Part three of our Winter Horror Flash Fiction series begun here.
We called on several amateur authors to use a film as inspiration to write a short fiction piece limited to 1000 words in the theme of Winter Horror. This is our third installment.
Violets in Winter
Violet has always been a rather precocious girl. A gifted and talented child, who enjoys drawing and listening to the violin. A quiet girl, but happy all the same. A reveler among her gifts. Someday, she’ll surely capture some young man’s heart, but for now she claims mine.
Now, she is not without her faults, my Violet. She is a spirited child, whom often finds herself in trouble. Accidents abound in regards to my Violet, particularly in the cold. Once, it was a slip on the sidewalk, another time, an accident with the knife. Every time, she leaves quite a mess in her wake. Each time, a valuable lesson. The willful girl she is, with each mistake, she hides herself away. Initially, I suspected that she was cross with herself, and with me for noticing. One would think she’d grow out of such fits, but old habits die hard.
With each accident, I clean up the remains myself. I take the broken toys and fixtures into the basement, working late into the night to fix them again. Over the years, my Violet has amassed quite the collection of dolls, and each I have repaired at least once. Each of them her size, with her hair and her eyes. Her collection is ever growing.
Some may think of me as a bad father. After all, what sort of father goes for months without seeing his daughter during her fits, and fixes up her dolls in the meantime? A loving father, I assure you. Make no mistake. Though she puts herself into exile, she always returns eventually, once the weather is warm.
In fact, this very year, it was when I was making a walk past the playground that I found her again. Her dark hair, her light eyes, staring at me in clothes I did not recognize. She came to me with a smile, and walked with me. Violet loves to play games. She was playing pretend that day. She said her name was Elizabeth, and that she lived in another part of town – such imagination. I took her by the hand and brought her back home. She was upset, of course, I had cut her playing short.
In the days after, she was still clearly angry with me, but all children eventually come around. We enjoyed many warm days of happy memories, drawing, reading, a sort of bond only a parent could share with their daughter. Some nights she would fall asleep in my arms, leaving me to carry her upstairs.
My Violet is very precious to me, you must understand. Perhaps that is why I was so heartbroken when I saw they she had once again had one of her characteristic accidents. It was on a cool crisp day when she told me she was leaving, going home, playing her game again. I tried to tell her now was not the time for games and jokes, but willful children are never inclined to listen. I grew ill-tempered, I admit, at her adamant tone. I turned my back for a moment, only to hear the fall.
When I looked, I saw her broken doll in a pool of blood. Yet another accident. She had already fled, no doubt, still cross at me. No matter. Dutiful as ever, I scooped up the doll and brought her downstairs to begin my repairs. Cleaning up marks of scuffles and making her pristine again. Hours of work completed before I set her upon the shelf, alongside the others. My work this time was particularly good – good as new, really. It is hard not to stare at that dark hair and light eyes without a semblance of accomplishment. Surely Violet will be glad to know that I’ve kept all her dollies in such fine condition, even when she has gone off to be cross with me. No doubt I will once again find my Violet, when the weather is warmer, and our cycle will start anew.
With my work done, I give one final admiring glance over the latest doll. The firm coldness upon my hand seems so final, yet her expression is so serene. Elizabeth is this one’s name. A lovely doll, for my lovely daughter.
Yet, all that goes through my mind is my dear child. My precocious girl. Someday, surely she will grow out of her angry tantrums. Surely, one year we will be able to spend a winter together, she and I.
Clearly just three gremlins in a trenchcoat with an obsession for dolls, tea, vampires, cats and the depths of the human psyche.