The backpack on top of Madison’s bed was wiggling.

Wiggle, wiggle.


A hand shot out.


Ellie Mae’s voice rang throughout the hotel room and echoed back, framing the silence.

Huh. No one there.

Ellie crammed the zippers down each side of the backpack and pushed a leg out.

If there was ever anyone sick and tired of being suffocated in a backpack, it was her.

She set her foot down on the hotel bed and swung the other leg out.

Score! That was the last time Madison tried to restrain her freedom, yes it was.

Ellie scraped her fingers through her hair. Two days in a bag really made some frizz.

Once the frizz beast was tamed, Ellie scanned the room. All empty. Double-score!

Leaving Madison’s camera bag on top of her suitcase right up against the bed made perfect stairs.

Ellie knew Madison was dumb, but not this dumb. She slid down the bed and onto the bags.

Her feet hit the ground. Yeahhh. Master escape artist Ellie for the win.

If only her best friend Chloe was here. Why couldn’t Madison have brought two dolls? It’s lonely to be alone!

Ellie ventured out into the hallway. Empty as empty could be.

The weight in her heart grew heavier. She thought she was an introvert… but she needed a friend.

Luckily, there was a window. Maybe she could wave to somebody or make weird faces at passerby!

She dragged the camera bag to the chair.

Ellie hoisted herself onto the chair and sighed. Scaling great heights isn’t fun if no one can see the accomplishment.

Once atop the windowsill, she pulled away the curtains. The parking lot below was mostly all cars and trees.

No people? Seriously?

If Madison had let her bring her sketchpad, she could at least recreate the scenery.

And if Chloe was here, they’d have epic adventures stealing all the snacks or sneaking downstairs like ninja.

She plopped on the cold windowsill and blinked back hot tears. It was no fun there!

Stress-eating seemed like the next best thing to do.

But where was the chocolate and soda?

Fruit would have to do.

The tiny clementine nestled between others of its kind looked pretty appetizing. Ellie rolled it over to make sure it was ripe.

The clementine smiled and blinked at her. “Hehe!”

Ellie screamed and stumbled back. Did that clementine just talk?

She couldn’t have heard that. She must be hallucinating from chronic boredom!

The clementine blinked again. “Oh no! Are you okay?”

“No way…” Ellie shook her head. “You talk.”

“Of course I do! My name is Cleo. Who are you?”

Ellie plucked up Clementine from the other fruit and held her. “I’m Ellie, and I’m lonely for a friend.”

“Weeee!” Clementine snuggled in Ellie’s arms and laughed. “Okay. Sounds good.”

So the two sat by the windowsill and talked.

Cleo was delighted to have someone willing to talk with her, and Ellie was cheered up by her new friend.

After a while of conversation, Cleo glanced up at Ellie. “I’m really glad you found me.”

Ellie hugged Cleo and smiled. “Me, too. Now I’ll never be lonely.”

So if you ever find yourself bored and alone at a hotel, find a piece of fruit.

It might just blink at you.


Coming up… a post about my 15th birthday party at the American Girl store and everything I bought.

Love you all so much!

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