‘Mummy! Look what I’ve found!’
Amy tugs impatiently at her mum’s sleeve, while Janey taps on her iPhone. ‘In a minute. Just let me finish.’
Amy shrugs, skips back to her ‘discovery’, pokes it then pulls at the filthy trousered leg. It jerks. The
white plastic bag, wrapped around the bony fingers, floats upwards. Tugging to escape, in the skin
slicing January winds. Amy, pink cheeked, rearranges the man’s fingers, so he can better hold the cup of tea she pretends to present to her ‘guest.’
‘Nice cup of tea Mister, that’ll warm you up.’
She’s noticed how cold the man’s hand feels. ‘Proper chilled.’ As her Nan would say.
‘Nippy at this time of year Mister.’ Amy parrots the words Janey had tossed at the neighbour earlier. ‘Here’s my scarf.’
She unwraps her fleecy scarf, carefully wrapping it around the man’s neck, like her mum does for
her. Amy pats his shoulder. ‘That’ll warm you up.’
She wonders what else she might do to help. Regretfully she peels off her furry red mittens, a gift
from her Nan. Nan’s always saying it’s good to help others.
Amy gently pulls the man’s dirty fingers into her mittens. Her eye falls on the undone laces of his
‘I’m not very good at laces, but Mummy says I need to practise more.’
Amy pokes out her tongue, concentrating. ‘…over and under..one loop….oops, nearly..’ she mutters.
Her guest wears a cap which covers the top half of his face. Amy can only see his lips. They look
blue. It seems rude to lift his cap when he’s having a sleep, but she really wants to see his eyes. He
hasn’t moved at all. Trying to be bold, Amy reaches out towards the cap’s brim.
‘Come on Amy it’s time to go.’ Janey shouts.
Amy hovers, uncertain, then pats his shoulder instead.
‘Bye Mister. See you tomorrow.’
She crawls out from under the slide, turning her face towards her Mummy, she waves happily.
Only the plastic bag bobs a goodbye.
“The Doll Man” was previously published by The Casket of Fictional Delights.
As noted by The Casket of Fictional Delights: “Alyson is an ex teacher, from Norwich via Birmingham now living in West Yorkshire, with a son and 3 cats. She writes in her spare time when she’s not singing or swimming.”
Alyson has appeared a couple times previously on this website, when I have re-blogged works of hers from The Drabble.