The Wrong Girl


By Brenda Anderson

Where’s Jenny? They sent the wrong girl.

I’m confused. This one looks like her, and the clothes fit, but she can’t ride dragons or spin gold. When we ask for a bedtime story, she makes some excuse and hurries out of the room. It’s ridiculous, but we think she’s crying.

What’s to cry about?

I ask those people in uniforms but they tell me she’s our Jenny.

Not in a million years.

We’d know our own daughter. She’s one of a kind. She’d dance up a storm, tell funny stories, make us laugh.

We’re old, Jenny. Where have you gone?



Brenda Anderson live in Adelaide, South Australia. Her fiction has appeared in Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine, Abstract Jam, and 50-Word Stories.


9 thoughts on “The Wrong Girl

  1. I loved this. It was sad and beautiful.

    At the last line — We’re old, Jenny. Where have you gone — I thought maybe the parents didn’t recognize the little girl because she was now grown (which is sad enough). That would fit in with the idea that she no longer laughs or dances. But her clothes still fit, so that can’t be the reason.

    And it can’t simply be that the parents are annoyed that their little girl is misbehaving (oh, my, where did our good little girl go? Who could this bad little girl be?) , because the story is sad, and also the words bring out a sense of true sadness, especially in the last line.

    Leave it to this author to make you think ever more deeply. Thank you, Brenda.


  2. Perhaps the aged parents have dementia. Jenny goes out crying as she knows her parents don’t remember her anymore, they remember her as she was younger or something else. With dementia, the parent-child relationship reverses, with the parents being child-like as Jenny becomes the caretaker.

    As a 20 year old young woman, I see the dynamics of my relationship with my mom reversing as well, although my mom is very well off and still has her senses. These days she relies on me to get around subway stations in city areas where layouts are more complicated,she gets lost otherwise.


  3. Once when we were young
    My mom dressed us as twins.
    Now at 80 people ask,
    “Is she your mother?”
    Ah, fourteen months becomes
    An eternity when one of us
    Suffers such incredible losses.


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