Delilah’s demands for her niece to return went unheeded as the child gleefully made a break for the front of the store, the desired toy clutched in hand and unpaid for.
Timothy moved to apprehend the child but his dear one stopped him.
“I’ve got this, darling,” she assured her husband, and Delilah snapped her fingers.
Bloomp! A bubble ballooned up around the escaping child and stopped her just short of the exit and refused to move her another inch.
Calmly, Delilah walked over to her now-trapped niece. Reaching into the bubble, she confiscated the toy and deposited it on a nearby shelf. She then apologized lightly to the nearest associate and proceeded to roll the bubble containing her niece on out of the store. Gyroscopic, the child stayed upright as the bubble rolled onward, her mouth opened wide in a tearful, silent scream of disappointment.
“Gyroscopic, one-way permeable, and soundproof,” Timothy observed, “Most impressive, my love.”
“A necessity,” she ripostes, “Our Dezzie is quite…rambunctious as you know. It serves as a physical reminder of her boundaries, even with Auntie Delilah. Are you done?” This last question was directed at the child who had now ceased her screaming, her eyes brown now instead of violent.
Dezzie, her mouth turned downward, nodded. The bubble popped around her.
Delilah lowered herself down so she was eye to eye with her niece and goddaughter. “Dezzie, you were stealing that toy. You were trying to take it without paying for it. That’s stealing, honey. And I will not allow you to do that. You, little Chessy, have lost the gift of the toy because you tried to take it. I know that is hard and disappointing…”
“It is!” Dezzie broke in. “You’re not being nice!”
“…But our actions, our choices, have consequences, results that happen because we made that choice. And ‘nice’ is different than good. And I am a good auntie to you,” Delilah continued, holding Dezzie’s hand.
“You will be sad for a little while but I hope that you might stop and think before you choose to do anything like this ever again. I want you to remember this.”
Dezzie chewed on her trembling lip and turned to look at her uncle Timothy, who just shook his head in return.
“I agree with your auntie, little Cheshire,” he told her, “She’s right.”
“I love you, Desdemona Croft-Miller. I am your auntie and your godmother. My job is to keep you safe and help you be a good person. And I will do my jobs. I love you too much not to.” Delilah took the little girl in her arms and hugged her close, feeling the little arms wrap around her neck after a moment.
“I love you, my little Chessy cat.”
“I love you, Auntie Del.”
Timothy just smiled down at his wife and niece before speaking. “Who’s up for a pretzel?”
“ME!” came the instant reply, followed by a giggle as the time-wrapped man swept Dezzie up onto his shoulders and clasped an arm around his wife with the Wonderland eyes.
“Off we go then, my loves.”