The Raggedy-Ann Waltz

“Round and round,” she said, as she whirled between the toys, sidestepping the train-sets, and the imitation crockery and the toy cars and the tiny plastic dolls with eyes half-shut.

Her arm disengaged and flew off somewhere into the distance, and she danced towards it, picked it up in a fluid motion and carried it with her.

Forward, forward, right.

She could see the girl’s face in her mind. Eyes wide-open as she sat over Ann, sniffing, tongue periodically snaking out of her tongue as she concentrated. The girl, hateful but sweet, destroyer and builder.

The girl always slept with Ann at her side. Ann had a withered love for her, a shrivelled-up cocoon of affection that kept Ann going despite everything.

Back, back, slide.

And then today. The girl came in, and sat down on Ann’s foot without looking. Which wasn’t a problem. But then she saw Ann, and shoved her off the bed in a sweeping motion, and didn’t even look at her since.

Ann seethed for hours. And then she decided. Ann could remember every dismemberment, every pierce of the sewing needle, every splash of juice and milk. The needle was in the bedside drawer. Ann went into the kitchen for the knife.

Pum pa-rum.