I found it in a basket in a garage sale. I had one just like it in junior high. Those wide staring eyes. The stumpy feet. The strange lack of genitals, but a belly button and a fully formed backside complete with buttcrack.
Its hair was hot pink. I reflexively stroked it as I picked it up.
"That's a quarter miss."
I stood frozen to the spot. Watching a story play out in my mind's eye.
"Miss? Miss that's a quarter."
I still don't really believe that my wishing on something made of rubbery plastic with glued in hair could have caused everything that followed, but sometimes……
"Miss? Are you alright miss?"
I sat down before I fell down on a rickety lawn chair and put my head between my knees. All that money on therapy. Did seeing a stupid rubber doll in a basket just undo several thousand dollars worth of therapy?
My clothes were soaked through. I could see sweat from my forehead dripping onto the driveway between my sandals.
"I'll get you a glass of water. It must be the heat…..you just sit there a minute."
It was all coming back. Washing over me. The humiliation. The feeling of powerlessness. Cindy, Rosie, Dianne. The terrible trio. The ones who stood in the door to eighth grade homeroom passing judgment on my overbite, my hair, my hand-me-down clothes.
Then the wish on the wishnick. Something simple. Just a little bit of power. Dr. Joseph said that their disappearance had nothing to do with me. And over the years I had come to believe her.
I had oral surgery and six years of braces. I finished top of my college class and got a good job. I wore comfortable yet stylish clothes. I smiled at myself in the mirror. Now holding this stupid grinning troll doll had made me unravel.
It had only been that once. Ever since I had been able to hide it, or beat it back into submission.
This is the first time that I have had a meltdown like this in public. And in the daytime. I just hope that I can manage to drink my water without showing the lady my fangs, or worse yet, ripping out her throat and burying her in the woods right next to Cindy, Rosie and Dianne.
A second offering for those who dare... Fresh is Best... my new flash piece at Flashes in the Dark
And lastly a link to this week's 67 #fridayflash stories at Mad Utopia