Inside My Eyelids (4)

She stands where she has stood for years, on the seat of my old desk chair, the one I inherited from my parents. I think they got it from their parents, but no one really knows. No one remembers that far back.

Dad never understood why I got her, my doll. Her eyes fell out when I was still a child. Her face got colored with magic marker, and paint, a dozen times. I gave up trying to fix it, and put a mask over it.

She stands there, in my chair, in the corner of my room, where she can see me at my desk, and my computer.

Dolls were for girls when I was young. Boys didn’t own them, and didn’t play with them. If a girl wanted to clear a room, she broke out her dolls, and all the boys left.

But, something drew me to my doll. I saved my allowance for months until I could afford her. That was Mom and Dad’s rule. My allowance was mine. I could spend it how I wanted, on what I wanted. But I could not ask for money. I had to make decisions about money, about what mattered to me, and learn to build up the funds to get what I wanted.

I’d wanted my doll.

She was my friend. The person I could always talk with. The person who would never argue with me. Never tell me I was wrong. Never tell me to be more mature. To toughen up. Or that boys don’t cry.

She was the only one I could hug. The only one who would put her head on my shoulder. The only one who would kiss the hurt parts, the skinned knees, the cut fingers, to try to make me feel better.

I knew she wasn’t real. No doll is. Perhaps, one day, with enough artificial intelligence, and enough advanced electronics, we humans might make dolls that could act like they were alive. That wasn’t going to happen in my lifetime.

I never gave her a name. She’d never needed one. When I spoke to her, I called her, “you”, because it made sense.

The worst fight I ever had, growing up, was over her. When the boys at the church found out I owned a doll, all hell broke loose. They taunted me, insulted me, called me a girl, named me “Sally”. Eventually, like anyone would expect, after months of torture, I made the mistake of responding to one of the boys. I told him what I thought about him, and his insults.

It took two weeks for the bruises to fade from my face.

I still have her. She still stands, in my chair. Like she did then. Now, I write stories of a warrior, with high tech armor that makes him invisible. With guns, and explosives, and the ability to do what he believes needs to be done. A warrior who defends little boys who like dolls. One who beats the living shit out of the fathers whose sons torture such little boys.

In my dreams, at night sometimes, my warrior talks with my doll, about how to change the world, make it better, turn it into a place that doesn’t kill the dreams of children, and doesn’t teach them boys hate dolls.

And she watches me sleep, as she stands on the seat of my chair, in the corner of my room, each night.

I would have it no other way.

582 Words

I wrote this for week 140 of Miranda Kate‘s Mid-Week Challenge. It’s been a hard time, getting through the house repairs. I haven’t had the energy, or patience to write anything in weeks. That’s changing now. You can learn about Miranda’s challenge here. The stories people share for the weekly challenge are always little works of art, crafted with words, meant to be shared, and enjoyed. Please go read them all.


#MWBB Week 2.39 : Bury My Troubles

Bradley listened to the words of the song playing endlessly on his music player, its words being injected into his brain through the earplugs jammed into his ears and blocking out all sound from everything except his music.

“Secrets I hide in me,
Deep down inside of me
I keep them,
I keep them at bay
No one will ever know
What I don’t wanna show
I lock them,
I lock them away”

As the song echoed in his head, he wrote word after word on his computer. An endless stream of words, telling one story after another. All stories from his memory, his life. All things he’d lived through, endured, survived.

The time that old man demanded, “Look at me while I’m talking to you!” That old guy never knew, never understood, how hard it was for Bradley to look at anyone. Especially to make eye contact. Bradley hadn’t heard a damn word that guy had said. All he could remember was, “Look at me while I’m talking to you!”, and the old man’s eyes, the anger in them, the scars, the pain, the demand for respect. As if those eyes were saying, “I’ve been through hell in life, and I’ve earned some respect, damn-it! Now look at me while I torture you to get even with life for how it treated me!”

Bradley wrote it all down. Every memory of that moment. And the song played on and on, over and over, in his head.

“Oh worries, stop haunting me,
Don’t you keep taunting me!
I won’t be,
I won’t be no slave
I put you to rest for good,
I did the best I could
So get in,
get into your grave”

He wrote down his memory of the guy at work, the boss, the person in charge. The time that guy called him a prima donna. Yeah. A prima donna. “Spoiled rotten little primadonna.” Bradley never talked about it, not to anyone. He never let anyone know. It wasn’t the first time. It wouldn’t be the last. People had always said things about him. Always called him names. Primadonna. Sally. Bitch. Privileged white boy. Momma’s boy. Weakling. Clueless.

Bradley wrote down every name he could remember. Everything he remembered being called. No one knew. He never told anyone. How it felt. How he felt. Like when he was in Junior High, and the other boys called him, “Sally.” Even when he played street football with them, and his knees and elbows scraped up from landing on the asphalt and gravel, as his blood dripped from his fingertips, and he kept playing.

And still, they called him “Sally”.

He wanted to scream, to cry, to pick fights. He had nightmares of those fights where he wound up with busted lips, a broken nose, black eyes, and the other boys standing over him where he laid, beaten, on the ground, as they called him “Sally” over and over again.

He wrote it all down. Like he’d done a million times. Page after page. And all the while, that song played on, and on.

“Farewell ye gentlemen,
Goodbye my mental friends
Hear what,
Hear what I’m sayin’
Ashes and dust to dust,
That is the end of us
Oh Lord,
Oh Lord I’m prayin’”

When he couldn’t write anymore, he saved the file. Then he printed it. When the last page printed, Bradley placed the pages in a plastic bag, then went to his back yard, where he’d left his shovel.

In the middle of the night, while everyone was asleep, Bradley carefully cut a chunk of sod from his yard and placed it to the side knowing he’d need it later. In the bare dirt, he dug a four-foot deep hole. Carefully, he placed the bag of printed pages at the bottom of that hole and buried them under four feet of dirt, topped off with the sod. No one would know what he’d done.

And that song played over and over in his head. All night long.

“I’m goin’ to bury my troubles away
I’m goin’ to bury my troubles away”

685 Words

This is my entry for Year 2, Week 39 (Week 2.39) of Jeff Tsuruoka‘s Mid-Week Blues-Buster flash fiction challenge. This week the prompt is the song, “Bury My Troubles” by Imelda MayI. Please, go read the other stories in the challenge.

A Clip from JuNoWriMo 2012, Day 8…

No sound was made. The wolves were silent. They simply let her past. The two females moving away from the child, as Mystica approached. A white light formed around the child. Gently holding her still. Providing warmth. Closing her wounds. Mending her broken bones. Ending her pain.

The child smiled. She looked at Mystica, and she smiled. Mystica smiled back at her. Then turned. And looked at Scream. There was sadness in her eyes. Scream knew. Mystica was too late. That even with all her white magic power, there are wounds Mystica can’t heal. That a life, already gone, can’t be restored.

The wolves, Scream, Merlin and Mystica stayed with the little fairy girl. Talking with her. Mystica holding her hand. Gently kissing her on the cheek, and the top of her head. Always smiling. They learned her name was Sally. That she loved bright red and yellow flowers. Some of the wolves had raced into the forest, and came back in just a few minutes with lots of red and yellow flowers they had snatched up in their mouths. Bringing them to Sally.

Sally had asked Mystica, “Will you be my mommy? My mommy doesn’t love me any more. My daddy doesn’t either. I need a new mommy. Will you be my mommy?”

Mystica had smiled. She’d kissed the top of Sally’s head once more. “Of course, my dear child. I’ll be your mommy. I’d love to be your mommy.”

Little Sally smiled. “I love you, Mommy.” Then she closed her eyes. “I’m so very tired.” And she went to sleep. And never woke. Her body going limp, as she stopped breathing. And her heart beat for the last time. With that last heartbeat, the wolves all stood as one, looked to the sky, and howled in pain. As if they’d lost one of their own.

Tears fell from Mystica’s eyes.

Merlin only watched. Standing to one side.

Scream, screamed. Stretched his wings. And was gone.