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A little doll makes a difference
Writer and artist living in South Florida
|AUTHOR'S OTHER TITLES (22)
A Thousand Camels (Poetry) A caravan of long ago [173 words] [History]
A Treat For Heinke (Short Stories) A girl finds hope during wartime [1,028 words] [Spiritual]
A Werewolf? (Short Stories) A man entrances a woman in Miami, or is he a werewolf? [1,492 words] [Mystical]
And The Winner Is (Short Stories) A summer camp sports competition has a surprise ending [1,132 words]
As It Comes (Short Stories) A discarded, ragged notebook found on the sidewalk brings impressions and thoughts to the person who found it. [756 words] [Drama]
Down In The Country (Short Stories) The end of the line ain't what it's cracked up to be. [840 words] [Drama]
Endangered (Poetry) A love goes bad [45 words] [Romance]
Garlic, Ginger And Golden Seal (Short Stories) An old woman's recipe for a long life [1,868 words] [Mystery]
Grandma, I Love You (Non-Fiction) Memories of my maternal grandmother [1,027 words] [Biography]
How Lizard Lenny Svaed My Life (Short Stories) A woman escapes life under the El thanks to a man called Lizard Lenny [1,255 words] [Relationships]
It's About Time (Short Stories) Ups and downs in the world of quantum physics [1,475 words] [Humor]
Just Another Joe (Short Stories) A gumshoe takes it as it comes [1,096 words] [Health]
Kylie (Short Stories) Success is not always what we think it is. A girl chooses between fame or love. [1,700 words]
Magnolia (Short Stories) A young woman finds out what a magnolia smells like [1,208 words]
Ode To Wayne Dyer (Poetry) A light roast of self-help books [262 words] [Humor]
On Turning Seventy (Essays) A woman ponders the march of time [717 words] [Motivational]
Ovidio Gets A Smoke (Short Stories) A party turns sour but Ovidio ends up sittin' pretty. [1,160 words] [Suspense]
She Saw It All (Poetry) Statue of Liberty Saw 9-11 [190 words]
Teacups And Time (Poetry) A troubled, cold soul finally finds warmth [151 words] [Spiritual]
Thank You For Not Sleeping (Short Stories) Thoughts go all over the page during the night [1,257 words] [Mind]
The Mysterious Gypsy (Short Stories) Among old photos of Northern people, an exotic gypsy's photo appears. Who is she? [1,457 words] [History]
Too Late For Coffee (Short Stories) An old man's last days with an angel [1,489 words] [Spiritual]
How well I remember that moonlit night in April. In the afternoon, my father had taken the only thing I loved, a wiry, old Cowboy doll I named Tom. We were to migrate to the United States in a couple of weeks and against my childish pleas (I was eight years old), he told me in no uncertain terms that a beat up old rag of a doll was not to go with us.
Our room in the British run refugee camp in Germany afforded little privacy and I had a hard time hiding my pain and confusion. Our family, consisting of father, a sick mother, my younger sister and older brother, shared one room, divided by several freestanding wooden closets and blankets hung as a doorway.
That night the family fell asleep as usual. My brother and I shared the top of a makeshift bunk bed and my 5-year-old sister had the lower bunk. The one window on the children’s side of the room was tall and curtain less. The night was unusually bright with a cold, white moon that seemed to stare at me mercilessly. I felt very old, not like a child at all. Never had I dared to go out alone at night. My parents had often made fun of people who were “moon sick” – people who would wander out at night and go crazy from something the moon did to them. But tonight, this danger meant nothing to me.
I could hear my father’s snoring, muffled by the makeshift wall of blankets and wooden closets as I quietly slipped out the only door in our room. The long hall, lined with many doors behind which families taken from their homes by the war were crunched together, awaiting a trip to whatever country would receive them. Clad in a thin, faded shirt that barely covered my knees, I felt the cold chill of the April night as I ran down heavy stone steps. Long rows of barracks looked dreary and sinister in the moonlight.
I stopped for a moment. Could I just turn back and slip into my warm bed? Then I would be safe. But the moon was so bright, so strong. How could I turn back now? No, I had to do this.
Our compound was surrounded by a high fence and a guard watched the entry gate. Since the dump was at the far end of the barrack, it was out of sight of the gate. I easily made my way to the junk pile. Since there was no school set up in this camp, we children spent our days roaming the grounds and I knew every ripe wild rose bush and hazelnut tree (where I would find snacks in the long stretches between meals). I also knew where to hide, usually up a tree where having made a convenient nest between two large branches, I watched people walking in the distance. This would make a good home for Tom, I thought.
It took some digging, but the bright moonlight helped me find Tom, squashed beneath an old torn cardboard suitcase. Suitcases were a very valuable item in the camp, but this one must have been unusually damaged. As soon as I felt that familiar worn body of Tom in my small hands, a kind of strength and warmth came over me. After all, he had been the only thing I owned, my companion, and my only true friend. A young German war widow, Mrs. Smutzer, had given him to me, along with a large sandwich of dark homemade bread filled with creamy cottage cheese. The sandwich quickly disappeared, but Tom became my treasure. A little refugee boy does not forget such things.
As if guided by a strange spirit (the moon?) I ran toward the wooded area that was my daytime playground, toward my favorite tree.
“Halt!” a gruff voice suddenly hollered from the darkness.
Terrified, I turned around. A bright beam of light flashed in my face.
“Wo gehst Du?” the voice asked, this time more softly.
I tried to speak, but nothing came out. Tears began falling on my cheeks.
As visions of scary prisons, bombs and grenades filled my mind in a moment that seemed to last an eternity, I suddenly felt that familiar coarse cloth that Tom was wrapped in. My eyes looked upward and the moon now smiled a friendly face, its light soft and loving. Then I knew that Tom would always be with me one way or another. Fathers, guards, whatever life would bring could not hurt me any more – as long as I had Tom. I knew that little raggedy body would never see America and I would never want another toy. But I knew I would always have Tom, somehow, he would always be there for me.
The tears stopped as suddenly as they had started. Then I did something that to this day I cannot explain. My hand began to rise, the one clutching my little rag doll, right into the guard’s face.
“Tom,” I said, firmly.
The guard put his gun down and walked away, muttering under his breath.
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© 2007 Liilia Morrison
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