I surveyed my options. First, I could try to move the bookshelf off myself, but that would result in more books falling, and I doubted I was strong enough to do much. Second, I could wait here until Nick stopped screaming so that Mom would hear me when I called for help. Or I could just weasel my way out of my predicament. That seemed easiest.
Carefully, I moved the copy of Baby Animal Stories that had struck my head. I realized how badly my head hurt. I felt like I'd just smacked it on pavement, like I'd fallen off my bike or tripped while rollerblading. I'd be fine once I got the ice pack. My whole body was sore when I moved, and my left foot was asleep. I realized it was being crushed by one of the shelves of the bookcase.
Shoving books out of the way, I wormed my way back into the land of the living.
I lay still for a bit. My head stopped hurting, and my foot began to buzz. Everyone else called it 'pins and needles,' but I thought it felt more like my foot was as fizzy as the sparkling grape juice we got on Thanksgiving. A painful fizzy. I didn't want to move it, and since my head didn't hurt anymore, I decided just to relax for a bit.
My Polly Pockets were still waiting for me on the other side of my bed. I didn't feel like playing with them anymore. I just wanted to rest. Maybe I could curl up on my bed with one of the books that was scattered here on the floor. Anne of Green Gables caught my eye. I'd just finished the Little House series, and Mom said it was similar. I'd try it, but the next time we went to the library, I wanted to read another Boxcar Children mystery, or maybe a Geronimo Stilton--if I could find one I hadn't already read, and if there were no ghosts in it. Mom didn't like ghosts.
Besides, Anne of Green Gables was a very soft-looking book, an old softcover with fluffy, yellowed pages and words that looked like they'd been printed on a typewriter. I didn't want to read a pointy-edged hardcover, not right after being crushed by them.
I stood up, wincing as my foot fizzed and tickled and hurt all at once, and crawled onto my bed. The cushy pink comforter with flowers seemed to swallow me as I wrapped myself up in it, even though I wasn't cold. I turned on my lamp, but before I opened Anne of Green Gables, I summoned Kida. She appeared, relaxed in the bed next to me, cuddling with my army of stuffed animals.
"Thanks for your help back there," I said.
"I should be thanking you for your help." Kida handed me Dee, my favorite teddy bear, and I snuggled with her. "You vanquished Minoru and brought peace to my world. How, exactly, have I helped you?"
I fluffed up the pillows behind me. "You taught me that I belong in my world, not yours. I might be invisible here, too, but at least people can see me, even if they don't."
Kida smiled. "You are wise, Mandy, more than you know." She disappeared, and I was left with my thoughts and my books and the sound of silence as Nick finally stopped screaming.
I opened Anne of Green Gables and started reading. My books were still strewn all over the floor, and my Polly Pockets still needed to be put away, but I wouldn't worry about them for now. Maybe Kida would help me clean everything up tomorrow.
M. J. Piazza is a Jesus-loving, dog-walking country girl who just so happens to write books.