The Trials and Tribulations of a Seven-Year-Old Guide

Disclaimer: The world of the Sentinel, Jim, Blair, and Megan aren’t mine. They belong to Paramount. However, Lorelai, McKenna, and Norah all belong to me.

Author’s Note: This was written for Azar because 1) it’s her birthday, and 2) she requested a story about McKenna and Lorelai.

Lorelai Sandburg squirmed as she held onto her mother’s hand. She didn’t want to do this. She wanted to be at home, playing with her dolls, not heading over to Uncle Jim and Aunt Megan’s house. She pleadingly looked up at her father, who knocked on the door.

“I want to go home,” she pouted.

Blair Sandburg crouched down and met his little girl’s blue eyes. “What is this? I thought you liked Uncle Jim and Aunt Megan.”

“I do, but McKenna’s no fun.” The small seven-year old lowered her head and stared at the ground, her red curls falling forward.

Blair touched her chin, making her meet his eyes. “You’ve known McKenna your whole life. Why isn’t she any fun all of a sudden?”

“She won’t play dolls or dress up or anything! She’d rather sit in her room and read.” Lorelai’s eyes grew larger. “And she’s bossy, too.” She put her free hand on her hip in an imitation of Jim’s ten-year old daughter. “’Lorelai, go away. Lorelai, leave me alone.’”

“Oh, honey, I’m sure she doesn’t mean that,” Norah McKenzie-Sandburg answered, glancing down at her daughter.

Lorelai stomped her foot as the door swung open. “Oh, yes, she does.”

Looking up, she saw her Aunt Megan standing at the door with a large smile on her face. She stood back and let them in, chatting with Norah about the upcoming night. Lorelai could care less what the adults were saying.

Once inside, Norah released Lorelai’s hand, and the tiny redhead took off like a shot. She ran up the stairs, looking for someplace to hide. She just knew this was going to be the most boring night of her life. As she wandered down the hall, she passed by McKenna’s room. Stopping, she creaked open the door and peered inside. Like she had predicted, McKenna was stretched out on her bed, her nose buried in a book. Lorelai turned, hoping to sneak away before she got caught.

“I know you’re out there, Lorelai. I can hear you, remember?” the lanky brunette said without looking up.

Lorelai winced and walked back into the room. “You wanna play Barbies?” she asked. She knew what the answer would be, but she asked anyway.

“No, not right now.”

Lorelai crept closer to the bed. “Whatcha reading?”

“Nothing you’d be interested in.” Still, she didn’t see Lorelai.

The younger girl placed her hands on her hips. “You’re a meanie head!” she cried.

This caught McKenna’s attention. “I’m a what?”

“A meanie head. You don’t wanna do anything but read.” She crossed her arms to emphasize her point.

McKenna rolled her eyes. “Why do I have to watch a little kid all the time?”

Lorelai stuck out her tongue and stamped her foot. She then turned and ran out of the room. McKenna was still bossy and mean, and she didn’t want to have anything to do with her. Still pouting, she forgot all about finding a hiding place and went back to the living room. When she found Uncle Jim watching TV, she climbed onto the couch next to him.

“Hey, Mini-Chief, how are you?” he asked.

Lorelai beamed at the attention. “Okay, I guess. Are cartoons on?”

“I don’t know.” He picked up the remote control. “Let’s see if we can find some.” As he changed the channel, he added, “Have you said hello to McKenna yet?”

Lorelai nodded. “She told me to go away.”

“Oh.” Jim set down the remote when he found Cartoon Network. Smiling down at Lorelai, he continued, “I’m sure she didn’t mean it. I bet she’ll be out here looking for you in a little bit.”

The tiny redhead shook her head. “Nuh-uh. I don’t think she likes me.” She turned her big, blue eyes on him to see Jim raise his eyebrows. A smile tugged at the corners of her mouth because Uncle Jim always looked funny when he did that.

Finally, he patted her leg. “Why don’t we go see what McKenna is doing and see if she’ll watch cartoons with us?” he suggested.


Lorelai and Jim made their way to McKenna’s room, with Lorelai a few paces ahead. She burst into the room, fully expecting McKenna to yell at her. When the older girl did no such thing, Lorelai sneaked over to the bed. Instead of moving or saying anything, McKenna just stared at her book.

“Wanna watch cartoons with us?” Lorelai chirped. McKenna didn’t answer; she didn’t even glance at the younger girl. In fact, she didn’t even seem to gaze at her book. She only stared straight ahead. Lorelai moved closer. “McKenna?” Still no answer. Confused, she turned to Jim, who had entered the room. “She won’t talk to me.”

Jim crossed the room and stood next to Lorelai. Leaning down, he gently nudged his daughter. “Mckenna?” Again, no answer. Now Uncle Jim appeared worried, and that bothered Lorelai.

Once again, Lorelai placed her hands on her hips. Being mean to her was one thing, but ignoring her would never do. Determined, she pounced on Mckenna’s bed. Roughly shaking her shoulder, Lorelai yelled in her ear.

“Hey, Meanie Head!”

Immediately, the older girl broke out of her trance and fell off the bed. Lorelai peered over the side to see McKenna glaring up at her.

“Where did you come from?” she demanded. She slowly sat up and saw her father looking at her worriedly.

“I think you were zoning,” he explained. “Good thing Lorelai was here. Always handy to have your Guide around.”

McKenna glared at the younger girl again. “Thanks,” she mumbled.

Lorelai’s brow furrowed. She wasn’t exactly sure what was going on; she only knew she had done something good. She glowed at McKenna. “Wanna watch cartoons?”

McKenna sighed as a smile crept across her face. “Okay, but then will you leave me alone?”

“Yeah!” Lorelai bounced off the bed and ran out of the room. Behind her, she could hear Mckenna and Jim following her.

“Dad, how can she be my Guide?” McKenna asked, exasperated, as soon as Lorelai had disappeared downstairs. “She doesn’t even know what she did.”

Jim only chuckled. “Mac, your Uncle Blair doesn’t even know what he does half the time. It’s in the Sandburg genes.”

“Oh, boy. Some Guides.”

“Hey, we couldn’t get by without them.”

Lorelai raced back over to them. “You guys are way too slow! Bugs Bunny is starting.”

McKenna shrugged. “I guess she’s okay for a little kid.”

“Really?” Lorelai’s eyes lit up. She wrapped her arms around McKenna’s waste. “I love you, too.”


© 2005 Crimson Idealist