The Big Read IV: The Lottery and Other Stories -- Shirley Jackson "The Dummy"
• "the people who came there laughed quietly and dined thoroughly, appreciating the principle that the check was always a little more than the restaurant and the entertainment warranted..."
• Another situation where the son is away.
• Ventriloquists' dummies are always creepy. Either it's secretly alive and not-so-secretly evil, or it's just a dummy but the ventriloquist uses it as a way to lash out and say nasty things without really saying them. Except for that one episode of Buffy. That dummy -- or, sorry, figure -- was alive and not evil.
• Looks like Shirley Jackson went with Dummy Option #2:
"Shut up for a minute," the dummy said to the girl. "For God's sake will you just shut up for a minute?"
• Well, I didn't see that coming. But, see what I mean? The dummy totally took the hit, even though it was the man who should have. It seems like Mrs. Wilkins must've been right on the edge already to have had that reaction -- she doesn't strike me as a vigilante, defending women wherever she goes. She was on the edge of... something... from the very beginning of the story. Mrs. Straw seemed pretty oblivious to that edginess. The girl in the green dress, of course, in the last line, showed that she wouldn't be changing her situation anytime soon.
"Elizabeth" and "A Fine Old Firm"
"Flower Garden", "Dorothy and My Grandmother and the Sailors" and "Colloquy"
"Afternoon in Linen"
"After You, Dear Alphonse" and "Charles"
"The Witch" and "The Renegade"
"My Life with R.H. Macy"
"Like Mother Used to Make" and "Trial By Combat"
"The Intoxicated" and "The Daemon Lover"