Short stories archive

Handmade

Handmade

She sits in a darkened room, one gas heater glowing red as it tries ineffectually to bring heat to her form. In front of her lies the remains of an old pillowcase and bedspread. In her lap she works on a doll, handmade and imperfect. Tomorrow is Christmas day and she knows her daughter will be up and looking for her present. She also knows that the doll she is lovingly finishing is the only gift she’ll get. She’d heard some people had been hard hit by the recession and cancelled their holidays, no Florida or Caribbean for them. She sits in her cold room working but knowing they would have a roof and food and as long as the fire holds out, heat. Finally she sets the doll under the tree, a princess in gold and lace. The face is so carefully made and the hair pulled into bunches. Smiling she walks to her bed, stooped with tiredness. Behind her the clock chimes midnight; perhaps Santa has visited them after all.

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