Frankie

March 21
Frankie, how far do we need to go to find the beaches?
About a mile.
But, Frankie, you said that an hour ago. Shouldn’t we have reached them by now?
No.
Frankie, please, you’re not telling me the truth. How far away are they?
There are no beaches.
. . .But you told me that there were. Frankie, why would you lie to me?
You wanted me to.
###
February 15
“The beach. The beach, beach, beach, going to the beach. You know, Frankie, I haven’t been to the beach in ages? Really, it’s been, what, ten years?” I ran across the burnt meadow, ashes flying up from the ground and catching in my hair. A doll, my friend, my best, best friend, slung from my hand and into the air, only to fall back in my grasp.
I stopped long enough to hug her to my chest and say, “Frankie, aren’t you excited? The beach—the beach! I don’t think you’ve ever been, but I’m so glad you know the way there.” I smiled as I caught my breath, waiting for her response.
I can’t wait.
“Oh, me neither!” A bubbly laugh erupted from my throat as I began to run again in the direction that Frankie had pointed me to.
###
September 30
Frankie, why are we here?
You wanted to go to the beach, didn’t you?
This isn’t a beach, Frankie.
Yes it is.
Look at what that is—not water, blood. Blood, Frankie?
There is sand and then there is liquid. That makes this a beach regardless of what the liquid is.
Frankie, you’ve done a terrible thing.
I only did it because you wanted me to.
###
March 22
“Frankie, you promised to take me to the beach, and now you’re telling me that there aren’t any beaches?”
Yes, that’s exactly what I’m saying.
“But, Frankie, that would mean that you broke your word to me.” I fell into the ash, like a child would fall into a pile of snow to make a snow angel. Ash puffed up around me, covering my hair and body.
How badly do you want to go to the beach?
“Oh, Frankie, you know I want to go there real bad. You shouldn’t even have to ask me that.” I held the doll up in front of my face, allowing her to see me scowl.
Then I’ll make a beach for you.
I sat up, stirring up even more ash, and hugged her to my chest. “Oh Frankie, would you really do that for me? I mean, how could you do that?”
I want you to go to sleep, and tomorrow I’ll take you to the beach. I promise that this time there will be a beach.
“And if you don’t, then what happens?”
Then you can burn me and throw my ashes to mix with the rest of the dolls’ ash.
My face lit up and I hugged her even tighter. “Thank you, thank you,” I whispered.
In my excitement, it should have been hard to sleep—but a dark veil settled in front of my eyes and the next thing I knew, I was falling back into the ash to sleep.
###
September 30
I asked you to make me a beach—not a bloodbath.
No, you never specified.
B-but, it’s common knowledge that a beach is saltwater and sand—not ash-dirt and blood.
I was never human, I don’t have that kind of “common” knowledge. You should know this better than anyone else.
Frankie, this has to stop right now.
You can’t burn me without my permission and you know it.
I know and I regret ever finding you, Frankie. All that ash out there? You did that.
I know, and you never tried to stop me.





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