Save Us

Drawing: silhouette, of an almost human-shaped object. Caption reads: “They shaped the plasticine into a person.”

Save Us short story by Iris Carden

“We can do it,” Suzie said, “just the way Grandma said.”

“She used clay. We haven’t got clay,” Sally answered, keeping her voice quiet, so no-one outside the room might hear.

“We’ve got plasticine. That’s like clay,” Suzie said.

“That can’t work, can it? Doesn’t it have to be clay?”

“Grandma used clay, but she had clay.  We’ve got plasticine.”

Sally relented, and they formed a clump of plasticine into the shape of a human, or similar to human.

“It’s a plasticine doll.  It’s not going to work. It’s too small anyway,” Sally said.

“We have to try.  Our parents are in there.” She pointed to the adjacent wall.  The twins’ parents were in the next room.

“OK, but it’s not doing anything,” Sally said.

“Because we haven’t finished.  Grandma said they had to write what they wanted it to do and then put that inside it.”

Suzie wrote on a small piece of paper: “Save our parents. Save us.”

They pulled the middle of the plasticine doll apart, rolled up the piece of paper, and reformed the doll’s middle around the paper.

Then they watched, holding their breath.

The doll wiggled.  It moved.  It jumped from the desk it had been made on to the floor. In an odd gait, probably caused by having one long thin leg and one short fat one, it ran to the door, squeezed itself flat, and wiggled under the door and out of their sight.

The girls both ran the dividing the dividing wall. They pressed their ears up to the wall, hoping to hear what was happening.  

There was a sound of voices, their parents’ and the person who was keeping them in the room.  The voices were too low to hear what they were saying.  

Then they heard the sound of something smashing.  A chair scraped on the floor, and a a yell was audible. 

It seemed only seconds later, the door to the room they were in flew open.

Dad was in the door way, with the wriggling plasticine doll in his hand.

“A golem? The two of you made a golem?”

The twins, huddled together, both nodded.

Dad went on, “You know this is exactly the kind of nonsense the principal wanted to talk to us about, don’t you?”

The girls were quiet.  

“Your little friend broke the principal’s favourite coffee mug, and dumped coffee all over her.  She said that was the last straw.  You know what that means?’

Two small heads shook side to side.

“It means we have to find you yet another new school. Come on.  Get your things. We’re leaving.”

They met their mother at the door of the principal’s office.  

As the family left the school, the girls both hung their heads as if they were ashamed, but anyone looking very closely would have seen they were smiling.

While you’re here…

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By Iris Carden

Iris Carden is an Australian indie author, mother, grandmother, and chronic illness patient. On good days, she writes. Because of the unpredictability of her health, she writes on an indie basis, not trying to meet deadlines. She lives on a disability support pension now, but her ultimate dream is to earn her own living from her writing.


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