Valley of a Doll – Story – Part Two

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A few days ago, I began a story based on a 100-word story I did on a photo for Friday Fictioneers.  This is the second of, what I plan on being, three parts.  you can read the first part here –>>> “Valley of a Doll” – Story Part 1

Valley of a Doll – Story – Part 2

Joey walked from a world of reality into one of fantasy.  The back room was full of old chests and trunks, obviously the containers for all the things on the tables outside.  There were old items sitting on top of the chests; there were so many dolls, he could not see them all without looking more than once at the same spot.  Some of the dolls were in formal attire; they appeared ready to attend a ball.  Others had more of a trailer trash look about them, almost ugly and, definitely, poor.  He saw dolls obviously made up to be hookers and another that was … oh my!  His gaze stopped at the pile of money, both coins and bills, laying out on the table by itself in the back corner of the room.  The money was, apparently, not counted yet; it was sort of free for the taking.  He looked around; the owner of the dolls (and the money) was not back here.  He heard the sounds of a conversation.  The man was with a customer.

Joey stepped near the table, still looking at the door and listening.  He examined the pile of coins and bills quickly, determined that the owner would not miss fifty if taken in tens and twenties.  Joey put the four bills in his back pocket, deciding that three tens and one twenty would be less noticeable.  Walking back to the front half of the tent, he casually picked up a doll and looked at it with feigned interest.  He turned slowly as the tent flap moved aside; a dark hand parted the way.

“You like that one, Sir?”

“Well, I do, but, to tell you the truth, my Aunt has this flair for red-headed dolls.”  He laid the dark-haired beauty back on the table.

The owner smiled and nodded with understanding.

“To each his own.  How about this one?”  He handed Joey a beautiful porcelain doll with bright red hair.  Joey did not think he had ever seen one before.

“Well, she would love it.  How much?”  This was the part of Joey’s plan that he thought deserved a medal.

“Twenty-five even.  Quite a bargain.  I had to fight for that one.”

Joey smiled and nodded.  He took out his wallet and counted out twenty-five dollars.  He handed it to the dealer and appeared excited to get the doll.  His actual thoughts were that he was getting a doll to give to his Aunt, his real Aunt, and still came out forty-five dollars ahead.  That gave him forty-five for the night, which was almost what he needed.  He decided he would just fall five short, make his Aunt happy, and still have a good date.  All in all, it was a nice evening, indeed.

He turned to leave, but the man caught him by the wrist, spinning him around.

“Now, if I could just have my money back,” he said, holding his other hand out.

“What are you talking about?”  Joey had practiced this look for a long time and through several close calls.

“The stack on the table over there.  Earlier it had two hundred forty-seven dollars in bills and three something in change.  There are three tens and a twenty missing, my young sir.”  He sniveled the “sir” part when he said it.

Joey thought fast.  The old fart could, evidently, see a pile of something and know how much it held.  Joey forgot what they called it, “Eide…” something memory.  But, he still had a card to play.  He did not jerk his hand away; he simply stood tall and smiled.

“Sir, I don’t know what you are doing, but, let’s call the officer back here so you can tell him that I took, what, fifty dollars from a stack of money you had laying back on a table.  I am certain you have ‘proof’ that I took cash from you.”  Joey stared at him.  There was no way he could be tied to the fifty dollars since it was cash and no one was around.  This is why he never took much and always cash.

The older man looked at him, and then released his wrist.  His shoulders slumped.  Joey knew he was in control now.  He started to smile again when the man brought his hand up to his mouth, stared at Joey, and puffed.  Joey felt a sting and stared at the small dart sticking from his shirt.  He started to scream but found he could not even speak.  His legs became weak and he fell to the floor in a pile.  The last thing he heard were the old man laughing softly.

* * *

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