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“Angry Sunbeam,” by Eric Jepson

Angry Sunbeam does not want to wear a pretty bow in her hair. Angry Sunbeam does not care for raisins in her oatmeal. Or for oatmeal, which, best you recall, was her favorite food yesterday. Angry Sunbeam does not like that you have moved her seat to the passenger side of the car. Angry Sunbeam will not fold her arms or bow her head. She will not just look at the Friend. Angry Sunbeam probably does not need to pee for a third time but neither can you risk not taking her.  Angry Sunbeam yells at you to leave the stall so you stand outside and hold the door closed while she sings “Come as You Are”—the part about the gun—how does she know this?—and, as you will shortly learn, unspools the toilet paper onto the floor. Angry Sunbeam has to be dragged to Primary, then bursts into tears when you pick her up—“I don’t know why! She was so good today!” says her perky twenty-year-old teacher with the enormous eyes and the tiny breasts and the impossibly cute dress and about whose waist is hung the arm of a cut-jawed husband clearly desperate to get her home from church and out of that dress. In the car, as you buckle Angry Sunbeam in, she shows you a picture of herself holding hands with the father she hasn’t seen in three months and of a dinosaur, the dinosaur she says ate her real mother, a dinosaur of sharp black angles and spilled green wax. Angry Sunbeam giggles, then falls asleep as you drive home. And stays asleep when you lay her on your bed, snuggle up to her, kiss the top of her head.

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