Chloe Shannon looked down at the paper dolls she had made in her second grade class. There were three dolls. The first doll was named Molly, the second one was named Tom and the third doll was named Jo. Molly and Tom were the parents and their daughter was Jo.
Molly, Tom and Jo lived in a dollhouse named Earth. The roof was green and the rest of the exterior of the house was blue. Jo lied on the ground. Chloe had dropped the doll. Her Bulldog, Howard, buried his teeth into the doll’s paper flesh. He growled and snarled as he tore up the paper doll. Paper limbs flew around in a white and pink blur. Jo could not scream; her parents had always taught her never to speak or move whenever humans were around. They would not understand.
‘’The humans scare easy,’’ Jo remembered her mother saying. ‘’They don’t understand our kind.’’
‘’Howard, no,’’ Chloe exclaimed.
Molly and Tom stared out their bedroom window. Drawn on smiles stuck to their faces: as they watched their daughter being ripped to shreds by a mongrel. Howard spit out pieces of paper that had previously been stuck between his teeth. Shredded paper littered the Chloe’s bedroom floor like snow. Howard trotted out of the room, wagging his tail.
Chloe threw up her hands and groaned. ‘’Stupid dog! I guess now, mommy will have to vacuum my bedroom to clean up all this dumb paper.’’ Before leaving the room, Chloe, shook her head and muttered. ‘’I’m not making another doll.’’
Chloe left. Molly placed her hand over her mouth and staggered backwards. Tom’s hands refused to cease shaking. ‘’My baby, my baby,’’ Molly cried.
Lava like tears burned Molly’s eyes.
‘’The beast must die,’’ Tom fumed.
‘’We cannot wish death upon an animal, it’s not very Christian.’’ Molly argued.
‘’Christian,’’ Tom snarled. ‘’We don’t have souls, we have no use for God!’’
‘’Stop it, you’re being ignorant!’’
‘’Am I?’’ Tom asked, as he folded his arms across his paper chest.
‘’All people have a soul!’’ Molly wiped the tears from her eyes.
‘’We’re not people! We’re paper representations of people!’’
‘’You’re skepticism is killing you!’’ Molly argued.
‘’Life is killing me. We are all just paper dolls, floating toward an inevitable climax leading into death and desolation!’’
‘’I refuse to believe that!’’ Molly snapped, ‘’I believe our daughter is in Heaven!’’
‘’Our daughter is dead, that means she has ceased to be!’’ Tom spit.
‘’What’s wrong with you?’’ Molly beat at her husband’s chest. Chloe’s mommy, Erin, returned carrying a handheld vacuum. The dolls went back to statue mode, as the dolls called it. The dolls watched as Erin swept up the remains of their daughter.
As the vacuum roared, Molly thought to herself, “why has God forsaken us?’’
Both Tom and Molly smiled their counterfeit grins, as they watched the bits of their paper daughter ascend into the hungry mouth of the vacuum like angels flying up to heaven.