“A kid’s party?” I asked Lew. “For a christening? In the back room?”
“Wanna work it, or not?”
At Scratch’s, business was slow in May.
“Pizzas, they’re getting,” Lew said. “Baby’s mother’s
Bettilynn. Friend of
Snake loved his bike, and Rottie,
hated his wife and slut daughter. I bet Bettilynn was a good friend of his.
Yup, I realized, when I saw her at the party.
Arms covered with scary ink you only saw on guys. Even Snake didn’t have the
half-eaten face. The purple tube dress looked painted on and clashed with her
fruit punch-red hair. “Fireball,” Bettilynn ordered.
“Where’s the kid?” Lew asked.
She sucked down the shot, pointed behind her.
Two chicks, like six feet tall, held babies. The older one looked like
time had shit on her face. The young one wore thick glasses. In the old chick’s
arms was Bettilyn’s baby, in her white christening dress. Chubby and cute, sucking
on a pizza crust. The young chick’s baby wasn’t eating.
‘Cos she was a doll.
“My sister, Lori,” Bettilynn said. “Her daughter, Martha.”
Lew smiled at Bettilynn’s tits. “What’s your baby’s name?”
“Joni.” Martha’s bug eyes looked through us.
“Gisella,” Bettilynn said. “Her
baby is Joni.” With Martha just inches behind her, Bettilynn added, “She’s not
wrapped too tight.”
“You fuck . . .” Lori said.
“She’s not.” Third shot in hand, Bettilynn swung around. “Big chick
“Lay off,” Lori told Bettilynn, who sighed. “She is the godmother.”
Martha cradled her doll. “Joni,” she said, “Wanna slice?”
Trashed grownups and screeching kids. Metal so loud, my brain cried. When
they weren’t popping balloons, kids raced, all over. Behind them ran Martha,
the Giant Kid, with her giant footsteps. The bar shook, as she ran past it.
Then, they were behind it. One jostled my arm, and the vodka went flying.
“Hey!” Lew said. “Get out from there!” He meant Martha more than
“Big Retard,” he muttered. Then he was gone.
So were half the grown-ups. “They’re out back,” Martha tattled. “Smoking.”
Weed, I realized. “Where’s your baby?”
Giggling, she gulped from somebody’s glass.
“Whose drink is that?”
“Gimme . . .” But she bounded away.
All the kids were drinking. Parents getting high out back, there were
plenty drinks on the bar.
In minutes, Martha was back. “Oh,” I said, “you found your baby.”
When the doll cooed, I gasped. “That’s Gisella! Your aunt’s baby.”
“Mine now,” she said.
I turned to make a drink. When I looked back, they were gone.
“Not bad.” Lew brought up empties. “Some kids’ parties suck. No
But these fucks . . .”
“Who you calling ‘fucks?’ ” Finally, Snake was there.
Suddenly, there was yelling, and crying, with people rushing all around.
Bettilynn ran up to Snake. “Walter!” She pawed him. “Gisella’s
The way Snake shot up and ran with her meant one thing.
“Knew it,” Lew said, smugly. “Baby’s a dead ringer.”
“Where’s Martha?” people asked. They’d sobered up, fast. One kid
but his mom was busy texting.
“9-1-1,” Lew said. “Great.”
“The baby’s missing!”
“And the Retard Godmother,” he
By the time the cops came, Snake was crying with Bettilynn and Lori.
“Where the fuck,” Bettilynn sobbed, “are they?”
“If you were a retard godmother . . .” Lew whispered.
Godmother, I thought. God . . . mother. God . .
“The christening . . .” I said.
Like he’d read my mind, Lew yelled, “Hey! Which church?”
In the back row was a pleased Martha. “We played baptism,” she said. In
the font, she’d held her live doll underwater till she stopped breathing.
But the EMTs worked on Gisella till her pulse came back.
It made the news. “I will never,” Bettilynn sobbed, “miss Mass again!
drink. Or curse.” On camera, she was, still in that tight purple dress. With
Snake holding her close.
We watched it on TV. “Wifey knows, now,” Lew said. I nodded.
But Martha . . . I felt bad for. With her bug eyes, and big, sad feet. A
full-grown chick who’d always be a kid. . .
And the “Godmother from Hell.”
Cindy is a Jersey girl who looks like a
Mob Wife & talks like Anybody’s from West Side Story. She works out
5-6 days a week, so needs no excuse to drink or do whatever the hell she wants
She’s been published in the usual places, such as Shotgun Honey, Hardboiled,
A Twist of Noir, Megazine, Beat to a Pulp, Out of the Gutter, Mysterical-E,
Dark Dossier, and Twisted Sister.
She is the editor/art director of the ezine, Yellow Mama. She’s a
Gemini, a Christian, and an animal rights activist.
Hillary Lyon is an illustrator for
horror/sci-fi and pulp fiction websites and magazines. She is also founder
and senior editor for the independent poetry publisher, Subsynchronous Press. An
SFPA Rhysling Award nominated poet, her poems have appeared in journals such as Eternal
Haunted Summer, Jellyfish Whispers, Scfifaikuest, Illya’s Honey, and Red River Review, as well as numerous anthologies. Her short stories
have appeared recently in Night to Dawn, Yellow Mama, Black Petals, Sirens
Call, and Tales from
the Moonlit Path, among others,
as well as in numerous horror anthologies such as Night in New Orleans: Bizarre Beats
from the Big Easy, Thuggish
Itch: Viva Las Vegas, and White Noise &
Ouija Boards. She appeared, briefly, as the uncredited
"all-American Mom with baby" in Purple Cactus Media’s 2007 Arizona
indie-film, "Vote for Zombie." Having lived in France, Brazil, Canada,
and several states in the US, she now resides in southern Arizona. https://hillarylyon.wordpress.com/