She limps slowly across the room dragging her battered leg behind her. She can’t assess the damage that has been done until Coraline helps her with her corset.
“It’s damn near impossible to bend over wearing this thing” she mutters to herself.
She makes it to the pew that is surrounded by piles and piles of newspapers.
She cries out in pain and that is when I see the blood trickling down the side of her mouth.
“She really got you this time. Why do you insist on fighting her? You are not made of stone you know. You can get hurt.”
“Obviously.” She sighs as wipes her mouth
“Here, let me help you.”
“No, Coraline is on her way with supplies.” She looks away sensing the disapproving gaze. “Honestly, I don’t want to hear it from you. I know the risks and I know the cost. I can’t listen to one more of your lectures. So please, leave me alone so I can think about my next move.”
“Next move!? You have got to be joking. Agatha, look at me.”
She turns away crying out in pain. The corset must be keeping her together. She stares past me looking for the place beyond me. I know that look because we all have that same place in our mind, the same painted look on our faces. The place between reality and fiction, our lives are between those two realms. And we are stuck here fighting for our way out, but no one ever wins unless falling to pieces counts as winning.
Each of us arrived here, in this dusty old building the same way. In crates, boxed up from a time long ago. We used to have a place of high priority in the manors and mansions where we lived. Girls with names like Mary Katherine and Elizabeth Ann would take us from their estate to their friends estate in carriages drawn by a team of horses. We would spend all afternoon being pampered and having tea. We were a group of elite prizes between the girls and the envy of all the girls who didn’t have us around. We were special. But now, look at us, tossed aside covered in dust. Our clothes that were once grand are now tattered and thread bare.
Mary Katherine was mine. She was five years old when we met. Her eyes filled with tears when she saw me while she was walking down the street with her papa. He doted on her, always giving into her desires. Her father William had not come from money but rather he made it. Working his way up building a business that would be a legacy for his family for generations to come. His father before him was a carpenter who had skill but not enough drive to make him successful. William on the other hand was all drive. His name was well known throughout all of England. In fact Martin is probably stamped on the table at which you sit. William gave in again to Mary’s wishes that day. With a tiny giggle Mary scooped me up and didn’t let go of me for days.
When Mary’s eyes met mine I knew that she and I were matched perfectly. Her curls with her amber colored hair mimicked mine. We had the same shining green eyes but she possessed a smile that I would never be able to match.
My home was a house built inside her room. My favorite space was laying under a canopy bed that matched hers. The pink ruffles were like clouds from heaven especially when compared with where I lay my head now.
Agatha is still staring beyond me wishing for her reality today to be like what they were in the beginning. Back to the times when we were important. I hold the words I wish to say and bend down to remove her shoe. I hear Coraline shuffling towards us carrying the much needed thread and wood.
She, like me, is an original. We were built with pride of craftsmanship that was hard to duplicate. There are few of us left but many who want to be us. She has told me time and again that this is why we must fight.
Her leg is in shambles. She lay’s down as Coraline and I go to work. I carefully start to unweave the thread to see that the damage has left splinters. Slowly we work the glue through the shards of wood while adding bits of sawdust and more wood to reinforce her leg. She will be on the post for a couple of weeks in order to properly heal. She will no doubt, be insufferable. Grabbing the needle I sew her back together setting her on her post.
It is almost dawn and a new parade of people will come to stare at us. The love we once felt has been destroyed long ago. We are the remnants of a long forgotten time.
We are the Dolls.