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9/02/2015 3:26 pm  #1

The Marionette

Rated: G

Genre: G/t,Fantasy/fluff?

Short Story by Lazybug      (Also on

     In every person’s life, the world has the tendency to either bring great fortune, or misery to that said person. It will test you over and over again until it finally gets what it wanted, stretching and bending you until there is nothing left but an empty shell of what your life once was.

     But . . . The end result is ultimately determined by the person forced into it. How they react to this drastic change is what will determine their fate in the long run. Will they adapt and start a new, as if given a clean slate? . . . or will they fall to their knees, and cry and curse at the sun above them for taking away what they believed was rightfully theirs, and demanded it back? . . . . I’ve seen this cause and effect many times in my life, and every time it is different with each person.

     But I no longer see that anymore . . . . I watch silently as the morning rays of sun shines into the dark antique store’s large display window, glinting off the floral china dishes and figurines set there.  I envy them sometimes, because they get to see what’s going on in the cobbled streets of our old village, while I sit here on a high shelf among the other antiques facing the large window. But I guess it’s better than where I originally was last year; stuffed in a storage closet for almost a month, with nothing to stare at but a demented monkey toy with a pair gongs in each hand. That creature nearly gave me nightmares, and now that I think about it, I shouldn’t complain about my current spot now.

    The little store suddenly echoed as something from the back of the shop rustled and moaned, followed by a few loud coughs behind a faded brown door. Its bronze handle creaked loudly as an older man in his early seventies emerged from the dark room, his face wrinkled with hardships and his posture hunched slightly. It was Mr. Agénor, the shop keeper. I have been in his care for nearly four years now, a kind hearted man who helps his neighbors and family, and even did his best to fix up old timed items as close to their former glory as he could. He had tried to fix me a few times last year, but sadly he didn’t have the right tools for the job, and the closest place that could was much too far way for an old man to travel. And so, I sit here on this shelf as I am, with a low sale price tag on in the hopes a good home will come soon.

      My ears perk up to the sound of feet shuffling across the cream tiled floor, and in my left peripheral version I saw Mr.  Agénor quietly make his way to the glass door. As he flipped the sign from close to open, a loud yelp escaped his mouth as a sound of vigorous tapping on glass erupted through the room. 

     I knew immediately where that stupid tapping noise came from.  Mentally glaring at the perpetrator on the other side of the display window, I saw none other than our antique store’s regular visitor, Ms. Amaline. She looked about eight years younger than the shop keeper, her eyes lined with crow’s feet but bright with youthful energy. The woman was very petite and curvy, and from the appearance of her pitch black mink coat and fur hat she wore, it seemed that late spring was still cold outside.  She grinned through the display window and waved, ignoring the fact the poor man was holding his chest after her surprise greeting.

      Stupid woman . . . I thought bitterly. Don’t you know that’s bad for his heart?!

     But Mr. Agénor merely smiled back. He barely unlocked and opened the door for her to enter when she swiftly came through with ease, quickly holding up in her gloved hands a square bowl of casserole. “Bonjour! Gregory. Tis a fine cool day this morning in the village isn’t it?” She greeted cheerfully. 

        The shop keeper nodded in agreement, his voice deep but humble at the same time. “Oui, it is. . . “He replied and shuffled to his check out desk to the right of the door on the far wall. “I’m surprised you had come so early. If it’s about the package you ordered, I’m afraid it has not come yet.”

         But Ms. Madaline waved him off. “Oh it’s not that, Gregory! I was just worried a little since you didn’t come to the Mass yesterday.” She leaned over the counter slightly, as if about to reveal a secret. “The Noel family’s little one had been baptized on that day. You and they have always been close friends, so I assumed that you would want to come to see the special event."

       The older man sighed heavily and he pulled out a feather duster from the cabinet behind him, then started dusting a few lamps that stood nearby. “If it were my child, I wouldn’t baptize him at all. You can’t get a child Saved by merely sprinkling water on him from a gold goblet.” He shuffled over to the aisle where the dolls were and dusted around them. “Besides, I needed to clean the store properly before the summer tourists come to the village.”

         Her eyebrows shot up in surprise at his answer, her smile faltering, which in turn made me want to smile. As much as though Ms. Madaline was a very nice lady, she is as much though too nosy than she should be. She loved village gossip, and it also wasn’t a big secret around the village that she’s been flirting with Mr. Agénor.

         Ms. Madaline tried to make more small talk with the old shopkeeper, mostly him answering with either a grunt or a blunt answer. Finally, after five minutes of pestering him, she left, leaving the casserole she brought with on the checkout counter before waving cheerfully goodbye.

        The moment the bell on the door fell silent did both I and Mr. Agénor sighed in relief. It’s strange, really . . . mimicking a human emotion or action without physically expressing it. At night it’s not hard, but during the day is more difficult.

       It didn’t take long for the daily routine to take effect. Even at this early hour of seven in the morning, the streets outside were slowly bustling with folks. As if on cue, a young boy on his bicycle rode past the display window with today’s newspapers stacked to the brim in his basket and bag, a young man in a white apron swept the sidewalk just outside his father’s pastry shop from across the street of the antique store, and a pair of old ladies with scarves tied around their heads walked by pulling a small cart full of lavender flowers to sell today. I see most of this from my spot on the high shelf, and everyday it’s almost the same thing. Day in and day out, no cause or effect, and the only relief I get from it is when night falls and I have a bit more freedom.

      A loud jingle from above the door jerks me out of my thoughts and I become alert to see a few women walk into the store, their eyes bright and curious as they looked at the items worn by time around them. As I watched them move out of my line of vision, I can hear Mr. Agénor move around in the back still feather dusting every single item that I’m pretty sure was already clean to begin with. The sound of the three women smiling and examining the antiques echoed slightly in the store, and within fifteen minutes they walked out with a set of old dishes and silverware in their hands.

        No more than an hour later did another person enter the store. I was glad I couldn’t move in the day time, because otherwise I’d be bursting out laughing at just how ridiculous this guy looked. He looked about fifty five years old, and the attire he wore screamed that he was a foreign tourist. Gray shorts with high ankle socks (that had to been cold for him), a little black walking pack strapped around his wide waist, and a dark red shirt with an exotic flower pattern all over it.

        I mentally rolled my eyes, watching as the man moved around the store here and there, picking up random items he deemed odd in his eyes and tested them out before setting them back down again. He even tried to speak to Mr. Agénor in the native language a few times to get him to explain the origin of an antique clay pot.

        I sat in silence as the interactions went on, but suddenly I felt small vibrations run through the shelf that I sat on. The pair is walking down in my aisle.

     The moment I thought this did my vision abruptly turn on its side, and I felt myself falling. No . . . not falling. . . Held. A pair of large hands wrapped around my waist firmly and brought me up to eye level of whom I wished did not find me. The foreigner smiled big as he studied every inch of my small form, which was about sixteen inches height wise, but that wasn’t the problem. I glared at the man as his beefy hands fumbled around with my strings and control bar, trying to figure out how I moved with such complicated mechanisms. It’s kind of hard do that if most of my strings are either broken or missing completely.

       After a few times without success, he finally gave up and set me back on the shelf, resulting in me leaning forward slightly until my vision was only the floor and the tall Victorian china dolls on the other side of the aisle. Great . . . now I’ll have to stay in this posture until either closing time or Mr. Agénor comes by and readjusted me, which the latter was very slim.

       I sighed and decided to put up with it, and the foreigner moved around for a little while longer until finally leaving, the silence cloaking the store once again.

        I stayed this way for some time, doing nothing but stare at the dolls that lined the middle shelf across from me. They were beautiful dolls I’ll admit that, each unique in clothing and hair style, with baby like faces that made everyone adore them.  And I’ll admit even more so, I’m jealous of them.

       The bell chimes and the antique store’s door opens again, but due to my new position I can’t see who entered. Not that it mattered anyway; they will just come in as usual, look around at whatever interests them, and even perhaps buy a few items and then leave. That’s how it went here. I’ll witness items that have been here longer than I have leave with a new owner, finally be made of use for either their old history or just uniqueness.

       The thought disheartens me, but I try to stay positive. I’ve lasted this long so maybe there’s still hope.

        The door closed and the person’s footsteps vibrated through my body as I heard the person move deeper into the store. From the weight of his footsteps it sounded like a man, and the rhythm of movement carried a sense of self-confidence in them.

       But then my ears pick up another sound. It was small, like a slight echo of the bigger human’s steps, but carried its own distinctive tune.

      I heard what sounded like sniffling, and then a quiet whine. At that my heart nearly stopped.

     Oh merde!. . . . He brought in a child!

     My mind slowly panics. In all my life that I existed, children were the last creatures I want to be around with. They were curious and destructive at anything they touched, and no matter how many times you tell them to be gentle, they still find a way to break it.

      The sounds of their footsteps now brought me to full attention, and I listened intently as the pair moved around the store as if looking for something specific.

      “May I assist you in anything?” Mr. Agénor shuffled over to the pair as the adult stopped somewhere about two aisles behind me.

    “Yes, if possible. Could you tell me the history of that small table over there?” The man asked, in a voice that sounded business like but also trying to be friendly at the same time.  He was fluent in the native language, but I can hear the English accent seeping through.  . . . American or British?

      “Yes. It’s an eighteenth century walnut side table once owned by a wealthy trade merchant during the time of King Louis XVI ‘s reign.”

     “And you have papers to prove this?” The man asked with a hint of skepticism.

     “I do, if you’d like to see it.”

      “If you don’t mind I would. It appears to be legitimate for its time period, however it’s not the first time I came across fakes either.”

      Wow. . . This man sure acts like he knows everything. I thought with a snort, listening.

      “Understandable, but I don’t simply hand out information unless my customers are going to buy it.”

       There’s a brief silence. Either the man was nodding in agreement or he was thinking it over. “If the papers of authenticity are true, then yes, I am willing to buy it at the right price.”

        I hear shuffling. “Then wait here for a moment while I retrieve it.” And then the sound of a drawer opening as Mr. Agénor pulled out the papers.

       The child made a soft hiccup noise and whined again, but the man immediately hushed it firmly in English.

    “Is the little one alright?” Mr. Agénor asked with concern as he made his way back with the papers. “Is she ill?”

       I could hear the slight irritation in the man’s voice when he replied, “No, she’s fine. My daughter had lost one of her toys on the way here.”

      “Oh? . . . A doll was it?”

      The man sighed heavily. “Yes. “

     There was a brief silence again, and I immediately knew what was going to happen.

     “Hmm. . . . If your daughter is willing, I do have a collection of dolls I’ll be glad to give to her if it’ll make her feel better.”

    “You do?”

      Mr. Agénor hummed and nodded as I predicted. “Yes, just beyond those two aisles over there are some dolls in a few sizes that perhaps she would be interested in. They are all in good shape, almost brand new. I’ll even give you a discount for the one she picks.”

      The man made a noise that sounded like disbelief. “Sir, that is very generous of you. But I can’t possibly do that –“

     “Of course you can!” Mr. Agénor chuckled softly. “It’s a shame to have a child lose something most dear to them. Trust me, I’ve had five grandchildren back home make the same face as hers, and it’s heartbreaking.”

     Silence once again fell on the store, but it was short lived when the man heaved a heavy sigh in defeat. “Alright then. Thank you for this.”

     “You’re very welcome.”

     I feel multiple vibrations through the shelf as the trio of humans enter my aisle, and for once I’m glad the other costumer changed my position. The man that followed Mr. Agénor was tall and clean cut, taller than the old shop keeper himself by over half a head, and wore a crisp white button shirt that had the sleeves rolled up loosely to his elbows. Next to him and holding the man’s hand tightly, was the child they were speaking of.

      Despite I feared children, I’ll admit that she was cute. The little girl was small, looking around four or five years old at most. She wore a beautiful yellow sun dress with a darker shade ribbon around her waist to form a bow behind her back, and her bright golden hair was tied in a messy pony tail with also a blue ribbon. Her bangs curtained around her pale face that was streaked with tears, her clear blue eyes red and puffy from probably crying for some time now.

     The man, whom I assumed was her father, spoke to her in English as he led her over to the shelf full of china dolls, perhaps explaining to her that she could get a new doll and had the option to choose one for herself. I watched with interest as she shook her head vigorously, a fist stuffed into her mouth as if trying to muffle the noise that her father did not like hearing. But he didn’t take no for an answer, and gently pushed her in front of the rows of dolls, reaffirming his words before moving away and returning to Mr. Agénor’s side.

      She stood there, unmoving . . . Staring at the dolls before her. It looked as if she was looking through them instead of at them, and I can hear her light sobs from up here as the girl did her best to quiet them. Her head moved from one far side of the shelf to the other, so she was at least giving them a chance. I can see one particular doll that would be perfect for her; standing at the same height as me, sixteen inches, in a bright blue dress with long brown curly hair, so perfectly styled and shiny. It didn’t look babyish but was still playful at the same time. It stood just to the left of her, and the longer I stared at it I knew for sure it was her match.

     But I could only observe as her eyes trailed from one doll to next, either she couldn’t decide on which one she wanted or she still didn’t care for them at all.

      Suddenly the little girl’s gaze moved beyond the dolls and instead looked at the random figurines lined up next to them. I mentally quirked an eyebrow at this behavior, but watched none the less as she looked and stared at each object on the shelf, until finally she turned on her heels to look behind her, towards my shelf. There was nothing interesting on my side really, just some old picture frames and silver dishes from the early nineteen hundreds, and then perhaps a few snow globes here and there, but that was it. I watched as the little golden haired girl looked at each of the items in silence, her eyes slowly traveling upwards until she was craning her neck to try to see the items at the top. . .

      At first those big blue eyes flew right over me, not even noticing the hunched figure leaning against an old encyclopedia book for support. But within seconds after passing the eyes found me again. Gently she pulled the fist out of her mouth and stared curiously, her eyes sparkling from the tears that still lingered in the corners but didn’t fall.

      This is odd. . . Why is she looking at me? . . .There’s nothing on me that would catch her attention, if anything my body should have blended in with the other dark objects on my shelf. But here she found me within seconds.

     What are you doing? . . .The dolls are over there. I mentally said, as if that would draw her attention back to them. But the little girl stayed where she was.

      She tilted her head to the side, keeping her fist close to her face but made no move to put it back in her mouth. It seems that the more we stared at each other, her blues to my browns, the more I begin to see the want in her expression.

      Someone spoke from down the aisle, and I realize it was the father returning from speaking with Mr. Agénor. He spoke in English, probably asking his daughter which doll she chose. But then his footsteps suddenly stopped short when he notices that the little girl was looking in the wrong direction, but instead facing the opposite shelf and staring right up at something at the top. He spoke again, but the little girl still stared at me with interest. Crouching down so he was level with her, his eyes followed her gaze until it landed on me.

      The tall man’s face creased in confusion. He spoke to her again, and this time she perked up and glanced at her father. Lifting a small finger, she pointed at me.

  Wait. . .  .That doesn’t mean she . . .?

     “So, did she make a choice?” Mr. Agénor said as he walked over to the pair below me.

     “Yes. . . .But not the one I was expecting.” The father replied slowly, as if he wasn’t sure himself or it was just a fluke.

     “Oh?” The old shop keeper looked up to the shelf. “Which one?”

     “That one.”

   He glanced over the items and noticed me, and his eyes widened in surprise. “Really? . . . This is the first time anyone’s taken a fancy to him.”

     The father eyes scrutinized me skeptically, and for the first time in a while I felt uncomfortable being the center of attention. “What kind of puppet is this?”

     Mr. Agénor’s face hardened slightly. “This, Monsieur, isn’t just a puppet. It’s called a Marionette.” He explained. “They were very popular in Italy and throughout Sicily, even present today.”

      “I see, my apologies. But I don’t understand why my daughter would want something like this, since it looks like it’s about to fall apart.”

     The shop keeper chuckled. “Yes, that’s true. They have much more complex mechanisms that require special attention if not careful, but sadly I don’t have the proper tools to repair him though.” He looked to me and sighs. “Hmm, perhaps she sees something that we don’t. Something special that maybe us grownups don’t see in the old marionette.”

       The adults kept talking, but the little blonde girl still stared at me, which in turn made me a little bit uncomfortable with it. It was odd though. Children at her age were normally full of energy and couldn’t stand in one place for over a short period of time. They would talk loudly nonstop once you give them the opportunity, and even worse, if not taught early, would grab at anything that caught their eyes and wouldn’t let go half the time. 

     This one was the opposite. . . .She was calm, too calm. Never once did she speak a word since she walked into the store and she stayed in the exact same spot for over ten minutes staring at me without a hint of being restless. I quirked an eyebrow at that; either she was taught early to respect other people’s items or it just came natural to her.

       Suddenly we broke eye contact and she turned towards her father. Raising a hesitant hand, the little girl grasped the man’s black pant leg and gave a gentle tug. But he didn’t notice and she tugged it again, harder this time. She did this a few more times, and finally she got her result.

      “Hmm?  . . . What is it, Marisa?” Her Father asked as he finally looked down at her, not realizing that he accidently spoke French to her. I mentally smiled at the name, it was pretty and it suited her.

      She whimpered softly and pointed a little finger at me again.

    He crinkled his face and looked back at my small form. He made it very obvious that he didn’t like me very much; either from the fact I that was an odd item, or he didn’t want to be caught dead in public with his daughter holding such an old rusty toy by his standards. It didn’t matter what he thought of me, I didn’t care at all. But I was much more concerned about the odd behavior of his daughter.

      English erupted from his mouth to the little girl. . . Marisa is what he called her, and then pointed in the direction of the rows of beautiful dolls on the opposite shelf. But Marisa shook her head, and instead pointed in my direction on the high shelf. The father tried again, coaxing her, even gently pushing on her back to face the other dolls. She shook her head with a whimper, and her eyes glossed as if about to cry again.

      Mr. Agénor quietly intervened. “Is there something about the marionette you don’t like, Monsieur?” He asked, glancing at me.

     “W-well, no, it’s just . . .” The Father said reluctantly, running a hand through his dark brown hair. “It doesn’t seem like something that is suited for her. . . Don’t get me wrong, it is a fine crafted piece. But I don’t think its right for her.”

      Mr. Agénor quirked an eyebrow and stared at him for a few seconds. Making a decision, he shuffles over to where the little girl stood and bent down at the waist to be at her level, then gave her a soft smile.

    “Would you like to see him, little lady?” The old shop keeper asked quietly.

     Despite the language barrier the two had, Marisa seemed to understand what he was trying to tell her, and with glossy eyes she nodded, her fist pressed against her mouth.

     Wait, what? No! . . . .He’s not going to-

      But it was too late. My worst fears were coming true as the old man reached up with a pair of worn out, wrinkled hands and wrapped them around my waist, feeling myself being lifted off the shelf.

    No, no, no, no, no, no . . . This is not happening!

    With one hand around my waist, Mr. Agénor held my control bar in the other as he carefully lowered me down to their level, and a shiver ran through my spine as all three pairs of eyes were on my small form. It’s been so many years since I’ve been observed by more than one person, and normally I wasn’t bothered by it since my purpose was to entertain a whole crowd of people. And now, after so long of being isolated from humans, from being in a box for long periods at a time to being on a private display for a rich man, and then now sitting on a shelf in a antique shop in a small quiet village, it felt too much.

     “You know what this is, my dear?” Mr. Agénor asked. To my right I see Marisa’s father speaking softly to her, and I realize he’s translating what the old shopkeeper spoke. “This is called a marionette. A puppet that can be controlled with these strings here . . . See?” He demonstrated by tilting the control bar with one hand, and suddenly my right good arm lifted into the air gracefully. This one simple movement made her eyes widen in awe and a soft inhale of breath erupted from her mouth. The fist that was pressed against her mouth was no longer there, and instead hovered in the air between us hesitantly, unsure if she could come closer or not. Her bright blue eyes looked up to the older man expectantly.

     He smiled. “Would you like to try?”

      Marissa glanced up to her father and he nodded in consent.

      No, Don’t!  . . . Please, Mr.  Agénor, stop! I mentally cried out. He doesn’t realize how damaging kids her age can be. Calm personality or not, I couldn’t afford to have more broken parts than I already did. It was hard enough trying to fix myself!

      But my pleas fell on deaf ears and I stared fearfully at the little blonde girl in front of me. Her small hand crossed the space between us and grasped the string itself instead of the control bar, gently pulling it up and watching my arm rise up into the air again as if to say hello. Her blue eyes sparkled in delight at the movement, and a faint smile creased her bright pink lips as she scrutinized my body again.

     Marisa let go of the string and I saw her hand come towards my face, and I mentally coward from it. All my life I was only allowed to be handled by my original master or any other responsible adult that I was in ownership to, so I was extremely nervous of this situation.  I braced myself for the tugging and yanking at my limbs as I saw the little hand get closer. . .

      Strangely, nothing came. . . A soft, feather light touch traveled from the top of my head to down to my shoulders, and then it repeated back to my head again. My eyes fixed on the girl in confusion, wondering why she wasn’t grabbing me. Little Marisa’s eyes were wide with her little mouth open slightly, as if she had found a discovery that she didn’t know existed and was even more beautiful in real life. She stroked my dark brown hair with her fingers up and down with such gentle precision that I didn’t know a five year old was cable of. And with each gentle stroke her smile got brighter and brighter like the first rays of morning sun.

   “Well  . . . Do you like him?” Mr. Agénor asked after a few minutes of silence. She glanced at him once and then returned to stroking my hair again. Did she really like my hair that much?

       The little girl’s father became slightly restless before speaking up. “Um . . . May I ask you a question?”

      Mr. Agénor looked up from his bent position. “Yes, monsieur? “

      The man rubbed the back of his neck. “Is it just me, or does it seem like it’s missing a some of its strings?”

     The old man stared for a few seconds, and then he chuckled. “Yes, he is missing a few. Like I said before, I tried to fix him a few times before giving up. But I had little knowledge of marionettes and the store that does was too far away for me travel.” He raised my control bar higher for both of them to see. “This here isn’t his control bar. His original one used to be complex and held many more strings than you see here, but unfortunately, it broke a long time ago.”

      The man nodded, and held his chin in his hand as if thinking. “Is it expensive to fix?”

      “That I don’t know I’m afraid. Like I said before, I have little knowledge of marionettes.”

      “But you have one here in your shop.”

       Mr. Agénor’s eyes narrowed. “He’s here because of a box of donations a widow gave away, and he was among the items donated, monsieur.”

      The man raised his hands in defense. “I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to offend.” He then looked down at his daughter, who still stared at me and stroked my hair. He then spoke to her in English, probably still hoping she would change her mind about me and move on to another toy.

       But her answer was the same. She looked up at her father that towered over her by several feet and shook her head.

       The man’s shoulders slumped in defeat and sighed. “Alright, fine. . . We’ll take it.”

       My face paled. What? . . . Take it!? . . . He meant buy me!?

      But Mr. Agénor’s reaction was the opposite from mine. He looked like he was happy to get rid of me as he smiled and went to the front desk with me still in his hands.

      “I’m sure your daughter will enjoy him. He may not look like much now, but if you’d like I can give you the name of the work shop that specializes in the fixing of marionettes.”

      “Yes, that would be appreciated.” He looked down at me in disgust as I was propped up on the counter. “I can see it looking a lot better with a few touch ups.”

       As the tall man sorted through his pockets for his wallet, I notice little Marissa still staring at me with her eyes barely above the counter, her eyes still wide with wonder and want.

       Mr. Agénor’s noticed this as well and looked down at her. “Would you like to hold him?”

     Her eyes flickered briefly to him but then back to me, so the older man picked me up and bent back down to her level. He hovered the control bar out first for her to take, while his other hand held me around my waist.

       But what she did was unexpected, even for me. . . . Instead of taking the control bar first, she went straight for me. Small arms slowly wrapped around my body in a way a mother would hold an infant in their arms, and cradled me close to her chest while the other held my legs.

       Mr. Agénor’s eyebrows shot up in surprise at the action, confused. “Um . . . I don’t think that’s how you’re supposed to hold him my dear.”

      Before he could say anything else, the girl’s father got his attention and started discussing about the payment on the old table the man was buying, leaving me and the girl alone. She looked down at me with soft eyes, gently cradling me in the crook of her arm that supported my torso, and slowly rocked from side to side in a soft rhythm as if moving to music. I don’t understand why she’s holding me like this . . . I’m a marionette. Marionettes are supposed to dance when commanded by our masters with a flick our strings, to entertain in front of crowds of people whether is to make them laugh or cry at the stories we portray through our movements.  We are not dolls. Dolls were made for make believe plays, dress ups, and cuddles. And I was far from being a doll.

       Marissa continued to cradle me, even as both men agreed on a price and shook hands, then proceeded on carrying the small walnut table out of the shop and loaded it in to car. When the men reentered the tall man spoke to Marissa and gestured her to go outside. This is the first time in years since I’ve seen the bright blue sky, and I could’ve sworn I felt the corners of my eyes sting in happiness.

      “Thank you very much for your patience with us, sir. I hope we can do business again someday.”

       Mr. Agénor and the man shook hands for the last time. “Will do.” He looked down to the little girl and smiled. “And you take good care him there, little one. He is very special.”

       Marissa smiled in return and held me tighter in her grasp, and that’s when I know I was leaving for good. I watched sadly as the old shop keeper I’ve known for four years waved goodbye and then shuffle back into the antique store for the last time. It felt like that wave was for me, that he knew I was finally going to a good home for once ever since I’ve been there. I hope he was right . . . Because I’m scared right now. Scared of what will happen now that I’m in the big world again instead of within the protection of the shop. I feel naked and vulnerable out here.

      My felt something constrict around my torso, and then my vision blurred from the cobbled street and replaced with the little girls as she turned me around to face her. Her eyes softened at my expression, as if she knew what I was thinking and sympathized with me. And before I knew it, my body was pressed harder against Marissa’s chest and just held me there. Her feather like touch stroked my head again with her thumb, and to my surprise I heard a soft humming noise from her throat. 

     Wha . . . What is she doing? . . .


        Marissa turned around to see her father holding the car door for her, and with her father’s gestures she climbed into the back seat of the expensive looking vehicle. As the door closed behind her, she situated me on to her lap but still cradled me against her chest tightly, and I heard the engine roar to life and the sensation of it moving forward.

      I shivered in fear. This is it . . . My new life with these two foreign strangers has begun.

       The girl squeezed me tighter, and although I couldn’t see her directly I knew she was looking at me. Her body heat soaked into my body and heated my core, which in turn made me blush in surprise . . . Blush!? . . . Strange; this is the longest I’ve been in physical contact with a human being. Normally I’ve been passed around or held for only several minutes at a time. My original master said it worn down my paint job if I’m held any longer than that.

       As the car drove to an unknown destination, a new emotion ran through me as I felt little Marissa’s head rest on my own. I don’t know what it is, and it’s definitely something I’m not familiar with. It made me feel fuzzy inside, making me feel as if everything will be okay as long as I’m with her.

      And the longer it lingered, the more I wanted that feeling to stay with me. That new emotion got stronger as Marissa held me against her protectively, and that small smile turned into a big grin at the sight of my face. Maybe this is a good thing, this feeling . . . what did they call it?

. . . . Love?

                                                 The End

                                             By: Lazybug


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