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Little Beast

By Carol D. Gray

An Excerpt



The thing I wanted most in the whole entire world arrived in an ordinary white envelope, a little rumpled with a scratch below the stamp---but the address was written in midnight blue ink that made my name look beautiful. Both ends of the M in Mandy and the R in Ruskin curled and swooped like a bird's wing. My hands shook as I pulled the envelope out of the mailbox.


The very next second a butterfly landed on my hand, the shaking one holding the letter. I swear I am not making this up. Its skinny black legs and tiny feet clung to the V between my thumb and index finger. The weird thing was there were no butterflies in my neighborhood, no big gardens or showy flowers, almost nothing a butterfly would like. But there it was flaunting this amazing silvery blue stripe on its wings. The stripe glowed.

I should have paid attention to that glow, but all I could think about was the letter, and how Mom could not see it, and how the very next second she yanked open the front door and yelled, "Mandy, what are you doing out here?"

I panicked and stuffed the envelope in my pocket. The butterfly flew off, and I was so stressed out about Mom seeing the letter that I didn't even watch it go. But luckily she was so stressed about Dad coming over for my brother, Ollie's, birthday that she just yelled, "I need your help!" and went back inside. 

My parents are divorced. Need I say more?

I followed her in, but the moment she disappeared into the kitchen I stopped and pulled the envelope out. I was so scared to open it that I leaned against the wall to prop myself up in case the letter said NO instead of Yes! Taking a deep breath, I slid my fingers under the flap. A scent escaped from inside. It smelled good, like the outdoors after it rained.

Unfolding the letter, I read:

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