The Surprise (A Short Story)

by Lillian McClaren

Madeline sits down on a wooden chair in her kitchen with white tiles and brown plank floors. She starts to type. She signs into her Chromebook and joins the morning meeting. She is telling her classmates about how well she is doing in her chores because one of her classmates, Malisa, wants to know how she is doing. She also tells her teacher, who has blonde and purple highlights in her hair, about how she thinks she is getting a puppy because she has been showing her parents how responsible she is.

Ms. Jardeen says, “Wow, that is amazing! Now let’s get into math.” 

Madeline feels like Albert Einstein when he figures out he has discovered something new. She loves math.

Madeline is doing a math test on her computer and she can’t focus on her two-minute, three-second test. She can’t concentrate because she is wondering whether she is getting a puppy or not. She is daydreaming that she is swimming in the ocean with her puppy. She is trying to type, but she can’t. She is just tapping her red-painted fingernails on her kitchen table, thinking not about the division question but about whether she is getting a puppy or not.  As she daydreams, she is picturing herself on the beach, walking the puppy. It has a brown patch on its eye and a full white body. The teacher yells out to everyone, “Thirty seconds left on our fact fluency.” 

Madeline opens her eyes wide. She thinks in her head, “Omg, I’m never going to finish this test. I’m too late.”

 She finally starts to type, then she finishes one second before the timer runs out. She hears a “ring ring ring” and she feels sooooooooooooooooooo relieved. 

When it is time for Madeline’s break, she eats Halloween cookies in her Halloween-themed kitchen. There is a pumpkin-scented candle burning, and it smells corking. There is a bouquet of mums in the middle of the kitchen table.  She is eating a pumpkin, a spider, a ghost, and a witch’s broom cookie. While she is eating, she is talking to her dad about her getting a puppy. She says to him, “Dad can I please get a puppy? I’ve been doing my chores for three weeks straight without being asked to do so.”

Dad says back to Madeline, “OK sweet potato.” He has wrinkles around the smile lines of his eyes.

She tries to negotiate with her father, but he never falls for it. 

She replies, “These cookies we made are sooooo amazing. I am really enjoying them. We did a GREAT job.” 

She says this because she wants to butter him up.

Now Madeline is back in math doing some fractions. She is comparing which one is bigger, which one is smaller, and which ones are equal to each other. All of a sudden, mom walks in with a huge smile on her face.

In her arms is a puppy, just like Madeline imagined, with a brown patch on its eye and a full white body.

She screams, “OMG!, it’s just like I imagined! What should I name it?” 

“I don’t know, maybe Rosy?” Mom said.

“No, I like Lucy. YA Lucy. I like that, that’s what I’m going to name her,” Madeline says.

Madeline is the happiest person in the WORLD.


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