The Dandelion Game

Inspired By Oct 6th  image prompt at Experience Writing:


” What have you done? ” her Mother cried from the doorway,  ” Mina, have you done? ”

Flora pushed her daughter’s bedroom door all the way opened and asked her again: “What have you done? ”

Mina got up from her chair near the window. She held  up her arm and showed her mother a fistful  of dandelions clutched in her hand” We were playing a game.  We were playing the Dandelion  game. Julia lost. ”

Julia was sitting next to Mina’s writing desk. Her back was as straight as a poker and her head was resting on her shoulder at an awkward angle.

Mina stepped away from a curtain less window that was full of moonlight and freshly cast  shadows  and into the candlelight that lit her small dark bedroom and then she sang, just under breath:

” Flora had a bestie and her head popped off. ”

Mina put her thumb under the heads of one of the dandelions and with a face that was expressionless as one of the half dozen porcelain dolls with their mouths sewn shut that sat on her dusty bed, she flicked her thumb up and from  where she sat on the chair next to her little writing desk,  Julia’s head  popped up off of shoulder and landed on the desk.

Flora reached to the hairs on the back of her neck and smoothed them down. She licked her dark red lips and told herself that this wasn’t something she couldn’t handle.

” Give me those dandelions this instant young lady.”

” I like this game Mother. I’m good at it, aren’t I?”

Flora reached out for the weeds in Mina’s hand.  “I wouldn’t say that. Now.  Give those to me. ”

” I want to play it again. ”

” No. You’re to stop right now. I mean it Mina. If you want me to teach you anymore games you will listen when I tell you to do something.”

Mina looked her Mother in the eye and said, ” Mina had a Mommy and-”

” Don’t you dare young lady. ”

”  her head popped off.”

Flora’s head snapped back and  just before it  flew away from her  neck  she caught her head by the hair on top of her head and held it in place.

Her yellow eyes burned, her black forked tongue shot out from between her lips and tore through the air and just before she snapped her jaws shut  the little black eyes that dotted Flora’s tongue shot daggers at Mina and then it slid back into her mouth.

Flora took a breath.

” Fine Mina. That’s just fine. For all of your disobedience tonight, for not coming when I summoned you, for not answering a simple question when I ask you one,  there’s no dinner for you tonight.”

Mina sighed and tried to look remorseful, but she failed.  That didn’t mean that she wasn’t worried though. Mother never made a promise she didn’t keep and she never made a threat that she didn’t enjoy carrying out.

Lucky for Mina  Mother was so mad that Mina  had not only popped the head off of one Flora’s house guests but she was probably even angrier that with all of her work and practice with Mina  it took  Mina two tries instead of one to pop Julia’s head off.

Besides that, Julia knew where all the tasty prey could be found  in the next town over. and to add insult to injury, she had messed up Flora’s hair too.

Flora wasn’t exactly thinking straight at the moment.

Flora swung around and slammed the bedroom door behind her. ” Just wait until your Father gets home.”

The gust of warm air that smelled a little of rotten eggs and sour earth from the door slamming shut caused Julia’s started to roll across the table and before it went over the edge Mina caught it.

She lifted it up and looked into Julia’s slack and sleepy looking face and said ” Guess I won’t be getting my dinner, but at least I’ll have my dessert. ”

Painting “Untitled”  by Monika Mostowik

6 thoughts on “The Dandelion Game

  1. Is this a legend or song I don’t know about? Blowing a head off a dandelion is tantamount to “Step on a crack and break your mother’s back?” Or is this a fabrication of your mind? Chilling story…

    • My little sister used to say this. But her rhyme was really morbid:
      You’d pick a name and say:
      Flora had a baby and its head popped off
      Then you’d pop the dandelion head off.

      They uses dandelions before they went to seed and were still yellow flowers.

    • When my sister was about five or six years old, she and her friend were sitting on our front porch with a pile of dandelions between them and they were chanting that rhyme with different people names and then they’d pop the heads off the dandelion. It was funny because my Sister was this cute little kid that didn’t have a mean bone in her body and there she was, snapping people’s heads off.

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