The Dolls
By C. T. Blink

A musty smell touches my nose as soon as I open the door. I open the door wider and a beam of light flows in. I look down at the floor and see the outline of my figure on the floor.

I'm probably the first sight of light this room has seen in awhile," I thought.

Taking a step into the room, a cloud of dust floats up and fills my nose trails. Immediately, my hands cover my nose as my mom taught me to do as a child.

"Cover your nose," she would scold. "A squeeze is not something that should be sacred with the world."

After my spell was over, I took another step into the room. This time, I was more prepared and the dust didn't bother me as much.

I slowly made my way around the room, looking at all the fine porcelain dolls that had stated their claim on the room long before I showed up.

The dolls had always frighten me. Their eyes always felt as if they were boring holes into my back when ever I wasn't looking. Then, when I turned around to catch them doing it, all I would see are their fake smiling grins.

My mother loved her dolls. She would spend hours brushing their hair.

"Look." She would say to me. "Look at their beautiful hair."

She was always telling me to look but never to touch.

"You must never touch them!" My mother would yell this whenever my dirty hands would reach up towards them. "They are fragile and delicate. They break easily."

"I only wanted to touch them," I would say. Really, I wanted to understand. I wanted to understand the hold the dolls had on my mother. I wanted to feel their magic just like my mother did.

I wanted to understand why the dolls magic was so strong. It was strong enough to kept my mother in bed all day. She would just lay there in bed all day, brushing their hair. Sometimes with a comb, sometimes with her fingers. No matter how thin her fingers got, she would brush the dolls' hairs.

They always stayed in the room with her. Mother and her dolls.

I walked over to the bed. Or at least over to where the bed should be. There was so much dust.

Even though there was dolls all over the place, only one got the honor of sitting on the bed.

She was leaning against the pillows, her finally dress all sprayed out under her.

This was my mother's favorite.

Looking at her, she reminded me so much of my mother. She has blue eyes, like my mom and like all the other dolls. She has brown hair, like my mom. When my mom had hair anyway.

She was perfect.

I feared and hated this doll the most. Mom always treated her like the daughter she always wanted. She would spend hours talking to it, whispering to it, telling it all of her secrets. All of her feelings and fears were told to the doll.

Never once was the doll told about me.

I reached out for the doll with my clean hands. My heart yearned for it to tell me all the secrets that my mother told her. My heart wanted to understand why my mother couldn't give me the love that she gave this doll and all the others.

My fingers brushed against the painted blush on the doll's face.

My hand slapped the doll to the ground.

Reaching into my pocket I pulled out a matchbook.

Striking a match, I squatted down to the doll.

I touched the match to the doll's brown hair. It burned away as if it were real.

In a way, it was.

I turned and walked away as the flower dress turned to ash and as the body melted.

The fire quickly speared to my other 'sisters.'

As a child, I dreamed of understanding my mother. I dreamed of her love for me.

For me, not the dolls.