Mrs. Peacock’s Doll

 

Ewin badgebook: 365 writing prompts:  June 20 – Moment of Kindness

Going on an outing with my grandmother, just the two of us, was unusual, which is perhaps why I remember it.

On this particular occasion we were on a mission of mercy, off to the home of a bedridden friend.  Granny led me by the hand as we approached the door.  I loved the feel of her.  Once lauded for her beauty, her skin was now soft with age and scented with a veil of lavender.  Her tiny mouth could lift into the sweetest smile and her long hair swept softly up resting lightly on the top of her head was her crowning glory.

“Why are we here?” I asked.

“My friend hasn’t been feeling well and I want to stop in and say hello.  I’d like you to just sit quietly while we have a short visit.”  She looked down at me with that sweet smile.  “Can you do that for me?”

‘What’s her name?”

“Mrs. Peacock.”

Mrs. Peacock.  Mrs. Peacock.   The sound of her name danced a jig in my head as my grandmother opened the door and we stepped into the room.  Granny dropped my hand and stepped closer to the bed in greeting.

“Say hello, Lynne.”

I looked up at my grandmother and back to Mrs. Peacock.  “Hello.”

The lady ensconced in the four-poster bed was surely very old.  A mere wisp of a woman, her tiny frame barely lifted the bed covers.  She gave me a weak smile. Her eyes managed to smile too.  Her face framed with neat curls of snow white hair was pleasant enough.  I judged she had more wrinkles than my grandmother and I wondered what was wrong with her, but was too timid to ask.  Granny leaned over to place a kiss on Mrs. Peacock’s cheek. Understanding I wouldn’t learn the answer to my unasked question, my attention waned and my gaze strayed about the room. Their conversation faded into the background, absorbed by the thick and patterned rug beneath my feet.  A single window let sunlight flicker across the walls of the well furnished room.  The night table by the bed held her essentials and high atop the polished highboy sat her few chosen photographs in pewter and silver frames.  Then my eyes slid to a stop at a shelf high on the wall.  There, beside the books, sat a doll.  And such a lovely doll.  Her porcelain-like features were painted delicately on the felt that was her skin.

“Look, Marion, she sees the doll.  Let her play with it while we visit.”

Granny’s hand reached up, lifted her from the shelf and placed her in my outstretched arms.  There was a tear in the felt where her straw stuffing poked through but I moved her arms and legs as I continued to be captivated by the little ruby lips and the bright blue eyes.   My fascination lasted throughout the visit but when Granny began to say her goodbye I reluctantly held the doll out for her to place back upon the shelf.

“No, Marion.  Let her keep it,” said Mrs. Peacock.  “I’d like her to have it.”  She would really give me this doll?  I drew the doll to my chest and cast a shy but wide-eyed glance in her direction and we exchanged a smile of understanding.

 

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