A Little Girl’s Harvest, by Brittney D. Herz

“When the last cherry blossom falls, so will my axe.” She says this while staring ahead at the tree which only holds three pathetic looking cherry blossoms.

What is so terrifying is I’m not sure where she got the axe from. Where does a six or seven year old get an axe? How is she holding it on her shoulder so gracefully, as if it weighed nothing, her blonde curls just barely covering the handle.

“I didn’t want it to end this way Darren.”

“It’s Dillion. And it doesn’t.” My voice cracks.

She paces in front of me, seemingly balancing on a line marked in the grass, as if it were ten feet off the ground. Her heels never touching, just the tips of each foot dressed in white Mary Janes. White socks peeking out with a frilly trim. “Oh right, Dillion.”

I notice how antique the gloves on her hands are as she brings one up to her little round mouth to cough. Just a faint *ahem* type of cough. “Excuse me.”

Her voice is high pitched, making her young face seem that much younger. Rosy cheeks sitting under big brown eyes, all surrounded by white skin that looked like it had never seen the sun. How hadn’t I noticed that before? I was just trying to help a little girl that was crying outside of the coffee shop.
While I continue to study her, I slowly start trying to move my hands that are tied behind me around some sort of metal pole in the ground. I couldn’t see it but I could feel it digging into my spine.
“Please, you really don’t have to do this,” I plead.

She stops, rises up on both of her tip toes, and holds the axe in front of her as if she were about to conduct some sort of circus performance.
“Have to and want to are sometimes very similar.” She keeps her eyes forward in concentration. From afar a car horn beeps, breaking her stare and causing her arms to fall loosely to her sides.
“I hate this city, can’t a girl get a minute of silence!” she yells to the open air.

Stretching my neck, I try to see where the hell we are. All around us is green grass spotted with a few dandelions; a really pretty spot to be held captive by an adolescent girl, if I had to pick one. A small gust of wind makes one cherry blossom unhinge itself and get swept away. She tightens her lips into an O, making her look like little Miss Muffet.

“Your dress is lovely,” I say, still trying to move my hands a little faster now.
“Oh,” she looks down at her pink and yellow flared skirt that fell just below her knees. “This old thing. It was a gift.” She finally puts her weight down on her heels and drops the axe to her side. “All I wanted was a pair of blue jeans. But no. No!” she yells again to the air. “I’m stuck in these little girl clothes forever.”

“Well, killing me isn’t going to fix that is it?”

Her eyes somehow become more round and for a moment she looks exactly like a porcelain doll. “I don’t know.”

Until now I never really understood the idea of a deafening silence. Her staring over my shoulder at seemingly nothing, me staring at her face trying to see something human. Another gust of wind comes,causing us both to look up at the tree. The second blossom teases me, acting like it was content where it was before falling slowly to the ground.

“You know,” I said. “Maybe I can help you?”

She shakes her head. “No, doubtful.” Another car horn beeps in the distance.
“Heeelp!,” I scream in spite of myself. Part of me is ashamed for feeling such terror looking at a child and part of me knows that killers don’t like their victims to make so much commotion.

She takes several quick steps towards me, raising her hand and landing it hard on my cheek.
“Shut it or I’ll cut off your foot.” She points the axe in my face, arching her eyebrows and narrowing her eyes into slits. I feel like I am going to piss myself.

Straightening up, she starts to hum what sounds like Bram’s Lullaby to herself while skipping over to the tree. She shakes the tree hard, displaying much more strength than it looked like her little arms could possibly have. A shrill yell comes up from somewhere in her throat until her hands find her hair and she silently starts pulling out curl after curl. They fall to the ground in almost slow motion, some catching the wind and flying away.
“Ow!” she yells. Her eyes meet mine again. “That really hurt!” A small drip of blood trickles down the side of her face from somewhere atop that curled mess of hair that was left.
“I didn’t do it!” I wasn’t trying to hide my panicking hands anymore. They were getting burned by the rope but I tugged and pulled insistently.
“Oh,” she giggles. Getting back on her tip toes she stands under that last cherry blossom and very slowly raises her hand.

“Hey you can’t do that, that’s cheating.”

She covers her mouth with her gloved hand again but continues to reach with the other until her fingers close around the blossom. Very lightly she pulls, the stem releasing a small popping noise when it detaches from the tree. Her fingers open and it falls, a little quicker than the others, to the ground.


She spins, letting her skirt fan out around her back, then over to her axe that she held like a dance partner. After one last spin she slowly walks up to me, my hands stop moving.

“I am sorry about this Darren.”
I sigh. “It’s Dill-“

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