This story is the first-place winner in the Front Page’s first ever Halloween Writing Contest.
By Deanna Costar
I love dolls. I have a playhouse for them and a bunch of clothes. Sometimes I think I have so many dolls they might take over my room. I have girl dolls and boy dolls, short dolls and tall dolls, mommy dolls, daddy dolls, and baby dolls. I have other toys, but dolls are my favorite.
My mommy gave me a new doll today. She said it was to say sorry for last night. I don’t know what happened last night. I heard mommy and daddy yelling, but I don’t know why. I think mommy was mad about a “Lucy.” I don’t know a “Lucy.” Maybe she’s one of daddy’s friends. Daddy has a lot of friends who come over when mommy is away on work. Sometimes they even stay the night in Mommy and Daddy’s room.
But either way, I got a new doll, and Mommy slept in my room last night too, because all the yelling was scary, and I couldn’t stop crying. I love when she comes and sleeps in my room. We cuddle all night long, and she plays with my hair and tells me she loves me.
But Mommy seems tired today. Daddy isn’t home yet, and she hasn’t started making dinner. Usually she has dinner ready by the time Daddy gets home, but she’s just staring at the picture of us on the wall. I don’t remember when the picture was taken since I was a baby. Mommy told me that her and Daddy took me to the pumpkin patch for my first Halloween, and that Grandma was there too. I tripped and fell into a pumpkin and Mommy thought I broke my nose, but Daddy just laughed. Grandma took a picture of it, and Mommy liked the look on Daddy’s face so much she got the picture printed. His smile was huge.
I look down at my dolls. I’m about to start playing house when I hear a crash. I look up. The picture is on the ground. Mommy’s hands are red, dripping from the boo-boo onto the floor. Mommy is crying, I think she’s hurt.
She doesn’t respond.
“Mommy?” I yell.
“No, baby.” She’s still crying but smiles at me. “Mommy is okay. How about you go get your dolls while Mommy cleans this up?”
“Okay, Mommy.” I go back to my dolls. Mommy is still crying, but I try to just play. I hear her pick up the picture and put it in the trash. Daddy walks in as she’s washing her hands.
I can’t understand what they’re saying. Mommy goes to hug him but stops. She mentions lipstick on daddy’s white shirt. I like playing with Mommy’s lipstick, and she always smiles when I do, but she doesn’t seem to like Daddy’s lipstick.
Mommy starts yelling, rubbing her boo-boo down Daddy’s shirt. It leaves red all over it. Daddy starts yelling too, and Mommy is crying harder again. Both aren’t looking at me, so I run up to my room, but the yelling is so loud I can still hear it. I close the door, and I can still hear the yelling, but I don’t understand the words.
Until I hear Daddy yell, “I’m leaving!”
Mommy didn’t sleep with me that night, and Daddy wasn’t there the next morning. Mommy didn’t come to wake me up, so I went to go find her. She was downstairs and didn’t look good. Her eyes were red, and there was an empty bottle beside her.
“Hi baby.” She didn’t sound normal.
“Mommy? What’s wrong?”
“Nothing baby.” She stood up and almost fell over. “Nothing at all. Want ice cream? Let Mommy get you some ice cream.”
“Are you sure?”
“Yeah, baby. Go grab a doll, and Mommy will take you out to get some ice cream.”
I get a doll and follow Mommy to the car. She picks me up and puts me in my seat. She puts me down a bit hard, and my back starts to hurt. She doesn’t put the belt over me either.
Mommy starts the car, and I start to play with my doll. I realize that I’m missing the Mommy doll. Baby doll can’t do anything without Mommy doll. Mommy doll always takes care of her.
“Mommy! I need to get the Mommy doll.”
“No, you don’t, baby.” I can feel the car start going faster.
“But Mommy! I need it.” I think I’m going to cry.
“Stop yelling, baby.” She doesn’t sound good.
“You know you’re just like your father! You always want something from me that I can’t give you!” She looks at me in the mirror. “Stop asking me for more-”
I don’t really understand what happens next. There’s a loud crash, Mommy is screaming, I feel like I’m flying. I hold onto my baby doll harder, wondering if she feels like she’s flying too. Then, there’s a splash. My head hurts and I start to see red. I try to touch my boo-boo, but my arms feel trapped by my side as water starts to fill up the car. I look up at Mommy one last time, her body folded over.
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