I’ll Be Home for Christmas if Only in My Dreams – Part 3

~Parts 1 and 2~

In the POV of Taryn

I don’t know how many hours passed between the time the others finally settled into bed and the lights were turned out. All I knew was the burning anxiousness within me, miserably aching to get back to my sister. To say that I missed her would be the understatement of a lifetime – being with her was all I wanted for Christmas.

Even after everyone had happily snuggled underneath their blankets, I laid awake for hours after, making plenty sure they were well into their slumber. I waited in torment, every second feeling like an hour. Have I waited long enough yet? I impatiently wondered over and over to myself. After for what seemed like an eternity, I inched myself up to lean over the side of my bunk.

Stuffed full of treats and goodies and in the midst of joyful Christmas dreams, every one of them was fast asleep. I closed my eyes, breathing in a silent breath and shakily letting it escape. I had never ran away before, but there was no time to lose. It’s now or never, I reminded to myself, and I slowly made my way over to the ladder.

I silently crept down each rung, trusting them not to creak under my weight and blow my cover.

I reached up to the bunkbed post and curled my trembling fingers around the strap of my messenger bag. That was the most important; there was so much from big sis inside. Especially my compass necklace.

“You know who your True North is,” my sister had told me as she pressed the beautiful reminder into my hands. I nodded, even though I had no idea what she meant. Who was my True North? My throat was too choked with sobs desperate to escape for me to say anything, so I didn’t trust myself to speak and ask her then.

Clenching the strap so tightly that my knuckles were white, I fought hard the unshed tears that stung my eyes. Don’t think of that, I told myself sternly. You’ll see her in no time.

After hastily slipping on my boots and tip-toeing over to the wardrobe, I began to remember all of the clothes I had unpacked. Was it worth it to re-pack my suitcase all over again and risk waking the others up?

No, I finally decided. They can keep my clothes. It’ll be my way of saying thanks for how kind they were to me.

I did, however, grab my coat. I was in the middle of swiftly pulling it on when red sparkles caught my eye, halting my movements.

It was the stocking I had been given, right where I had left it; hanging on one of the wardrobe’s knobs. I swallowed hard, finding myself again questioning what I was about to do. Is this the right thing?

Big sis always said that home is where the heart is, I mused, continuing to stare at the gift my new “family” had given me. And my heart is breaking at the thought of never seeing her again. This is not where my heart is. This is not my home. And this is the right thing.

I reached down into the drawer to pull out my warm hat, knowing I would definitely need it for the journey ahead of me.

I’m coming, big sis! I wished her silently. I’ll be home – with you – for Christmas. I promise.

With that, I began my escapade. My toasty warm boots made soft sounds on the wooden floor as I darted through the doorway, far away from them all.

The house was still lit up, even though it was some crazy early hour in the morning, and I figured the humans must still be up. As I neared a long hallway and heard a movie playing in the human’s living room, I knew I had been right. Who stays up until crazy early in the morning having Christmas movie marathons? These people, I’m assuming.

Knowing better than to chase my freedom through the front door where the humans could see me, I took a shortcut and quickly swung the creaky laundry room one open. I had learned that trick from my sister; with creaky doors, the faster you open them, the less they creak.

I gently closed it behind me and then broke into a sprint. My boots pounded against the concrete floor of the laundry room as I sped toward the door at the end of it.

I breathlessly threw that door open, too, desperate to get out of the house already.

I flung myself through the doorway and immediately stopped cold (pun intended). My jaw dropped as a freezing blast of wind whipped at my bare legs. If I thought it was cold earlier that evening, I was gravely mistaken. The temperature was below freezing on that surprising Floridian winter night (or should I say early morning), and I was feeling the brunt of it.

What am I doing? Cold certainly isn’t going to stop me, I forced my mindset determinedly.

I trudged on through the night undaunted and unfazed by anything and everything; absolutely nothing would stand in my way.

Nothing, that is, except for the fence that just so happened to be blocking my path.

“Nice try, fence,” I smirked. “I’m on a mission here.”

Without hesitance I scampered up the wooden beams. The things I do for my sister, I grunted to myself as I reached for the next thick board.

The higher I climbed, the more I could feel the wind. I grit my teeth so hard that my jaw became sore as I faced the freezing gale unperturbed.

I swung one leg over, eying the ground below. Unafraid, I swung my other leg over and released my grip on the wooden boards.

My stomach lurched within me as I fell through the air in a breathless straight drop.

Before I knew what had happened, I collided with the ground harder then ever. My wrists and knees buckled as the wind was knocked out of me, and I just stayed there, stunned with pain for several dumbfounded moments.

When I could breathe again, I whipped my head around to look for my messenger bag. Wrists throbbing and all, it was a mad hunt for the bag that contained the necklace that meant so much. I hadn’t wanted to wear it for fear of the others seeing it and asking questions, but it was the most important to me all the same.

When the moon peeked out from behind a cloud and lit the grass around me, I could finally see the edge of the strap outlined in light. I sighed in relief, feebly stooping down to snatch the bag up and sling it over my shoulder once again.

My knees felt weak beneath me, but I broke into a run all the same. Sensing my motion, the security light turned on and brightened my path as I sped across the backyard.

Heart pounding, arms pumping, and legs running, I cleared the distance between the road and I in no time at all.

Panting in the freezing air, sprinting along the street, yearning to be with big sis; I was so devoted to finding my sister that I didn’t stop to think about where I was going. The twinkling Christmas lights at the end of the road were the first checkpoint, and that’s all I knew.

Sometimes, I don’t think about things before I do them. And before I know it, I get caught up in the momentum; I just keep going and going, and I don’t stop.

But it doesn’t last for long.

All of the sudden, I had the rare, fleeting thought of; What am I doing?

I stopped in my tracks, huffing loudly for a second and then relapsing into breathing hard with my mouth shut.

Where was I going? I didn’t even know where the orphanage was. It wasn’t like I had a pen pal and had to memorize our address. All I knew was “American Girl Doll Orphanage” and that it took two hours to fly here and one hour to drive from the airport to the house via Uber.

So how was I going to get to my sister?

Oblivious to my numb fingers and legs, I suddenly found it hard to breathe.

I couldn’t.

It took a minute of that suffocating piece of information running through my mind multiple times before it finally clicked; I couldn’t get to my sister. There was no way.

I began to tremble, and my lips began to quiver. I was stuck there, and there was no possible way I would ever be able to get to my sister again.

Overwhelmed by a dream-crushing wave of hopelessness, I fell to my knees and began to cry. The more tears I let out, the harder they streamed down my cheeks. My entire trembling body shook with the violence of my shaking sobs, as hard as I tried to contain them for fear of waking the whole neighborhood up. At most, I’d be home with my sister for Christmas only in my dreams!

After a minute or two of tears, I stood to my feet quickly, no longer trembling from the weight of the newfound knowledge but shivering from the lowness of temperature. I felt ridiculously silly – I couldn’t even remember the last time I cried like that.

I swallowed hard, squared my shoulders, and clenched my fists. There was more than one way to skin a cat.

And with that, I stoutly turned around, chin up and tears dried thanks to the freezing wind. Dedicated, devoted, and more than determined, I marched back to the fence that I had climbed up and slid down.

Wait a second – slid down? How was I going to get back up, then?

Defeated, I plopped down on the landscaping rocks in front of the fence. What was I going to do, ring the doorbell? “Yeah, I don’t really like living with you guys so I ran away, but that strategy didn’t work so I changed my mind.” I didn’t see that going over well.

I looked around, intent on making it inside before I became an 18-inch popsicle. There had to be another way to get in…

My face lit up with a smile at the sight of a tree surrounded by the landscaping rocks that I was sitting on and right by the fence. I wasn’t extremely active and sporty like my sister, but I had the guts to do anything.

After having made sure the messenger bag was securely on my shoulder, I began to climb the tree without an ounce of doubt.

Unwavering and without uncertainty, I took a deep breath and began stepping on a thin branch leading up to the fence like a tightrope.

The branch dipped toward the ground under my weight, and I bit my lip, setting my gaze on that fence. With my eyes fixed on where I wanted to go, I was sure that the rest would follow.

When I could step no further along on the thin branch lest it break, I bent my knees for momentum and jumped for it.

After being propelled through the air, I made a rather forceful landing on the fence. My thrustful impact and the boards sticking straight up combined with the fact that I touch-downed right on my stomach meant ouch.

I scurried down the climbable side of the fence and darted for the laundry room door, only to find out that it was locked.

“What next?” I groaned aloud. I couldn’t feel my fingers, my legs, my toes, or my nose. I turned around to look at the rest of this small area of the backyard and glowered at the night. I would find another way.

I headed toward the other side of the backyard, wishing miserably that I was with my sister. Wouldn’t it be funny, I figured to myself, if she was just around the corner and waiting for me?

Wouldn’t it be funnier still, I continued to muse as I walked, if that actually happened?

I turned a corner, stepping on a brick path, smiling to myself and wishing my musings were reality.

That’s when I stopped short and dropped my jaw. My eyes widened in shock and surprise. There was unmistakably someone on the other side of that lanai door – someone awfully, awfully familiar.

Had my dreams come true? Was that my sister?

If you’re looking forward to the next part, let me know! Just hit “like” and leave a comment below.

2017-01-16T15:43:37-05:00 January 16th, 2017|74 Comments


  1. Avatar
    Izzy January 16, 2017 at 1:24 pm - Reply

    OMG, OMG, O. M. G!!!!!!!!! (BTW, those all stood for oh my gosh, not the other thing.) Is it her sister? Please be her sister!!!!!! ? Madi, this is amazing!!!!!!! I can’t wait for more!!!!! ????



    • Madison
      Madison January 16, 2017 at 1:26 pm - Reply

      Aw, thank you SO much, Izzy! Part 4 is coming soon! I am SOO glad you’re looking forward to the next part! ❤

      • Avatar
        Izzy January 17, 2017 at 11:31 am - Reply

        How could I NOT be excited? XD



  2. Avatar
    Catlover02 January 16, 2017 at 1:37 pm - Reply

    Aww.. This is making me so sad! ?? But I’m excited to see where this is going! You’re doing an awesome job! ??
    – Catlover02

    • Madison
      Madison January 16, 2017 at 1:39 pm - Reply

      Aw, thanks so much, Catlover02! It means so much to me that you like it! Thank you so much!

  3. Avatar
    Sarah January 16, 2017 at 1:45 pm - Reply

    Ooooohhhh . . . that ending though. XD Madi, you seem to delight in keeping us all in suspense. It must be a hobby of sorts. XDD

    • Madison
      Madison January 16, 2017 at 1:47 pm - Reply

      Heh, heh. ? Woah, how did you know?! XD XD

  4. Avatar
    Kendall January 16, 2017 at 2:06 pm - Reply

    ASDFGHJKL! MADI! Love, love, love!
    Can’t wait for part four!

    • Madison
      Madison January 16, 2017 at 2:08 pm - Reply

      Hehe! I am SO glad you like it! Part 4 is coming soon! 😀

  5. Avatar
    Clara January 16, 2017 at 2:07 pm - Reply

    ARGH! This is too suspenseful. If you need me, I’ll be trying to find a time machine so I can figure out the ending. XD

    -Clara <3

  6. Avatar
    agsparklesisters January 16, 2017 at 2:10 pm - Reply

    Wow! *as their jaws drop open* Could it be her sister? We hope it is! This is so great Madi! We can’t wait to read more?

    • Madison
      Madison January 16, 2017 at 2:12 pm - Reply

      Hehe! Aw, thank you SO much, guys! I’m so glad you like it! Part 4 is coming soon!

  7. Avatar
    Christian Homeschooler January 16, 2017 at 2:12 pm - Reply

    This is getting really exciting! I love your pictures in this part(not that I didn’t like the pictures in the other parts, because they were great too), because they’re so realistic and dark but very sharp, too! I’m looking forward to part 4! 😀
    ~Christian Homeschooler

    • Madison
      Madison January 16, 2017 at 3:36 pm - Reply

      Thank you sooo much, Christian Homeschooler! That means so much! 😀 😀

  8. Avatar
    Taryn January 16, 2017 at 2:55 pm - Reply

    Oh man!!! When is the next part going to be posted??!!
    – Taryn

    • Madison
      Madison January 16, 2017 at 3:37 pm - Reply

      My plans are for part 4 to be posted on Wednesday – if not, then by Friday! 😀

  9. Avatar
    Mya January 16, 2017 at 3:02 pm - Reply

    WHAT?!?! I NEED MORE RIGHT NOW!!! *dies*
    This is AMAZING!!!

    • Madison
      Madison January 16, 2017 at 3:38 pm - Reply

      HEHEHE! Thank you SO much, Mya! 😀 😀 😀

  10. Avatar
    AGfan January 16, 2017 at 3:04 pm - Reply

    NOT A CLIFFHANGER!! XDXD please make it be her sister!!

    • Madison
      Madison January 16, 2017 at 3:38 pm - Reply

      YES A CLIFFHANGER XD Maybe! ? Stay tuned for part 4! Hehe!

      • Avatar
        AGfan January 16, 2017 at 8:39 pm - Reply

        have you got a posting date for it so i can mark it on my calender!!XDXD

        • Madison
          Madison January 16, 2017 at 8:41 pm - Reply

          LOL! XD I’m going to try to have it up by this Wednesday – I have all the pictures ready, I’m just stuck on this major piece of dialog that’s extremely important. I have a lot to think about while writing it… so it might be Friday (I’m going to try to have it posted by Wednesday, though! Whatever day, it’ll be 2:45 PM. :D)

          • Avatar
            AGfan January 17, 2017 at 2:43 am - Reply

            Ok thx:) XDXD

            • Madison
              Madison January 17, 2017 at 11:04 am - Reply

              No problem 😉 XD

  11. Avatar
    Olive January 16, 2017 at 3:04 pm - Reply

    AAAAHHHHH!!!! IS IT? IS IT????!!!!!! I HAVE TO KNOW!!!!!!
    Most crazily, ~Olive

  12. Avatar
    Salwa Din January 16, 2017 at 3:18 pm - Reply

    of course i want the next part
    i wanna no so much

    • Madison
      Madison January 16, 2017 at 3:40 pm - Reply

      Yay! I’m so glad you’re looking forward to the next part! 😀

  13. Avatar
    Grace | The Girl Upstairs January 16, 2017 at 4:08 pm - Reply

    Aw, poor Taryn. *sniff* (AGH THOSE STREET PHOTOS WERE SO PRETTY!!!) I can’t wait for the next part! 😀
    ~Grace <3
    P.S. I'm ready for chapter 19! Is it a page now?

    • Madison
      Madison January 16, 2017 at 8:17 pm - Reply

      Yeah. 🙁 (Thank you SOOO much! :D) Yay! I’m so glad! 😀

      P.S. Oh, whoops! I’m so sorry! I just made a page for it along with the rest of the chapters I’ve written:


      BTW, I’m currently writing chapter 24 and chapter 25 will be the very last one! *gasps* 😮 😮 😮

      • Avatar
        Grace | The Girl Upstairs January 17, 2017 at 10:15 am - Reply

        You’re welcome! 😀

        P.S. No problem! Hooray! 😀 😀 😀


        • Madison
          Madison January 17, 2017 at 11:07 am - Reply

          ME TOO! I can’t believe I’m almost done with the entire thing!! 😮

  14. Avatar
    The Muscial Adventurer January 16, 2017 at 4:51 pm - Reply

    I am currently so cliffhanged , I CAN’T CONTAIN MYSELF! If that isn’t her sister , maybe an old friend? Someone from the orphanage?

    • Madison
      Madison January 16, 2017 at 8:18 pm - Reply

      Hehehe! ? Maybe! 😀

  15. Avatar
    Staff January 16, 2017 at 5:06 pm - Reply

    MADI!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! WHY?!?!?!!?!?!!?

    • Madison
      Madison January 16, 2017 at 8:18 pm - Reply


  16. Avatar
    kaitlynrh1 January 16, 2017 at 5:12 pm - Reply

    XD I’m SO excited for part 4!

    • Madison
      Madison January 16, 2017 at 8:19 pm - Reply

      Yay! Part 4 is coming soon! 😀

  17. Avatar
    Daisymermaid (the great ?) January 16, 2017 at 6:44 pm - Reply

    ???????????????????????❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️???????????????????? That pretty much sums it up! ?

  18. Avatar
    Cherry cola22 January 16, 2017 at 7:31 pm - Reply

    I really like this series? I’m so glad she kinda ran away! If it is her sister would that mean you got another doll or your friends let you use her doll? Overall great part!

    • Madison
      Madison January 16, 2017 at 8:30 pm - Reply

      Aw, I’m so glad you do! Thank you so much! 😀 Maybe! 😀 😀 Thank you so much, Kiki!

  19. Avatar
    Gracie Brown January 16, 2017 at 9:02 pm - Reply

    How could you do this to us?!?!?!?! i’m can’t take it!!! did you get #62 yet? and is it possible that you used her as Tayrn’s sister??? :O i wonder… ? also, could you check out me and my sister’s YouTube channel, it’s: Rosabelle & Isabelle AG4Life. I’d really appreciate it! 🙂 i’m currently writing the script for a stop motion, that i will then film, edit, and post! so i should post it soon! here’s the link: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCNA2LQfXo4GgIVa94zIO8Jg or you could just click on my name, i set it as my website! 😉 Thank You So Much!


    P.S. i love your stop motions, and they’re really smooth, and i subscribed a while ago!

    P.S.S. how do you make your dolls blink so good in your stop motions? it’s awesome!

    • Madison
      Madison January 16, 2017 at 9:06 pm - Reply

      LOLOL! #62 is Taryn’s sister.. but I can’t say if I got her or not yet… that’s what part 4 is for, hehe! And I would love to check out your channel! I’ll have to ask my parents’ permission first, but I’l try to check it out as soon as I can! (Hey, I’m currently writing a script for an AGSM, too! :D) Thank you so much for commenting!

      P.S. Aw, thank you SOO much, Gracie!

      P.P.S. Aww, thanks so much! Whenever I stick the eyelash into a doll’s eye, I don’t completely close the eye all the way. I take a few pictures of the eye gradually closing and gradually opening instead of just a picture each of it opened and closed. I hope that helps! 😀

      • Avatar
        Gracie Brown January 18, 2017 at 12:04 am - Reply

        So that’s how you do it! ☺ Thank You So Much! I am a christian too, so all of our videos are 100% clean and appropriate. (although we only have 4…) i hope you like our channel! and Thank You So Much for checking out our channel, it means a lot to me! i’m worried that tucking part of the doll’s eyelash into the socket is going to ruin it… do you think it will? i don’t want to ruin my dolls eyelashes. 🙁 Thanks again!


        • Madison
          Madison January 24, 2017 at 12:39 am - Reply

          I can’t wait to check out your channel! I apologize for how long it has taken me – my parents have been very busy and I can only check out YouTube with an adult. And the eye-closing trick will not hurt your doll’S eyelashes – if you leave her eye closed for a long time, the eyelash will retain that shape for a little while whenever you open them again, but it doesn’t stay like that for long. I hope that helps!

          • Avatar
            Gracie Brown January 24, 2017 at 12:45 pm - Reply

            Yes it does! Thank You So Much! it’s okay, i hope you like my channel! 🙂


            • Madison
              Madison January 24, 2017 at 12:53 pm - Reply

              I hope so, too! I can’t wait to see it! ?

  20. Avatar
    Anonymous January 17, 2017 at 9:47 am - Reply

    Awesome! I can’t wait to read more!

    • Madison
      Madison January 17, 2017 at 11:04 am - Reply

      Thank you SO much! ?

  21. Avatar
    Lydia Dyslin January 17, 2017 at 10:04 am - Reply

    Ahhhhh!!! SO exciting!!! I can’t wait to see what happens next, Madi!! 😀 :O

    ~Lydia~ <3

    • Madison
      Madison January 17, 2017 at 11:05 am - Reply

      Thank you SOO much, Lydia! ???

  22. Avatar
    ThePolkaDotPatriot January 17, 2017 at 12:16 pm - Reply

    Aaaaaaah! How could you stop THERE! Noooo!

    (Great job with the story, btw.) 🙂

    • Madison
      Madison January 17, 2017 at 12:47 pm - Reply

      Hehehe! 😛 (Aw, thanks so much! 😀 )

  23. Avatar
    Maddie January 17, 2017 at 3:54 pm - Reply

    ?must. Know. what. Happens!! Such a touching story, truly it is!!! You know how to turn emotion into perfect sentences. now let’s end this on a brighter note- jk let’s end this on SOME SERIOUS CAPS AND EMOJIS AND EXCLAMATION POINTS!!- I CAN’T BELIVE IT!!! you might have gotten another doll? No not just anydoll…. a sister?? no not just any sister…. TARYN’S SISTER ??? holy guacamole I need to get some water this cliffhanger is too much to handle!! ?

    • Madison
      Madison January 17, 2017 at 6:10 pm - Reply

      I am SO glad you like it, Maddie! That means SOOO much! 😀 😀 😀 Hehehe! 😛 😛

      • Avatar
        Maddie January 17, 2017 at 6:46 pm - Reply

        Oh btw, the photography is amazing- especially since you took them at night!!!

        • Madison
          Madison January 17, 2017 at 9:04 pm - Reply

          Aw, thank you SO much, Maddie! I’m so glad you liked the photos – I really didn’t want them to look grainy and weird since it was nighttime! 😀

  24. Avatar
    Gracie January 17, 2017 at 10:34 pm - Reply

    That was so SAD! I am excited to read the next part! Who could it be? I hope she’ll find her sister in one way or another! I actually wanted her to run away… XD But I wanted her to find her sister! XD
    P.S. The wrong name was in the info box, but no other information. 🙂
    P.P.S. I really should get another post up on my blog in the next couple days, but am not sure where to find the time… DX Blehhhh! XD I need a blogging catchup day. But then school happens 😮 …Yeah, ok… that was a random rambling side note… XD

    • Madison
      Madison January 18, 2017 at 2:53 pm - Reply

      Aw, I’m so glad you’re excited for it! Thanks so much, Gracie! Hehehe, I wanted her to run away too. XD

      P.S. Thanks so much for letting me know! May I ask what browse you’re using that the problem happened in? My server company needs to know that info so we can fix it completely.

      P.S. LOL, I know EXACTLY how you feel. XD

      • Avatar
        Gracie January 18, 2017 at 8:08 pm - Reply

        I’m using Google Chrome 🙂

        • Madison
          Madison January 19, 2017 at 9:38 am - Reply

          Thank you so much for telling me!

  25. Avatar
    Anonymous January 18, 2017 at 10:03 am - Reply


  26. Avatar
    Olivia Bell (aka Livy) January 18, 2017 at 10:51 pm - Reply

    This was so exciting and epic! 😀 Your writing skills and photography are top notch! Now for part four!! Yay! 😀

    • Madison
      Madison January 19, 2017 at 9:56 am - Reply

      Aw, thank you SOOO much, Livy! 😀 😀

  27. Avatar
    ginnie January 19, 2017 at 10:41 am - Reply

    The suspense continues!! 🙂 I am so glad that Taryn didn’t get too far. I hope that she can make it back into the house. I really hope that she stays. 😉 I wonder who her sister is….time to read on!! 🙂

    ginnie / http://www.fakingitmostly.com

    • Madison
      Madison January 21, 2017 at 8:21 pm - Reply

      Hehehe! 😀 I hope you enjoy the next part!

  28. Avatar
    Xyra January 20, 2017 at 7:14 pm - Reply

    Fabulous cliffhanger!

    Her outfit and travelling clothes are beautiful. I love your photos! Thank you for putting such care and effort into them.

    • Madison
      Madison January 21, 2017 at 8:47 pm - Reply

      Thank you so very much, Xyra! That means so much. Thank you for leaving such a kind comment!

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