Amy's Doll, by W. J. Howard

I received the contest results for the WOW Flash Fiction Contest and did not place with Amy's Doll. I scored high on creativity and originality, but screwed up on the technical judging. Has made me pick up a review book on grammar. If you would like to read the winning stories, go to


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Four-year-old Amy had become quite a handful for her mother Emily while the family moved into their new home. And Emily, seven months pregnant with twins, quickly lost patience with her daughter. “Amy, go to the playroom and unpack your toys,” said Emily after Amy sang her ABCs for what seemed like the hundredth time.

“Okay,” replied Amy. She eagerly left Emily’s side, ready to do anything besides stare up at her mother’s oversized belly.

In the playroom, Amy opened a box and noticed her favorite doll and its cradle. Feeling exhausted herself, Amy decided her doll should have a nap. She set up a nursery in the closet and placed her doll in the cradle. Then Amy laid down on the floor and fell asleep.

An hour later, Amy awoke to find her doll missing from the cradle. Confused, Amy ran to the kitchen where her mother was unpacking dishes. “Mommy where’s my baby?” she asked.

“Probably in one of the boxes.”

“No Mommy, she was in the closet.”

“I’m sure she’ll show up.”

Not getting the answer she wanted, Amy left in a huff.

Amy returned to the closet, where she noticed a small cabinet sized door. Curious, she opened the door and leaned inside. “Baby!” she called. Her tiny body tilted precariously into the silence and was swallowed by the darkness.

* * *

Four years later twin brothers Austin and Aden sat bored in their playroom.

“Let’s make a spaceship in the closet,” suggested Austin. He opened the closet door to find boxes packed with toys for a girl. Uninterested, he pushed the boxes aside and discovered a small cabinet sized door. A curious Austin opened the door with anticipation, but found nothing but a dark hole.

“Close the door. Mommy’s going to get mad,” said Aden.

Austin ignored Aden and poked his head inside the wall. Fearful for his brother’s well-being, Aden grabbed Austin’s shirt and pulled him backwards. Austin fought his brother, causing Aden to lose his grip. Austin flew forward and down into the darkness.

In a panic, Aden ran to the kitchen. “Mommy!” he cried. “Austin fell in the hole.”

“What?” cried Emily.

Aden grabbed his mother’s hand and pulled her back to the closet. “There.” He pointed at the small doorway.

“Austin,” Emily shouted down the dark shaft.

“Mommy,” replied a faint voice.

Emily dialed 911, and the fire department arrived within minutes. Three firefighters rushed to the basement and tore down a wall that concealed an old laundry chute. Inside they found Austin, dirty but uninjured. One of the firefighters scooped up Austin and handed him to his distraught mother. Emily shook as she hugged here son.

“I’m okay Mommy,” said Austin. He wiggled and pushed away from his mother grasp, trying to escape to the floor. “I need to help the girl find her doll.”

“Um ma’am,” said one of the firefighters. “There’s something else here in the wall.”


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