02 03 Dark Things Rising: Oh, the Carnage! 04 05 15 16 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 31 32 33

Oh, the Carnage!


After many weeks and much begging and pleading and yelling and threatening and shouting and shaming and bargaining and bribing and more begging and more pleading, I finally gave up, accepted defeat and began cleaning my daughter’s room myself while she was at school.  (What can I say, stubbornness is clearly hereditary.) 

It didn’t seem all that bad as I began.  It’s just toys, I told myself.  An occasional scrap of paper or snack wrapper, maybe some cookie crumbs here and there.  More than a few dust bunnies.  Lots of laundry.  Maybe even a misplaced cup from a midnight drink of water.  But, of course, looks can be deceiving.  I had only just scratched the surface when I suddenly found myself in a queer and grisly episode of CSI.  I’ve apparently stumbled upon the scene of a complex and convoluted serial crime spree involving naked Barbies, cross-dressing Lalaloopsies and more than a few shady-looking ponies. 

Pieces of Ken are turning up in piles of strewn doll clothing and accessories and what appear to be dumping sites for biohazard waste from a Mr. Potato Head plastic surgery clinic, with disembodied lips and ears and noses and ever-staring conjoined eyeballs.  There’s also a Littlest Pet Shop dog’s head in a miniature plastic purse and a macabre collection of dainty little Monster High girls hands in a Cabbage Patch diaper under the dresser. 

So many questions.  Not the least of which:  How?  Why?  And where are Rainbow Bright’s pants? 

Terrified, I take a step back and survey the scene.  Suddenly, I realize how treacherous the landscape has become.  The wheels have been stolen from Barbie’s convertible.  A dollhouse appears to have been ransacked.  There’s a naked mermaid lying motionless in the back of a school bus and someone has been ditching stolen Hot Wheels in a Little People barn. 

It’s just a little girl’s room.  I keep telling myself that.  And yet I’m increasingly horrified by one gruesome discovery after another.  The carnage is so widespread, I’d think only Batman could possibly bring order to the land, but that appears to be his left foot lodged in the wheel well of the Mystery Machine… 

Just a little girl’s room…  Just a little girl…

As I proceed through the devastation of this post-apocalyptic version of a child’s sleeping quarters, I try to make sense of what’s going on, try to tell myself that it’s not nearly as bad as it seems, but those stuffed animals seem to be watching me with their beady little eyes from their high shelves, like deranged gods gazing down upon their dominion, admiring the catastrophic art of their evil schemes ruthlessly realized.

Slowly, determinedly, I sort through the wreckage.  I find both of Ken’s legs.  His arm.  Half of his torso.  His head.  Then I uncover a second body, this one headless, and I have no idea now which actually belongs to the head I’ve previously uncovered.  If either.  But I can’t think about that now.  Just found Mrs. Potato Head…  Great Jesus…  I think I’m going to need backup in here…

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