Friday, October 7, 2016

Flash Fiction Friday: Doll Car

*Disclaimer: My Flash Fiction Fridays will be creepy themed for the month of October. I don't plan to have any live gore or mass murders, but please note I am writing out of my usual light-hearted style. 

Doll Car

Jennifer E. Miller

He walked up to the garage sale and look around. There weren’t any dolls. He moved on to the next house. Several children played in the front yard, giggling and chasing each other. He saw a box of antique toys and rummaged through it. He found a rubber doll, probably from the 1950s. It had painted eyes that look off to one side, and a curly-q of hair painted on top of its head.
            Perfect, he thought.
            He walked up to the table, seated in the shade, to pay. The homeowner, a woman, was talking jovially to a girl friend.
            “I’d like to purchase this,” the man said. “How much?”
            The homeowner abruptly stopped her conversation. “The vintage items should have marked at—“
            She cut herself off. His appearance startled her. An obese man, dressed in faded black clothing. There were holes in his shoes. He had shoulder length greasy hair, and a missing bottom tooth. Sweat beaded along his temples. It was a hot day, but it added to the unusual feeling she got.
            “—those should be marked at $3.00 apiece.”
            “Okay,” he said, reaching into his pocket.
            He handed her three one dollar bills. They were damp.
            The homeowner took the money, making a mental note to grab hand sanitizer.
            “Thank you,” she said. “Have a nice day.”
            He nodded once. “You do the same, ma’am.”
            As the man walked down the driveway and onto the sidewalk, one of the girls playing noticed he bought the doll. She ran toward him and asked him why he purchased it.
            “I collect dolls,” he answered.
            The girl squinted up at him, blocking the sunlight with her palm. “But you’re a boy.”
            “I know. But I have a unique collection.”
            She stared at him, and then at doll in his hand, not knowing what to say.
            “I’ll be on my way now, kid.”
            He continued walking and turned around the corner. His enormous size made walking even down the street exhausting. The heat was getting to him and he was glad to reach his front door. There was no air conditioning, but a rickety fan oscillated from the front room’s corner. He reached for a glass and filled it from the tap; water leaked from the handle. Then he opened a drawer, took out a dish rag, wet it, and patted his face to cool off.
            After feeling more at ease, he went about his task. He slid open the cutting board and placed the doll upon it.
            Just dolls, he thought, never real.
            Reaching for the cleaver, he grabbed it. With a swift swing, he sliced the doll’s head off just under the chin, leaving a smooth spot. The body was thrown in the trash.
            He walked out of the kitchen into the dusty garage. Switching on the fluorescent light, it flickered and hummed to life. In the middle was a car. It was older; the kind with square edges rather than the round contours of modern vehicles. Decorating the car’s exterior were heads. Doll heads. His goal was to cover it completely, inside and out. However, he was selective on the dolls, only choosing the ones that no longer wanted. It’s the way he felt. Unwanted. Used, abused, and left for scavengers.
            He created a place for the lost souls. Convinced he wasn’t alone, the heads symbolized their existence. When he drove the car around town, it frightened people. They shuttered and turned away. He would make them see the terror inside of the unwanted. His mission must continue.
            Picking up the heavy duty glue from the tool chest, he walked over the car, squirted a glop on the hood, and secured the doll head. It's painted eyes hadn’t changed their expression, but detached from its body looked...empty.
His creation was ready for another roll around town.

Copyrighted 2016 by Jennifer E. Miller

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