“What are you doing, Maria?”
“I found a ghost.”
“A ghost, huh?” Mom barely glanced up, washing dishes all clatter-clank-splash.
“Uh-huh. It was caught in the tree outside my window.”
“Oh, sweetie, it’s just an old rag. Throw it away.”
“It’s really dirty. I was gonna wash it before it had to go again.”
Mom sighed. “You can use the old mop bucket. Just keep it outside, okay?”
“Thanks, Mommy!” She pattered away to fetch the bucket and fill it with hot water.
“You know,” said the ghost, as Maria scrubbed happily, “I never thought it would end like this.”
Award Eligibility 2016
21 hours ago