• Vol. 09
  • Chapter 12

Chewie Meets Bettina

Bettina flung her small suitcase, just her size, onto her crumpled bed, scooting the case against her bedclothes. She flopped the lid open. Mommy makes me so mad, she thought. She wanted to play with her big brother, Caleb, but he said no and Mommy agreed. It wasn’t fair.
I have to be the littlest and I get to do the least, Bettina was certain of it.
She had a plan. Bettina snuck into Caleb’s room.
He had three long shelves, bright blue, with alien things. Bettina wrinkled her nose. His room always smelled like socks. She didn’t really like being in her brother’s room, but it’s where he kept his aliens. Some of them were really ugly and scary. There were a few alien things Caleb got before she was born. Bettina thought those were the best.
She didn’t know their names, save for one. There were lots of brown ones and green ones and a few red ones, too. One of the aliens was bright orange. She left that one where it was. Yucky.
She took the one called Chewie. Mommy said she could watch it when she was old enough. Well, Bettina grabbed Chewie. Then she grabbed a few others and snuck back to her room. She plunked the aliens into her small suitcase. She did this a few times, until her suitcase was full.
Her suitcase was nice and pink with white flowers on it. The only alien that looked good in there was Chewie. He was brown and shiny, and with his face down, he looked like a round chocolate cake, the glossy kind. Bettina smiled, thinking of glossy chocolate round cake and how much better it would be to have that in her suitcase instead of aliens.
Bettina shut the case lid, zippered it, grabbed the rubber handle, and pulled. The case turned out to be heavier than expected. The things inside made lots of noises, but nothing too loud and nothing that would make Dad say, “What’s that noise in there?” So it was all right.


Chewie Meets Bettina

Bettina poked her head out of her room, looked both ways. Everyone was busy somewhere else. She walked out to the backyard, dragging the suitcase across the lawn. She reached the shed, and let the case drop. The aliens groaned against each other. Bettina yanked hard on the shed door to pry it open, and went inside, lugging the aliens with her.
She managed to stack almost nine whole aliens on top of each other before they fell. Not bad. Two remained on the table, Chewy and some other brown alien. The others were not so good for balancing, but there was a plastic green one with a lid. Bettina picked it up from the floor, careful not to prick a finger against any surrounding shards, and placed that on the top: the perfect three.
Now she could go get Caleb, show him what she made, and he would have to play with her, at last.