child and window
3RD PLACE || 2020


by Addie Lee Ann Van Neste


One Sunday in March, Casey, a nine-year-old girl with sleek, wavy black hair, walked with her parents into church. Her new baby brother, Ezra, was on the hips of her father looking around with large gleams in his eyes. Casey looked up at the massive walls painted in glory and let her gaze travel to the tall steeple towering above it all. She went up the smooth concrete steps that flattened out into a landing and those led to the large, beautiful wooden doors.

An elderly lady, one of the people who held out the bread and wine, opened the door for them. Casey’s Mother acknowledged and thanked her.

They walked over the red carpet and dipped their fingers into the water of the baptismal font. Casey had her own special way of drawing it out on herself.

She marked the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Then, she drew a heart on her forehead, surrounding the mark. She drew a cross through that heart, then drew six lines surrounding those three things as beams of light.

Down the aisle, they turned to sit down in the second pew on the left. Casey knelt after her Mother and Father. Ezra cooed and she smiled at him.

After they sang the beginning song, their priest, Father Mark, began speaking. Casey had not really been listening to anything until his words caught her attention.

“The Authority of the Son.”

He looked up at everyone in the church and then made eye contact with Casey.

“Jesus said to the Jews, ‘Truly, I tell you, the Son can do nothing on his own, but only sees what the Father is doing; for whatever the Father does the Son does likewise. The Father loves the Son and shows him all that he himself is doing.’”

Casey then noticed the little large round eyes of her new baby brother looking down at her from her Father’s hips. She glanced at him questioningly; then kept listening.

After church, they went to get Lukey’s Donuts, then went home. Casey got out of the car and went straight to get her golden Labrador’s bowl. She unpackaged some beef and dropped it in the bowl. Then she took one of her donuts and stuck it in next to the meat. She remembered to stir in dried basil just for some extra flavor. She walked merrily through the house to the back door. She called out, “Benny!”

Her dog came trotting along to her. His sleek fur shined brightly in the sunlight. She walked onto the porch.

“Here, boy,” she said gently, setting down his food. He started eating and she pet him. She noticed he ate the donut first.

In her room, she practiced her guitar. Her Mother called.

“Casey, come wash the dishes for me! I need to make dinner.”

“Coming, Mom!”

She quickly put her guitar on the top of her case.

As she washed the dishes, Casey thought about eating her second donut. Afterward, she went outside to where her Mother and Father were working on a pipe that would soon lead water into their barn basin.

“Mom, I’m done.”

Her mother looked up and smiled.

“Okay. Thank you, dear.”

Inside, Casey grabbed her second donut. It was glazed in strawberry icing and sprinkles. She was in a merry mood to go back to practice on her guitar. That was, until she saw little baby legs crawling into her room.

Oh no.

Before she could react, she heard a loud, thump. She raced to the frame of the door and saw Ezra sitting at the floor of her bed, next to her tumbling guitar!


Casey dashed and practically fell beside her guitar. The knobs to tune the guitar were broken off! She felt like crying.

“Ezra, look what you did!”

The baby’s large, sparkly blue eyes gazed at her. Casey burned with rage. She was about to take it out on him but then, she remembered the reading from the morning at church.

“Whatever the Father does, the Son does likewise.”

She sat. Ezra was just a baby, yet he would look up to his older sibling. He’ll copy what she does. She realized he would only do the same to her if she yelled at him.

Instead, she picked up her guitar, set it on her bed, and then went to give Ezra a hug. He cooed and closed his eyes to sleep. She smiled at him and walked with him in her arms to go outside.

Addie is twelve years old and lives in Canada. Her favorite things to do are drawing wolves and cats, playing with her three brothers, creating cat fan-based stories, playing video games, and eating peaches.