I try to vary my blog posts to keep them interesting, but still tend to flit between various options without settling into a regular format. I’m not sure if this is a good thing, or even if reading my short stories might encourage followers to buy my books.
I ran out of time this week but managed to dig out any old short story from some years ago. Let’s see if it has the desired effect in making my books best-sellers. Oh well, it was worth a try. 😀
This story was inspired by a writers’ group where one of the contributors wrote a short story about cutting off the hair on her doll as ‘Babies don’t have hair.’ She ended up being ostracised by the other girls at school, and this was my follow up.
When I cut off the hair on my doll and took her to school, the other girls my gave me strange looks, and made it obvious I wasn’t welcome to join in their games. With no friends to play with, I concentrated on paying attention to my lessons and spent most of my spare time in the library. This made me even more unpopular as I got a reputation as a swot and teacher’s pet.
At least it meant I could sail through the entrance exams for junior and senior school. As I matured, I hoped my schoolmates would show more appreciation for learning, and I might even make some new friends. It was not to be. Sport had never interested me so I remained the odd-ball, always with my head in a book, and playing wallflower at the occasional obligatory social occasion.
I was sixteen when something happened which changed my outlook. A gorgeous older boy started paying me attention and made a point of tracking me down during lunch breaks at school. He would join me at my solitary table and ignore the howls of laughter from his rowdy friends nearby. I was smitten, so when he invited me back to his place to discuss a book he was reading, I didn’t hesitate. The room was scruffy and dirty, and I was surprised there was no sign of parents or other family. It struck me as odd that being only a few years older than me he would have his own flat.
When I pointed out there were no books in the living area, he led me into a curtained alcove containing an unmade grubby bed. Sitting down next to me he started to kiss my neck and for a moment I was tempted when his hands started wandering. I yearned for affection and finally someone was showing it. Who knows what might have happened if I hadn’t noticed the curtain twitch and seen several pairs of feet peeking out underneath?
As I grabbed my things and fled, the sound of raucous laughter followed me. I was dimly aware of shouts of ‘You’re the man,’ ‘who would have believed it of little Miss Prissy?’ and his voice saying ‘Fair and square you lot. I won the bet, now cough up.’
After that I gave up all thoughts of romance and went back to my books. I progressed to University, obtained my degree and joined a company carrying out experiments within a grey area of the law. The work fascinated me, and eventually I was given a research grant to develop my own ideas without hindrance. The psychology of the power of the brain against physical torment became my field of expertise.
Living out in the wilds of the country there were plenty of animals for my research, but eventually I moved my experiments to a higher level. With no close neighbours to interfere and only the odd passing tramp or solitary labourer, I became more involved in pushing the boundaries.
I’ve still got Dolly. When things get too much I bring her out of the wardrobe and talk to her for a while. It makes me feel better and I appreciate her wisdom. She often comes up with ideas when I hit a stumbling block, even if she has lost nearly all her stuffing and her limbs often fall off. At least now she is totally bald, the odd tufts of hair having long gone.
I recognised ‘him,’ the one who had mocked me nearly a quarter of a century previously, although he had no idea the attractive blonde answering her door was the same geeky girl he had humiliated.
‘Of course you can use my phone to contact the garage,’ I smiled. ‘Come in and get warm, it’s a foul night out there.’
The ‘special sugar’ in his drink worked more quickly than I expected, and now he is suitably restrained in my laboratory. Although he cannot move or speak, I note that his eyes already show fear. I think I’ll let Dolly watch this one. After all, it’s her story too.