Gaslight Gertie

by Heather Babcock

Here comes that girl again. Slipping through the basement window and bringing the night in with her. A skid row Pippi Longstocking, her long orange tails of old-fashioned curls fanning out behind her like wings. I've told her to pin her hair up like the other girls her age do, but she just blinks her dimpled smile at me and stuffs the bobby pins I give her into the pocket of her apron, later dropping them in the top drawer of her little oak dresser, alongside her maid bonnet and the childish diary with its cheap tiny lock. A lock so flimsy and ridiculous that a hairpin easily substitutes for a key. Not that the girl ever writes anything interesting.


Heather Babcock has had short fiction published in various literary journals, including Descant and The Toronto Quarterly, In 2015, her chapbook Of Being Underground and Moving Backwards was published by DevilHousePress. Babcock's debut novel Filthy Sugar is now available with Inanna Publications.