All Stories, Fantasy

Seven by Ellie Jordan

Once upon a time, a rather ordinary boy walked into the kitchen, picked up the knife they used for cutting potatoes, and stabbed his mother 30 times.

It was actually closer to twelve but the more the story was told the more people added to it.

“Daddy, tell me a story!”

The little pigtailed girl climbed into his lap, trained as all children are to delay her bedtime. He played with his oiled mustache–really the only remarkable thing about him–and looked up at the ceiling, as though he was thinking.

“Hmm. What kind of story?”

“The bad kind!” she grinned rather naughtily. He looked down at her and smiled.

“Once upon a time, there was a girl. And even though she had been married for seven years, she could not have a baby.”

“Was it because she was evil?”

“No. Sometimes it just happens.”

“Oh.”

“And after seven years, she arrived in town with a baby.”

“Where’d she get him?” the little girl asked before being quieted by a look from her father.

“She claimed–according to the townspeople–she found him in a ditch beside the road on her way to pick some blueberries.”

The little girl fairly vibrated but stayed quiet.

“The word was put out but no one came forth to claim the child. So, she raised him as her own.”

He paused. The little girl waited.

He continued, “After a time, no one thought of it. The boy–it was a boy–was a good baby and an even better child. Some commented he was so quiet around others, it was almost as if he wasn’t there. But at home, he did everything normal little boys would do. He ran. He yelled. He pulled cats tails to see what it would do, and he snuck food from the pantry.” The little girl blushed at this. He looked at her. “Do you sneak food from the pantry?”

“I’m not a boy!” she said defiantly. “But sometimes if there’s sweets.”

He patted her hand and continued. “The woman loved the boy and appeared happy. But as he approached his seventh birthday–“

“I’m about to be seven!” She interrupted excitedly.

“–she began to be sad.”

“Why?” A whisper slipped out.

“No one knew. She didn’t talk much to anyone besides her boy. The morning of his birthday, she rose from sitting by his bedside and went into the kitchen to bake him a cake.” As though he could divine her thoughts he added “Chocolate. With blueberries atop the frosting.”

She licked her lips.

“The woman heard him enter the kitchen but didn’t turn around. And when the knife plunged deep into her, the only sound was a tiny gasp of air that escaped her lips.”

The little girl’s eyes were bright and she held her hands up to her mouth. “What happened then?”

The man gazed at her for a moment before motioning for her to get into bed. She did, knowing he would answer.

“They never saw him again.”

He tucked her in.

“Daddy! That’s not the end!”

“Is it not?” he joked with her. “Are you ready for tomorrow?”

She grinned. “Yes! And because it’s my birthday I get to eat all the blueberries I want!”

“That’s right.” He kissed her forehead and went to turn off the light.

Just then, she asked “Daddy?”

He paused, his hands still on the downward turn of the switch. “Yes?”

“Are you ready for tomorrow?”

Ellie Jordan

Image by Monika Baechler from Pixabay 

7 thoughts on “Seven by Ellie Jordan”

  1. Hi Ellie,
    I adore a dark fable and this was a dark fable done very well.
    I’m glad that you classified it as you did. That way, the reader has to consider there being something more to the ending.
    If you just read this you could think it was a rather sweet ending. But with the classification, you wonder if the wee girl is going to get out the tattie peeler. That is actually quite clever and does niggle at you.
    Are we also meant to consider that the father was the boy? Does that work? Is it a continuation? A pact?? It really doesn’t matter as it is all a helluva lot of fun to think on.
    The tone was brilliant and how it stays with you is even better!
    Excellent!!
    Hugh

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I love the little questions that swirl around it. The obvious ones like the identity of the boy, who might be all grown up and the possibility that psychotic behavior runs in the family. This is a very bright dark gem.
    Leila

    Liked by 1 person

  3. A Lizzie Borden -ish opening that takes a turn toward the light … or maybe stays dark. The latter, I fear. I’m going to speculate that the boy grew up to be Daddy and now the little girl’s got his genes. Anyway it’s fun to speculate.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. The ones that end on a eerie note are the ones that stay in the mind longer. Is the girl’s question a warning? Is the father the boy from the story? And what’s cooking in his head? Are father and daughter out to get each other? Will history repeat itself and in which manner?
    Great writing with so much left to imagination. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. This might be a bit off topic, but as one who worked in forensics for thirty years, I’d say that must’ve been one strong seven year old kid. Then you wonder… the protagonist did say it was “just a story.” The fable structure of the tale is quite interesting, kind of reminded me of Hansel and Gretel and the gingerbread house…. all that sugar.

    Like

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