THE DOLL MAKER, a short story by actung. Date added: 2011-12-26. Times viewed: 688.
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Hans Alexander Sicily takes his profession very seriously. For his profession is one which is very unique indeed. To many it may be seen as morbid, freaky and just downright scary and to others it is a service by which helps them to move forward, an important service which aids the healing process. Hans is a doll maker but not just any doll maker. He creates life size dolls of children who have passed away.
Illness, accidents or whatever may be the cause, a parent should never outlive his or her offspring, and when that death is one of a child, life for the parents can also come to an end. Sometimes it can be of some comfort to have somewhat of a sense that the child is still around, and make believe can be a powerful thing.
Jensen Lorenzo had it all. At 34 years old he had a high paying job, along with his wife, he owned his own home. All was well until the day his eight year old daughter Chelsea collapsed. There was nothing the doctors could do to save her. Their explanation for her death just went right over Jensen’s head. Being in shock Jensen could hear and see the doctor’s without absorbing anything of what they were saying. His little princess was dead and Jensen was about to have a complete and utter breakdown.
A year passed and his marriage had come to an end. The death of his daughter consumed his every waking moment as well as quite a few nightmares. Jensen no longer had that high paying job; in fact he no longer had any job at all. His split from his wife also meant his expensive house was gone too, sold for a lot less than what he had paid for it. He now rented a small one room apartment. He needed to change things and start getting back on track, but his daughter was constantly on his mind, every moment of every day.
To Jensen, Hans Alexander was a life saver. Jensen heard all about Hans while he was out one night trying to drown his sorrows with whiskey. Hans work was not cheap but Jensen had enough to have Hans create a life size doll of Chelsea. From photographs and video Hans recreated Chelsea right down to the smallest detail. The doll was indeed life like.
Knowing that what he had was just a doll and not actually his daughter, Jensen began putting his life back together. When he ate he would sit at the table with a place setting for Chelsea too. She would have different clothing on a daily basis. All this had a real positive impact as before long Jensen was back working with a high paying job. The small rented apartment became a well furnished house but it was long before Jensen’s move, when things began to get a little strange.
At first Jensen just put it down to the fact that his life was moving round in a full three sixty from having it all to loosing what he held most dear to beginning to get it back together, but there were times when he was sure that Chelsea was not where he left her but somewhere else instead, and there were other times he was sure that he had dressed her one way to find that she was wearing something completely different. There was even a moment where Jensen was sure that he caught a glimpse of Chelsea run from the hallway close to him into a nearby room.
It came to a head when Chelsea actually followed Jensen into the kitchen, Jensen didn’t notice this until he turned around to see the doll of his baby girl standing right in front of him and not only that but she spoke too.
‘Daddy, can we play a game?’
Jensen took a step backward, gasping and losing his breath while his eyes open wide. The voice was even identical to what Chelsea would sound like.
‘What’s wrong daddy? Don’t you love me anymore?’
Chelsea moved over to the kitchen table and began colouring on a sheet of paper. Jensen was found the next day sitting on his living room sofa and drained of all colour mumbling ‘she talked to me’ and when he was asked who had talked to him Jensen could only reply ‘the doll of my daughter Chelsea'. The thing was that no one was able to find any doll in Jensen’s house, never mind one that resembled his daughter.
Alfred Anderson had sole custody of his twelve year old grandson David since David was just three years old. They were the only family each other had. Alfred’s wife Sonja had passed almost fifteen years now and both David’s parents were drug dependant and had no interest in raising a child. Alfred fought long and hard and won custody of David and then disowned his only daughter.
David had always been a well behaved child and this made it so much easier on his sixty nine year old grandfather. Alfred had been teaching David to play the piano since he was five years old so even though David was just twelve he was a more than capable piano player. If anything David was a bit of a prodigy. They both shared a common favourite composer and that would be Mozart.
Always encouraging David, Alfred would become so proud to see the young boy play concerts to crowds of people, crowds which grew when word of mouth would spread the word of how good David was. Disaster would strike however when an accident at a trip to a theme part took David’s life.
Alfred took David’s death very badly, blaming himself when in fact there had been nothing he could have done to save his grandson. There was no way that he could accept that accidents just happen. David was all he had. It was difficult to imagine that David would never grow up, never fall in love, and never play the venues that he and his grandfather would dream of.
When Alfred heard about the service that Hans Sicily provides there was no thinking twice. It made sense to Alfred to have Hans recreate David and when the doll of David arrived it made Alfred cry, cry with sadness, cry with a sense of relief and every once in a while it allowed Alfred to believe that everything was ok and the guilt he had felt would feel like it never existed. However there would be a dark side to the arrival of David’s doll. There would be nights when Alfred would lay in bed and the piano in his downstairs study would come to life with the sound of the songs David had liked to play the most.
Night after night, hour after hour, song after song, Alfred’s tears would flow and sleep would not come easy if it would come at all. A discovery was eventually made after everything had taken its toll and Alfred would be found in his bed, alone, no doll, no David would ever be found.
Chelsea and David are just two creations of Hans Alexander Sicily, The Doll Maker.
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