Flash Fiction: The Grinning Little Girl

Inats Mahara Saniya

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When I learned I got accepted into IPB, I decided to stay at Grandparents’ vacant house. There was no problem, until the presence of a little girl became one. One evening, when I stood before the house gate, I felt a pair of eyes looking piercely at me. I found a little girl, probably eight, gawking at me. Her sudden eerie presence made initially think she was a ghost, but she wasn’t, she just looked abandoned with tangled hair and ragged clothes. I smiled and asked why she was here alone, and instead of replying, she just grinned from ear to ear the whole time. The sight sent shiver down my spine that I decided to go inside. My heart pounded when I drew the curtain back and found her still standing there, still wearing the grin. I started seeing her frequently near the house ever since. Instead of grinning, she looked agitated everytime I stole glances at her, with her hand always clenched. Her presence made me uncomfortable to the point that I considered alerting the local authorities since she oozed something peculiar. However, I came to see her in a different light on one fateful night.

I was walking home then with a backpack loaded with groceries. I was occupied with my thoughts when two men who reeked of alcohol interrupted me. I instantly knew I’d be in trouble when the taller one pointed at my backpack, gesturing me to hand it to him. I could tell their impatience wore thin when they started threatening. I looked at the empty street ahead and tried to calculate whether I could outrun them as I wasn’t far from home. Then, I took a deep breath before running away with all my might, and I could hear them curse and chase after me. I kept running but my heavy backpack slowed me down, so I started screaming for help.

I was ready to surrender when I got short of breath and my legs felt wobbly. Suddenly, the little girl showed up and ran towards the men. She looked mad, throwing stones from the ground at them and screaming frantically. Silmutaneously, I missed a step and fell on my knees. The big stone she threw hit the man’s eyes, making it bled heavily and made them retreat. The little girl shifted her attention to me, hurriedly got on my side and teared up seeing my bleeding knee.

Ka..kakak.. hurt” was all she said when she touched my knee, letting a photo fell from her clenched hand. The photo grabbed my attention and I was astounded to see a picture of her and an older girl resembling me. “Is that your sister?” I pointed the photo. She nodded and sobbed, “Kakak in heaven so long.. now kakak back again”. My heart dropped as I understood why she had been “attached” to me all these times. I resembled her late sister so much that she mistook me as her. But that wasn’t important now, she’d helped me escape the worst situation and I just felt grateful she was here. I wiped away her tears and smiled, assuring her I was fine and genuinely thanked her brave action. I stood up, with my hand holding hers, and led the way for us to go home.

Word count: 550

Illustration Credit: https://dodington.wordpress.com/2011/01/21/towards-the-old-house-the-warmer-colours-the-dry-scrub/

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