-This is a work of fiction based on The Gashlycrumb Tinies, a poem and alphabet primer by Edward Gorey. It is rated T for violence resulting in accidental and intentional deaths. This work is written purely for entertainment value. Please don't sue me.-

A is for Amy
by Elisabeth Henry

'...And they all lived happily ever after.'

Amy finished the book and reached down to pet the cat. He dodged her touch and looked balefully at her.

'Oh, come on, Jasper; it was a jolly tale!' Amy slammed the thin, hard-bound book against her knees. Jasper stared at her through half-lidded eyes. 'Why don't you ever like my stories?'

Amy stood up, wobbling slightly. Her mother had told her not to sit on the stairs: it was dangerous. The stairs were too narrow, too long, too steep. Amy didn't care. It was fun to imagine that the stairway was her own private house, with every step a different room. A house with twenty-five rooms! Wasn't that amazing!

She reached down to pick up the cat, but he moved smoothly out of reach and started to climb the steps. Amy shrugged and followed him, tucking the book under her arm. Jasper stopped, three stairs from the top, and turned. It seemed as if he was waiting for her to catch up. Amy moved a little faster.

As she reached the twenty-first stair, Jasper came down to meet her. He twined himself around her legs, purring loudly, rubbing his sides against her shins.

'Good boy, Jasper,' Amy said, patting him. She tried to step forward, but he was in the way. 'Move now, Jasper. It's bath time.' The cat glanced up at her briefly and slipped between her feet. As Amy took her next step, he moved again, into her path.

His yowl as she stepped on him was drowned out by her scream as she fell down... down... down to the lower landing. Jasper rushed to the top of the stairs and crouched there, his whiskers quivering. Footsteps pounded along the upper floor, and Amy's mother appeared at the head of the stairs. Her scream was louder even than Amy's.

Jasper sniffed and reached around to lick his wounded paw. The little cow. Well, at least she wouldn't be reading him any more of those insipid fairy-tales.

A is for Amy, who fell down the stairs...