Welcome to Storytime Friday! Unless otherwise noted, everything posted here will be largely unedited draft work, just for fun.
This week’s excerpt is from a story I started last year. It’s a little different from what I normally write, but I’ve had fun with it, and the draft is nearly finished. Meet Adam and Carrie:
Adam couldn’t remember the last time he felt so out of place, standing in the little shop, surrounded by a horde of porcelain dolls, all dressed in various outfits, most elaborate with big fluffy hats and puffy skirts.
Never in a million years had he imagined that he would end up in a place like this. And yet here he was, desperately needing to find three specific dolls.
He approached the glass counter, housing all manner of miniature furniture, tiny dolls, and bits and baubles to go with. No one was standing behind the counter. He tapped the bell beside the cash cash register, wondering how much traffic a shop like this actually got. It must be a terribly boring job to work in such a niche store. Although maybe these dolls were more popular collectibles than he gave them credit for.
The woman who came from the back room didn’t look anything like the coiffed and elaborately dressed dolls on show. Her mousy brown hair was thrown up in a bun with strands sticking out here and there as if she hadn’t had the time or energy to worry about making it smooth. Her eyes were partially hidden behind glasses that could have been cat-eyes but fell just short, and her dress was casual – jeans, a simple light yellow sweater and a white cardigan over the top.
She looked a little agitated, as if she didn’t appreciate being interrupted.
“What can I help you with?” she asked, looking at him as if she felt the same way he did – that he didn’t quite belong. “Are we shopping for a gift today, perhaps?”
Adam shook his head.
“No. I need to find some dolls. Three specific dolls, I mean. I think someone might have brought them into your shop last week. Do you happen to remember buying three dolls from an estate sale? It would have been last Wednesday or Thursday.”
She didn’t even have to think about her answer. “The Rosewater Hill dolls, you mean?” She raised an eyebrow. “They came in last Thursday, and sold on Friday and Saturday. I can get the name of the person who brought them in if you’d like. I can assure you I gave her a fair price. I can get the receipt for you as well, if you’re a family member. I was so sorry to hear of Greta’s passing. She was a good customer with a beautiful collection, but a good friend as well. Do you know what happened to the rest of the dolls?”
“Greta was my grandmother, and I’m sure she’d appreciate your kind words. The will was just read yesterday, and I inherited everything, but my aunt Bernie sold those three dolls. I really need them back. Is there any way that you can help me find out who bought them so that I can offer to buy them back?”
The woman tilted her head and looked at him as if he were a little off kilter.
“What’s so special about them? Which dolls were they, that they’re so valuable?”
“They’re special to me, and I need them back. That’s really all you need to know. Can you help me or not?”
She paused for a moment, and then nodded. “I might be able to. Let me go check in the back. But I won’t be able to give you the information for anyone who’s bought them. All I can do is promise to contact them for you.”
She disappeared through the door behind the counter before he could protest. He waited, tapping his fingers on the glass case. She didn’t understand. No one would understand. But the dolls had something that he needed. Something that would decide the fate of the entire Rosewater Hill estate.