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by Cliff Hanger 

Posted: 11 April 2017
Word Count: 779
Summary: Tried something different but not able to give too much time to it due to holidays.

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Where’s Belinda, mummy. She was waiting for me. Just there, on the bottom step.

You threw her into the dirty cupboard.

No I never. Where is she. I need her. NOW!

You can have her back when you learn to share.

But I do share, mummy. I share Belinda all the time.

Not in that way. You need to share properly.


Because I say so. Why don’t you play with the doll’s house? Most girls would give anything for a doll’s house like that. It cost me a lot of green shield stamps.  Didn’t I tell you I always wanted a doll’s house?

Yes, mummy but Belinda doesn’t live in a doll’s house.

I know. She’s far too big and dolls that are lucky enough to live in dolls houses wear clothes. Smart clothes. What about the paper doll from the comic granny got you. She’ll fit. You can cut out different outfits for her and everything. Go get the scissors from my sewing box but be very careful and don’t run. Pull your socks up and blow your nose while you’re at it.

Whee, scissors. I like scissors.

NO running and hold them properly. Look, I’ll just do it for you. Don’t you like this elegant evening coat and party dress. Sparkly. We can put them on dolly. Careful, cut around the fold over tags exactly. There now, doesn’t she look glamorous.

What’s glamorous mean?

It means she looks like a woman. A woman who might get married someday.

Like Cinderella?

Yes. Just like Cinderella.

I love Cinderella.

I know.

Mummy. I think dolly would be more glamorous with a rifle? Why can’t I have a rifle. A dolly like that would be rubbish at Japs and Commandos without a rifle.

I’ve told you to stop playing that game. It’s not right. There’ve been complaints. Especially about Belinda’s bad behaviour.

But if I had a rifle I wouldn’t need to use Belinda. Where’s Belinda. I love Belinda. I don’t want that stupid dolls house or this stupid paper dolly.

Give it to me NOW. You’re going to end up in the approved school if you go on this way. You just don’t care do you. I work so hard for you and you just don’t care.

I’d care if you got me a rifle.


What’s an approved school?

It’s like the dirty cupboard but with big brick walls and a tower.

Don’t put me in the dirty cupboard again, mummy. I’ll try to be good. Is the tower like Rapunzel’s tower?

Just like Rapunzel’s tower.

I love Rapunzel.

I know.

Jenny wants a dolls house. Give it to her.

Your cousin doesn’t need any more for her collection. Can’t you try to be a bit more like Jenny?

But she like dollies. I like rifles. If I can’t have a rifle, can I have an Action Girl and if you won’t get me a rifle can you get me a gattling gun instead. Anyways, Aunty Sally can’t make butterfly dresses like you can. I love my butterfly dress.

For heaven’s sake, put that pet lip away. Go get Belinda, she’s behind my dressing table. But remember, sharing does not mean hiding behind the coal house and slamming her down onto your brother’s head. I hope Mrs Binks is right about this being just a phase and you being too clever for your own good. Hopefully you’ll get over all of that soon.

Mrs Binks is the best teacher in the whole school. She likes me telling her about Japs and Commandos. Mrs Binks says that when the boys go to the football tournament, we’re all going to dress up in kimonos and put white makeup on our faces with red lips and we’re going to shuffle about in little silky shoes because princesses have teeny tiny little feet.

Your ribbon’s coming undone. I don’t know, you’re nothing but a wee dolly yourself.

Can you do my plaits up, mummy and fix them with pink bows. Like Belinda’s.
Daka daka daka.  The Emperor says we need to shoot the commandos or we’ll have to do hurry curry unless Godzilla comes to save us. Daka, daka, daka.  Can you see the bullets coming out of Belinda’s eyes? Love you mummy. Here’s the paper dolly. Sorry it’s got a bit crumpled.

Be back in time for tea. I’ll put the key under the mat and your brother can make you a sandwich when he gets back from Boys Brigade. The chocolate bars will be up on the top shelf. Get him to reach one down for you. Hey, don’t run so fast, and remember, SHARE. Share nicely.

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Comments by other Members

V`yonne at 17:26 on 12 April 2017  Report this post
I'm not sure who is more of a nightmare, the wee girl or the mother! I can see this is a pretty disfuntional/functioning family. It works well as a story -- very lively dialogue. I like that the girl is a tomboy (with plaits) and her mother doesn't know how to handle her and is too busy anyway. I liked the playing with dolls and marriageable references too. Ain't that the truth! I hated dolls when I was a child. Played with my nephew's toy garage and cars and transporter instead but I really wanted a fort with toy soldiers.
I laughed at

Daka daka daka.  The Emperor says we need to shoot the commandos or we’ll have to do hurry curry unless Godzilla comes to save us. Daka, daka, daka.  Can you see the bullets coming out of Belinda’s eyes? Love you mummy. Here’s the paper dolly. Sorry it’s got a bit crumpled.

There's a lot of character written in that short piece and it's very complex. Well 'drawn' laugh

Cliff Hanger at 17:44 on 12 April 2017  Report this post
Thanks Oonah,

I loved this prompt. The truth nuggets in this story are that I did have a big doll I used as a weapon. And I was given a dolls house instead of the rifle I wanted, so I smashed its windows in with the one they gave my brother. But then I've always loved ballet and peace so everyone's contradictory. This was quick but I hope I reflected those contradictions rather than making it a diatribe about how we treat girls v boys. I tried anyway.

Hope you have a Happy Easter (chocolate day, yipee).



V`yonne at 10:58 on 13 April 2017  Report this post
It works perfectly as an example of how complex we girls are -- and not at all 'girly'. laugh My nephew used to play with my dolls instead. It was a fair exchange.

scriever at 13:22 on 13 April 2017  Report this post
My daughter hated dolls too, and in her hands a My Little Pony became a deadly weapon. I can't help thinking I'm missing something in in ths story, though. The dialogue is nicely observed and lively, and I get it that the little girl is being left by her mum, but is it about the girl or her situation? If it's about the girl, there's a beginning of a gender identity issue coming out; I feel that in itself would be worth exploring a bit more, perhaps with a 'society's view' take on it?


Cliff Hanger at 13:26 on 13 April 2017  Report this post
It's about dollies laugh

Bazz at 13:57 on 16 April 2017  Report this post
Love how this is told with dialogue only, really effective, and you write both voices well. I liked it as a character piece about youth, but it also effectively captures a certain time, and the tensions therein. The callous use of the "dirty cupboard," and the narrow strict expectations...

If it's about the girl, there's a beginning of a gender identity issue coming out

I think the interesting part is that gender is clearly imposed, there's really no such thing, ony what you're "supposed" or "expected" to be... I think this piece neatly touches on that without anything to heavy handed :)

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