrist and gently lead her to a wooden table. A thin woman was sitting on the wheelchair, smiling weakly at them.

Anya's father broke into tears.


The piñata contained the hopes of everyone for a miracle to happen, a wish to come true. But I couldn't tell whether the piñata was really magical. Maybe Tinker Bell had secretly sprinkled on some gold dust, I don't know. All I know is that the imperfect piñata rekindled the flame of hope of a little girl, and her father, and the happiness it brought was priceless.

I am Anya's friend, Vern.

2127PM - 883 words
, Lifehouse

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