Wednesday, July 17, 2013

A Page Straight From...

Red Dahlia by Ross Simon

“I  give  up,”  muttered  Cliff  in  chagrin,  and  just  placed  the  ever-­ crying  Alise  back  in  her  crib.  He  just  decided  that  the  crying  would   stop  soon.  In  whimsy,  he  thought,  hopefully,  it’ll  stop,  period.

Clifford  turned  away  from  the  crib  to  try  and  go  sit  back  down   in  exhaustion—but  when  he  did,  the  crying  stopped.
Puzzled,  Clifford  looked  back  at  little  Alise.  She  just  lay  there   in  her  crib,  on  her  back,  the  tears  under  her  eyes  already  drying   away.  She  was  even  smiling  a  tad,  it  seemed.
Then  Cliff  heard  the  cracking,  splitting  noise.

He  looked  around  quickly,  but  then—looking  back  at  the  baby— he  realized  it  was  coming  from  Alise’s  head.  What?
Suddenly,  to  his  horror,  Cliff  indubitably  saw  that  the  skin  on   the  top  of  the  baby’s  head  was  splitting  open,  and  coming  off,  all   by  itself.

He  gasped,  choking—and  yet,  he  couldn’t  help  but  watch.

The  entire  skin  of  Alise’s  head  slipped  off,  with  a  loud  sliding   noise,  starting  to  reveal  something  wet,  dark  and  indistinguish-­ able   beneath.   Then   the   skin   came   down   around   her   shoulders,   just   shucking   off   in   wrinkling   folds,   and   as   Cliff   looked   on   in   mind-­bending  mortal  terror,  the  dark,  wet  form  slithered  out  of   the  skin  of  his  baby  daughter.
Next  came  the  skin  of  the  little  arms,  the  torso,  and  the  legs,   all  in  one  huge,  wrinkling  mass.  Alise  was  shedding  her  skin  just   like  a  snake  would.  Out  from  the  skin  was  coming  this  huge,  dark,   wet  lump...

The  lump  uncurled...and  there  was  Alise  herself.

She  was  now  naked,  as  opposed  to  the  skin  that  had  just  come   off,  which  still  at  least  bore  a  diaper.  Alise—now  in  a  fresh  skin,   while  the  old  one  moldered  in  a  heap—just  looked  up  at  her  father,   and  smiled.

In  a  jolt,  Clifford  suddenly  backed  away  from  the  crib,  hyper-­ ventilating,  going  seemingly  mad  right  then  and  there.  With  one   deep  breath  in  the  midst  of  his  hyperventilation,  Cliff  stopped--

The  discarded  skin  in  the  crib  disintegrated,  and  melted  down   into  a  liquid  rather  quickly.
Little  Alise  went  peacefully  back  to  sleep.

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