It took me three hours to revise this to read like a heartbeat and look like an EKG (look at it sideways) First story: HUSH LITTLE BABY
“Hush little baby, don’t say a word”
Helen Collins gently stroked her son Damien’s hair as he lay down in his bed and fought to keep her hand steady.
“Mama’s gonna buy you a mockingbird.”
Her voice shook with fear, and she looked out the window to see a dark shadow running swiftly across her field of vision.
“And if that mockingbird don’t sing”
Damien stifled a yawn, and she continued to stroke the side of his head.
“Mama’s gonna buy you a diamond ring.”
Helen could not hold back tears now, and she saw a thin, light layer of frost coating the windows.
“And if that diamond ring turns brass”
Helen heard a firm thumping sound of something breaking through the locked door to her home, yet still she sang softly, trying to swallow her fear.
“Mama’s gonna buy you a looking glass.”
Helen choked on her words in a moment of fright.
“And if that looking glass gets broke”
The sound of heavy footsteps made Helen’s heart beat heavily in her chest. Damien was asleep at that moment, but still she sang, almost as if she needed comforting more than her child.
“Mama’s gonna buy you a billy goat”
Helen watched Damien sleep peacefully; his ignorance to the world around her, his innocence heightened her fear.
“And if that billy goat don’t pull.”
Helen caught a lump in her throat when she saw shadows from beneath a crack in the door.
“Mama’s gonna buy you a cart and a bull.”
Helen’s voice wavered and quivered dramatically with newfound fear, her resolve was all but gone.
“And if that cart and bull turn over.”
She heard hushed whispers, and her hand which stroked Damien’s little head shook uncontrollably.
“Mama’s gonna buy you a dog named Rover.”
The handle to the door began to turn and open with a creek, but Helen continued singing softly to Damien.
“And if that dog named Rover don’t bark”
Helen looked upon a man with sandy brown hair with harsh green eyes. He wore what looked to be an expensive suit, which he straightened upon entrance. Helen looked to him with fear and trepidation.
“Mama’s gonna buy you a horse and cart.”
The man looked down at Helen and her son, and smiled devilishly.
“And if that horse and cart fall down...”
The man put a long, bony finger to his lips.
“You’ll still be the sweetest little boy in town…”
The man smiled, and mouthed the words ‘go on.’
“So hush little baby...”
Gradually Helen withdrew her hand from her boy’s head and buried her face in them.
"Don’t you cry...”
The man smiled, and withdrew a revolver and with the twitch of a finger it went off. The man left uttering the final words to the song.
“Daddy loves you and so do I.”