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Sally Lou Daisys
By E.C. Fisher
A legend exists in Rockford Fall, North Dakota, about a young girl who carries a small pink-with-yellow-polka-dotted tin around. You can hear her skip along gravel roads or hop on concrete sidewalks, her tin bucket swinging and rattling along with her. She sounds like a cheerful young girl who is only out to play, but she is anything but cheerful.
In this backwater town not located on any map and far from modern society, Sally Lou Daisys is a vengeful spirit who kills bullies or those who step out of line. It was isolated generations ago to protect the world from Sally Lou as her vengeance seeks any who dare oppose her.
Every generation, without fail, there is always one, one who doesn’t believe the legend, who tests their mantle against her. He or she sets the present generation straight and makes them toe the line. Rockford Falls is the most pleasant town; courteous people, with smiles on their lips, but only their lips.
Every day is a battle, a fight with oneself, to control the urge to shout, yell, or curse. Sally Lou is always watching, waiting, skipping and hopping along through the town. She monitors her captives, waiting for those who brandish ill will. She doesn’t act against the innocence of youth. When a child becomes an adult at fifteen in Rockford Falls, the gloves come off and they’re fair game.
Within a town so isolated, you’d think the residents would have just faltered and stopped having children. You’d think that, right? But, alas, with nothing else to do, people fornicate like rabbits. Maybe it’s the fear that drives them to coupling. Maybe it’s revenge, let their kids feel their grief. I don’t know. Sally Lou holds a death grip on the town and we’re nothing more than offerings to slake her appetite.
Did you hear that? Shh. Listen. Sounds like gravel being kicked. She’s coming.
Did I forget to mention, you can’t escape this town. Visitors may enter, but no one can leave. Oh, what did I do to gain her wrath? Everything. This is my suicide attempt. Without fail. One hundred percent guaranteed success rate. I’ll end this suffering and pray for an afterlife. If hell is my fate, then I welcome the sweeter embrace.
You may find my words contradicting my actions. Don’t be mistaken. This is more like a game of tag. She is going to work for my death. I will parade her around this town. Shouting her name. Let them all see. What can I say, let my death entertain them.
The sound of her cheerful giggles increases as she draws near. The rattle of her bucket and gravel weakens my knees. I curl up in a ball, shut my eyes tight. The sounds abruptly stop behind me.
‘Sally Lou, skips a few, carrying her pail beside her
‘Her dress is blue, with red-stained hands
‘To pluck the heart she desires
‘Be not worried, be not scared, for your death is one of joy
‘In the ground, your soul be bound, in the garden of folly
‘In despair, you lie here as my hand reaches for you
‘I grip your heart and pull it out
‘Feast your eyes, I gain my prize and place it in my pail
‘Sally Lou, hops a few, carrying her full pail to her garden
‘She digs a hole and sets the soul
‘Adding another to her garden of folly
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