Georgette was bored. She was sitting on a fallen tree trunk in a wooded clearing, staring at her sister. Sierra was eight and Georgette was ten but sometimes the older girl wondered. Sierra was skipping around the clearing, chasing butterflies and turning cartwheels. Georgette slid off the tree and threw her arms in the air.
"Come on!" she yelled. Sierra flounced across the clearing and followed her sister along a small trail and onto the main path. They hadn't gone more than twenty paces when Georgette stopped and turned to the right, frowning into a clump of bushes. She could hear a strange noise, almost as if someone were beating a drum. Georgette took her sister's hand and walked into the underbrush.
"Mother will be worried if we're late" said Sierra, her voice held that whining tone she always used when she wanted to go home. Georgette tightened her grip and continued to walk until they emerged into another clearing.
This clearing was much nicer than the one they had just left. Deep red flowers ran around the edge and bright yellows crisscrossed the centre. A girl was sitting on what looked like a giant mushroom; she had long blonde hair and big grey eyes. In her hands was the drum she had been beating and it was beautiful, a deep gold with rubies around the edges.
"Hello. I like your drum" said Georgette. Sierra stared at her big sister, her voice was strange. It was almost as if she was asleep but didn't know it. The girl smiled and tightened her grip on the drum.
"Thank you. My name's Deva, what's yours?"
"Georgette." Sierra tried to back away but Georgette still had a firm grip on her hand. Deva slid from the mushroom and walked across the clearing, still smiling.
"Would you like to play with my drum, Georgette?" Sierra gulped as her sister nodded and reached out her free hand, but Deva pulled the drum out of reach with a slight giggle.
"I'll let you play but you have to do something first." Georgette frowned but her clouded gaze remained fixed on the drum. Sierra wanted to run away, she wanted to run home to Mother and take Georgette away from this strange girl and her drum.
"What do I have to do?" whispered Georgette. Deva smiled, revealing two rows of jagged teeth.
"You have to go home and you have to do something very, very bad." Georgette nodded, she released her grip on Sierra and bolted from the clearing. Sierra followed but she was finding it difficult to keep up. It didn't matter though; she knew where her sister was going. Georgette was going home.
Georgette reached the small cottage and in a matter of minutes and dashed into the kitchen, she looked around. How could she be bad? The front door opened and closed and then Mother was in the kitchen, Georgette could see her lips moving but she couldn't hear. How could she be bad? Georgette pulled open a cupboard and began yanking plates and cups from the shelves; she threw them across the room where they shattered against the wall. Mother came running back into the kitchen.
"What on Earth are you doing?" she cried. Georgette ignored her and moved onto the saucepan cupboard. Mother stepped into the room but Georgette picked up a frying pan and hurled it at her. The pan hit Mother between the eyes and she staggered backwards against the wall.
"Mother!" The cry came from the open door where Sierra was no standing. Mother pressed a hand to her face and her fingers came away, wet with blood. She stood and stared down at Georgette.
"Do you know what happens to little girls who are very, very bad? They get new mothers who have glass eyes and wooden tails." Mother turned and staggered from the kitchen but Georgette continued to empty the cupboards, throwing the contents all over the room. Sierra suddenly threw herself at Georgette.
"Why did you hurt Mother?" she screamed. Georgette was much bigger then Sierra and she soon had the younger girl pinned. Georgette wrapped her hands around Sierra's throat and squeezed until she stopped struggling. Georgette loosened her grip and stared down at her sister. Sierra's eyes were wide, as was her mouth but she didn't move. Georgette stood and ran from the cottage.
"I wonder if that's bad enough?" she whispered. Georgette ran as fast as she could, back into the woods and towards the clearing. In the distance, she heard Mother screaming.
Georgette burst into the clearing and stood, panting in a ring of red flowers. She turned in every direction but Deva was not there. The mushroom where she had been sitting was and on top was the drum, shimmering in the daylight. Georgette was across the clearing in two bounds and scooped the drum into her arms, holding it tight to her chest. She smiled and felt much better.
It was dark when Georgette finally returned to the cottage. She had been trying to think of what to say to Mother but she couldn't think of anything. It didn't matter anyway, Georgette had the drum. She pushed open the kitchen door and stopped on the threshold, the smile dropping from her lips.
"No" she said. The kitchen was still a complete shambles, broken crockery everywhere. Sierra was slumped in one of the kitchen chairs, her head thrown back and her skin already an ashy grey. Mother was standing at the sink, she slowly turned to face her daughter and Georgette began to scream.
"What do bad girls get?" asked Mother. She smiled at the screaming child. Her glass eyes shining and her wooden tail thumping on the floor.