That’s the last line in a scary story I remember from childhood. The girl in the story always wears a ribbon around her neck, and no one around her knows why. Some quick research on Google Books tells me that the story is “The Green Ribbon” from the collection In a Dark, Dark Room and Other Scary Stories edited by Alvin Schwartz.
Damn, I remember so well the elementary school librarian reading that book to us. The story time nook with the rug and the big window. The librarian holding the book up so we could see the pictures. We were so happy when Dark, Dark Room as well as Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark and More Scary Stories to tell in the Dark made their yearly appearances in October. I believe now that the library must have kept these books out of circulation when they were needed for multiple story times with different classes throughout the month, but sometimes the books would be released to the masses, so to speak, and it became possible to borrow them from the library and have them to yourself. The kids who managed to get their hands on these treasures were envied.
I’m wearing a necklace today that’s held on by a ribbon. Instead of tying it in the back, I tied it in the front, and I can’t decide if it looks cool or weird. I want to just take it off, but I’m hoping its elaborateness is taking attention away from how wrinkled my shirt is. I’m sure the ribbon will come untied at some point anyway, as it usually does. Then the necklace will drop all on its own.
And Jessie’s head fell off.
I was all proud of myself last night because I thought I had figured out how to fix the beginning of a story that’s been getting rejected all over town. But then it didn’t work, and I think I made it even worse.
I once started crying in the elementary school library because I had ripped the protective plastic cover on one of the books. The librarian told me she had special tape to fix it. She said the tape would disappear right into the cover and make it look like there had never been a rip at all. And it did. The tape had a matte surface that was silky to the touch. At home, we had slick, shiny-surfaced tape.
I need the metaphorical equivalent of that magic tape just about now. Please.