Miss Walden watched them smiling from the window of her top floor apartment.
Why were they smiling? How could they have the audacity to smile, as if they were personally jabbing at her, at all her hard work, at all her sacrifices.
She lived in one of the nicest apartments in all the world. She had more money than a queen. And yet, they, these poor street children, were smiling instead of her.
Some part of her remembered the game they were playjng, she even knew the rules, for Miss Walden wasn't born with riches.
She was born to a lowly maid, and spent many of her childhood days running through similar streets, smiling, laughing and playing this very game. But that was the past.
Now she was one of the most powerful woman in the world, and she most certainly did not have time to smile. To laugh. To play foolish games.
She rang her golden bell, the same bell that would bring her servants in to attend to her every need.
As if they were waiting on the other side of the door in anticipation, three well dressed servants entered immediately.
"You rang, ma'am"? Asked her primary servant James. "Would you like a bath?"
"Or a late night snack?" Asked one of the maids.
"NO" she shouted "I have no need for a bath, or a snack, what i need is for you to tell those god forsaken children to mive along!"
"What children?" inquired James, slightly confused.
"Why, them of course" she replied, pointing out the window to the streets below. "They are laughing at me, and making it impossible to sleep"
James scurried over to the window expecting to see some gang of youth pointing up at them menacingly.
"But ma'am" James courageously stuttered out. "They're not laughing at you, they're just children, playing a game"
"I WANT THEM GONE" She shouted in full rage.
Seeing the startled faces of her servants, she pulled herself back to composure. "Please, tell the children to go away from my window" she stated with calmness and clarity.
"I would like to sleep, and I can not rest while they make such a ruckus"
"Ma'am" James spoke softly "We can not control children playing in the...."
"YOU CAN NOT?" the woman barked. "What do I even hire you for?"
"My apologies ma'am its just...." James began to stutter.
"Leave me be" the woman declared with confidence.
James and the two maids left at once, grateful that their master had not pushed the issue further.
As her servants, they would do anything she requested, but even with all her money and power, she couldn't stop poor children from playing a game on public property.
They weren't being loud, they certainly weren't laughing at her, they were just playing a game.
The wealthy, powerful Miss Walden, stepped over to her bedside table and removed three small pills from an ornate little box. Fifteen minutes later, she was sound asleep.
The dream she had that night should have been a nightmare. She was in her childhood home, surrounded by her siblings.
Her father was whistling a tune while cooking a large pot of poor man stew and her mother was teaching the children how to sew patches on old trowsers.
It should have been a nightmare, but everyone in the dream was smiling, laughing, hugging eachother, and were completely oblivious to their poverty filled lives.
It should have been a nightmare, but it was absolutely wonderful.
She woke with the tune from her father still in her head. She even hummed a few bars before realizing what she was doing, and immediately stopping. She was a powerful and wealthy woman.
She did not need songs, or games. She did not need siblings or friends.
That dream was indeed a nightmare, she decided before ringing her small bell to announce to her servants that she was awake and ready to be pampered.
These next few days went on in a similar fashion. She would wake from nightmares about her childhood and the squaler she had come from.
She would spend the day meeting with dignitaries or having brunch with fine ladies. And at night, amidst the horrendous laughs of the children below, she would drug herself to sleep.
Her dreams were filled with visions of the past. Visions of the poverty she had overcome. And each one surprisingly, felt better than the last.
One morning she even let her fathers song linger on her lips for the entire day, humming it as she went about her business.
The song even followed her to a brunch with a powerful lady named Mrs Finch.
"What is that god forsaken tune you are humming" asked Mrs Finch.
The woman hadn't even noticed she was still humming it. "Oh, its nothing" she replied slightly embarrassed.
"Well please stop" Mrs Finch replied "your spoiling my quail eggs"
Spoiling her quail eggs? Miss Walden thought to herself. The only thing spoiling Mrs Finch's quail eggs was her terrible attitude.
Who did she think she was, insulting her fathers tune like this? Miss Walden became suddenly enraged. She wanted to yell at this snobby over dressed prune of a woman.
She knew, however, that Mrs Finch was a powerful woman and that she deserved the utmost respect, but somehow she remembered that her father also deserved respect.
He was hard working, and always kind to everyone. His silly tunes brought joy and light into the families small dwelling every evening.
And this pompous bitch says they are "spoiling her quail eggs".
And then the woman made either the best, or worst decision of her life.
She scooped up a single egg from her own plate, smeared a little caviar on top, and using her spoon as a small catapult, she flung the messy egg right into the face of Mrs Finch.
Mrs Finch gasped in horror. The egg slid from her face and plopped right into her ridiculously tight clevage.
The servants were speechless, even motionless, they didn't know what on earth to do, for they had never seen a wealthy and powerful lady fling an egg at another wealthy and powerful lady.
The flinger of the egg knew exactky what to do though. She laughed. It started with a small chuckle but when Mrs Finch glared at her it transformed into a full bellied laugh.
She couldn't help it at all. She laughed and laughed and smiled and laughed. It was as if this one catapulted egg transformed her into a giddy seven year old version of herself.
"James" she managed to chuckle out in-between laughs and giggles "i believe this brunch is over" she barely finished the sentence between laughs.
"Ummm, yes" replied james, still in shock "ummm, good day Mrs Finch" he stuttered.
"Yes" Miss Walden bellowed out "good day indeed" she tried to pull herself back to composure "i hope you enjoyed your.....quail egg" which was just too much for any of them.
She exploded into full body laughter and even the staff who were so practiced at being silent started to laugh.
In fact the only one not laughing at this point was Mrs Finch who was still trying to remove the egg from her clevage but her dress was so tight around her shoulders she couldn't reach it.
James and Miss Walden made their way to the car. James was silent, he had no idea what to expect.
He had worked for Miss Walden nearly 20 years, and had never seen her in any state but serious or mad, yet now, In the backseat of the car, his master was in full hysterics.
She would whistle her fathers tune, then say "i hope you enjoyed your eggs" and then crack up again and again and again.
In a moment of brief pause in the laughter James asked "Miss Walden, where shall we go now"
"Miss Walden" the woman replied "who the fuck is Miss Walden" she laughed a bit. "Please James, call me Sarah"
"Umm ok, umm Sarah, umm where shall i drive you to" James hesitantly replied.
"Well, home of course" Sarah Walden replied enthusiastically. "The children will be finishing school any minute and I intend to be there when they do"
Sarah said these last few words with her usual composure, so much so that James assumed she must be back to her normal self.
He was worried that Miss Walden would order him to try and chase them off again, or worse, that she would want to throw eggs at the children.
He was about to reply when Sarah cut him off with a chuckle.
"And James, before they do, you and I will need trowsers"
"Trowsers?" questioned James.
"Yes" proclaimed Sarah. "I simply can't play games in the street with this ridiculous dress"
Sarah began to laugh again at the thought of a powerful woman in an expensive dress playing in the street.
Then she imagined Mrs Finch hobbling around trying to kick a ball when she couldn't even reach her own bossum.
"And James" questioned Sarah. "Do you think......"
"Yes Ma'am" replied James "do i think what?"
"Do you think..... Mrs Finch ......enjoyed her eggs?" she could barely get the words out before her and James began to laugh again.
"Yes, Miss..... Ummm, Sarah" replied James. "I think they were exactky what she needed"
Sarah and James joined the children that evening for a game and the next night Sarah had her entire staff join in.
Sarah whistled her fathers tune night and day and slept soundly without the help of pills.
The word of the quail egg incident spread through out the wealthy people of the town, and Sarah was no longer invited to brunches with powerful woman. This didn't bother her at all though.
She was far too busy for brunches and meetings with dignataries, for she had something much more important on her schedule. Something so vital that her world might collapse without it.
A nightly meeting, with extremely important humans, that was vital to the success of her empire.
An appointment she would never postpone again.
An appointment to play.