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Drama Speculative Suspense

The house is quiet, like a needle, but sharper, and with all the tension of midnight in a bar with the windows shot out and one guy in the corner just watching the others fight and saying to himself, "Get 'em, son, you got 'em."

The house is quiet, for once.

Inside, a girl is eating ice cream from a Starbucks cup, her long legs crossed and propped up on the top of her table. The television sits a few feet away. No one's watching it. No one could watch it, even if they did feel like catching some one scene rerun. It's broken. Broken along with several pots and pans and one high heeled shoe and a whole bag of government cheese that wouldn't melt in the microwave if it was the hottest one in the world. It's hard to break government cheese, but there it sticks, flung to the ceiling. Discarded. The girl feels discarded too, but for different reasons. She's alone, and that's why it's so quiet. Of course it's quiet.

She was never a loud person, not until she was made to be one, shaped into a dinosaur of a wordsmith, always throwing out things in ALL CAPS and sometimes, when she was too tired to yell but still needed to get a point across, italics. The girl puts her bowl down and stands up, stretching her back. It's the first sound she's made in hours. She should call her friends- if she can still call them friends- and make sure they're okay. They were roommates for over eight months. Fighting and scratching and clawing like nobody's business, yes, but together through it all. They were family.

The girl decides it's too quiet in the house and she reaches for the radio, to listen to some overly cheery song about broken hearts. Ha. What did they know about broken hearts? It's easier to get your heart broken by a lover, but it's harder to earn back love from a broken friendship. She should know. She kicked them out, they didn't leave.

She flicks the knob on the radio and her nails cling to it; someone didn't put away their honey and now the radio is sticky with the stuff. The girl knocks the radio off the table. She hears it crack, but what's another broken thing? She doesn't care. 

She kicks the television. Maybe she does care. After all, it was Caro who trashed the house after one of her wild Saturday parties and expected- always!- for her to clean it up. It was Tina who called her lazy after she'd stayed in the pool for a few hours, staring up at the sky so long the stars seemed to peel.

Lazy! Tina of all people should know the meaning of that word.

Then again, Tina wasn't the one who brought home a stealing little biscuit eater of a man over one weekend. That was Philomena. Dratted Philomena of the bright, starched teeth and bright, blue eyes and bright, blond hair and a bright, bright future. That's what the guy said. He told her she'd be a star if she did what he said, and somehow wormed his way into her head and into the guest bed of their house. They'd all put up with it for a while, hadn't they? Let him rummage through the cereal boxes and use too much toilet paper and make jokes like, "How many men does it take to open a beer can? None, it should be open when she brings it to you!" They hated those jokes, but they loved their friend. So they stayed quiet. Tina and Caro and the girl who was alone now, Morri.

They all bit their tongues and sucked in their stomachs when they walked by the weasel man because he would make any excuse to touch their waists as he moved around the kitchen. He left a few weeks later, leaving more than their cereal boxes empty. It wasn't fair to be mad at Philomena, not when she'd had no idea he would take off with her money, but Morri couldn't help it. She told Philomena more than once that he was bad news and... nothing. That's what Morri has now. A night meant to rejoin the group was ruined, and it was all because Morri couldn’t take it anymore. She’s thinking about the things she said and wondering if she meant them. 

In her head, she apologizes to Tina for calling her a queenless worker bee. She apologizes to Philomena for not being clearer about the red flags she saw in the wormy man. Morri apologizes to Caro, maybe, most of all, because didn’t girls just wanna have fun? Morri had her way, but she has nothing to show for it. Nothing but a broken tv, broken radio, broken high heels, and broken promises. All plastic, all cracked in pieces by her brittle hands. 

Morri walks to her bedroom at the end of the hallway and turns, facing outwards towards the world outside her home. It's a long drop down, but she wonders, just once, if someone would catch her if she reverted to the idea that she could fly. Morri had flown once, on an airplane that was pink and had wheels that moved about seven miles an hour. It was a while ago, and anyway, that's not what she wants now. She holds her head to her hands and if it wouldn't ruin her makeup, she would cry. Morri doesn't cry, though. Morri hasn't cried since... well, she can't say for sure. There are parts of Morri's life that are so unclear. It's frustrating.

In Morri's room, there's a big, white bed and it's so hard that if she lays perfectly still, she can pretend she's sleeping on the ground in a park somewhere. She never has, she doesn't think, slept on the ground in a park somewhere, but she wishes she could be anywhere but here. Wherever her friends are, that's where she wants to be. She misses them. She hates them but she misses them. She wants them back but she wonders, all the same, if having them back would be worth it. She picks at the side of her big, white bed and asks herself how long it would be before they were at each other’s throats again. 

The house is so quiet. Morri would crawl under the covers, but all the blankets are too thin and they never cover her whole body. That was another thing, she notices, that she is still too aware of. Tina and Caro and Philomena are so much like her that it was almost eerie to fight with them. It was like waking up every morning and having a screaming match with the mirror, like smashing your own plates when someone made you mad. The high heels, though, those were Morri’s. They’re in the trash can, and if she wasn’t so lonely already, she would pick them out and do her best to fix them. Ha, serves Morri right. Fixing things was never her forte. She was a model for a life most little girls dreamed of having, so why did it feel like such an awful nightmare? 

At this point Morri is considering leaving the house, but where would she go? They took the car. Well, Tina and Caro took the car and Philomena took the bike. Morri had watched them all roll down the road and under a bridge of sorts, disappearing but always there. Morri’s jeans cut into her waist and she pulls at them, wanting for once to wear something cozy, like the cotton night gowns she wore, once. It’s funny, but Morri can’t picture herself as someone younger than she is now. She knows, of course, that she wasn’t always this age, but she can’t seem to see herself looking any different. She stands up and walks around the edge of her bedroom. There are pictures on the walls and they stretch back, way back. Pictures of Morri and Caro, in swimsuits, smiling. Pictures of Philomena and Caro and Tina posing for a camera and Morri, in the background, lying very still. Morri would do a lot of things to get her friends back, to get back in those swimsuits and go float in their pool until Tina called her lazy again. She takes a picture, the one of her and Caro, in her hands. 

“Where did the time go?” Morri asks an empty room, and the lights only flicker. There’s no one there. Morri puts the picture down on her bed and sighs. It feels like only yesterday she was grabbing chunks of Tina’s hair- Tina’s sticky with chlorine but still intact hair- in her fists and yanking as hard as she could. She promises herself she won’t resort to violence again. She promises herself that if (when) her friends come back home she will tell them all she loves them and keep her pink lips shut tight at the slightest hint of an argument. 

Morri hears someone knocking at the door and she jumps up from her bed to go get it. She hops in the elevator and rides it all the way down to the first floor. The door opens directly into the dining room, and Morri's almost embarrassed to let a guest in because of the clutter, but then, with her heart skipping, she realizes who it must be. Her friends are back. They forgive her. She forgives them. All is well and not for sell, she won't be living alone after all. Morri fluffs her hair and smooths the crinkled fabric of her shirt. She opens the door. 

"Hi! I'm so glad you guys are-" 

But it's not Tina at the door.

It's not Caro, either.

Philomena isn't there.

These are girls she’s seen approximately zero times in her life. They have thick lips and long hair that goes straight to their calves. Their heads are large in comparison to the rest of their bodies, and they have waists so narrow a Barbie doll would be envious. 

Morri, a Barbie doll, is envious. Who are these dolls and why are their outfits so drastically different from her own? Where Morri’s mouth is fixed in a smile, these dolls have full pouts, matching the demeanor of their dusky eyes and huge boots. Morri takes a step back into the dollhouse. Have her friends been replaced? Did she do this? No one will answer her questions. She runs to the phone and the strange dolls follow her. They’re so different, and yet it’s clear they belong to each other. Their makeup is vibrant where Morri’s is subtle, their skin tones varying from 50 oz cream paper white to smooth, clean brown. They’re beautiful. They’re family. They’re in Morri’s house, and she doesn’t know what to do. 

“Who are you?” A taller doll with wavy dark hair and lime green eyeshadow asks. 

“I’m a Barbie girl, in a Barbie world,” Morri answers, the best she can do under short notice. 

“Is life plastic?” The other dolls close in around Morri. “Is it fantastic?” 

Morri backs into the dining room table. “Imagination! Life is your creation!” 

A doll with eyes so green they’d make the vomit collectors of New Hampshire jealous takes hold of Morri’s slight chin. “We aren’t here to hurt you.” 

Morri looks up at her, “You aren’t?” 

The doll shakes her head. “No.” She holds out a half-gloved hand to her. “Come on, Barbie, let’s go party.” 


Marisol is in the kitchen. Caro, Tina, and Philomena, her favorite Barbie dolls, lie on the floor next to her. She got so tired of the same old story line. Marisol wants to add a bit of spice to the dollhouse, which was why, when her mother brought home the new dolls, she was so excited. Now Morri can have real friends. Now Morri won’t have to be sad. Until, Marisol thinks, she gets bored again. Then she’ll throw poor Morri right in the middle of a better drama. What will happen? Marisol isn’t sure yet. She’s been watching a show on television with her mother, though, and surely it could give her some excellent ideas. Marisol swirls her pinky in the murky toilet water of her teacup. “Imagination,” she sings, “Life is my creation.” 


February 02, 2021 04:29

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42 comments

Scout Tahoe
14:42 Feb 03, 2021

"Queenless worker bee." Damn. I loved this, and it was so interesting how you brought it to the end. I definitely did not expect the twist, and would've loved more warning (like including Barbie dolls in the beginning) but I still enjoyed it very much. Nice work, Rhonda.

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Rhondalise Mitza
02:01 Mar 01, 2021

Thank you, Scout!

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Zilla Babbitt
01:59 Feb 03, 2021

Calling someone a queenless worker bee is the ultimate insult. Funny, wonderful job as usual that also somehow manages to be really deep and meaningful. That's what I adore the most about your stories -- they're quirky and adorable, but if you read closely there's undertones of meaning which you can tell the writer's very passionate about. I think that for critique, you could add dialogue or cut some of the telling in the first half of the story. Discarded but for different reasons is one example of telling. Other than that this is really ...

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Ijeoma Okoli
22:34 Feb 09, 2021

Quite right Please like my reason for leaving and do critics on them

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Rhondalise Mitza
04:32 Feb 02, 2021

Alright. I like it. It's not done. Ideas and feedback appreciated! I have till Friday to get it tight. :D

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The Manticore
00:19 Feb 12, 2021

Hey, Rhondalise. Why are there so many songs about rainbows and not enough about your Morri story? Tragic in the best, Barbie melting fire kind of way. Want to know more about the background though. Why should we CARE about Morri the doll? What is the POINT? Answer those questions and I think the twist at the end and the descriptions of the story would pull together much better.

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Rhondalise Mitza
00:22 Feb 12, 2021

Thanks! I appreciate the feedback. I will do my best to answer those questions!

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Radhika Diksha
11:07 Feb 07, 2021

A new story is out would love your feedback.

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Niveeidha Palani
12:24 Feb 03, 2021

Liked it too. I felt...like a rotten scrap in the waste bin when I read this. Discarded, more like. The feelings you injected into Morri, I felt envious. Honestly, the way you write is so beautiful. However, I did feel the end part was pretty rushed, but otherwise, this was a lovely read.

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Elliot Thomas
03:03 Feb 03, 2021

It was great reading it through the second time and seeing all the subtle doll hints. The imagery is astounding as always. You captured her loneliness and left me with a strange feeling knowing her life is held by a toilet water tea drinking young girl. I can't pin it down, and that may be the best part. Only thing that stuck out to me was when she curls up under the table. For some reason this just felt odd to me. Wonderfully thought provoking

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Rhondalise Mitza
05:06 Feb 03, 2021

Hi, Elliot! Thanks for reading and commenting! This story is based (really loosely) off one of my favorite series from when I was younger, The Doll People. Now that you mention her curling up under the table was odd might be because most dolls don't have bendable joints? I don't know, but it makes sense, so I'll change that. Thanks again, so glad you enjoyed it!

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Amany Sayed
14:22 Feb 02, 2021

So...I'm...Confused? It's an interesting story for sure, and your writing voice always pulls me in with the subtle metaphors and the third person I couldn't do for my life. You have this running imagery and detail, but at the end, it's a tad rushed. I want to understand what's happening at the end more. You should add detail. Other than that, it was a fun read.

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Rhondalise Mitza
15:09 Feb 02, 2021

I think, yes, it was definitely rushed! I don't outline my stories so I wasn't even sure if I should do the dollhouse thing until the very end, which you can tell! I'm going to be reworking things and making it longer, more clear to read later in the week. Thank you for your feedback, Amany!

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Amany Sayed
15:15 Feb 02, 2021

Hey, you're not alone, pantser buds! My pleasure, and be sure to tell me so I can reread!

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Rhondalise Mitza
17:17 Feb 02, 2021

Hey, just redid parts of it, see what you think!

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Amany Sayed
18:14 Feb 02, 2021

Ahh, now I get it. Towards the end, all the clues clicked for me and everything was confirmed with that last paragraph. I don't know HOW you're so creative Rhonny. I loved it before, and now I adore it. Well done. Also, I didn't comment on this before, but I totally relate to being heartbroken by your friends. Lovely!

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B. W.
06:56 Feb 22, 2021

Hey

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Hey there! It's been over a week since you posted a story, everything good? Sorry if I'm pushy but I just wanna read more of your intriguing stories.

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Rhondalise Mitza
14:27 Feb 11, 2021

Oh hey! I'm okay, just been busy with other things and the prompts, as much as I liked them, are harder to write stories for this week.

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That's so true! I mean, how can I come out with a story where someone didn't want to make history but now made history? Thanks for replying!

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Rhondalise Mitza
17:58 Feb 11, 2021

Yeah it's not easy but I hope you come up with one too!

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Thanks, I hope you come up with one too! Although, you have a very creative mind.

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05:40 Feb 10, 2021

Hi Rhondaaaaaa !! Ahhh I'm so excitedddd !! Okayyy! Sooooo *squeals in excitement lmao* I'm doing a reedsy fanfic thing!! Sooo please mention all these categories (if your fine with you being in it) Name: Hair colour (could be anything) : Eye Colour: Power: (im water) Secret Weakness: A secret about your character: How do you want your character to be? Like yourself? : Outfit: Weapon (if any) (im sword): Lemme know quick!!

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Rhondalise Mitza
14:13 Feb 10, 2021

Name: Jimmy B. Ergen Hair colo(u)r: brown Eye color: gray Power: Being able to communicate with llamas, frogs, and rabbits Secret weakness: seeing a tortilla and not being able to eat it A secret about my character: used to be part of a group that ate trolls to find true happiness How do I want my character to be: Like myself but in the shape of a really large bergen creature, reformed and ready for whatever comes next in the story Outfit: corduroy pants, brown vest, button up boots, and bowler hat Weapon: toaster oven

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17:05 Feb 10, 2021

XDDD Thankssss! This is sooo good lmao! Beautiful character <3

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15:44 Feb 11, 2021

Is it okay if I include an Easter egg? If not, let me know (from "Lets buy a house")

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Rhondalise Mitza
17:57 Feb 11, 2021

Go ahead!

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18:05 Feb 11, 2021

Yay!

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04:50 Feb 12, 2021

It's out! I'm sorry if The character doesn't match your personality...

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Ijeoma Okoli
22:32 Feb 09, 2021

Awwwnnn. i love that song. I like ur creation Weldone Please like mine and comment My reason for leaving

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B.A. Hinman
21:18 Feb 08, 2021

Awesome story

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Rhondalise Mitza
13:26 Feb 09, 2021

thank you

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14:51 Feb 08, 2021

twist at the end was very well orchestrated, also, 'queenless worker bee?' next time somebody tries to fight with me ima use that xD

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Rhondalise Mitza
13:27 Feb 09, 2021

Mm thank you! I didn't think that insult would be so popular! I've never heard it before so I'm glad it'll pick up use after the story. :)

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Zelda C. Thorne
07:01 Feb 08, 2021

I enjoyed reading this. I liked the twist, came out of nowhere or felt like it to me. I will re-read to see what clues I missed! Well done!

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Aimee Pieper
13:41 Feb 02, 2021

Wow, I am so in love with this story. You have a lot of really strong descriptive metaphors that run throughout it, and it really keeps me hooked and inside Morri's mind. The *ahem* "Bratz" dolls that appear are interesting too, because I can't quite tell from that point what it Morri's imagination and what is reality. It may be interesting to have a little more background as to why it's significant that they show up, and why her friends left. Philomena makes sense, but what has Morri done wrong? The only thing I can surmise is that she lost...

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Rhondalise Mitza
16:48 Feb 02, 2021

Thank you so much! I agree, there are definitely parts that could be clarified and I'll be working on that. I wanted to add a part where the little girl who owns the dolls and the doll house walks in and does something, but I wasn't sure how it would fit together. I think it was subconsciously influenced by my actual sister and her dolls because she has a huge variety of Barbies and then she inherited a literal bucketload of Bratz dolls.

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Ryan Lm Colli
14:36 Apr 09, 2021

That was an amazing book! Catolg intense a bunch of dialog and and reminds of a book ive read before... AMAZING JOB!! I really wnt to read more storys from you... Also please follow and like my storys please my storys are usally funny, thanks.

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B. W.
07:56 Feb 08, 2021

Heya, how have you been?

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What happened to your old bio? Great story by the way! Marisol is such a pretty and creative name!

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05:49 Feb 02, 2021

Wow! Nice! Awesome! Lol, I'm gonna stop now. But seriously, this is soooooooo good! I'm sorry, but let's buy a house remains my favourite ;) I agree with Maya, your imagery was wonderful. And as soon as i recognised the lyrics, my brain played "Not Your Barbie Girl" And "Barbie Girl" at the same time, XD I really liked this one, keep writing! Small critiqye: She should know. I think "She would know" would be better? I didn't catch any others, but I'll let you know if I find more. P.s.: I just posted a new one, mind checking it out? Keep...

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