Dead Dolly


Until the day I die, I’ll never forget their glassy, unblinking eyes.

You know, I’d made that dead dollywhat you all call a Voodoo Doll — myself.  Mamaw taught me how  when I was a kid back in Bayou Lafourche.  She said that since we were direct descendants of Marie Laveau, it was our legacy.  My mama died giving birth to me, so Mamaw was the only one left to teach me.

Ma chère petite-fille, you have to know,” she said.

Shoot, Mamaw didn’t have to twist my arm! Even then, I realized its importance.

Daddy flipped when he found out. Pooyie, it was bad!

That’s when we moved up to Gentilly and I never did see Mamaw again.

Sonovabitch, I  still miss her.

It was damn lucky for all of us (most some of us okay, me) that there’d been enough time for her to teach me before I had to go.

Anyway, Daddy got remarried to a snotty broad who claimed to be related to some artiste named Albrecht Drürer, which caused my life to go straight to hell. Wouldn’t you just know that Daddy and my ol’ bitch-faced stepmom started having kids of their own — little blonde brats with washed-out blue eyes and freckles.

Clearly, I was the odd girl out. To Daddy, I was just an unpleasant reminder of a past best forgotten.

Guess that meant he wanted to forget Mama, too.

Well, I’ll tell ya right now that ain’t happenin’.

 So…I made the dead dolly.

Last Saturday I followed Daddy to the barber shop. I waited across the street in my car until I saw him come back out.

Then, I beat it in there before anybody had a chance to sweep up his hair.

I will have you know, that, the hound-dog  barber made me give it up before he’d let me have a lock of Daddy’s hair off his floor.

Don’t you worry, he’ll get his.

Just like the rest of ’em done did —

them & their glassy, unblinking eyes.


Author: The Abject Muse

Susan Marie Shuman is an author and freelance writer/editor who currently resides in the wilds of Birmingham, AL. She shares her life with four spoiled cats, several friends (not all of them imaginary) one husband and one step-son. When she's not working, Susan enjoys horseback riding, reading, taking her cats for a spin in their pet stroller, and taking naps. An ex-bartender, recovering crash test dummy and all-around late bloomer, Susan graduated from the University of South Alabama in 2004 with a BA in English. She minored in Russian. Long-range goals include visiting Israel, the Czech Republic and Liechtenstein. Susan is also planning to launch a micronation which would be called either Suzannistan or Eastern Suzanorovia.

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