We, my mother and I, had just climbed out of our little green Nissan.

We walked into the store. Its layout was unlike any place I had ever been. Not that it was particularly bizarre. Just noteworthy that it was foreign to me. I had expected some semblance of familiarity upon entering.

The walls were filled with things I didn’t recognize. The entire floor was bare except for a large (you could swim in it, though I would rather swim with sharks) wire bin in the middle of the store. Within it existed the only thing in the store I knew. I found no comfort in their familiarity.

Their naked forms were piled on top of each other, filling the bin to its brim. They didn’t make the slightest move but their too big grins and large eyes seemed to follow me. Their wild hair had varying colors, much of it red and blue, like blood in the ocean.

I don’t know if they were waiting for me to look away. No way in hell would I give them a chance to do anything without my noticing. I kept my eyes glued to them, as much as it pained me to look.

One of them must have grown impatient. Or simply could no longer maintain the facade. It twitched.

I didn’t wait for any further action on their part. I was running for the door, my mother calling after me.

I glanced back over my shoulder to see them linking their disgusting bodies together, raising themselves up and crashing toward me like a flesh-colored tidal wave.

Had my anxiety not given me a head start, I would have been overtaken… like the other shoppers… like my mother.

I came to the car, opened the door, climbed in. It was unlocked. The keys were also in the ignition. Bad habits my mother hadn’t made an effort to correct, despite my father’s complaints.

I started the car. Mimicking what I had seen my parents do countless times, I got the car into reverse. I was careful of that. Put the car into reverse. R. I was five. Not illiterate.

I gave it gas. All of it. I couldn’t see over the dash, but I was moving. It only then occurred to me that I would shortly find myself in a collision of one sort or another.

The surging wave of flesh and color that pursued me reminded me that I didn’t care. Or at least I cared less about dying in a crash than I did being devoured.

Somehow, I found myself on the road and accelerating backwards. I heard honks and the screeching of tires but felt no impact. So I kept the pedal to the floor.

How I failed to crash, I couldn’t understand. The car seemed to want away from the twisting mass as badly as I did. I felt out of control. I had no choice but to stay inside the car. No choice other than to stop and face it, that is. The car was my savior. The car was also my prison.

I could hear the devastation around me. More honking, the sounds of metal bending as the wave rolled over other vehicles, short screams of people it must have grabbed on its way to me.

Then we, myself and the car, came to a bridge. I could tell because of its arches visible through the windshield where before I could see only sky.

The car, I suppose somewhere in its car-mind, decided that escape was futile. So it plunged itself off the bridge.

I don’t know when I woke up. What? Don’t be surprised. You thought that was actually happening? Of course not.

As I was saying, I don’t know when I woke up. Was the car in the air? Was it when the car hit the water? Did I drown?

Or was it after the mass pulled me from the water for whatever their purpose was?

I really hope it was any of the first three. I didn’t need to be hit with the resurgence of repressed memories of what they may have done to me.

Just one thing. It sat on my bedside table. A single one of those hideous creatures was there to greet me when I opened my eyes.

I didn’t own a troll doll.