Wednesday, January 29, 2014
A Doll Story
Here is a short fiction piece about a Lawton doll that won an honorable mention in a contest. The poem was a companion piece; it also won the same prize. Welcome to our new follower!! Laura Emeline’s Antic Adventure It was cold midnight and the Lawton Emporium dreamt an enchanted sleep. Midnight is the witching hour, when dreams – or nightmares- come alive to gaze into our souls and spin our fantasies. In cozy attic room in the flat above the emporium, a little girl slept Her name was Laura Emeline, and her honey colored hair, the consistency of soft flax, lay spread out on her little lace pillow. Her sparkling eyes were closed, and long, curling lashes rested against her cheek. A light dusting of freckles appeared and disappeared against the bridge of her nose as she breathed lightly and evenly in her dreams. At the stroke of midnight, Laura Emeline’s bright eyes suddenly opened. They started open all at once, like the mechanical eyes of the old china headed doll with the real hair named Anastasia, the doll who was her constant companion, an who shared her dreams, at night and during the day. “Come, Anastasia; it’s time!” Laura Emeline’s musical voice, clear as a bell, rang through the room that was bathed in moonlight from a garret window. The little girl climbed out of her tiny, canopied bed with all the ruffles. She grabbed Anastasia, and threw a blue robe that matched her own over the doll’s flannel night dress. The doll’s face was enigmatic, yet at the same time, secretive, knowing, loving. She had been Laura’s companion for entire nine years of her life, one of the fantastic Christmas dolls that all but spoke, which the Emporium received each year for the holidays. The two friends had shared many adventures of an evening, after the clock chimed twelve, when the rest of the household, which consisted of Laura’s beautiful widowed mother and her kind grandmother. Laura’s days were filled with school, and, after school, she helped her mother sew the gorgeous dresses for the ladies who came to Lawton Emporium for their party dresses and wedding attire. Laura, though so small, could sew a stitch as fine as any seamstress, and her fingers were quick and light. She often made a few pennies by dressing dolls for the daughters of her mother’s customers form the silk and velvet scraps that fell from her mothers experienced scissors. Yet, her greatest joy was saving scraps of her own; her mother and grandmother often saved her the choicest bits of damask, silk, buttons, and feathers. With these, Laura Emeline dressed an entire family of tiny china dolls called the Tudors. Anastasia, too, had an extensive wardrobe, and all of the doll family had its own minuscule rag dolls, created from even tinier scraps that fell from Laura’s diminutive silver needle. But, that wasn’t the greatest joy, or secret, she shared with Anastasia. For, at night, a beautiful lady, who seemed to be made of starlight appeared to Laura Emeline. Each night the two chatted happily and sewed, or the lady donned one of the beautiful gowns and told Laura Emeline of her adventures long ago. The lady often wore her own clothes, a hoop skirt, a long purple overskirt of silk, and petty coats of darker purple and damask. Her long, golden curls often escaped from a snood, and her violet eyes shimmered. Around her neck was a long chain that held a cameo brooch, a tiny scissors and a tiny book and pencil. This was called chatelaine, and The Lady told Laura stories of how it had come far across the seas from Paris with her ships captain father. Laura Emeline and The Lady shared many nights together this way, On this cold, chill autumn night, The Lady helped the little girl to sew a little blanket for the latest tiny rag baby for the Tudors. From her voluminous silk pockets, The Lady produced tiny jet beads for eyes. “Laura Emeline,” she said, “These are magic beads, and they came from the sea shore from an ocean far away. Whatever you sew them on will come to life, and bring you good fortune. The little girl’s eyes danced, and her freckles melted into dimples as she smiled at her ethereal friend. She sewed some of the beads onto Anastasia’s robe, and the doll’s painted mouth broke into a smile. The tiny doll hand grasped Laura’s, and the two friends and The Lady danced around the otherwise empty Emporium, the gorgeous gowns their partners in a magic dance of friendship. Laura Emeline grew up and inherited the shop. She used the magic jet buttons sparingly, but carefully. She brought much good fortune to those she loved, and the shop prospered. She had a little girl of her own named Emilia, and Anastasia and the Tudors became her trusted friends, too. And, at Midnight, on Emilia’s ninth birthday, at the stroke of midnight, Laura Emeline led her daughter down to the Emporium, where a beautiful lady, who looked as though she were made of starlight, stood smiling among the silks and velvets, her arms open in a gesture of friendship, tinged with sweet magic and generosity.