Sunday, September 11, 2011

FICTION: I don't love my dolls anymore by Jude C. Perera

Anjela; Jeanie and Roberta look dumb; they’ve never looked dumber. They were the pick of the lot. I had kept them, souvenirs from the past. They were my babies; I had bawled my tearless eyes out to own them; I can still remember. They had never left my bedside; but now the plastic is obvious; their dark eyes glassy and vacant; cheap stuff. I can’t believe that I fell for their hokey glamour and pretend sincerity once.

I’ve had endless conversations with these three. I am on the brink of wanting to have one now. My tears have drenched them; the plastic cuts through my chest as I cuddle all three. It feels good though and the shame that had bristled earlier had thankfully chickened out.

If only Dad was here, I wonder what he looks like. He had decamped after generously fulfilling his half of the biological contract. Here I am marooned in my room again, I have precious little time to brace for the onslaught of dusk. The three beauties are still hopelessly trapped in my remorseless clutch. It’s like losing a friend; seeing the last slivers of orange, pink, and red stage their daily swansong. Hopefully shutting the window might blot out the ordeal.

The crunch of gravel; the rough squeal of the brakes; he’s back. My nerves are on strike again; they labor as my ears strain for the front door. My heart’s running an ugly race. His steps are soft, gagged by Mom’s sloppy shuffle. I can see the shadows pass through the slit of my closed doorway, and I hope my sweat is non-toxic. I have learnt to celebrate every second of peace, but there are billions of seconds left; to occupy before those orange and red slivers make their vengeful comeback. And peace has been a notorious ally. If only I could sleep some of it away and survive the rest. But sleep had obviously spurned my overtures. I might still get away with it if I can ignore the doorknob. It’s hard too when you are straining to catch all the subtle noises from beyond the door, particularly footsteps that are gingerly negotiated.

Anjela; Jeanie and Roberta stare back empty; the plastic cuts through my chest again. But they have lost my trust, forever. The doorknob hasn’t budged, old habits die-hard. Every sound is a footstep; I can hear them still, even through the two pillows that have sandwiched my ears. My cheeks are wet and dawn is still a distant promise. The pillows don’t feel safe at all. Mummy could have helped, but our rooms are worlds apart. I so badly want to tell her that I don’t love my dolls anymore.


Slim shafts of light play comfortingly on my face, they have exploited the chinks in the blinds. The sun is begging admission and the night is now a distant threat.

Author - Jude C. Perera

Other publising credits

My Mom - Hackwriters

My Niece - Hackwriters

Redemption - The Fringe Magazine

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