Archive for May 1st, 2012

1st May
2012
written by amber

Small

Davina was only three feet tall when she was 21 years old. Her family wanted her to join the circus but she wanted to become a schoolteacher.

“She’s bright as a tack!” her uncle Brian said. “She should go for teacher training.”

He had the funds to send her to school and, so, despite her parents’ protests, she went.

Uncle Brian arranged for a place in a rooming house with furniture designed or adapted for her stature. He paid a scholarship student to be her companion, helping her at the library and bookstores and to deflect the constant unkind remarks directed her way.

But he could not protect her from being picked up, literally, again and again, by people who assumed their doting enchantment with Davina was more acceptable to her than the taunts and insults.

And he could not save her on the day that her companion was not available when Davina wanted to go to the mail box to post a letter, and asked a normal-seeming matronly woman to put the letter into the box for her.

“Oh, you sweet little thing, I’ll just pick you up and you can post it yourself.”

Davina’s protests were met by deaf ears. Once the woman had her in an embrace, she squeezed so hard the letter was dropped and fluttered to the ground where it was found two days later, when everyone was searching for her.

For the next six years, Davina served as surrogate infant to the childless woman, a captive coddled to a nauseating degree, swaddled and nursed, dressed up and displayed to the woman’s uncaring relatives.

When the woman died, the Great Depression had fallen upon the land, and the relatives sold Davina to a circus, where she devoted herself to educating the public about small people and teaching the Gypsy waifs in her circus family to read. She married a man with no legs and bore him five children. When she was 49, her uncle’s lawyer tracked her down and bestowed a large inheritance upon her, but she remained in the circus.

This is my first story for the month of May with StoryADay. The prompt provided today was ‘keep it short.’  I interpreted this my own way.