Other by Jada Dean

My creation was that of a miracle, I guess. I worked myself half to death to spin a world of my creation. A little web for my prey. I didn’t start with much, only able to create a few mindless minions and my world wasn’t that big. Even through my limited world, I successfully stole two youthful children from the real world. A boy, energetic and humorous, and a tall girl, who was sad and lonely. I used a doll that looked just like them to see what they wished for in the real world. And then I pulled them in. With sweets and love, I gave them a home they wished was real to earn their trust. I asked them if they wanted to stay here, with me, and, of course, they said yes. 

And then I ate them. 

I made their bodies into smarter minions. 

A new family is moving in. I can feel it. They have a child, too. My hands go to work and spin another doll as I feel how the child looks. It’s a young boy again. He has red hair and pretty freckles. I sense other details about him as I make his outfit on a new doll. Like many times before, I send the doll out into their world to be found by him. 

The new house my parents bought is very nice. It’s so large, it could easily fit more than one family. I move my ginger hair out of my face. I need to talk to mom about getting a haircut soon. My parents unpack their boxes as I search around the house. It’s already been through a few generations of families. It’s worn, but nice. The kitchen is roomy, there’s more than one living room, and the staircase is in a cool shape. 

“Honey!” I hear my mom yell at me. 

“Yeah?!” I yell back. 

“Come here!” she yells. I go back to the entrance of the house. Mom’s there waiting for me. Her hair, the same color as mine, is nicely curled and adorns her face. She holds something out to me and I take it. It’s wrapped in a newspaper. I open it and I see a doll. Ginger hair covers the doll’s head. Freckles are scattered across its cheeks. It has a brown jacket over a tan shirt. It even has my tweed cap! How crazy is that?

“It looks like you,” my mom says. 

“It looks like me,” I echo in awe. I don’t have too many dolls. Especially none that look like me. Well, almost. It has black buttons for eyes. If it really wanted to be accurate, it would’ve had brown buttons. I like it. 

“It’s yours, if you want. I just found it on our porch, dearie,” she says sweetly. 

“I’ll take it. Thank you, momma,” I say. She pats my head. 

“I’m making stew tonight. Go unpack and I’ll yell for you when it’s ready,” she says. I nod and head back into the house. I go upstairs into my room. There’s boxes on the floor next to my bed that is, for now, also on the floor. I throw the mini-me on the bed as I start to open the boxes and plan where I’m going to put my toys and clothes. 

“Do you think I’ll make good friends?” I ask the doll as I hang up my clothes in my closet. “This house is so big for just the three of us. I wish we had close neighbors I could play with,” I vent to the doll, “I liked where we were livin’ before, but the people there were always mean to me. They called me a demon for my red hair, they said I came from hell. I never believed them though, ‘cause then that would mean my momma also came from there, and that’s impossible.”

I finish up with my clothes and I start to put away my toys. There’s some shelves that I can display them in and a box I can store them in. “I hear the school here is nice. My parents might have enough money to send me to a private school. I don’t want to deal with snotty rich kids. I know my parents are rich and all, but I’m not as mean as all the others. I hope whichever school they choose is nice,” I continued to talk to the doll. I hear a light knock on my door before it swings open.

“Baby? Who are you talking to?” Mom asks, worriedly, as she looks around my room. 

“Oh, just the doll you got me,” I say, “It’s a good listener.” Mom chuckles. 

“I’m sure it is,” she says, “Dinner’s ready.” I jump up in joy as we walk down to the kitchen. The stew smells so good. I sit at the table, ready to eat. Dad is there, too, with his bowl in front of him. Mom sets a bowl in front of me with a spoon. Dad snatches mom’s hand after she set down my bowl. He brings her hand to his lips and lays a kiss on the back of her hand. She smiles at him, lovingly.

“Thank you for dinner,” he says. 

“Ewww,” I look away in disgust. Both of them laugh at me. We enjoy our stew together and then I get settled in for bed. I fell asleep pretty quickly from all the excitement earlier today. Squeaking wakes me up. I look out my bedroom windows. It has to be like two in the morning. I turn towards the squeaking. A little mouse skitters out of my room. I throw my blanket to the other side of my bed as I follow the mouse. It leads me downstairs into the second living room. The mouse goes into a small door that I don’t remember seeing earlier. Light shines through the crack of the little door. Adrenaline coursing through me, I open the door and peek in. 

A beautiful mix of blue and purple hits my eyes. A soft tunnel of cloth is in my view. I crawl through the tunnel. When I reach the other side, the same living room I had just left now surrounds me. My eyebrows knit together in confusion. I hear humming from the kitchen. Is mom awake this late? I walk to the kitchen. My mom is in front of the oven. She opens the oven and bends over taking out something that smells very sweet. Her ginger hair is in a loose ponytail. She pulls out a tray of cookies and sets them down. 

“Mom? Why are you up so late?” I ask. She turns to me. I freeze in place. Her eyes. This… isn’t my mom. 

“Hello, dear. Dessert is almost ready,” she coos. 

“You’re not my mom,” I say, staring at her button eyes. 

“Oh, sweety, I’m your other mother. Everyone has one. I’ve been waiting a long time to meet you,” she says. 

“No. You’re not my mom. You’re not even real. This is a dream. It has to be a dream,” I say. I pinch my arm. Nothing happens. 

“That’s no way to talk to your mother,” she says with a disheartened tone. 

“You aren’t my mother,” I state. My mom isn’t so intimidating. My mom doesn’t have button eyes. My mom doesn’t make cookies at two in the morning. I don’t know what this thing is, but it isn’t my mom. The door. That’s how I got here. I need to go back through and maybe I’ll wake up from this dream. I turn away from her and start towards the door. 

“Baby, where are you going? I finally got to meet you and this is how you react?”

“Leave me alone. I don’t have a second momma,” I say. 

“You’ll come back, won’t you?” She says as she follows me to the door. She’s being so… weird. She’s so desperate for me to stay. 

“I’ll never come back. I only got one momma. You’re not real,” I state. I open up the small door and I start to crawl through. I feel something pull on my leg. I look back at her. 

“Why don’t you want to stay? I just made dessert for you,” she says. 

“You’re not my momma. Let go of me!” I tug my leg away from her. I crawl as fast as I can to the other side. I hear her yelling as I finally reach the other door. I open it and throw myself out. I turn around and quickly close the door. I only got one momma.

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