Heartbeat by Sharon Creech

By Sharon Creech

Run run run.

That's what twelve-year-old Annie likes to do. while she's barefoot and working, she will listen her middle beating . . . thump-Thump, thump-Thump. it is a rhythm that is sensible in a yr whilst everything's transferring: Her mom is pregnant, her grandfather is forgetful, and her ally, Max, is often moody. every little thing alterations through the years, like the apple Annie's been assigned to attract. yet as she watches and listens, Annie starts off to appreciate the numerous rhythms of lifestyles, and the way she suits inside them.

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An extremely frightening-looking baby. 56 My mother said that during the ultrasound she could see the arms moving as if the baby were waving at her and she said that the next appointment was on a Saturday so that Dad and I can go and hear the heartbeat— the heartbeat! A tear slipped down Grandpa’s cheek. Oh, you can come, too, Dad! my mother said. If you’re up to it— Grandpa nodded as two more tears rolled down his cheek. Mom patted Grandpa’s hand and told me and my father that maybe 57 we should stop calling the baby the alien baby because it can hear and we should call it something nicer so it will not get its feelings hurt.

What—? 54 And then I remember that today my mother was to have an ultrasound and this must be a picture of the baby. I snatch the photo from my father and turn it this way and that and my mother is laughing and finally she says Here, like this and she turns the photograph and traces the stones This is the head and this is the chest and this is an arm and this is a foot— My father and Grandpa and I stare. I wonder what they are thinking. I am horrified. 55 It looks like a little skeleton head and it does not look at all cute and I am feeling so sorry for us that we are going to have such a frightening-looking baby.

53 THE SKELETON Mom says she has a surprise for me and Dad and Grandpa and she makes us close our eyes as she rummages in her purse and then she says Open! She is holding what appears to be a black-and-white photograph of grayish stones on a deep black background. Grandpa peers at the picture. I think your camera needs fixing he says. My father is excited. Is that—? Oh, man! He inspects it, squints, turns it upside down. But where—? What—? 54 And then I remember that today my mother was to have an ultrasound and this must be a picture of the baby.

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