Axel Howerton: peanut butter
Lori Michelle: a dead bush
Katie John: Doll’s pram
Julianne Snow: styrofoam plates
Nightmare in Frills
by E. Chris Garrison
“Now there’s a good little baby,” said Amelia, cooing at the toy pram she pushed down the sidewalk. Her frilly bonnet matched the doll’s bonnet; the doll’s yellow dress matched Amelia’s. The two smiled at each other.
Amelia whirled, her mouth forming a little “O” of surprise, only to be struck by a second flying disk.
She shrieked and hid behind her doll’s pram as one Styrofoam plate after another whizzed past her.
Amelia straightened her bonnet and stood, hands upon her hips. “Jacob! What would your mum say if she saw you littering like that?”
Jacob, massing nearly twice the little girl, blocked the sun as he loomed over her. “Mum doesn’t care, you little git.”
Amelia stuck out her tongue. “Go eat some peanut butter, you mean-butt.”
“Hey, that’s pretty good, little sis, you know about my allergy. Try again.”
She shook her head. “I am not your sister! And I don’t want to try again! I just want you to leave me alone!”
“I think I shall tell your mum on you after all.”
“I told you, she doesn’t care what I do.”
“Not even a little?”
Jacob shook his head. “Not a bit. Mum lets me run wild.”
Amelia sniffed. “That’s so sad. Everyone needs a mummy to care for them the way I do for my little– HEY!”
He snatched the doll from the pram and held it up over his head, quite out of Amelia’s reach.
She jumped up and down, shrieking, “You mustn’t! Jacob, there must always be a doll in that pram! It’s my grandmother’s!”
Jacob laughed. “Your old witch of a grandmother?”
“She is not a witch!”
“Is not! Jacob, this isn’t funny! Put it back and everything will be okay.”
Jacob pulled the head off the doll and threw it into a nearby bush.
“No!” cried Amelia, as the leaves of the bush curled and blackened. “You’ve done it now.”
“What did I do?” said Jacob, staring at the bush. He touched a leaf and it snapped off the branch and fell to the ground. He turned to look at Amelia.
Amelia allowed herself a small, sad smile as she reached up to take Jacob’s hand. “It’ll be all right now.”
Jacob cried out, “Mum! Mummy!”
“Shh,” said Amelia as her hand engulfed Jacob’s. She seemed to grow and grow and grow compared to him. The smile on her face widened into a grin, and a giggle escaped her as he hung from her hand, limp and unable to move.
She tucked the new doll into her grandmother’s antique pram. “Grandmother wasn’t a witch, great-Grandmother was. I told you, there must always be a dolly for grandmother’s pram. I’m so sorry I didn’t warn you in time, but you make such a sweet little dolly. We’ll have to get you some proper nappies and clothing once we get home. Just think, Jacob, now you’ll have a proper mum to take care of you!”