I was reclining lazily against Crickety, my pet cricket, when the world ended.
Saige, the ugly giant herself, came clomping over to me. “Rebecca, Rebecca,” she exclaimed, “look at what I have!”
Not taking my eyes off of my book, I greeted, “Wassup, fool?” I was really thinking, And what is so important that you would dare disturb me while I am reading?
“I got a doll!” squealed Saige, beaming with pride. She didn’t seem to notice that I didn’t care.
I licked my finger and turned the page. “Hmmm, that’s wonderful, Leprechaun . . .,” I murmured. Suddenly whatever boring thing she’d said entered my brain: I got a doll. A doll, as in, those short little things you play with? As in, what I am?! Slowly, filled with dread, I peered over the top of my book and stared at the thing Saige was cradling in her arms.
A doll. One with medium tone skin, shiny black hair pulled into a neat braid, gold hoops, and a festive multi-colored skirt.
Saige lowered her doll to the ground and ordered, “Be nice, now, Rebecca, and say hi to Aciana!” She stomped away, leaving us mini dolls by ourselves.
I tucked my BeForever book under my arm and scrutinized the newcomer. She was very homely, or maybe that was just because she’d been cramped up in a box until she’d sold. Either way, I only wanted to finish my book. I flipped it open, found my place, and pretended to push imaginary glasses up the bridge of my nose.
The doll — Abliano or whatever — coughed politely. “Hola, me llamo Aciana Montoya,” she said in Spanish.
As a mini doll, I can easily speak any language. I translated her sentence in my mind — Hello, my name is Aciana Montoya — and sputtered with laughter. Her first name translated into aciano, Spanish for cornflower! I couldn’t imagine being named after a flower; too girly.
“¿Y tu nombre?” Aciana asked. And your name?
I sighed and slammed my book down. This girl was not going to give me a break! “Mini Rebecca Rubin the First,” I declared haughtily. And that’s when I noticed something about the Spanish mini doll.
She looked exactly like the girl on the cover of my book! I held the book up beside Aciana and glanced rapidly back and forth, giving myself whiplash. “Shouldn’t your name be Josefina?” I inquired carefully, tapping the cover.
Aciana shook her head, confused. “No.”
Of course she was Josefina, just with a different first name. Grumbling, I threw my book down. This renaming business was giving me permanent brain damage!
Bored, I began to climb the rock wall behind me with the skill of a berserk monkey. Crickety gave me a boost onto the first rock, but I did the rest all by myself.
“What are you doing, Rebecca?!” Aciana demanded in horror, speaking English for once. She rushed forward, trying to grab onto my ankle, but I was already half a foot above her head.
“Ha ha ha!” I cackled. She’d never get me now! Free, free, I was free . . . free of El Loco Cornflower . . .
I was high above the heads of Crickety and Aciana when I shot a look over my shoulder. Aciana was running around in a panic, screaming in rapid Spanish. I giggled and scratched behind my ear. It was so much fun to make Aciana go crazy with worry!
When she saw that I wasn’t holding onto the rock with both hands, she let out a piercing cry and hollered up at me, tears streaming down her face, “All limbs on the cliff, quick, before you fall off and kill yourself!”
I yawned and scratched my bum, just to make Aciana worry some more.
Then I took both hands off the cliff, tugged three times on my lucky curl, and, with a hysterical shout, jumped off.
I was falling, falling fast, the air whistling in my ears and swirling my hair in front of my face. Spreading my arms out, I turned onto my stomach, the way Pocahontas did when she jumped off that cliff in her movie, and sang, “Free fallin’, la la la la . . .”
Aciana caught me seconds before I hit the ground. Her eyes were red and puffy — she must have thought I was going to die! Silly Cornflower . . .
Quoting “Frozen,” I patted her arm. “That was like a crazy trust exercise!” I laughed like a maniac, pecked her on the cheek, and scrambled out of her arms.
Aciana stared at me quizzically, hand on her cheek. “Gracias . . .?
“Si!” I replied. Wait, that’s not right, I thought, and added, “De nada!”
Out of the corner of my eye, I spotted something delicious: Saige’s red ponytail! An evil plan started to form in my mind. “Hey, Aciana, watch this,” I whispered, grinning. This was going to be so much fun!
Saige was standing just a bit away from me. If she would only stay still . . .
Laughing like a lunatic, I lunged at the end of Saige’s ponytail. I grabbed hold of the hair and swung back and forth as Saige, shrieking, tried to bat me away.
I waved at Aciana in a way that meant, Come on, it’s fun! But she didn’t leap onto Saige’s head after me.
Aciana simply stood there, aghast, one hand covering her mouth. Her large brown eyes were filled with shock and horror. “No, Rebecca, stop!” she shouted.
I continued to swing back and forth carelessly, but inside, I was confused. Why wasn’t Aciana playing with me? Didn’t she know it was all just a joke?
I shimmied up Saige’s ponytail, climbed across her head, and leaned down to pat her forehead. “Poor, poor Saige! Did Aciana hurt you?”
Saige stopped turning her hair into a rats’ nest as she tried to get me out and gasped. “Aciana . . . Aciana did that to me?”
“I’m afraid so.” I nodded knowingly. “She grabbed onto your hair, and I followed to get her off. She jumped to the floor, and then I crawled up your head to tell you,” I fibbed.
Saige sighed helplessly. “It makes sense, I guess . . .”
“Indeed.” I patted her head again. 18″ dolls could be so thick! There had only been one tug on her ponytail, caused by me, and yet she believed that Aciana had been on there too.
I grabbed a couple of Saige’s flyaways, held them like reins, and steered her toward Aciana, who had climbed onto a chair to be closer to her owner in her time of distress.
“Is this true, Aciana?” Saige asked sternly. “Did you play in my hair?”
Saige’s mini doll shook her head fervently. “No, no, Señorita Saige!” she cried.
“Look at her,” I said. “She’s clearly lying!”
Or course Saige didn’t believe me. Taking the innocent Aciana in her arms, Saige murmured comfortingly, “I’m so sorry . . . this was your first day here, too . . .”
Aciana snuggled into her owner’s shoulder.
Sulking, I leaped off Saige’s head onto one of the chair’s rungs. I sighed and stared longingly at the owner-doll moment before me. The reason for all my pranks, other than because pranks are fun, was to get Tracy’s attention. She was my owner, but she never talked to me, never played with me, never did anything with me. Even when I did something bad, it was always Caroline who punished me, not Tracy.
I just wanted to be loved.
As you can see, I got the BeForever Josefina mini doll! I picked her up at Barnes & Noble yesterday. They also had a Maryellen mini doll, and when I saw that, I was really confused because I didn’t think she’d come out yet.
Then my mom was like, “Wasn’t she released today?”
Review of her coming soon!
P.S. There’s an amazing giveaway going on at Doll Diaries — they’re giving away a brand new Maryellen Larkin doll! Check it out *here*