“You better be nice to me.”
“Or what,” he laughed.
Sasha hugged the small red-haired doll with the patchwork dress to her chest and stared at him defiantly.
“Or you’ll be in big trouble.”
Eric laughed at his little sister. “Ooooooh,” he sneered. “I’m so scared.”
“Get out of my way,” she said.
Sasha stepped to the left, trying to go around him but Eric moved in front of her again, blocking her way.
“Get out of my way, Eric!” Sasha yelled.
“Shut up,” he hissed. “You’re going to get us into trouble.”
“Then get out of my way!”
“Eric,” their mother’s voice came from downstairs. “Stop harassing your sister.”
Sasha stuck her tongue out at him and started to push her way by him toward the staircase. He reached out and snatched the doll by the hair. He hated her dolls, all of them. Her room was practically overflowing with the creepy little toys. But he knew that she cherished them so he was constantly using them to torment her.
“Give her back!”
He turned and threw the doll, watching it clear the railing and fly downstairs, hitting the tile entryway with a thud.
“Ooops,” he said. “You dropped your stupid dolly. Better go fetch it.”
“You’re a jerk!”
Sasha stormed by him and pounded down the stairs. Eric laughed as he walked back into his room and shut the door. Turning on his stereo, he grabbed a comic book and dropped down on his bed. Something hard beneath his pillow jabbed into the back of his head.
“Ouch!” He said. “What the hell?”
Eric reached under his pillow and pulled out one of Sasha’s dolls. This one was dressed as a court jester, in black and red, dark circles around the eyes, a wide smile on its pale face and a hat with bells on it. He stood up, intending to go downstairs and get her into trouble for going into his room but paused. A smile spread slowly across his face as he decided to show his little sister what happened when she violated his personal space.
Retrieving a pair of scissors from his desk, he set about cutting the doll. He snipped off the floppy ends of the hat with the bells on them, letting them fall to the floor with a jangle. Next he cut off the hands and feet followed by the legs and arms. He cut as much of the torso into pieces as he could before gathering it all together and placing the pile of doll parts in the middle of her nicely made bed.
Satisfied with his revenge, he made his way back to his room to finish his comic book.
It had been a week and Sasha hadn’t said a word about the doll he’d destroyed. His sister was meticulous when it came to her dolls and for her to not remark on one being cut into a million pieces wasn’t like her. It also took some of the joy out of it for him. Eric crept out of his room and down the hallway, stopping just outside of his sister’s room. She was inside, having a one-sided conversation with her dolls. As usual.
“No, he wasn’t always mean like this,” Sasha said.
He leaned closer to the door.
“I don’t know,” she said. “He just likes hurting my feelings now.”
Eric stifled a giggle. He didn’t know why he enjoyed picking on his sister so much, he just did.
“We know you’re out there, Eric,” Sasha called. “Go away or I’ll tell mom.”
He was taken aback for a moment. How did she know he was out there? He’d been nearly silent as far as he could tell. Shrugging his shoulder, he stepped into her doorway and froze. Sitting in front of her was the black and red jester doll that he’d cut up. It didn’t appear to have a single scratch on it. Sasha looked at him, contempt in her eyes.
“When did you get the new doll?” Eric tried to appear casual.
She looked at the jester and then at him. “I didn’t,” she said. “I’ve had Harley forever.”
“But what?” She eyed him suspiciously.
“Nothing,” he said. “Just stay out of my room, okay?”
“I wasn’t in your room.”
He crossed his arms over his chest and tried to appear intimidating.
“Yes you were,” he said. “About a week ago. That stupid doll was in my room. Right where you left it.”
She looked at the doll and back to him again.
“I wasn’t in your room, Eric,” she said. “Stop making stuff up.”
“This is your last warning,” he said. “If I find out you were snooping around in my room again, you’re going to get it. Or one of your stupid dolls will.”
Sasha stood up, putting herself between the dolls and him protectively.
“You better leave my friends alone,” she said. “Or you’ll be in really big trouble.”
“Yeah, whatever,” he said. “Like I said, stay the hell out of my room.”
He turned and walked back to his room, slamming the door behind him.
“Mom had to have gotten her a new doll, right?” He muttered to himself. “So why didn’t he get in trouble for destroying the old one?”
He turned on his Playstation and sat down in front of the television, a vague feeling of disquiet settling over him.
“Your dad’s car broke down,” his mother said. “I have to go pick him up from the shop and I don’t have time to get a babysitter over here.”
“I don’t need a babysitter, mom,” he said. “I’m thirteen now.”
“I need to know I can trust you,” she said. “I need you to be a responsible boy and watch your sister for me. Can you do that?”
“I will, mom,” he said.
She looked him in the eye for a long moment and then nodded. She turned and grabbed her car keys and purse from the table by the door.
“I’ll be gone for maybe an hour,” she said.
“We’ll be fine, mom,” he said. “Stop worrying.”
“Okay,” she smiled. “If you both are good, we’ll go out for ice cream later. I have to go. Be good and don’t harass your sister.”
He ran to the window, watching his mother get into her car and drive away. Feeling like he was being watched, Eric turned around and found his sister standing at the top of the staircase looking down at him.
“You heard mom,” he said. “I’m in charge. So you have to do what I say.”
Without a word, she turned and ran back to her room, slamming the door shut behind her. Eric laughed and walked up to his room, stopping in the doorway. Sitting in the middle of his bed was the red and black jester doll along with a matching green and yellow jester. Anger flushed his face as he stormed to his sister’s door and opened it with a vicious kick.
“You left two of your stupid dolls in my room again, Sasha,” he snarled. “I told you to stay out of my room. Now they’re going to have to pay the price.”
“Leave them alone,” Sasha called. “Or you’re going to be in really big trouble!”
“Mom’s not here,” he said. “I’m in charge now.”
“Eric don’t,” Sasha cried. “Don’t do anything to them. I don’t want anything bad to happen to you.”
He snorted and walked back to his room, grabbing both dolls by the legs and carrying them downstairs. Sasha trailed after him, crying, nearly hysterical.
“Eric no!” She screamed. “Don’t do anything to them!”
“I warned you,” he taunted her. “But you didn’t listen.”
He opened the door to the basement, turned on the light and descended the stairs. Sasha stayed at the doorway, screaming and crying. He grabbed a large metal bucket and dropped the dolls inside. Taking a can of lighter fluid off of the top shelf, he doused the dolls with it.
“You sure you don’t want to see your dolls get barbecued, Sasha?”
“Don’t do it, Eric,” she said. “You’ll be—”
“In big trouble. Yeah, yeah, I know,” he shot back. “Whatever. I’m about to light the match. Tell me you’re sorry for going into my room again.”
“Okay,” he said. “Have it your way.”
Eric struck the match as he heard what sounded like dozens of scuffling feet behind him. He turned to look just as a rope noose closed around his neck and tightened. The match dropped to the floor and went out. His eyes grew wide as he tried to grab the rope around his neck. Dozens of his sister’s dolls stood behind him, pulling the rope that was slowly cutting off his air and lifting him off the ground. He gasped, tried to speak but found that he couldn’t. From the corner of his eye, he saw the two jester dolls run by him and join the lines of dolls pulling him upward. He kicked his feet, thrashed and tried to take a breath but found that no air was forthcoming. The dolls looked at him, a malicious gleam in their eyes as they hauled him off the ground. They chuffed and laughed at him. He struggled and kicked harder, grabbed hold of the rope and tried to pull his neck free from it. But it held fast.
Inch by inch, he was lifted off of the ground. Darkness began to creep in at the edges of his vision.
“I told you that you’d be in big trouble of you weren’t nice to me!”
His sister’s voice followed by the slamming of the basement door were the last things Eric heard before the darkness swallowed him whole
This has been my entry for therealljidol Season 8, Topic 36C(F): Patchwork. As always, thank you so much for your continued support. I have no clue what sort of madness to expect but it should be interesting. Thank you, guys. You keeping me in this game means the world to me!