Writing Rammy Winner, 18+ age group
Pramface-Off by Gary Oberg
The teenagers swung on the last three park swings. The fourth swing was just a sundered chain, as rusty and broken as the slide and the roundabout.
"There's nothing," Half-Phil moaned. "Nothing at aw to dae in this ugly dump."
"Here's som'hing noo." Kit-Kat announced as a painful squeal broke the silence. "Pramface Carousel's daing her roonds."
"Dae ye ken whit pram means?"
"Naw Weirds," Kit-Kat conceded. "But a ken that pramfaces ur young mums fi cooncil estates."
"Pram is short fir perambulator," Weirdsworth explained. "As in sum'hing that perambulates, i.e. wanders aroond."
"Roond and aroond." Half-Phil swung back and forward, eyes locked on the path.
"Dae ye ken whit the diff'rence is tween a pram an a stroller Kat?"
"Aye, a pram is fer wee babbies Weirds, an a stroller is fer bigger weans thit can sit-up."
"Well, Carousel's pushed that pram fer yonks noo so her sprog must be ault enough tae sit-up if," Weirdsworth hesitated. "It's still alive."
"I heard there's jist a baby skull inside." Kit-Kat whispered.
"I hear it's a s-s-snake." Weirdsworth hissed. "It bit Primark's napper oan his pramface-off, and he wis foond deed in his hut the next day."
Half-Phil watched the shadow of the approaching, protesting pram advance down the path.
"Mary Mein hid a pramface-off a'naw." Kit-Kat claimed. "Jist afore her face plant wi the Larbert circular last-"
The teenager fell silent as Carousel arrived, shuffling along the path on mud-encrusted trainers. Her shabby, grey wool coat was hunched across her scored, antique olive pram. Her head was bowed. Matted red tresses hung over her face, and the arched pram hood.
Half-Phil fixed his eyes on the wheels. They were all different. Some wobbled, others screeched, but round and round they spun, going nowhere. He took a deep breath and then he announced.
Kit-Kat reached out to her short friend but he pulled away and marched forward to stand beside the pram. He tapped the roof. The perambulator halted, the screeching stopped.
"I want to see yir wean."
Carousel's head tilted towards Phil and he saw one eye peer at him through her lank tresses. It was as hard and rusty red as the broken chain. She nodded.
Phil turned slowly towards the pram and looked under the hood. It was so dark in there. He bent down and pressed his face under the pitch-black arch.
The darkness pounced. The yawning maw engulfed him and he plunged down into a vast, ebony void. Half-Phil sensed a presence there in the abyss, a great leviathan intellect that gazed up at him from the cosmic depths.
"Yeuch!" He was stricken by the entity's abject revulsion. "What an ugly, pathetic baby."
Half-Phil was repelled, discarded back into the daylight. He felt warm hands on his trembling arms, and heard receding squeals in his throbbing ears.
"What did ye see?"
"Nothing," Phil stared at the short chain that hung there, broken and useless.
"Nothing at aw."