Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: War and Peace (not about the book) (07/07/11)
TITLE: The Barbie Problem
By Troy Manning
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“What would you like to do today?” asked Barbie F on behalf of Mathilde.
“Oh, I don’t know. I thought maybe we could just spend a quiet day at home in our Dreamhouse,” replied Barbie V through Esperanza.
“Yeah, it’s been a draining week for me at work with the economy and all.” Now out of her pantsuit, Mathilde wore a pink Hasbro halter-top and purple Parker Bros. jeans. She was set before the bathroom mirror and twirled. “You don’t think these pants look too tight do you?”
Esperanza, air-lifted by Barbie V from the kitchen, stood at Mathilde’s side. “No. They look stunning, especially with the Mattel stilettos.”
“Derrick should be here soon. Aren’t you going to change out of that bathing suit?”
“No big deal. It’s not like he hasn’t swam with us in our Dreampool before.” Esperanza’s head twisted in the direction of the kitchen. “I’d better get back to what I was doing. It looks like a tornado swept through there.”
At the front door of the Frosts’ home came a knock. Barbie F rose and opened it. With barely an acknowledgement, Kenny Levinson ran past her to the table with the Dreamhouse. He quickly pulled off his backpack and threw it on the floor.
“Hey, you almost hit my car!” protested the mortified Mathilde.
A naked Derrick was pulled roughly from Kenny’s pack along with a baggie full of clothing. “What are we doing today?”
Esperanza’s head was turned toward him then quickly twisted away. “We thought we’d just spend a quiet day at home relaxing. Mathilde had a bad day with the economy.”
Derrick, having some combat fatigues thrown on him, kissed Mathilde on the cheek. “I’m sorry to hear that, dear. Do you need some money?”
Mathilde’s head twisted away. “That’s okay.”
“It’s no problem, really. I’ll be right back.” Derrick was shoved into one of the two pink Milton Bradleys and whisked down the Frosts’ hallway to the accompaniment of Kenny’s best engine impersonations.
“Aren’t you worried about Derrick?” Esperanza asked Mathilde while washing dishes. “Where do you think he’ll get the money?”
Barbie F thought for a moment while Mathilde dried a dish Esperanza handed her. The dish suddenly shattered on the kitchen floor as Mathilde collapsed. The Dreamhouse then shook violently on the table as Barbie F bumped against it before hastening down the hallway after Kenny.
Opening and closing the dresser drawers in Barbie F’s parents’ bedroom, Kenny and Derrick searched in vain for means to ease Mathilde’s economic woes. Kenny then emitted muffled shouts through Derrick’s decapitated head that fell into the drawer as Barbie F slammed it shut. But as he looked more closely at Derrick’s crushed neck-stump and realized there would be no way to reattach the head, Kenny began to cry inconsolably.
Barbie V entered the bedroom with Esperanza and Mathilde. The horrified Esperanza tried unsuccessfully to fight back her tears. Mathilde, in the other hand, maintained a stoic composure.
Barbie F, seeing the temporary schizophrenia that had overcome Barbie V at being left in possession of both dolls, calmly took them from her distraught friend and sat her on the bed. The oblivious Kenny fell back upon the bed wailing beside them. And there the three of them remained until Barbie F’s father, Joseph Frost, returned home from work with GI Giuseppe to set matters in order.
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