Molly thundered down the stairs, her heart soaring with anticipation. Christmas morning had arrived. As she reached the bottom step, she jumped it and rushed into the living room. The glory of gifts awaited her, cascading out from the adorned tree. Molly squealed and dove into the treasure.
“You are supposed to wait for us,” her mother said with mock sternness, her eyes dancing.
“She’s our little monster.” Molly’s father entered the room with two mugs of steaming coffee. Mom laughed at the joke and took the cup Dad offered her.
“Let her open the big one first,” Molly’s mother said. Her father set his coffee aside and walked to the mountain of presents. Molly squirmed, barely able to contain her excitement. There was a rustle as her dad searched for the gift.
“I had forgotten how heavy this was.” Her father pushed aside the presents to unearth a long, large box wrapped in red and gold striped paper.
Molly didn’t wait for her father to move out of the way before attacking the present. She tore at the paper, revealing a black lacquered box. She grinned, opening the lid, and cried out, delighted.
Lying upon a bed of silk was girl near her own age, her face peaceful in death framed by dark doll-like ringlets. Molly had admired the girl several weeks ago when they went into the city to shop. She gazed up at her parents beaming with joy.
“She’s perfect,” Molly said. “I can’t wait to introduce her to the others.”