The China Doll Heads for the Woods

The china doll came with her family from a beautiful and fashionable home in the city, where windows — so expensive, so rare — filled every room with light during the day, and chandeliers that swung from the high beams of the ceilings filled every room at night. It was a picnic, a summer festival, for it was the birthday of the girl who owned the china doll.

Owned. The china doll didn’t like that thought, but there it was.

Who was this girl, anyway? A coarse, brutish, dangerous chit of humanity, with grubby, wide-fingered hands and great-coltish horse teeth and an uncertain temper. The doll detested her, as she detested all things low and squalid. She determined to run away, and watched for her chance. It came after the potato salad had all been eaten and the cake had been cut; it came when the giving of presents (always so many presents, thought the china doll, wasn’t she in her magnificence enough for the little mouth-breather?) had distracted the girl. She ran for the woods, head thrown back so her eyes might remain open, arms flailing senselessly, legs pumping and swinging beneath her skirt of real silk.