"No no no no no." The little girl plopped herself on the floor, refusing to move, her fluffy pink dress billowing out around her legs.
The man, dressed in a very dapper grey suit, leaned over and grabbed the four-year-old by her waist.
"You're going, and that's the end of it."
"No! I won't!"
Her tiny white hands flailed behind her he lifted her into the air. The slim fingers found purchase on a nearby shelf, the bend at the edge of the cool metal providing a gap just large enough for her to slip her fingers in. The man pulled and the shelf moved. He sighed, setting the kicking, screaming lump of child on the floor once more, her white shoes clicking against the tile. He knelt next to the child, who still clung to the shelf, and spoke to her in a low voice.
"Lily, we need to go. It's late and we're getting glares from some of the clerks. They want to close up, and they can't with us in here."
She pouted, a fake tear trickling down her cheek. "But I want to keep playing with the toys."
"I know. We'll come back tomorrow, a bit earlier, just after sundown."
Her plump bottom lip stuck out a little further. "Promise?"
"Yes, my dear. I promise."
She huffed and glared at him before raising her arms. He smiled at her belligerent little face and scooped her up. Together, they walked through the aisles of Toys-R-Us, taking the scenic route just to piss off the teenage attendants who were waiting impatiently to close up the store.
When they got outside, they rounded the corner and shimmied up next to the dumpster. It was dark in the alley, none of the lights from the parking lot broke through the gloom.
"You hungry?" the man asked the little girl.
She nodded, a childish smirk crawling across her face. They waited for what seemed like hours to the famished child before a door in the wall opened. A young man stepped out, acne covering his face. He had been rude to her when they walked in, commenting on her dress in a snide fashion. They waited until he reached the dumpster, then the man grabbed him, covering the boy's mouth so he couldn't scream. Tilting the boy's head back, the man lowered him to the ground. The victim's eyes were wide and he tried to struggle, but the little girl was stronger than she looked. She advanced on him, a gleam in her eyes, and sunk her teeth deep into the exposed flesh at his neck.
When she pulled back, she glared at him. She had nearly killed him, but not quite. His eyes rolled in his head until they locked on her. She leaned over him, her blond curls brushing his face.
"That will teach you to insult a girl's dress. Of course it looks like it's from the 1700s. That's because it is, moron." The childish drawl had faded and she kicked him in the shins. The man dropped the boy's head and together, he and the bloodstained little girl left the alley, leaving the boy to die alone.
****Origin of the story: There are 15-minute writing dashes at Milk Wood in Second Life every day at 5amSLT and 6:30pmSLT. This story is from the 3-1-11 morning dash, using the prompt "belligerent."****