Scores of them. On makeshift beds. Lying in the sun. Plastic dolls from round the world. A rabbit and a polar bear. Giraffe and tiger. Elephant and water buffalo. Dogs. Cats. Horses. Mice.
There are friends. Neighbours. Loved ones. Crying over them. Bringing them what comfort they are able. And sweets and chocolates. Flowers for the dead. Prayers for the just alive.
And then there's Posh Doll. Posh Doll lives in luxury. She has a doll's house on an ant hill in the garden. Posh Doll is married to Nkondi. Nkondi is a power doll from the Congo. Posh Doll is small. Made of porcelain. Big breasted. Wears a pelmet skirt. Low cut top. Killer heels and the fur-trimmed cape of High Priestess. She is heavily tattooed. Nkondi wears a grass skirt and boxing gloves. He sits on a white marble throne in the garage of their home.
The house is an ant-free zone. No ant has ever crawled upon it or within it. They are banned by the power of the power doll. Posh Doll is broken.
From Posh Doll's point of view the marriage, though happy, has been a disaster. The result of a mistaken identity. On first meeting Nkondi she had believed that he was Jesus. True, the grass skirt and the boxing gloves gave cause for hesitation. Against that. He looked like every picture there has ever been of Jesus. And there were repeated promises that he would give her of his body and his blood.
The gardener hated the couple. For the protection they afforded to the ant hill. One morning he arrived early with boiling water and a fork. Posh Doll realised what he was about to do. She threw herself beneath the descending tines. The gardener was committed. Could not pull back. The tines shattered her fragile porcelain. That is how she became broken. Rosie, her owner ,
commandeered her mother's novelty cruet carriage. She converted it. Made a wheel chair for Posh Doll. Alfie, her brother, fixed an electric car beneath the chassis. Posh Doll was now mobile again. At speeds up to 50 M.P.H.
Nkondi began to talk of Reverence for Life. Because of that. Because of his fanatical protection of the ants. She came to think him Albert Schweitzer. One question bothered her. Was Albert Schweitzer also Jesus? She asked him outright. Pow! There was darkness across the land. Then came light. And there was he, sitting at the organ playing. Then she knew what she must do. Find him some lepers. He had to start his leper colony.
She waited until the Power Man was out powering with his mates. Then she struck. When the Power Man returned she had them all laid out in makeshift beds awaiting his return. The lumpy skins and blisters were her with mother's giant matches. The missing digits. her again. With pincers from the shed.
The power man threw a powerful rage. Pow! There was darkness across the whole land. The light returned and there he was. Back in his old routine. Like some latter day Pied Piper of Hamelin. Without the pipe. Leading all the dolls. The animals and garden creatures. Out of the garden. Away from Posh Doll. He saw her now to be a witch. And that is what they do. Power Figures. Protect the life around them from the witches.
Posh Doll wished that she could be a life enhancer. Life changer. Could have been the one to have been nailed to that cross. Have everybody worship her. That would have been more good than she could say. But what about Nkondi? Was he Schweitzer? Jesus? At 50 M.P.H. she was bound to catch him up!
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