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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Sibling(s) (05/01/08)

TITLE: Have You Seen Belinda?
By Christine Dunn
05/02/08


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It only takes one tiny snip to behead Belinda. As her head tumbles to the ground, I smile to myself, and breathe a satisfied sigh. Setting the scissors in their exact same position on the dressing table, I pick up the bits of stuffing spilling onto the floor.

I prop Belinda’s body on the chair. Finally, I lift back the bed-covers and place the decapitated rag doll’s head just under the sheets.

Guilt threatens me as I close the bedroom door, but not for long, as I remind it that revenge is necessary. John, Ricky and I spent hours working on our battery operated robot. CO-BO360 was by far the best moving model out of all the Science projects in our year group. Until some prying little hands couldn’t resist making him move across the kitchen table, and somehow forgot to stop him veering off the edge.

As I slip into my bedroom, I hear a timid voice at the door.

“Sam?”

“Go away! I wish you weren’t my sister!”

This time a more firm voice interrupts.

“Sam?”

Mum stands behind Anna, holding a box. She sits on my bed, and Little Miss Angelic positions herself on her knee.

“Anna has something to say to you.” Mum explains. She nudges my sister, who stares ahead, stubbornly.

“Sorry.” she eventually blurts out.

“Anna and I have been busy downstairs.” Mum opens the box in front of her, to reveal CO-BO. CO-BO looks pretty much the same, apart from some cracks in his yoghurt pot feet, which have been glued over. “Try him.”

Sure enough, CO-BO’s LED light-up eyes glow, as I press the switch.

“Anything you want to say, Sam?” Mum tries to make eye-contact.

“Thanks.” I mumble.

“And?”

“I forgive you, Anna. I’m sorry for saying I wished you weren’t my sister.”

“That’s OK, Sammy.” Anna grins and guilt burrows into my soul. Oh, what have I done?

I tiptoe quickly across the hall, as they make their way back downstairs. I pick up Belinda’s body from the chair, and stuff it under my jumper. A few little stitches and all the damage will be repaired.

I gasp as I lift the covers. Surely I remember setting the head here. Or do I? Perhaps it’s fallen down the back of the bed. But it’s too late! Approaching footsteps force me to hurriedly carry one part of my victim back into my room. My heart races, as I shove what is left of Belinda into the wardrobe.

“I hope you’re both getting ready for bed!” Dad’s voice calls.

“Yes, Dad!” our two voices answer simultaneously.

My stomach feels sick as I know that Anna insists Belinda sleeps beside her every night. The wardrobe in front of me spins, as I try to figure out where the missing part could be.

“Have you seen Belinda?” I hear Anna asking Dad.

“No. Have you looked under your bed?”

“I’ve checked everywhere, but I can’t find her.”

“Well, it’s getting late, honey.” Dad reasons. “We’ll have a good search tomorrow. Go and take those pink ribbons out. Sam, where’s that book of Bible stories?”

I make my way towards the room where my hideous crime took place. Dad proceeds to tell us the story of Joseph, and his forgiveness towards his brothers.

I toss and turn through the night, a picture of Belinda haunting me. As I fall asleep, dreams of being chased by her headless body waken me.

Even as I crunch my cereal the next morning, I can’t look at Anna without thinking about it.

“Don’t forget CO-BO.” she says sweetly, handing me my box.

John and Ricky are full of excitement about the project as we sit on the school bus. They talk about winning first prize, but I can’t seem to join in.

Even as the other kids set up their robots in a line along the classroom, I can only think of Anna’s precious doll. And that’s when I see it. John and Ricky gasp in horror, as they remove a pink-ribboned, glitter-glued CO-BO from its box. In place of his tin face and glowing eyes, balances Belinda’s head.

“Awww. Sweet or what?” Andy, the most popular kid laughs, as he walks past.

Others begin to point and whisper. My cheeks blaze. Disappointment is written on my friends’ faces.

Belinda-Bot stares back, with a permanently frozen, cheeky grin.

No-one is more surprised, or embarrassed than me when she places sixth, gaining a prize for originality. Thanks, Sis!




Numbers 32:23 - '...you may be sure that your sin will find you out.' (NIV)


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Member Comments
Member Date
Irvine Saint-Vilus05/08/08
This was a funny and well- written story. I think the beginning was very strong and descriptive. I laughed at "sweet" little Anna's deceit. And it was really ironic that their dad was reading the Bible story of Joseph and his brothers, essentially teaching about forgiveness. And yet they didn't appear to have learned from it, like many children don't. So that was very realistic. But I have some faith in Sam, due to the guilt he felt for ransacking Belinda, the doll.
Cherry Bieber05/08/08
This is really very funny! I sure didn't expect Belinda's head to show up on the robot! Excellent dialog, too.
Emily Gibson05/09/08
Excellent illustration of the nature of remorse and forgiveness. Well done!
Debi Derrick05/09/08
I really, really like this. Well written, very true to life and creative.
Beth LaBuff 05/09/08
Your opening paragraphs are great… you really got my interest. This story is very clever and an excellent illustration of the verse you quote. Nice work, you've got a lot of good "stuff" in this -- I like your writing.
Mariane Holbrook05/14/08
Are you sure this wasn't written about my family? It's so cute and creative! Very nice job! Kudos!
Lyn Churchyard05/14/08
This is so, so true to life. Getting even by chopping off the doll's head. The story was so well relayed and the voice just perfect. Great job Christine, I loved it.
Chely Roach05/14/08
This totally rang true...loved it.
LauraLee Shaw05/14/08
This is my kind of story! I absolutely love it! Love the POV, love the storyline, love the inner dialogue and battle, love the slight humorous nature of the situation, and the ending is just perfect. I'd love to see this one published in a family magazine. Well done!
Sara Harricharan 05/14/08
Heehee! This reminds me of an old folk tale my older bro used to read me. This was sooo funny! I liked Anna and I especially liked how she substituted Belinda's head for the robot...and they even won a prize! ^_^
Jan Ackerson 05/14/08
This is very cute! I love the verse at the end--just perfect for this story.

My only "inky" comment is with the use of present tense. It just doesn't work for me with a very young person's voice, as it's a sophisticated, very literary device. A straightforward narrative like this, told by a child--seems like past tense would work better.

BUT...that's just my opinion. If you love the present tense here--go for it! It sure doesn't take away from the utter charm of the story.
Beckie Stewart05/14/08
You are an excellent writer, indeed. You kept me reading the entire story.
Joanne Sher 05/14/08
Clever and fun - great descriptions, especially of the poor boy's guilt haunting him. Good stuff!
Debbie Wistrom05/14/08
I should have seen it coming when you said "she said sweetly."

Engaging and fun, I loved the dialog and the thoughts of your MC.
Angela M. Baker-Bridge05/14/08
Well I didn't see the surprise ending coming. I kept trying to second guess where that head was, but never expected it on the robot. Good job.
Angela M. Baker-Bridge05/14/08
Well I didn't see the surprise ending coming. I kept trying to second guess where that head was, but never expected it on the robot. Good job.
Dee Yoder 05/15/08
Oh, the wicked things siblings can do to each other! My own doll had her share of run-ins with my younger brother. Good story and I like the surprise ending!
LaNaye Perkins05/15/08
This was just soooo twisted. I love, love, loved the Belinda-Bot ending. Too cute, and very well done.