Wednesday, April 28

Howie the little girl cries and cries over the loss of her best friend, Mr. Happy Severed Head. Who will she whisper secrets to every afternoon while the sun beats in the windows and they hide under her brother's bed? Who will laugh at her jokes and keep her company while she uses the bathroom? What if vampires come out of the bathtub drain? Who will scare them off?

Nobody. Howie has no other friends. The other kids laugh at her funny hair and boy's name. And her brother likes to pull on her nose.

But there is a time for crying and a time to stop crying and take action. Howie may be young, but she knows this much. She has to go out there and find her best friend. That stupid dog kidnapped him and could be doing who knows what, but not forever. She'll find him.

She fills her backpack with flashlights, extra underpants, a towel, her toothbrush, and a box of crackers. She thinks about taking a knife for protection, but her mom would probably get mad about that. She settles for a spoon.

So spoon wielding Howie swings the door open dramatically and stands on the front stoop looking out at the world before her.

"Don't worry, Mr. Head!" she calls out. "I'll find you." And she goes running down the street, yelling and waving her choice of cutlery in violent circles in front of her.

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