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Losing Reality

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Doll Garden

Papa used to have a garden outside. With hundreds of flowers that grew on vines, many of which I used to climb. The garden had a distinct scent, sweet but something foul lurked within. I had grown used to it, spending days with Papa there. He would plant while I would play with my dolls. On some nights when I was supposed to be sleeping, he would go out to get new plants for the garden. I watched Papa drag them in. Sometimes one, other times two or three.

Halloween was the best time. Up from the ground Papa bring up large dolls that looked like real humans. I would always decorate them with flowers and rings to make them pretty. When the festivities ended Papa put them back in the ground. Papa said he could never put them in the attic because it ruins the illusion. I never questioned it. Over the decor went new flowers that would stay until next year.

One day, the neighbor went missing and he accused Papa. The cops came over while Papa was gardening and I was playing with my dolls. Before I knew it, they were digging up the flowers and finding the dolls. One that wasn’t there last Halloween looked like the neighbor. Papa was in cuffs. I asked the cops why they were taking Papa with the only response being, “Little Girl, don’t you know those aren’t dolls?”

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