The Dolls

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The Winsome CrestI heard the splashing, gravelly sound of a car moving toward my direction as I lay in the snow.  I slowly raised my eyelids.  I was looking up at the sky.  Rain had seemed imminent earlier, but now cutting winds had begun herding the dark clouds away, revealing patches of fierce blue sky and slivers of sunlight.

I found I was able to turn my head.  I turned to my left, blinking against the bright glare of the snow.  I saw my car.  The doors were still open.  My left hand lay before my face in a pile of bloody slush.  I felt no pain from it.  I tried to move my fingers.  No luck. I tried to move my arms, to raise myself up, but I couldn’t.  I couldn’t feel my arms.  I couldn’t feel my legs.

A glaze washed over my eyes.  I realized that I couldn’t blink.  My left ear and cheek didn’t feel cold or wet or even numb.  The sound of the approaching car became hollow and distant, as if my ears were stuffed with cotton.

Where is Buckles?

I couldn’t see into my car.  I couldn’t see if the dolls were still there.

The approaching car stopped behind mine.  Doors opened and slammed shut.  A woman in a long red coat rushed to the backseat of my car.  A scar like lightning streaked across her left cheek.  She pulled out a doll.  The doll’s limbs dangled and swayed, but then the arms stiffened, bent at the joints, and embraced the woman.  My failing ears heard coughs, sneezes, moaning, and whispering.  I couldn’t call out.  I couldn’t produce tears.  I couldn’t close my eyes to my sad dream. It was a dream, only a dream, because Dinah Winsome was dead.  She was a dead doll, and so were her children.

And so was I.

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