The Doll

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The Trouble With Chrissie

The Trouble with Chrissie

When Chrissie was six and I was 15 we went to the store for school stuff for the following year. Our parents always bought us brand new backpacks and supplies and we each had three outfits new, right down to shoes. Well, off we went to get our own stuff and at the checkout, Chrissie didn’t have any of the things on her list she only had that damned doll.

“Chrissie, this is not the time to buy toys, you were supposed to get your school supplies.” Mom told her gently.

“I don’t want school supplies, I have left over from kindergarten, I want this doll.” Chrissie whined.

“You are not being responsible, Chrissie. This trip was for school, now put the toy back and get your school supplies.” Dad said with emphasis.

Chrissie went into one of her screaming, stamping and kicking fits. I managed to rescue the doll before she broke the packaging and without it in her hands she fell and did her killing the floor routine.

“This is the ugliest thing I’ve ever seen, Chrissie. Why would you want a zombie doll?” I asked softly. My parents didn’t realize that yelling at her or trying to calm her flailing arms and legs was useless she’d only kick and scream harder. Speaking softly was how you got her attention. It worked. She stopped being a brat to answer me.

“It’s not a zombie; it’s a Scary Perry doll. You’ve seen the ’mercials on TV. They’re magic!”

“Imp, there isn’t any such thing as magic.” I told her.

“Is so! Gimme my doll!”

“You aren’t getting it this time. Mom, I have her school supplies for first grade.” I turned to my mother.

I received a grateful look from my distraught parent.

Chrissie started her tirade again and I handed the package with the doll to Cat and when my parents weren’t looking pulled the Imp off the floor by her collar and put my fist against her nose.

“Knock it off, Imp, or I’ll give you a bloody nose. You’re an embarrassment to the whole family.” I threatened her while I had her suspended off the floor by her collar.

When I set her down she drew breath to tell on me and my fist was against her nose before she could make a sound.

I was the only one who ever put that brat in her place. My youngest brothers were both afraid of her, Robert paid her absolutely no attention at all and Harold was now away at college most of the time so he interacted with her next to never. He was eighteen when she was six. Catherine avoided her, too.

But she was Mom’s “baby” and in spite of the way she treated everyone they both treated her like a sacrificial princess.

On our clothes shopping trip, Chrissie got smart. She picked out a new coat she wanted and the doll was under the coat when she put her purchases on the conveyor so Dad paid for the doll before he knew it. Once it was paid for, she got the damned thing.

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