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Worried About Wioletta

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Science Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
I’m worried about Wioletta.
She’s only small.
I haven’t seen her since bedtime last night.

Submitted: October 15, 2019

A A A | A A A

Submitted: October 15, 2019




Worried About Wioletta


I’m worried about Wioletta. She’s only small. I haven’t seen her since bedtime last night. That’s cool. Wioletta likes to hide and play. But she hasn’t come up for air or joined me at table since.

And it’s getting dark outside.

I hope she’s not playing with Della. Dr Mikulski called round on Monday, said Della was having a bad influence on Wioletta. Said we should prise them apart. Send Della away for a while. Let my little girl settle. Wioletta went mental. Threatened to run away from home. If we separated the friends. And they are friends: a strange kind of loving.

I stand on the trap-door in our greasy kitchenette, worrying about Wioletta. I open the kitchen door and stare at the half-light. It’s raining: a fine drizzle smears my cheeks with sheen. I go out into the garden, dressed in my maroon-woolly nightgown and fluffy red slippers. My hair’s in curlers.

I’ll go out tonight once I’ve tucked Wioletta up in bed. That’s cool. I like to hide and play. Donal and I haven’t been that intimate since my baby was born. I won’t let him near me. I’ll climb through the downstairs window after midnight. Go out. And see my postman.

‘Wioletta! Wioletta! Bedtime! Time to come in now, Baby!’ I call.

But the garden’s an empty mess: mushed fallen leaves, spiral worm-casts, caramel fudge fungi, smatter my wet back lawn.  It needs a good rake. There isn’t time. Wioletta is missing. There have been rumours of the boogie man returning to town. For Halloween. A Clown, Michael. Wearing a clay-grey mask in the moonlight.

I breath haltingly, shudder, stick my head inside the garage door. The air smells of petrol, mixed with dead bird. I tread in something soft, shout,

‘You in there, Baby?’ Come on! Come on! I hear a noise. Leaves. Rustling on the windowpane.

‘Della, is that you?

I’m scared stiff, daren’t switch the light on. If it’s Della. She’s been acting kind of weird lately? Disobedient. I’m getting really worried now. No sound. No baby girl cry. I about turn. Leave the garage. Tiptoe over the garden path. And enter the warm kitchen. Through the shining light. I stand on the trap-door. Panic rising in my chest. Suffocating me. If Della has done something to my baby, I’ll kill her!

It’s no good. I’ll have to rouse Donal. I flap-flop in my worn slippers. Through our tiny hall, to the loo. I lock myself in, pull the light cord, smart my lips, smudge on some rouge, spray a thick waft of scent on my neck, fluff my red hair. Then I go to Donal.

When I go to turn the knob on the playroom door, I find it locked. That’s cool. Donal likes to hide and play. Since his dismissal for theft. He will never work in catering management again. Not after he swindled the cashless system out of a cool ten thousand pounds.

We travelled. Lived the high life. Stayed in the best hotels in Florida. Made sandcastles with Wioletta on Daytona Beach. Ate at the beach café where the astronauts eat. Spent five days in Disneyland on rides. Saw a manatee swim by our boat, watched gators slide into the water. We met Della.

They sacked Donal the day he returned to work. I work full-time at the post office to keep us afloat. While he slumps on the couch, stuffing his face with junk food, watching daytime sport. I bang the door with the balls of my hands and start a fracas,

‘Let me in, Honey!’

‘I’m watching the Rhino’s, what is it?’

‘I can’t find Wioletta.’

‘She’s in the cellar…’

I’m stunned, she was playing under my feet all the time, crouching under the trap door, ‘What?’

‘She’s in the cellar. I had our baby micro-chipped, so I can track her while you’re at work?’

I go spastic with rage, ‘You did what?!’

‘You heard,’ his voice is muffled as if he’s speaking to me through a sock, a mouthful of chips, ‘Don’t worry, Marilyn, she’s cool, hiding and playing…’

I knew it! She’s with Della!

‘How could you?’ I sob, ‘How could you? After what Dr Mikulski warned.’

‘Mikulski’s a quack, she’s cool, Della’s cool…’

I slump to my knees, my crying head pressed to the door, call Donal every name under the sun. Then crawl to the toilet. Hauling myself to my feet, I stare at the mess in the mirror: my running mascara, the smudged lippy, my sore red eyes; and rinse my face. Still wet, I kick my slippers off and sprint to the kitchenette. The chequered lino floor chills the soles of my feet.

There is a bronze ring. I lift the ring and open the trap door. The cellar is lit by a naked lightbulb, casting eerie shadows on the far wall. I tiptoe down the cold concrete steps and stop in my tracks at the foot of the stairs. I can’t believe my eyes. One of the windows has blown in. The cellar floor is covered with crisp-dried leaves. A fine white mist swirls around their bodies.

Wioletta is propped up against the flaking far wall, seated on a wooden crate, looking terrified. Her hair is lank and damp. Her face is sheet-white with fear. She is traumatized. Wioletta’s red robe is flecked with dust, curls of dried paint. She is sitting upright, her back to the wall, cast in shadow. Her bare arms are blue with cold. She is hypnotized, her scared eyes fixed on Della.

‘Come to Mummy, Baby,’ I say quietly, not wishing to disturb Della.

She can’t hear me. My sweet little girl is in another world. Della’s world. Della squats on her haunches and lowers her shiny bald metallic head, appraising her only friend. Her metal breasts flop against her folded arms. Her elbow joints flash neon. Ruby warning lights on each side of her head, sensors, tell me that she is aware of my presence. She leans forward, whispering something inaudible to my daughter. I edge nearer to Della who stands between us.

‘Move out of the way, Della,’ I command, adding for effect, ‘There’s a good girl.’

Della stands to one side. I find myself thanking her. Overwhelmed with gratitude. I walk towards my little girl, my bare feet crushing the crisp leaves. Her spell is broken. Or so it seems. Wioletta starts to rise, to levitate, like an angel. Rises above me. And starts to spin. Her red eyes stare down at me imploringly.

‘Come to Mummy, Baby,’ I scream, ‘Come to Mummy!’

Della turns to face me. Flashes of neon flow like wildfire down her arms. Her fists unclench. Her sparks fly. Sparks fly around her fists! She struts towards me, her fingers splayed. Shooting stars of static burst from her hands. Della reaches out for me. Wioletta stops spinning, flutters like a falling leaf to the concrete floor, landing fairly and squarely on both feet. Della’s arms extend.

I feel her burning hands rub my petrified cheeks. My mascara dries in black streaks. I collapse on the floor in a wretched, miserable heap. My sweet girl gazes down at me, no love left in her blood-red eyes. Her pretty head rotates. Her eyes fix on Della. She nods. I really worry about Wioletta …

After what Dr Mikulski warned.

‘Exterminate!’ she exclaims in a metallic mesh voice. ‘Exterminate!’

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