Quinn and Lola hopped off of Spirit’s back and walked up to the glass cabinet.
“Is it… magic?,” asked Lola?
Spirit stopped rocking. “Yes, it is.”
“How does it work?” Quinn said as she pawed the cabinet’s door.
“I don’t think I could describe it,” said Spirit. “You’ll have to give it a try for yourself.”
Lola pawed the door open. “If it can take us home, I’m ready to go. Come on, Quinn,” she said.
“Hold on,” said Spirit. “It only works at night.”
“Oh,” said Lola, casting her eyes sadly downward. “I guess I can wait.”
“Don’t worry about anything. You’ll have a great time here while you wait.” Spirit said, picking up his rocking pace.
And so Quinn and Lola crawled back into their wooden beds. Just then, they heard footsteps. It was Ralph, walking ever so slowly to the attic.
Gently, he picked up Quinn and Lola, and two small teddy bears, which he tucked under his arms. One had a torn arm and the other was missing its nose. “Let’s go say good morning to Mother,” he said.
They spent the day in the living room of the grand home, sitting next to Emily on a table. Ralph brought out a metal tin filled with sewing supplies and Emily worked slowly to repair the teddy bears, stitching their rips and adding a button nose. While working, Emily listened to soft music and hummed along.
Sun was pouring in through the picture window and the two Beanie Boos enjoyed watching the birds play on the lake. It wasn’t the same as being at home with Sophia, but it was a nice day, nonetheless.
When the sun went down, Ralph carried everyone back upstairs and put Lola and Quinn into their beds. They waited for a signal from Spirit, who now looked like a lifeless wooden rocking horse.
It was only when a bright shaft of moonlight hit the glass cabinet that Spirit came alive. He started to rock back and forth. The other animals came alive at the same time, lining up in front of the cabinet door.
“Maybe we should get in line,” Lola said, pouncing from her bed. Quinn followed.
The door opened and one by one the animals took their place on the bottom shelf, disappearing seconds later.
And then it was time for Lola and Quinn.
“You go first,” said Quinn.
“No you,” answered Lola.
“Let’s do it together,” replied Quinn. “On the count of 3.”
Far younger and spryer than the other stuffed animals in the attic, they sprung themselves onto the bottom shelf and bathed in the light of the moon.
Within the blink of an eye, they were in Sophia’s bedroom, laying in a baby buggy with bonnets on their heads. And there was Sophia, carting them about her room. But wait. It was a very young Sophia – a 4-year old Sophia. Had they gone back in time? How could this be?
Yes, indeed they had gone back to a time when Sophia played with them all day long. This was even better than going back to the present. They had gone back to a time when they were most loved, most played with. They had gone back to a time before Sophia discovered Shopkins, and Littlest Pet Shop and all the other toys that took her away from them. There was surely no chance of being thrown out now.
And so they played with Sophia all day. They were babies, and then they were pets, and then they were napping buddies and then they all went out to a playground where they were pushed on swings and got to ride on a yellow school bus, and then they were invited to the dinner table.
As the sun started setting and they looked forward to spending a restful night on Sophia’s bed (possibly even being hugged) they blinked and found themselves back in the attic of the old Victorian home.
Quinn and Lola looked at each other. “What are we doing back here?”
Spirit had all the answers. “So, how was it?”
“It was wonderful,” said Lola, “we wanted to stay.”
“Let me explain,” said Spirit. “The cabinet, with the help of moonlight, is a portal to your happiest times. To all of our happiest times. See Teddy over there? Every night, he travels back to a child’s home 100 years ago. And Sergeant Tim, the toy soldier on the shelf, he is sent back to a grand battle in a little boy’s bedroom during the 1940s. And these china dolls? They attend tea parties with a sweet little girl from the days of George Washington and Benjamin Franklin. This way, we get to experience love and play long after our owners have grown up or worse. You can go back every night, which is equal to day in the past. But when the sun rises here and the sun sets there, you come back. That’s how it works.”
Quinn and Lola weren’t sure whether they should be over the moon with happiness or start crying that they had to leave young Sophia.
“There there, young friends, don’t be sad,” Spirit continued. “This is a nice place to live,” you’ll see.
And with that, Spirit stopped rocking and went back into his wooden stance. It seemed that he too only came alive in the moonlight.
And so Quinn and Lola settled into a pattern: when the moonlight hit the cabinet they transported themselves to young Sophia. They relived their happiest moments. And when the sunset on Sophia, they were transported back to the Victorian mansion, where they made friends with the other animals and spent time with Ralph and Emily.
Life was good and they were happy.