The Little Doll

July 18, 2007

New story, a little odd, but I liked where it was going so I went with it. It’s a first draft, so there’s probably things horribly wrong with it. Any feedback is much appreciated. Thanks.

Ah, she was a beauty, the Little Doll. But not the way you’d think, not the way it’s usually felt. She slid in whisper quiet under his skin and when The Man first saw her, his heart flashed liked a match and his temperature rose just slightly to ninety-eight point nine. He thought it was the weather.

She slipped in so gently, fragile and fine, like the last china cup of a discontinued pattern, like something you’d find in a museum, all alone in her glass case. But there was no glass to protect her. She was out in the world. And she was real.

Her deepwater eyes were clear and new. Her mouth was a bowl of rose petals and she smelled faintly of something… lavender? heaven? The Man was confused. For once, he didn’t know what to do. He thought perhaps he should kill her. He knew he had the right bullet. He knew how to fire it straight between her eyes and he knew exactly how she would fall, he could see how her golden hair would fan out on the floor, like something the sea had washed up on the shore. But something made him stop.

She was so very sweet, like a spring flower on a tree branch that brushes your cheek as you walk by… she was pure. He felt she had no right, she was an unanswered question to him, she was… non-compliant. And because of this, The Man wanted to taste her immediately. And so he began to make his plans.

First he tried to melt her with his fire tongue. But her silk-white skin had the power of ten thousand steel bridges.

He showered her with his fiercest rain storm, peltering her with hail and lightening, unleashing furious thunder and brimstone, with all his usual flair.

And when he was done, panting and out of breath, he stepped back to admire his work and found her standing there, unwavering. The raindrop gliding slowly down her skin glowed from within like a million tiny crystals and he was… surprised… and worried, even.

‘Ahhh!’, he thought. ‘Yes, of course, this is a creature to be charmed… I have just the thing…’ And he brought out his basket of snakes and his flute and he sang and played while the snakes danced and writhed all about the Little Doll.

But she only swayed blissfully with the music, amid the slithering snakes, and smiled, more sweetly than before.

And The Man was… in awe.

And for the first time ever, The Man felt compelled to resort to more than his usual tricks. In his fury and anxiety, he ran to The Kings of Darkness. He consulted Envy and Greed. He had lunch with their cousins, Corruption and his brother, Weakness who in turn got him in to see his Highness of Hurt, Betrayal. Betrayal introduced him to Ignorance who set him up with Indifference and Arrogance. Arrogance had better things to do of course, but invited him over for cocktails with Narcissism and Selfishness anyway, and they talked for hours… about Themselves.

But after a while, The Man became impatient and bored. He was tired of talking about Themselves. He wanted to tell them all about his brave Little Doll and how she did not run, how she had no fear, even when he had unleashed his most terrible furies. And soon, against his will, he told them of her beautiful eyes and the perfume of her rose petal lips as he played and sang around her, and of how the rain had slid down her fine white arms.

He went on for quite some time, until he suddenly realized he was the only one talking and he looked up to see the Kings of Darkness staring at him with flat, dull-grey eyes. The room grew suddenly much smaller, and for a moment, he thought they might lunge at him, and devour him whole. Was that a glimmer of blood thirst in the corner of Betrayal’s mouth? A shiver ran down his spine. But he shook it off, and made his graceful exit, avoiding the piercing gaze of their dull grey stares.

He decided he was very pleased. For he had all of their Knowledge, and he was sure to get The Little Doll now. And off he went to find her.

She was exactly where he had left her, sweeter than ever before. As he approached, she seemed to glow and she smiled at him. Her eyes were full of love and kindness and her bewitching scent seemed stronger now, drawing his heart in tighter than even before, and The Man felt… afraid. But then he remembered that he had The Knowledge. And he decided it was time to get to work.

He backed up a few steps to take in one last look at her before he began when she spoke:

“Wait, wait…“ she said, in a voice that rang like a million tiny silver bells. He had never heard such a sound. His felt his heart breaking, and he was mesmerized.

“Wait, wait…“ she said again.

And then The Little Doll began to sing. Her voice opened his heart like a song he once knew, and The Man was enchanted. And the song was like the fairy tales he had heard as a child, the ones that come true, with children tucked away in their beds by a softly burning fire. It was the way his mother held him close and the scent of her clean hair the bread she baked just for him. It was a song of the green of tree leaves against the blue of the sky on summer days, of his feet in a cold stream slipping on rocks and running through an empty field, pretending it was all mine, all mine, all mine till he couldn’t run any more and had to fall down and let the ants crawl over him as he caught his breath. It was the song of the girl he would never forget whose soft hair he would brush back from her neck, as he kissed her while she softly sighed. It was the song of his motorcycle and the wind in his hair, and the best friend who had said he’d never forget him before he was blown up in the war.

It was all songs, it was everything he had ever wanted and it grew louder and louder, surrounding him like an orchestra and he only wanted it louder still. He wanted to be devoured, to disappear into her song.

The Little Doll sang on and she stepped up closely to The Man, whose heart was pounding so furiously he almost felt dizzy. She held up her hand to his heart and she lifted her eyes to look deep into his. She was looking for The Truth and for a moment, her breath rose just a bit faster and her eyes glistened with the start of a tear, the corners of her mouth turning up slightly. But as she pressed her hand closer into his chest, she startled, as if shocked by static electricity. Her smile faded and the sweetness of her face dissolved into deepest sorrow.

She looked up with sad tenderness into the eyes of The Man, so full of love and longing and desire. And then she stepped back as he shattered into a hundred thousand pieces. At first it was a deep fissure that cleaved into the middle of his chest which then radiated quickly out through his extremities, until finally, he burst. She hid her delicate face in her small white hands as what was left of him rained down all around her in sharp little pieces that bounced off her, forming small glittering piles at her feet.

“No, no, no!”, she cried out in, her sobs like silvery clouds.

But the Man was no more. And he seemed to have been made of nothing more than glass.

The Little Doll waited for this most terrible explosion to end and when all seemed calm, she looked out from behind her hands, a little afraid, and very, very sad. She stood very still for a long time, looking all around her in disbelief and shock and then finally, weary disappointment.

Finally, with her head hanging just a bit lower than before, she stepped out of the shiny pile at her feet. With her little broom and dustpan, she gently swept up what was left of The Man, taking special care with his beautiful eyes that she found at the bottom of one pile. She put him in a gold box inlaid with onyx and pearl, gently laying his eyes on top. And with a wistful sigh, she closed the lid.

From time to time she would open the box and gaze at what was left of The Man and she would sing to him. And what was left of him was so very, very happy indeed, so overjoyed to be close to his Little Doll again.

She would sing to him deep into the night and gaze back into his eyes with a tired smile. Finally, with a melancholy sigh, she would close the lid of the box and put it gently back on the shelf where she kept it.

And she would softly walk away, singing in her silver bell voice, of love and the moon and the stars…

Bengawan Solo*
River of love, behold
Where the palms are swaying low
And lovers get so enthralled

Bengawan Solo
River of love we know
Where my heart was set aglow
When we loved not long ago

Nightingales softly singing
The guitar is gently playing
Moon and stars brightly shining
Shining for you and I

In that moment divine
You whispered you were mine
And you vowed we’d never part
Down by the river of love…

*song from In The Mood for Love, a film by Wong Kar-Wai;
as sung by Rebecca Pan

©2007, Black Light Blue


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