The young friends enjoyed a lavish dinner; then retired to the kitchen to pick at leftovers and laugh about old times. Before they parted, they made a toast to the future and to long and healthy lives. None of them felt the wormhole take them as they ate; none of them remembered the nursing home.
Trina pulled a bench out of her bag and sat by the duck pond in Central Park.
She rested her chin on her hands and watched a little yellow duckling scurry
after its mother.
I want a new dolly, thought Trina, but I want one like me.
“What does that look like?” asked Trina’s doll, Madison.
Trina pulled Madison out of her bag.
“She’s just like me, but taller, and with breasts, because she’s a grown up.”
“Why is she a grown up?”
So she can do grownup things.”
Trina gazed at the duck pond and thought.
Madison giggled, “Tits don’t make a gown-up!”
Trina was shocked.
Madison snickered and grinned.
Arjuna the elephant slowly lumbered out of the pond.
He lifted his mighty trunk and gently plucked the little yellow duckling from his back and released it find its Mother.
‘My friends,” he bowed.
Madison swiveled her head and frowned at Ajuna: “Trina thinks she’s all grown up if she has…”
Trina grabbed the doll and stuffed it into her bag. “Breasts,” she said sweetly.
Arjuna nodded thoughtfully and flapped his ears. “I’m no hominid, but I think it takes more than breasts to be a grown-up human. Why do you want to be a grown up when you’re such a perfect little girl?”
Trina pulled out her tea set and a freshly baked plate of scones; she poured out tea and replied. “I want my new dolly to be a grown-up.”
“Because my world needs grown-ups.”
“We elephants are very grown up.”
“Really?” said Trina. “What kind of grown up things do you do?”
Arjuna sipped his tea and thought.
“We never eat more than enough.”
“Neither do I,” said Trina.
“We remember things forever and ever.”
“So do I,” said Trina.
Arjuna cocked his head and thought. “We always bathe once a month.”
Trina was horrified. “Adults only bathe once a month?”
Madison cackled: ‘oh no!”
Trina made her doll from snakes and snails and puppy dog tails.
She fluffed its hair and primped its dress.
“Are you terribly grown up or grown up terribly?” she asked.
The doll opened its eyes and replied, “I’m terribly grown up.”
“How often do you bathe?” asked Trina.
“Twice a day!” answered the doll.
“For how long do you remember things?”
The doll gazed up at Trina and blinked.
“For no time at all,” she replied.
Trina smiled at her new doll and offered her a cup of tea.
(c) Rob Goldstein 2019
Trina’s New Doll inspired by a series of #photoprompts from D Wallace Peach.