Dolls (and other stories) - Stefano Pastor - ebook
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Three magical and exciting stories.DOLLS. He remained the last one to create dolls in a crafts way. Small masterpieces, perfect as real children. And that's exactly what she's looking for. A beautiful woman, perhaps a model, who enters her shop with a special request. Satisfying it will only be the beginning of a fantastic adventure.FISH FROM THE SKY. On the lake shore, during a hot summer night, a child experiences an incredible experience when he sees a flock of flying fish come down from the sky, coming to take shelter right in his room.LITTLE MOUSE. Little Mouse lives in a cage, looked after and guarded by a strange woman: Eleonora. He has only one friend, Cricket, the only connection with the outside world. He tells him about fantastic and wonderful things that Mickey would like to see so much. If only he could escape from that cage.

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Illusion Short Stories # 4

Dolls

Original title: Bambole

Translated by Alfio Loreti

Fish From the Sky

Original title: Pesci dal cielo

Translated by Paolo Tullii

Little Mouse

Original title: Topolino

Translated by Wilo Guitarz

© 2018 Illusion

© 2018 Stefano Pastor

Graphics: Angela M.

DOLLS

The woman stood for a moment to look at the shop window before coming in. I could not help but notice its elegance and beauty, even though the last few years that these attributes were indifferent to me. From Rosa’s death every desire lessened, even though I was only sixty years old.

There were no children with her, and that was unusual. Mine wasn’t a simple toy shop, my dolls were craftsmanship, built with the care of past times. Special dolls, tailor made for their little masters, exclusively made on order. It was a craft that was fading and that maybe it would end with me.

She came decisively and walked on like a model on the catwalk. Very tall, a slim body, pointed stilettos on which she moved with ease. And then the dress, red and gaudy. I wasn’t an expert, but it was obvious that it was an exclusive model, created for her shape.

She was very concise. “I want a doll.”

Thin lips, a delicate makeup, green intense eyes and a black hair’s cascade like the night itself.

I was not surprised by such a simple request. “Do you have something special in mind?”

She had it, no doubt. “I want an eight-year-old girl who looks a bit like me.”

It was a confusing request, which I tried to interpret. “Do you want a doll that resembles you, and she has an apparent age of eight?”

“It must be perfect, it must look real.”

I sigh lightly. “I do not deal with such bulky articles. As you can see my dolls are smaller. Won’t it be better for you to look into a toy store? Dolls of all sizes are easily found there.”

She did not blink. “They do not look like me. I did not even find one that resembles me.”

“You want her to be realistic, is this what you’re saying? That looks like a real little girl? Like a manikin?”

She shook her head. “I do not want a dummy, I want a doll.”

I tried to explain the difference. “Madam, in this shop we sell the best dolls you can ever find. But they are dolls, they cannot look like real children.”

“They told me that you are able to satisfy any wish.”

And she was convinced, she did not say it just to flatter. “Eight years are a lot, I don’t think I can reproduce the exact proportions.”

“It must look like me. I want it to be like me.”

She did not understand, or did not want to understand. “I don’t think I can…”

“I need it, you have to do it.”

Under the coldness of her voice I perceived despair. I asked myself what she needed it for. It wasn’t for her daughter, no, I doubted that this kind of woman could have children. Or perhaps she had a daughter and had lost her, and that doll has to replace her. Whatever the reason that pushed her, however, that woman stirred me.

“I will not accept a negative answer”, she added.

Could I do that? Certainly, I was able to do it, even though it annoyed me to please her.

“I’ll have to study the measures carefully”, I said.

Even in victory, the woman continued to be impassive. “I want her tall, and lean, just like me. Even the hair must be black, like mine…”

It took me three weeks.

I was impressed by my work: she really looked like a little girl. She was not dressed like a doll, the woman had brought me the clothes she had to wear, and they were as expensive and stylish as the woman’s.

She was tall and slim, with long black hair and green eyes, just as she had asked me. Her lips were rosy and fleshy.

The woman came to pick her up after two days, almost at the closing time of the store, when the darkness had already wrapped the city.

She studied it for a long time, turning around, to the point that even my proverbial patience came to an end. “Then? Is that what you wanted?”

She did not give me the satisfaction to answer, pulled out a roll of money from the microscopic handbag and paid. Then she took the doll by hand, she must have been thinking she would follow her with her legs.

I perceived something pathological, unpleasant. At the same time, I felt sorry for her, because it was clear that she had suffered, and was still suffering now. The doll was special for her, she should have replaced someone who was gone.

I tried to bring her back to reality. “Do you want me to wrap her?”

I saw her confused, for the first time. Then she shook her head and lifted the doll from the waist as if she were a suitcase.

She did not answer my greetings and went away.

The story could have ended there, if a couple of months later I did not find myself walking the streets in center town. I was immersed in my thoughts when I raised my eyes and found myself in front of them: the woman and the little girl.

There were two mannequins, in a beautiful display in a shop window. The bigger one looked exactly like the woman who came to my shop. She also wore the same outfit. She held a little girl in her hand, which was indisputably the doll I had made. She even had the clothes I put on.

I looked at the sign: it was Scallis’, one of the most exclusive boutiques in the city.

I stayed for a long time to fix the two dummies, increasingly disconcerting. I found it unpleasant, not to say disgusting, that my doll was on display in the eyes of everyone. I had always put all my love in building them, and in love they would have to live. The love of a little girl who would have filled her with attention.

I would never have done it if I only suspected what its use would be.

It was indignation to push me into the shop.

It was not a place where I could feel comfortable. The two shop assistants seemed model themselves, in their elegant clothes.

They weighted me, I think, because it was the oldest one of them to come to me.

“How can I help you?”

I pointed to the showcase. “That mannequin…”.

She smiled. “You have a great taste, sir. An exclusive, unique model in the world.”

At the risk of being pointed as crazy, I had to ask her. “The dummy who wears it… I’m sure I’ve seen it before. It reminds me of someone, someone I met.”

Her reaction surprised me, because she turned to look at her colleague. The other woman nodded almost imperceptibly.

There was a bit of embarrassment in the woman. “Mrs. Scallis, yes. The owner of the boutique. It was her choice that mannequin. It has been made to measure. She found it funny.”

I had a different feeling about it. “Could I talk to her?”

Women’s uncertainty was more evident now. “I’m afraid it’s not possible, sir.”

Before I could insist, she continued: “Mrs. Scallis is in America now. She’s on vacation.”

I hid my disappointment. Certainly, I could not blame them, they could not understand. So, I greeted them with courtesy, and then left, determined to face that woman once she came back from vacation.

It was a month, and I almost forgot about her when Mrs. Scallis returned to my shop.