February 22, 2012 by Ray Yanek
***This is a Story Dam post!***
Story Dam is a networking site for bloggers and writers that I’ve been watching for some time, but not really participating in. I figured today was a good as any to start, so I got off my ass (well, not really I guess. I am still sitting here.) and am going to give it a whirl.
As well as sharing blogs, Story Dam asks that memebers participate in various story writing activities. The writing prompt for this week’s activity asked the writer to base his story around an antique store.
So I did. Kinda.
I tried some different things with this story, at least things that are different for me. I decided to give present tense a try (which I never do), to play with the viewpoint a bit, and to try a voice not like mine at all.
Not sure if it worked or not. I’ll guess I’ll have to let you decide!
Cars zip past on the road behind her. Her dolly swings in her hand and she thinks her hair must look like cotton candy does as it swirls around the machine. Cotton candy would taste good right now. Maybe it would even make her feel better—as long as she didn’t eat too much.
She looks back at the window. She doesn’t know what the words written on the glass are, but she knows her letters. She knows the A and the N, and also the Q. You don’t see many Q’s. Not many at all.
But no matter what she thinks about, something is still afraid inside her. Looking at her dolly would help. It always does, but she knows she needs to get used to not having dolly there.
Because she’s going to sell dolly back. She needs the money, because she is going to run away.
Besides, dolly is broken now anyway.
She peeks down. A peek doesn’t count as a look.
Dolly’s brown hair is tangled. Matted. Her face is hidden and she’s kind of glad. Looking at the white face made out of the same stuff as the toilet (she doesn’t like to think about that, though) would make her sadder. Even looking at the dress—no, just peeking, peeking at the dress—makes her sad too. The dress, blue and flowing and lined with lacies, reminds her of the angel the other lady used to put on top of her Christmas tree.
Another car passes, washing her with wind.
The new lady doesn’t put an angel on her tree. Only a stupid gold star marked with fingerprints.
She’s going to miss her dolly. But it’s better this way. She looks, doesn’t peek, back at the window.
“Look at how pretty this dolly is!” the other lady said to her, a long time ago, picking up dolly in both hands just beyond that glass. “Whoever owned this doll before took very, very good care of it. If I buy you this dolly, you have to promise you’ll always take good care of it too.”
She shook her head as hard as she could.
But she broke her promise. She hasn’t taken very good care of dolly.
She had asked the new lady if she would help comb dolly’s hair. New Lady said she didn’t have time. She asked if New Lady would put dolly’s dress in the washing machine. She didn’t have time for that, either.
And then one of the boys, the one who always cried like a big baby at night, took her dolly. He and another little boy who never wore a shirt and tried to make stupid farting noises with his hand and armpit, played “Keep Away” with it.
“Look at the little monkey, jumping up and down,” they chanted as dolly flew over her head.
Then the boy with no shirt dropped dolly. A chip broke off her face and then dolly didn’t have a cheek anymore.
She tried to tell New Lady what happened, how much that had hurt her feelings.
But New Lady was too busy to listen.
No, she thinks, she hasn’t taken very good care of dolly. The other owner did a much better job.
She looks down at dolly’s tangled hair. She wipes her nose with the back of her hand. Then she turns and walks down the sidewalk, the cars moving by and buffeting her with wind.
She’s still going to run away, she decides, but she’s not going to sell dolly.
It’s probably not worth much anymore, anyway.