Chapter 1 - Getting
It must have been twenty
years since that fateful day. Whenever I look back
upon it even now I still don't fully comprehend what
happened. Maybe it was my imagination, I may have
summoned her into existence due to my impaired state
of mind, but I know deep down that wasn't the case.
It all began on an overcast
afternoon in late autumn. I was 12 years old. It was
a Saturday and I was in town with my mother doing
some early Christmas shopping.
"How about this?!"
I called out to my mum within the crowded shop,
"Jessica would love this!"
My mother walked over to me
squeezing past the other shoppers. She looked at me
holding a Barbie Doll complete with nurse's outfit.
"I've never seen a nurse
Barbie before," I added.
"I thought you said you
weren't into dolls anymore on account that you've
grown out of childish toys," my mum said.
I gave her a strong glare.
"I didn't mean for
myself," I said through gritted teeth, "I
meant for Jessica. You know that's what I said!"
"Jessica's far too young
to appreciate a toy like that," my mother
replied calmly, "And we both know who'd end up
playing with it."
I slammed the box back on the
shelf and walked away in a huff. I was at a very
moody age and my mother enjoyed winding me up. Of
course I loved dolls when I was young like most girls
did, but I was no longer a little kid. In fact I didn't
need her to chaperone me whilst out shopping yet she
always insisted. I was old enough to do Christmas
shopping on my own, I didn't need her.
Within a few short moments I
had become separated from my mother and was
surrounded by the crowds of shoppers. I wasn't
worried, I wasn't a child that starts bawling the
instant she's loses sight of her mum, instead I
calmly walked over to the shop entrance knowing that
we would eventually set sight upon each other once
In fact I still felt a little
flustered and thought of a way to get back at her for
treating me like a kid. I decided to leave the shop
and walk back to the car. We would still meet up
later but not until after she had gotten herself into
a panic. It was a good plan.
I looked toward the crowd in
the shop hoping my mother hadn't already caught sight
of me then quickly rushed out through the entrance
onto the pavement outside and headed towards the car
park. With it being autumn the nights grew in early
and it was already late afternoon. It was also
starting to rain and my coat was no more than a thin
school blazer. It didn't bother me however a little
drop of rain never hurt anyone, or so I thought.
The streets were busy and
while I thought I knew my way around town it was
difficult with so many people filling the pavement
ahead. I knew the car park was on the right hand side
and I was going to have to cross the road but I
couldn't appear to find the crossing. I was going to
have to rush across during a gap in the traffic. It
wouldn't be difficult, besides, a lot of others were
doing the same.
I rushed across the road
practically dodging a bus as it pulled out from the
curb. As I reached the other side I headed straight
towards an area covered with tarmac thinking that was
the car park. It was surprisingly bare considering
the amount of shoppers in town. It then dawned on me
that it wasn't the car park after all as it was
surrounded by cones preventing people from driving
into it. It oozed with a strange smell that was
disgusting yet also pleasant once it wafted up the
nostrils. It was freshly laid tarmac. There was a
building site nearby so I guessed it must have been
something to do with that. Possibly a new car park
for an office still under construction. Some builders
were sitting around but I couldn't see anyone
actually doing any work, but I guessed that was
I continued heading down the
street searching for the car park but the road turned
a corner leading to more shops. It was clear I couldn't
find it and was only going to get even more lost if I
continued looking. So I decided to turn around and go
back the way I came.
A lot of shoppers headed into
my direction carrying lots of shopping bags causing
me to step out of the way beside a lamp post. It then
dawned on me where I had gone wrong in my search. I
had crossed the road far too late and must have
walked past the car park. I remembered the many
decorated lamp posts that surrounded it. All I had to
do was head back up the road and I should come across
I took a deep breath and with
haste walked back along the pavement while trying to
remember the exact location. I still wasn't worried
and besides, I felt old enough to look after myself.
I could walk all the way home if I so desired.
A big digger lorry pulled out
across the pavement as it left the building site
causing everyone to have to wait. Its yellow blinking
light appeared bright as night was falling.
Turning my gaze I saw an area
of waste ground behind the building site. There were
some children on bikes riding up and down the many
bumps and small hills. Beyond that were the decorated
street lights in the distance and the car park I was
heading for. A simple shortcut behind the building
site would cut time off my journey as well as being
out of the way of the many shoppers slowing me down.
I wasn't sure I was allowed but there was no fence to
stop people so I quickly headed down a newly laid
pavement heading for the waste ground.
The grass squelched underfoot
but it wasn't too muddy and it would probably only
take a few minutes to cross. I was wearing my school
shoes with worn flat soles but it wasn't to be a
problem as long as I treaded carefully.
In almost in instant the
light hazy rain increased dramatically turning into a
downpour. I held my hands covering my head and
continued across the waste ground. The decorated
streetlights were lit up causing a glow around the
car park as if highlighting my destination. My mind
was already rehearsing the argument I would have with
my mother. I would twist it around to make it appear
she was the one at fault, using her own sense of
guilt to punish her for treating me like a little kid.
I bit my own tongue as a
sharp pain shot up my leg causing my to collapse into
a heap. I gritted my teeth trying to hold back my
urge to scream. My foot had twisted as it slipped
against a mound of earth causing a stabbing pain. I
held both hands around my ankle cradling it in the
hope the throbbing would stop.
"Grrr!" I growled
because of the anger I felt rather than the pain.
I remained motionless,
intentionally not moving, while taking deep breaths
waiting for the pain to disperse. However, it didn't,
and I was sure it was increasing.
Very cautiously I wobbled
back to my feet and looked out across the waste
ground. The children on bicycles had already gone and
night had arrived quickly. I felt totally alone. The
lights from the car park and the town still shone
bright and there were still shoppers around but I
wasn't sure they could see me. I tentatively
attempted to put weight on my right foot to see if I
could walk, but there was no way I could even take a
single step. The pouring rain continued to fall upon
me soaking through my clothes onto my skin.
"Hello!" I yelled
out toward the busy shoppers making their way along
the street in the distance.
There was no way they could
hear my timid voice over the sound of the downpour.
"Help!" I yelled as
loud as I could, "Please help me!"
There was no reaction from
I knelt down to the ground
and wrapped my arms around myself. Someone was sure
to find me soon, I thought to myself, it was just a
matter of time.
Chapter 2 - Finding
The shoppers in the distance
were hurrying, including the ones with umbrellas,
while I sat upon the wet ground becoming saturated by
the rain. My hands were rested upon my head but they
offered no protection against my soggy hair that
soaked up every droplet of water like a sponge. If
only I was able to walk I could at least find shelter
instead of sitting there like a sorry mess.
"Help me someone!"
I screamed out at the top of my voice hurting my
throat before bursting into tears.
No one could hear me over the
sound of the ferocious rain that psychically hurt my
body with every drop feeling more like stones than
water. It was pitch dark all around and I wasn't sure
anyone would find me until daylight, but would I even
last until then? It was sure to be a cold night.
My tears warmed my face as
they flowed down my cheeks closely followed by
another warm feeling between my legs as I peed myself.
It wasn't intentional, I had no urge to do so, it was
as though my body was doing things of its own accord
and not listening to my brain.
I continued to sit on the
ground having no idea what to do next. I couldn't
concentrate. Having never experienced such a thing
before I wasn't sure what to do. Was it better to
remain where I was or try to move and risk hurting my
I heaved myself up from the
ground only to immediately crouch down onto my knees
due to the pain in my foot. It was then that I
realised I could move if I crawled on all fours. The
busy town behind me and the car park ahead was quite
a distance for a crawl, but I had no other choice. I
decided to head for the car park in the hope my
mother would be waiting for me.
The grass grew increasingly
muddy and my hands dirty as the ground squelched
while I crawled. With so many bumps, holes and small
hills it was sure to take a long time. There was also
a lot of debris scattered around too, broken masonry,
bits of glass and twisted metal to name a few. It was
difficult to see a lot of it so I had to take extra
care with every moment of my body. My right foot
throbbed and every so often I had to stop and stretch
my leg to see if I should shake away the pain.
There was no let up in the
rain as it continued to pour. I even felt the urge to
give up and simply lay down but the thought of my mum
searching for me made me more determined to press
ahead. This had now become a matter of life and death.
There was something strange
ahead of me that caught my attention. The rain was
splashing against something metallic, like a sheet of
corrugated roof, but as I crawled closer I realised
it was an entire shed partly buried in the ground. At
first I assumed it must have partly sunk in the mud
due to the heavy rain but it couldn't have possibly
been the case for it wasn't anywhere near muddy
enough for that. Either way it would be a good place
to shelter for a while so I headed towards it.
My hands and knees grew
intensively filthy as I crawled at a faster pace
towards the metal shed. I knew of the dangers of
moving at speed but was eager to get into shelter as
fast as possible. It was taking a long time to reach
it while I counted every second in my mind in the
hope that would somehow speed up my pace.
As I approached I noticed a
steep set of metal steps that led into the half
buried shed. It was pitch dark inside and I hesitated
"Hello?!" I called
out in the slim chance someone was hiding inside,
I turned around looking at
the distant glow of the town, then turned toward the
car park and its decorated street lights. I couldn't
possibly make it in my condition and needed shelter
immediately. I had no choice but to enter the shed.
"Hello!" I yelled
out yet again.
I turned my body around and
very cautiously crawled down the steps backwards. I
was weeping intensely.
"I'm scared!" I
said in a loud whisper.
There were no more than six
steps before I reached the bottom. Luckily it was
bone dry but the stone floor felt awfully cold. I
could see nothing whatsoever, not even my hand in
front of my face. I slowly moved into the corner and
hugged myself while shivering intensely.
Chapter 3 - Wish Upon
The sound of the rain as it
tapped against the metal roof eventually stopped
after what seemed like hours. In fact I had no idea
how long I had been there with it being so dark to
even take glance at my watch. Everything was silent,
I couldn't hear any distant sounds of cars or
shoppers, so I guessed it was the middle of the night.
My mother was probably
frantic with worry. She would have called the police
and they would be searching for me. I imagined they
all thought I was abducted and not sitting inside a
sunken shed behind a building site in the middle of
town. Would they even think of looking for me in such
My clothing was soaked
through and I knew I was cold but somehow I didn't
feel it and was no longer shivering. I still hugged
myself tightly however and was afraid to move any
part of my body.
"Somebody help me!"
I screamed out frightening myself as my voice echoed
I slowly wiggled my fingers
then my hands willing my body to move. I then wiggled
my feet and changed my position so I was on all fours
again taking care not to hurt my ankle further. I
then crawled back towards the steps and heaved myself
up taking a peek outside.
The sky was clear and the air
frightfully crisp. In the distance I could see no
movement from anyone in town but I did still notice
cars in the car park so maybe it wasn't as late as I
had first thought. It was still too dark to see my
watch however even when I moved my wrist trying to
view it at another angle.
"Mummy!" I yelled
I gulped deeply as I felt the
urge to vomit but instead tears and snot poured out
from my face.
To my right was a shooting
star flying across the sky. It would have been a
wonderful spectacle under different circumstances. I
gave it no more than a quick glace.
"I need help!" I
shouted as loud as I could.
With that the shooting star
vanished from the corner of my eye. Maybe I was
mistaken, it could have been a distant firework. I
then crawled backwards into the far corner of the
shed sobbing loudly whilst hugging myself not being
sure I would last the night.
Chapter 4 - Barbie?
My eyelids felt heavy and I
was constantly blinking but I wasn't sure if it was
due to tiredness or so much crying. If I closed my
eyes for more than a few moments they hurt when
opening them again due to my tears sticking them
together. In fact it was difficult to tell whether
they were closed or not with the shed being pitch
I suddenly jumped startled by
the sound of something outside. It sounded like the
ground squelching under footsteps. Someone was
"I'm here. I'm in here!"
I shouted, "I need help!"
An intense relief filled my
body as the pace of the footsteps increased and grew
louder. I could then hear the sound of heavy shoes
against the metal steps as someone entered the shed.
From their silhouette I could make out that this
person was wearing a large cloak reminding me
somewhat of a superhero.
"Poor thing," I
heard a soft female voice respond.
"Can you help me please?!"
I cried, "I'm cold and lost, and I want my mum..."
This person standing before
me stepped away from the entrance and vanished into
the darkness of the shed.
"That's what I'm here
for," she responded.
I could hear her crouch down
in front of me as if trying to get a closer look, but
there was no way she could see anything in the pitch
dark. I felt we were about to bump heads as I sensed
her so close to me so I leant back slightly out of
the way. She wore an unusual perfume that reminded me
of plastic, or the smell of paint. She remained
totally silent and if it wasn't for her odour I would
have sworn she had left.
"I've broken my ankle,"
I told her, "I can't walk."
"Don't worry yourself
about that," the woman immediately responded,
"Our main priority is getting you warmed up, you're
already showing signs of hypothermia."
I heard her stand and begin
walking around inside the shed. Her shoes echoed
against the stone floor.
"This is an old Anderson
Shelter," she said, "I remember these from
the war. I'm surprised it's still in such good
I could hear her doing
something at the back of the shed as if moving
objects around. I couldn't believe she was able to
see what she was doing. I had to turn my gaze toward
the entrance to view the dim light from outside just
to be sure I hadn't turned blind.
She also had an unusual
accent that seemed to waver between English and
American. Maybe she was Canadian, I couldn't be sure.
Suddenly there was the sound
of a striking match and a small flame which in turn
lit a small fire within a stove at the back of the
"We'll soon get this
place warmed up," she said as she turned to face
I couldn't believe my eyes as
the dim light of the stove grew in intensity and lit
the small shed. I wasn't sure if I was dreaming or
not and had to blink my eyes wide open. The woman
standing before me was a life sized Barbie Doll!
Chapter 5 - Medical
The strange Barbie Doll woman
was dressed in a traditional nurse's uniform complete
with hat and cape. She was the spitting image of the
nurse doll I saw earlier that day in the shop. She
began to adjust the stove some more which had the
effect of increasing the intensity of its flame. She
then walked over to me and knelt down.
soaked through you poor thing," she said as she
squeezed my wet clothing.
I nodded in response as I
stared directly at her face.
"Come closer to the
stove," she said, "Before you catch your
"I can't walk," I
replied quietly while staring up into her eyes as
they reflected the glow from the stove, "My
ankle still hurts."
I felt her hand touch my
right ankle causing me to flinch with a sharp pain.
"Sorry," she said
as she gently felt it with her fingers.
As of that moment I hadn't
told her which ankle was in pain yet she appeared to
know which one. The massage of her fingers felt
"Now I'll be as careful
as I can but this may hurt a little," she said
as she held onto my right shoe ready to remove it.
"Okay," I replied,
"You may scream if you
so wish or swear if it hurts," she added which
caused me to smirk at her choice of words.
With ease and without causing
me any further pain she gently removed my right shoe
followed by my sock then continued to feel my ankle.
"Wiggle your toes for me,"
I did as she asked while she
continued to hold my foot cupping my heel within her
palm while gently holding my toes with her other hand.
"There's certainly some
swelling but I assure you it's not broken," she
said calmly, "It'll me fine in a few days."
"Thank you," I
She then proceeded to remove
my left shoe and sock placing both pairs together
beside the stove before turning back to face me and
She placed her arms around my
body then physically picked me up from the floor
without any sign of effort on her part. I quickly
lowered my legs. Very slowly I hobbled in bare feet
on the cold stone floor over to the stove while she
continued to hold me.
"There that wasn't so
bad was it?" She said.
I nodded while continuing to
stare at her. I was sure she hadn't blinked her eyes
"We need to get you out
of those wet things," she said while beginning
to remove my wet blazer, "They'll dry out nicely
on the stove."
I nodded again as she began
removing my clothing one item at a time. After she
removed all of my top clothing she removed my belt
and trousers leaving me in just my knickers.
"I'm aware of your
little accident," she said, "We can dry
them out too, don't worry."
How could she possibly have
known about that? I thought to myself. Maybe she
could see the urine stain.
She then lowered my underwear
and placed them down with the rest of my clothing.
Even though I was naked I felt a lot warmer than I
did before. I stood closer to the stove allowing the
heat to touch my bare skin. The nurse placed each
item of my clothing above the stove hanging them onto
the wall using the screws that held the shed together
as hooks. She then positioned my shoes against the
base of the stove.
"These'll soon dry out,"
she said, "But they may end up smelling of smoke
afterwards, that can't be helped."
She then turned to look at me
as I stood naked practically leaning over the stove.
With one swift movement she removed her cloak and
wrapped it around my shoulders.
"Don't stand too close
to the heat," she said, "This isn't
I hobbled as I took a step
away from the stove. Her cloak felt lovely and warm
with its fur lining against my bare skin. I closed my
eyes basking in the pleasurable feeling.
"You're out of danger
from hypothermia," she said, "So it's safe
to sleep now if you so wish."
I turned my head looking for
a place to lay down in the bare shed with its stone
floor. The nurse calmly sat herself down leaning
against the metal wall opposite then smiled.
"It's okay you can sleep
on me," she said holding out her arms.
She knew I had difficulty
walking and was intentionally not helping. I slowly
hobbled over to her. She didn't hold onto me until I
was at arms length then sat me down on her lap.
"You may sleep now child,"
"Thank you Barbie,"
She responded with a half
snigger before gently squeezing my shoulders. I put
my thumb in my mouth and rested my head against her
chest before gently falling to sleep.
Chapter 6 - Morning
The night passed quickly as I
woke to find myself still in her arms. She was
staring ahead with her non blinking eyes as if deep
in thought. Her cheeks reflected the light from the
stove giving them a warm glow. She noticed I had
awoken and looked down at me.
"You slept for a long
time," she said, "Are you fully rested?"
I nodded while trying to hold
in my yawn.
"Very well," she
said, "I think it's time to get you home."
I slowly climbed from her and
stood myself up. My body felt cramped causing me to
have to stretch out my arms. She on the other hand
was able to stand to her feet without any signs of
ache in her body whatsoever. I looked at my watch
then pointed it toward the glowing stove to get a
better look. It was 6.30am.
"Your clothing's dry,"
Barbie said as she rested her hands against them,
"But I think your shoes may still be a little
She removed her cloak from
around my body and fastened it around her neck. The
sudden cold feeling made me shiver for a brief moment.
I was going to miss not wearing it. She then helped
me to get dressed and carefully put my socks and
shoes back on. My ankle was still tender but far less
"Your mother's more than
likely to have contacted the police about your
disappearance," she said, "So we'll take
you to the nearest police station in town, they'll
return you home where I suggest you have a nice warm
bath and a proper sleep in bed."
"Okay," I responded.
It was then I noticed she
kept using the word we when talking about herself.
Maybe it was just her way of speaking. She then
started brushing my hair using her hand.
"Barbie?" I said to
I wasn't sure of what I
wanted to say let alone how to ask. Was she real? Was
she a giant Barbie Doll? Was I dreaming? I had a lot
of questions with each one more outlandish than the
last. I decided to remain quiet.
"Come on," she said,
She picked me up and carried
me up the metal steps to the waste ground above. It
was still dark and bitingly cold. She continued
holding me in her arms while heading towards town.
Chapter 7 - Goodbyes
She walked at a remarkable
pace across the waste ground despite the rubbish and
uneven surface. I was amazed she never fell over. I
was carried over the waste ground, past the building
site, into the town centre and directly to the police
station in a very short space of time.
However as soon as we reached
the steps leading to the entrance of the police
station she suddenly stopped and placed me down onto
the top step.
"I'm going to have to
take my leave," she said.
As I looked up at her I could
see the bright stars glistening in the clear sky
behind her. They appeared to twinkle more brightly
than usual and reflected within her shiny eyes.
"Please don't go,"
I responded, "I still need you."
She smiled at me.
"You'll be fine,"
she said, "Just don't be in too much of a hurry
to grow up."
I wrapped my arms around her
and held her tight.
"Goodbye," she said.
I let go of her as tears
started forming within my eyes.
"Bye," I said.
She calmly turned around and
walked down the steps and away from the police
station. I waved at her but she didn't look back. As
I looked up at the dark sky I saw another shooting
star as it flew at speed across the sky into the
distance. I then opened the large doors of the police
station and went inside.