Sunday 7 December 2014

Sunday Story - Lucy by Jonathan Hill

Jonathan Hill's story 'Lucy' was the winning story in April 2014's short fiction contest.

Lucy by Jonathan Hill

Mother was outside sweeping leaves when the doll first spoke to Beth.

“I can’t see.”

Beth turned from her colouring-in. She was losing interest anyway, having gone outside the lines more than once.

“I can’t see.”

“Of course you can’t see,” Beth answered. “You’re a doll. You’re not real.”

“If I’m not real, how can I be talking to you?”

“It’s all pretend. My imagination is making you talk to me. You’re not really talking, silly!”

“Of course I’m really talking, you fucking stupid bitch.”

And that’s when Beth knew the doll really was talking. Because she hadn’t heard of several of those words, so how could she possibly have made her imagination make the doll speak them?

“If you’re real,” Beth asked nervously, “what’s your name?”

“My real name or the one your dumb bitch of a mother gave me when she was little?”

That word again. Bitch. What did it mean? And why was the doll staring at her like that? She shrugged.

“My real name is Lucy. Lucy Fur. It’s NOT Jemima. Who the fuck does your mother think she is? Naming things that already have a name. It’s like me deciding to change your name to Lady Gaga or Bruce Forsyth. You wouldn’t like that, Beth, would you?”

The doll knew Beth’s name? That was more unnerving to her than the fact the doll Mother had handed down to her was talking at all. And who were Lady Gaga and Bruce Forsyth? She shrugged again.

“You’re not very communicative, Beth, considering you’re a human and I’m a piece of plastic moulded into something that’s meant to look pretty. I’ll tell you something, lady. I may look pretty but inside I ain’t fucking pretty.”

Beth looked at Lucy a little more closely. No, she didn’t look any prettier than before. She decided to be honest. “I’ve always thought you ugly, especially with that hole where your eye should be.”

“Ah, that brings me to where we began our little tete-a-tete. I can only see out of one eye because when your mother was five, she dropped me out of a window.”

“I’m sure she didn’t mean…”

“She did. She fucking did. She wanted me to die. But I’m prepared to finally forgive her if you do something.”

Beth nodded slowly. She didn’t want Lucy to hate her mother.

“Come closer then!” said Lucy, before whispering into Beth’s ear.

“Are you sure?” asked Beth.

“Listen to what your mother says. The clues are all there,” reassured Lucy.

Downstairs, while Mother was watching the news on television, Lucy listened carefully for clues. Finally she heard one.

“I can’t bear to see all this misery in the world,” announced Mother, grimacing at plumes of smoke rising from a burning building.

So Lucy was right? Mother really didn’t want to see any more.

Taking the scissors from the kitchen drawer, she knew what she needed to do. She had to cut the bitch’s eyes out.

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