"I like your pearls," the little girl tells her mother. "When you are dead, I will wear them every day."

The mother hates when her daughter talks this way before bedtime. So disruptive to the sleep process. "Finish your cocoa. I'm not reheating it again."

The little girl is only eight, but already knows how to upset her mother. "I saw you kiss the mailman," she says, sipping the cocoa. "This is way too cold."

The mother stands firm. She says she won't reheat it. How will it look to back down now?

The little girl pushes the cup toward her mother. "I said it's too cold. Anyway, I want to be up when Daddy gets home."

The mother can feel the rope of pearls tighten around her neck. She decides right then to give them to the little girl because they would probably fit her better. Then, she reheats the cocoa even though she said she wouldn't.

Title graphic: "Glittering Accomplice" Copyright © The Summerset Review, Inc. 2010.