The truth about Alice is that she was somewhat of an enigma since the last rays of an October’s sun cast a golden halo about her head not one moment, but two, after her arrival into the world. The newborn’s parents deemed the glowing ring an omen of great things to come, as did the hospital staff. It was what the necromancer foresaw in the smoldering embers on the Mongolian steppe the eve that Roderick Pimms and Daphne Whetherby first met. Indeed, Mr. Pimms proposed over yak kabobs the very same night under a jet-black canopy of glimmering stars and a crescent moon. Truth is, the two shared one too many cups of kumis or they’d have taken precautions which might very well have allayed the troubles that began hardly an hour after their child’s birth when Mrs. Pimms succumbed to a bout of amnesia that would last the rest of her life, all twenty-eight years of it.
One really needn’t feel badly about the twist in the woman’s fate. It was just as well. What mother wants to be constantly reminded by hushed voices behind cupped hands that something as simple as her child’s fleeting glance was blamed for some mishap or other. True. Alice had an unsettling stare, but could it have caused lightening to strike the bakery moments after she was refused a gooey double chocolate chip brownie? If Alice had knit her wee eyebrows or drew her pink lips to resemble the appearance of a walnut – then I could be swayed to believe the rumor. At least a display of concentration would speak for some modicum of her intentions.
Come to think of it though, I did once witness an altercation between the child and Mr. Edgar Millner that ended poorly. Alice, then four years old, stopped the village’s portrait painter as he exited Dumbarton’s Art Supply and demanded that he hand over his bicycle to her. She said she fancied the two-wheeler and claimed its size suited her stature far better than his. When the artist laughed, patted her head, and rode off down the lane I too had to chuckle at the child’s boldness. Only when I’d heard of Millner’s sudden disappearance, or rather reappearance of his likeness one week later in a corner of the Pimm’s country kitchen did I begin to take the rumors seriously.
Well- here you have it – a little ditty resulting from noticing someone’s menacing stare, seeing a disturbing sculpture, and my goofy imagination. What have you ‘seen’ lately that gave you the creeps and might inspire a short story?