Fiction On Odyssey: The Doll

Fiction On Odyssey: The Doll

“There’s no life-size clown doll in Morgan’s room, Jack.”

Kim gets the call during a thirty-minute break between rounds. Already on a giddy high from winning the second to last round of the competition, her smile only gets bigger when she sees Jack’s face lighting up her screen. She thumbs the green circle to accept the call.

“Ya’ll, Kim’s getting a call from her boooyfriend,” Grace’s voice says from behind her. Kim rolls her eyes at her best friend. The other cheerleaders on their team coo and tease, but her grin doesn’t fade. She loves those dorks.

“Shut up and let Coach know I’m taking a phone call,” she says, not waiting for their responses. She leaves the gym hosting the competition and walks down the hall leading to the front doors. When she registers Jack’s heavy breathing, she pauses. Her smile fades.

“Jack? Babe, what’s wrong?”

H-Hey, Kim.” His voice is shaky, scared, and her concern mounts. “I, um… Morgan’s pretty freaked out right now… she’s getting ice cream, but how do I calm her down?

“What? What do you mean by freaked out? Are you okay?”

“Yeah. No, yeah, I’m okay. We just… that doll in her room really freaked the both of us out.”

“What doll?”

The life-size clown doll that I really would have appreciated knowing about beforehand.”

What?! Kim goes cold. What is this? Yeah, Dad had said he’d get a new doll for her younger sister, a reward for good grades. Kim hardly thinks that he’d buy a “giant clown doll,” though. And even if he did, he knows about Jack’s coulrophobia. He wouldn’t get it on a night he knows that Jack’s babysitting Morgan.

Jack probably saw a shape in the darkness of Morgan’s room and got a little spooked. Knowing him, he was probably watching horror flicks on his phone while Morgan marathoned Disney movies. He’s always on edge after watching something scary.

“There’s no life-size clown doll in Morgan’s room, Jack.”

“Uh, there definitely is. I just saw it, right at the foot of her…”

He trails off. His breath hitches, stops. What is happening? Kim strains to hear something, anything, but she can’t even pick up the sound of his breathing. Alright. She's getting kinda scared now.


Nothing. Scratch scared; make that panicked.

“You’re freaking me out, Jack. Are you okay? What’s going on?”

“Kim…” His quiet voice sounds numb. “It’s gone.”

A million possibilities run through her head, none of them good. If only she could go back home and figure out what’s going on… no. She can’t let her team down. They’ve been training for this competition for months, she can’t just abandon them. Instead, she wills herself to calm down. She knows her boyfriend. When he’s scared, his perception of reality may shift a bit in his panic. She has to stay level-headed for his sake and find out more about the situation. It’s probably not as big a deal as it seems.


“The doll’s gone, Kim. It’s gone. Holy crap, it’s gone, ohmygod.” Hysteria has bled into his normally mellow tone in his fear. His breath comes in quick, short gasps. “I swear to God if this is a prank or something—”

“Don’t swear on His name. Come on, you know I wouldn’t mess with you like that. I just need you to calm down, okay?”

“I CAN’T-“

“Yes, you can. You gotta calm down. For Morgan. For Morgan, okay? She’s scared, too, and you need to be strong for her. Just breathe, breathe with me.”

She slowly inhales and exhales several times. He mimics her, with difficulty at first, but better after a few attempts. There’s rustling on his end.

“You’re right. Morgan. Okay. Sorry.”

He pauses. Before she can ask if what he saw was really a clown doll, he says, “Kim, I think there’s someone in the house.”

Right as he says that, a loud commotion and Morgan’s petrified screams echo faintly over the line. Oh, no. Kim’s heart drops into her stomach. She can’t rationalize this anymore; her boyfriend and sister are alone at home, and there’s someone else in the house with them.

She takes off towards the gym to find her team and her coach. From the phone in her hand, Jack’s rapid footsteps echo her own. She grabs the first teammate she can find and frantically explains the emergency. Some of the other girls start to crowd around her, trying to understand what’s wrong, but she waves them away and turns her back. Her focus is on her phone again.

“Jack? What’s going on?”

Instead of an answer, she hears Jack’s voice say, “Squirt?”

Silence. Kim listens with bated breath.

“Whatever happened in here, it’s all right now. I’m here, ‘kay? Drop the knife and talk to me.”

Another pause. Jack suddenly gasps, and Kim can hear a faint snarl. A clatter and a metallic clang later, Jack’s now-frantic voice sounds farther away. He’d dropped the phone.

“Morgan! Morgan, no drop the knife! It’s me! Jackie, remember? No, no, oof.”

Another loud thud.

“Argh, Morgan get off. It’s me! Quit it!”

It sounds like he’s struggling with her.

“Morgan, come on, stop it! Please! Ow! Morg- an… ah…”

Tears spill onto Kim’s cheeks as she stares at her phone in shock. Her voice is small when she calls out Jack’s name.

Jack gasps out faintly in response. Suddenly, there is raspy breathing on the phone — clearly audible — as if someone had picked it up. It’s definitely not Jack, so it has to be—

“Morgan?” she whispers.

Inhale, Exhale. Inhale.

“Morgan, please, whatever you just did to Jack…” What is she supposed to say?

Exhale. Inhale.

“Please, Morgan…”

She picks up on the barest hint of sirens. Seconds later, a “bang bang bang” echoes at the door in the background, and faint voices demand to open up. Morgan snarls. A clatter says that the phone has been dropped again. Rapid footsteps fade away quickly, taking Kim’s last shred of hope with them.

Jackson Leo Brewer was found unconscious in the kitchen of his girlfriend’s house with a severe bruise on his face and two stab wounds to the chest and abdomen. He was rushed to the hospital immediately, and doctors were able to revive him. Upon waking up, he told of how he was babysitting his girlfriend’s sister, the appearance of a clown doll, and the young girl “going nuts.” Neither she the girl nor any “clown doll” were found at the scene.

Disclaimer: This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events and incidents are either the products of the author's imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.

Cover Image Credit: Hector A Parayuelos

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To the guy that shot my brother...


To the guy that shot my brother,

On January 9, 2019 my families entire life changed with one phone call. The phone call that my little brother had been shot in the face, no other details. We didn't need any other details. The woman on the phone who called us in full panic told us where he was so we went, as soon as possible. I don't think it helped that not even 10 min prior I talked to Zach on the phone.. kind of irritated with him, and the ONE TIME I didn't say 'I love you' as we hung up. Could've been the last time we ever spoke.. I remember pulling up to the hospital thinking 'this can't be real' 'it's not our Zach' 'this is just a dream Sarah, WAKE UP' I'd close my eyes really tight just to open them, I was still in the hospital emergency parking lot. I could still hear the ambulance sirens coming. It was all real.

The day our life's changed was definitely a test of faith. A test of how strong we were, as a family. I sat in that waiting room ready to see the damage that has been done to my sweet baby brother. Because at that point we had no idea how lucky he got. That glimpse of seeing Zach will haunt me forever. How helpless I felt in that exact moment frequently wakes me up from these horrific dreams I've been having ever since that day. That is a moment burned into my me and families brain forever.

You always hear about these things in the movies or on the news, a house being shot up, someone shooting another innocent person, not to care if they died on your watch. But we found ourselves on the news.. We have been confined to the hospital since that day. Running on barely any sleep, taking shifts of sleep so we don't make ourselves sick taking care of Zach. Watching him suffer. Undergoing surgeries, to repair the damage you did.

Before I proceed let me tell you a little something about the man you shot.

Zachary Keith Wright. A blonde hair blue eyed boy. Who could potentially be the most annoying human on the planet (possibly coming from his sister). A man who loves his God first, loves his family second. Perfect by no means, but almost perfect to me. A 19 year old who was to graduate high school this month. After graduation he was prepping to leave for Marine boot camp in the summer.. being in the military has been Zach's dream since he could talk. Literally. Running around, playing war with underwear on our heads, and finger guns. Some would say we looked like natural born assassins.. growing up he has been a country boy. Let me tell ya country to the core. He loves this country like he loves his family. He believes in helping people, taking charge in what's right, and never leaving a brother behind. He's lived by that his whole life. Until now....

The day you shot him. The day not only did you change my brothers life, you changed his families life too. The day you almost ripped my brother out of this world... for what? A misunderstanding? Because you've let something take ahold of your life that you can't let go you're willing to kill someone innocent over? Luckily for him, his guardian angels were protecting him in your time of cowardice. There were 3 times that day he should've died, the time you shot him, the time you tried to shoot him again as he stared you directly in the face, (even tho he couldn't talk I know you could read his eyes, and he still intimidated you. That's why you tried to pull the trigger again) and the time he was running out of the house. But he lived. A man who was shot in the face, didn't lay there helpless, didn't scream in agony. That MAN walked to the neighbors to get help. Why? Because he's a MAN, and because he's on this earth for a reason.

It's gonna sound a little strange not only to you, but the audience who is reading this. I must say thank you. Even in this situation, this was the best outcome we could get. He gets to live. He will make a full recovery. He will graduate. And he will go off into the Marines. You united my family together. Closer than ever. Thank you. You tested our faith and brought us closer to our God. Thank you. Because of your moment of weakness, you showed us what prayer could do. Heal anything. Thank you. This was a bump in the road, and a helluva way to kick off our year of 2019. But here we are.. all laying in the hospital. I'm looking around as mom is sleeping in her recliner chair exhasted but still here, Zach his awake playing his xbox all hooked up to machines, fighting to heal and get better. And of course I'm writing this letter to you.

See you in trial,

From the girl whose brother you shot.

'Fight the good fight' - 1 Tim 6:12 🤟🏼💙

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Why Ariana Grande's '7 Rings' Symbolizes Women Empowerment

I see it, I like it, I want it, I got it.


After "God Is A Woman" and "Thank U, Next," I was sure I had just found my ultimate favorite song. If you know me, you know that I am simply obsessed with Ariana Grande and her music. Her concerts and recorded soundtracks sound the exact same!

Her "God Is A Woman" hit started off 2019 on a powerful note, debuting as her fourth number 1 hit single on Billboard's Pop Songs charts. On January 19th, "7 Rings" premiered with nearly 15 million views within the first 24 hours.

This female empowerment anthem was inspired by the soundtrack "My Favorite Things" from The Sound of Music. Ariana Grande revealed how the song was dedicated to her 6 best friends after she got drunk at Tiffany's (refer to the first line of the song) and bought herself along with her 6 friends matching engagement rings. On Twitter, she later revealed that there were actually 9 rings, which she bought for her mother and her Nonna later after the song was released.

The whole concept of "7 Rings" comes from a place of inspiring women to be their own source of happiness and to shop with your bffs until you drop. Ariana basically summed this up in her line "Wearing a ring, but ain't gon' be no 'Mrs.'"

Well, Ariana Grande is popular for her heartfelt and meaningful lyrics. Throughout her career, ever since she was red-haired Cat, she's released emotional and memorable tunes which all speak to her personally. "7 Rings" is no different, although it's basically an anthem to how rich she is. We stan a queen.

She said, "Twas a pretty rough day in NYC. My friends took me to Tiffany's. We had too much champagne and I bought us all rings. It was very insane and funny and on the way back to the studio Njomza was 'this gotta be a song,' so we wrote it that afternoon."

In case you haven't watched it already, watch it. Now.;=desktop

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