Based on a true event, this story is included in my book Stories Short and Strange, available at Amazon.com in paperback (https://www.amazon.com/Stories-Short-Strange-Bob-Welbaum/dp/B0874PCH2G/ref=sr_1_1?) and Kindle download (https://www.amazon.com/Stories-Short-Strange-Bob-Welbaum-ebook/dp/B0876GGCMG/ref=sr_1_6?), and on this website.
When an object disappears from a toddler, what’s the most logical explanation?
The Earring — An Original Story
An earring was missing.
The young mother had frantically searched her daughter. Then she searched the bed. Then her daughter again, her hair, the folds in her pajamas, her slippers. Next under the bed, then the entire bedroom floor.
Finally she sat down on the floor and simply stared at her daughter. The little girl was too young to tell her what had happened, or even to understand what the fuss was about. All she could do was sit on the edge of her bed opposite her mother and mirror the worried frown.
Maybe piercing the ears of a ten-month-old wasn’t such a good idea. Of course, there was a perfectly logical explanation, but the mother quickly pushed it out of her mind. No, the earring had to be here.
Her daughter was just beginning to take her first tentative steps. Had she toddled into another room? Search the hallway, search the carpet in the next room, then the next. Nothing.
The bathroom! No, dumb idea, the little girl was still in diapers, and she didn’t fully understand what a bathroom was anyway.
There was no choice but to confront the obvious. The mother quickly put on her coat, threw a coat on her daughter, and headed for the car.
The hospital wasn’t far away. The drive was quick. Concentrate on the driving, don’t think too far ahead.
Once at the Emergency Room desk, the mother was forced to face her worst fear. “My daughter’s earring is missing. I’ve looked all over the house and I can’t find it anywhere. I… I think she may have swallowed it.”
They were immediately sent to X-Ray. The understanding technician took the little girl from her as she repeated the story. “I think my daughter may have swallowed an earring.”
The technician smiled in a caring way, and simply said “We’ll know soon enough.”
The mother persisted. “Can you please tell me right away? I want to know as soon as possible.”
The technician frowned and quickly shook his head. “No, I’m sorry, I can’t do that. Only doctors are allowed to read x-rays.”
The technician and the little girl disappeared behind the solid door as it closed with a thump. The mother sank into a chair just outside in the hallway. She stared at the far wall, trying not to think. Please let me find out quickly.
Suddenly the door swung open and the technician’s head popped out. The mother’s head jerked up and their eyes met.
“Was it star-shaped?”