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johnson wilson and the case of the broken baby is a short photo-story in six parts, written and staged by pamela klaffke and her daughter, emma.

©pamela klaffke, all rights reserved


johnson wilson is eight, she is a private investigator. her arch-enemy is the trickster. she goes to discos. she has a dog called trent. she drinks white wine. she has no parents.


The trickster didn’t listen to the sign I have on my bedroom door that says: JOHNSON WILSON’S ROOM PRIVATE KEEP OUT! I was happy that he didn’t make another mess, but my dolls were naked on my bed wearing masks that looked like the trickster, and he took all their clothes. I looked around, and I found the baby’s left leg stuffed under my pillow, but I couldn’t find my dolls’ clothes so I’d have to investigate that later, when the baby was back together and my tummy ache was gone.

I lay down for a minute and thought about the trickster and what he would do next and how I could stop him and catch him and put him in jail. I had two baby arms and two baby legs, but that wasn’t very good without a body and a head. But maybe if the baby only had her arms and legs and body and no head then she wouldn’t cry all the time and she wouldn’t drool on my dresses and be as annoying.

I closed my eyes only for a second and I’m sure the trickster did something to make me sleep, like putting a sleeping spell on me because I woke up after a long time and it was already the next day. I knew I didn’t sleep on purpose because I never get tired and I can stay up later than everyone and watch tv.

I woke up when I trent’s voice came through on my walkie-talkie, which I always have on in case of emergency. I told trent I had the left leg of the baby and he said he heard from his friend that the trickster was just at the grocery store near the school buying apples and that he had a sack in his hand that kept moving by itself. I asked trent who told him this and he wouldn’t tell me, but he promised that his friend was telling the truth and swore to god and hoped to die. he knows how important it is to me to know who to believe for clues when I’m investigating a case.

When trent said his friend saw the trickster at the grocery store near the school I knew it was for real. Since I’m an investigator I even find clues in my dreams. when I was under the sleeping spell I dreamt that the trickster had the baby’s body and head in a sack and was laughing, “hee, hee, hee,” and skipping along a path that looked like the one I sometimes take when I go to my school — which is exactly where the clues were telling me he was heading. I’d have to move fast to catch up.