Through A Glass Eye

Sarah Jane was frightened. She was in a box, but why? She was being taken someplace, but where? And what had happened to her arms? They were laying by her side, but not in their customary position at all. They had become detached, immovable objects.

If she listened carefully, she could hear the muffled roar of London traffic and the distant chimes of Westminster's Big Ben. She counted the strokes.

Ding-dong-ding-dong...quarter hour.
Ding-dong-ding-dong...half hour.
Ding-dong-ding-dong...three-quarter hour.
Ding-dong-ding-dong...the hour.
DONG...DONG...DONG.

Three o'clock then. But early morning or afternoon? Was it dark or light? She wished she could see outside. Of course, she rationalized, it had to be afternoon or there would be no such muted but insistent hum of taxicabs and buses. Unfortunately, the information conveyed little else and did nothing to allay her fears.

The hubbub faded, replaced by the soft swish of a heavy door. The voice which spoke gladdened Sarah Jane's heart and brought her hope. Rachel! "Here she is." The answering words held no such comforting or familiar ring.

"We'll be in touch."

Sarah Jane felt herself exchanging hands, experiencing the sensation of being lifted higher and then being deposited upon a hard surface. She strained her ears and heard the tip-tap of high heels upon polished tile. Rachel...?

The initial relief at finally being removed from the box was quickly supplanted by a wave of shock and horror. What was this place of carnage? Limbs were strewn everywhere. Arms and legs jumbled together in cardboard containers. Torsos which had no heads...heads which had no torsos. Had there been another war? The last occasion she had witnessed an atrocity such as that which now assaulted her senses had been when the bombs had almost destroyed London, but she could remember no shrill air-raid warnings recently...no mass black-outs of windows and dousing of tell-tale lights. Upon reflection, Sarah Jane found she could actually remember almost nothing about the events of the past few days. Perhaps there had been a war after all.

She had no time, however, to dwell on the abomination or speculate about possible adversaries. Fingers were fumbling with her clothes. Her dress was quickly removed and then her undergarments. The act offended what some might consider her antiquated modesty. They left her naked, vulnerable and totally humiliated upon a metal table. Sarah Jane did the only thing a well-bred lady could do under the circumstances. She swooned.

When sensibility returned, all was as it should be. She was relieved to note the sunny primrose curtains and tall bookcase overflowing with such classics as "Little Women" and "Gulliver's Travels." Truth be known, she had never had fully approved at the addition of "Misery" and "Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus" to the collection, but she supposed one had to move with the times.

Rachel dusted the shelf and placed Sarah Jane back in the prized position between the old Raggedy Ann and her very first Barbie. She adjusted the arms and made sure the straw hat with the olive green ribbon was straight. "Good as new," she murmured happily, smiling into the china blue-eyes of sparkling glass.

Above all her dolls, she was most fond of the one in Victorian schoolgirl costume left to her by Great-Grandma Sarah Jane.

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