Fiction Thriller

The bouncin on the bed was getting faster and louder as Momma stood there washin up the dishes from lunch. I watched Momma turn her head pullin her soapy hands out of the water without even lookin down at me. Grabbin the dish towel, she started marchin down the trailer hallway towards her and Daddy’s bedroom.

“You had better stop that jumpin on that bed young lady! I have told you several times not to do that, and if your father catches you, you’ll get a whoopin!” I watched Momma walk down the hall and went back to playin with toys I had strung out in the livin room floor. I heard the bouncin stop as soon as Momma reached the end of the hall. It got real quiet then.

Momma came back down the hallway into the kitchen with a look of shock on her face. Momma looked down at me lookin kinda scared. “Have you been sittin there the whole time, Heather?” She asked with a bit of a crack in her voice. “Yes, Momma. I am just sittin here playin.” Momma looked at me and smiled and went back to finishin up the last few dishes in the sink. Momma stayed quiet the whole time. I just sat there lost in my own little world with my weebles and their little treehouse.

They were fixin to have a picnic, so I had to have everything lined up just so. Momma walked over to me when she was done.

“Hey, would you like me to get the ironin board and set it up for you? I can make it just your size and you can line up all your little houses and stuff. It would be like your own little village.” I couldn’t remember being more excited in my whole five years on this Earth. “Oh, yes please Momma! That would be so much better!” Momma grabbed my hand and we headed towards where the washer was.

She pulled the ironin board out and carried it carefully to my bedroom. My room is sorta small so Momma had to do some rearrangin to get it in there just right. It was perfect! She was able to put it real close to the floor, and it felt like I had a big counter top to play on all my own. “Does it look good to you?” She asked with a little grin. “Yes Momma! Thank you so much!” “Okay baby, I’m gonna start some laundry now if you need me.” I smiled up at her, and I quickly got to work.

The thing about sittin up a weeble village is that things have to be in just the right spot. The school bus has to be with the school building, unless it’s pickin kids up or droppin kids off, of course. The Sesame Street house had to only have the Sesame Street people and not the other weebles unless they are there just to visit, you know. And the treehouse, it was a special place. I kept the doggie and kittie weebles up in the treehouse so they could keep an eye on all the other weeble people to keep them safe.

I had to keep them safe, see, because there was one weeble that wasn’t always very nice. She was Scarlet’s weeble, and she only showed up when Momma wasn’t around most times., just like Scarlet. I usually keep her locked up in behind the garage door behind the schoolhouse, but sometimes she gets out.

Scarlet told me we were friends, and I liked having her as a friend most times. At first, we got along real well. We played house and told bedtime stories to each other at night. I would even try to share my supper with her, but she never did eat it. Sometimes, though she wasn’t very nice to me, just like my weebles. I even threw her weeble in the trash one day when Momma wasn’t watchin, and you know the next day she was up in my treehouse and my black doggie weeble was on the floor. I didn’t tell Momma though. Scarlet tells me stories sometimes too. She once told me about a fallin into water and not being able to get out.

She said she didn’t see her Momma or Daddy anymore after that. She said she couldn’t find them anywhere, and her old house was gone, and it turned into my house. It made me sad, and I told her I would be her friend. I told her we could play together every day. Some days though, it seemed like Scarlet was tryin to get me in trouble. She liked to be ornery to get attention if I wasn’t able to play with her. Like if we had errands or somethin.

That’s who keeps jumpin on Momma and Daddy’s bed. She likes that the best. It’s Scarlet, not me. I don’t ever tell, though, cause Momma and Daddy say I have a wild imagination and don’t believe much of what I say about things. She’s done some other things that have upset Mommy and Daddy too. One mornin Daddy woke up for work and all the food in the refrigerator was on the floor. I got in lots of trouble for that, cause we don’t have or get a lot of food. I would never do somethin like that though, and it upset me that Momma and Daddy thought I would. I took the scoldin and promised to never do that again.

Daddy didn’t talk to me the rest of the day, and Momma started cryin and went outside for a little bit. Another time, she threw all the towels and blankets out in the hallway right out of the linen closet. And another time, she dumped my grape Kool-Aid right on Momma’s new carpet in the livin room. I started to think that Scarlet wasn’t really my friend and liked to see me get in trouble. One day though, I did tell Momma about her, and Scarlet was real mad at me after that.

The day that my Momma set up the ironin board for my weebles was the best day ever. Until it wasn’t. I was just playin and talkin with all my weebles. They were makin friends, going to school, and hangin out at Sesame Street. You know, just the same ole same ole. Scarlet hissed at me from behind, “Where is my weeble, Scarlet? She is supposed to be able to play too. You said so!” “She’s too mean,” I mumbled under my breath to the invisible air around me while lookin down at my weebles. I felt a really sharp pain on the back of my head and hollered out. “Scarlet! That hurt! Stop pullin my hair!”

Momma came runnin into my bedroom. There were small stands of my blond hair layin on the floor, and Momma saw blood on the back of my head. “What on Earth happened, Heather?” She was inspectin my head now, and I started to cry. I looked up at Momma and she gave me a hug and asked me again, “What happened in here?” I was scared to say anything, but I had to tell her. “Momma, it was Scarlet. She’s a little girl who lives here with us.” Momma looked at me with a funny look on her face. Then she cleared her throat. “What do you mean, she lives with us?”

I told Momma all about the story Scarlet told me about fallin in the water, and that her house was now our house. Momma put her hand to her mouth and made me come in the livin room with her until Daddy got home. She closed my bedroom door, thinkin that would help for some reason. I know Scarlet can go anywhere she wants. She doesn’t worry with doors like us.

There was lots of bangin and smashin goin on in my room while me and Momma sat on the old orange couch we had. Momma decided we should go outside and wait for Daddy. She wouldn’t even let me go in for a drink. She just turned our hose on outside when I got thirsty, and I had to potty behind a big tree in the yard where no one would see. We were outside for a long time before Daddy got home. I was so excited to see him cause I loved him sure, but I also knew he would have a little green carton of fresh strawberries for me. I ran up and gave him a big hug and accepted my strawberries with a big smile.

I went and sat on my swing and started my feast. Momma pulled Daddy over by the door, and they stood there talkin and lookin at me for a long time. The only thing I could really hear was Daddy say, “I never told her about the house that was here before. Why the hell would I do that? She’s five.” Momma looked scared and Daddy looked annoyed. He told both of us to get on in the house, and let’s get us some supper. Momma took my hand, and we followed Daddy up the porch stairs and went inside.

My Daddy wasn’t scared of nothin. He walked right into my bedroom to see what he could find, and I was right behind him. My ironin board countertop was knocked over, and all of my weebles were scattered all over my room. The Scarlet weeble was sittin perfectly upright on my Strawberry Shortcake dresser lookin right at me. I didn’t tell Daddy though. When he wasn’t lookin, I stuck my tongue out at her. Daddy helped me pick up the mess and get my village set back up again.

Once we were done, he looked down at me the got on one of his knees, so we were almost the same height. “Heather, what happened in here today?” He asked me lookin me right in my eyes. I made sure I looked him right in the eyes when I answered. “Daddy, I didn’t want to tell you and Momma, but there’s a girl named Scarlet that lives here with us and she’s my friend. She’s older than me, I think. She said she used to live here in a different house. Not our house. A different house. I don’t know what that means.”

Daddy kept lookin at me, and I just kept goin on. “She said that she was my friend and we played real nice together at first….” Daddy interrupted me. “Is that who you have been talkin to when you are alone, Heather?” I looked down at my feet embarrassed that Daddy had heard me. “Yes, Daddy.” He looked at me a little harder now. “Heather, I don’t want you talkin to her anymore. You hear me?” I nodded my head. “If she tries to talk to you, you come and tell me or your Momma, okay?” I looked back up at him. “I will Daddy, I promise.”

Daddy gave me a hug and told me I could play in my room before supper, or I could help Momma finish up and set the table. I chose to help Momma. I didn’t want to go back in my room tonight. Come bedtime Momma and Daddy let me sleep with them in their bed so I didn’t feel so scared.

It was really dark in the room when Daddy woke up. He told Momma he heard someone walkin down the hallway. It sounded like whoever it was had shoes on that made a little clicky sound, like the shoes I always wanted, to feel like I was wearin fancy high heels like the ladies at church.

I knew who that someone was. I buried my head under the blanket and held on to my Momma tight. The clicky sound made its way all the way to my Daddy’s side of the bed, even though they had carpet in their room. He reached over and turned on his lamp, and there was nothin or no one there.

My Daddy doesn’t get scared like me and Momma, but he sure looked scared then. After that, none of us could go back to sleep, and we never did hear those footsteps ever walk away. Daddy had all of us get up and we stayed up watchin late night television. That was the first time I remembered seeing the Sun wake up.

I heard my Daddy talkin to someone on the porch the day after that. It was an old man he was talkin to, like my grandpa. I heard him tell my Daddy that it would be best if we left, since that little girl was still here. Cause she had never left since the drownin back in the 1970’s. I didn’t know what that meant, but I remembered Scarlet tellin me a story about fallin in the water. He said she was angry now that she got left behind and may only get ornerier over time. He said not even the church could run her off, he said. Daddy said we had to move away to a new house he found after all that.

I think Scarlet was sad, and she missed her Momma and Daddy. I sure would miss my Momma and Daddy if I couldn’t find them. I think that is what made her so angry. It made me sad for her too. At least I still have my Momma and Daddy. She wouldn’t have anybody when we left, and that would probably make her even more angry, I bet. While we was packin stuff up, I made sure to leave my Scarlet weeble behind for her. I also made sure I left my Heather weeble for her too.

I sat them side by side on my windowsill before we left for good. I turned around after I got down the porch steps to see if I could see the weebles in the window. I did, and I also saw somethin else there too. It was a little girl like me, just taller. I lifted my hand and slowly waved goodbye to her.

She had black hair and a red shirt with white polka dots, and she was cryin. I had started cryin too. I had never seen her before then. I only knew when she was around cause the air felt funny around me, I would get goose bumps, and she would talk to me all the time. I thought about Scarlet for awhile after we moved away, but I was afraid if I thought about her too much, she may come back. I never heard her talkin anymore though, so I guess she stayed behind which also made me kinda sad. She was my first and only friend, even if she was a little mean sometimes.

Momma and Daddy said to pray for Scarlet. So, I said a prayer to Papa one night to please take care of my friend, Scarlet and to please let her go to his home up in the sky so she wouldn’t be alone, angry or sad anymore. I told Daddy that I hoped Papa heard me. Daddy said he thought he surely did, and we agreed to not bring Scarlet up anymore.

Daddy thought if we talked to her or talked about her, it may make her think it’s okay to come back to us. Scarlet still hasn’t come back around or tried talkin to me, but sometimes I can hear the sound of clicky shoes on the floor in our kitchen.

June 13, 2023 16:15

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Sylph Fox
08:10 Jun 24, 2023

Hi Shannon, the way you juggle suspense is impressive. Especially the last sentence, it gave me goosebumps. I host an audio book podcast and looking for stories like yours for my next season. I'd really love to feature your work. If you’re interested in having your story read by me I'd really appreciate it if you'd contact me at SylphFoxSubmission@gmail.com. I invite you to listen to my podcast and see what you think. Apple Podcast : https://podcasts.apple.com/au/podcast/codename-sylph-fox/id1667146729 Spotify : https://open.spotify.com/...


Shannon C.
15:51 Jun 24, 2023

Thank you so much for the kinds words and feedback, Slyph. I would be honored to have you read my story.


Sylph Fox
06:42 Nov 06, 2023

Thank you for giving me this honour to narrate your story. Here are the links :) Apple Podcast : https://podcasts.apple.com/au/podcast/codename-sylph-fox/id1667146729?i=1000633721364 Spotify : https://open.spotify.com/episode/4rYJipcEHnuDLdYzAb9RLZ?si=8917842962634c4e


Shannon C.
14:52 Nov 06, 2023

Thank you again, Sylph!! I appreciate your interest and your hard work in putting my creativity and your own to life. What a wonderful thing!


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