She crouched, hands over her ears, playground voices taunting.

“Mary, Mary, quite contrary! How does your garden grow!”

The group of giggling girls skipped away.

Mary stayed near the brick wall, shaking, imagining the torture of silver bells, the beheadings, and the garden of gravestones her grandfather told her about one night when she asked for a bedtime story.

She thought back to Kindergarten, when the teasing made her cry just because the singing of her name had sounded unkind. Now, only one year later, she cried because the images of death played in her mind like a slideshow.



Mary, Mary, quite contrary

How does your garden grow?

With silver bells and cockleshells

And pretty maids all in a row.


Bloody Mary, oh so scary

How does your graveyard grow?

With instruments of torture and

Beheadings all in a row.


June 17 Prompt: Children’s Rhymes (In 99 words – no more, no less – write a story that involves a children’s game or rhyme.)

Flash Fiction Challenge over at Carrot Ranch