The Lost Girl

The temperature of the room rose steadily; the sweat running down my arms and mingling with the bathwater before I could stop it. I heard him coming.  I heard the deep thuds of his walking frame as he made his way across the landing toward me. When he did finally emerge, our eyes refused to meet. Walking slowly to the bath, his cane fell from his grasping hands and hit the cool white tiles of the floor. The noise it produced made me feel like I’d been smacked in the teeth.

I had to undress him, working through each layer of clothes until we reached his bare and wrinkled flesh. Watching him standing in the cold sent a shiver down my spine. Age was a cruel, circular thing and in Sidney’s spotted, stretched body I was seeing the worst it had to offer. I lowered him into the tub, the clear water making his body sway and ripple as though it weren’t actually real.

“I’ll just come back in a few minutes.”

I descended the staircase, entering the living room at an angle so that the doll was looking right at me. I walked over, lifting her from the seat she had occupied for almost forty years. A ring of dust remained as I raised the doll into my arms and carried her out of the room. Her head lolled in my lap, decaying face nodding against my heaving chest. I stroked the dress, stared hopelessly at the optimistic curve of her lips. For one awful moment I felt I was holding her, the dead child in my arms. It’s difficult to describe, but I felt the doll needed so desperately to be there – to hear whatever he had to say for himself.

I opened the bathroom door once more and saw the look of terror shadow his face as I brought her over the threshold. His eyes darted around awkwardly.

“What the hell are you holding that for?”





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This is me: home-writer, book-reader, dog-lover and occasional poet. I make this website to share my and my friends texts with You, dear Reader. Please: read carefully, don't be scary, upgrade your mood and be king and leave your comment. :)