The sun is beaming through the shabby caravan window. On the shelf sits a picture of little Lenna. I’m sitting on her round left shoulder, dangling from the side of the peak of a cliff somewhere in Greece. Her arms are stretched wide above the veiny blue ocean. My outer blue compartment flaps in a back-and-forth, breathing in the chilly breeze—my long leather strap leaps from side to side. I am scared for my life. Lenna loved it. That is how it used to be. Lenna was a traveler, voyaging from shore to shore to perform for a crowd of funny faces, big and small, short and tall. She was the golden act everybody loved to see. It was all gilts and glamour and a little bit of sick in between.
Until one day she cancelled her show. I did not know why, how I should know? She stopped carrying me around and hid me upside, in her dingy, brown closet. This morning she pulled me out of it. I coughed up the dust from my lungs. Then, she chucked me in a carboard box and closed it shut. When she opened the box up it smelt of spoilt beer, burgers and pizza. I have no idea what will happen to me next.I could get ripped to threads or chewed up by an angry dog on its way to the can. All I know is that the sun is out, and people are chanting prices outside.
A line of people pass by our caravan. I am sitting on a wooden table covered in a silky white cloth. There are girls with pigtails in their hair and boys with bright summer hats. It is as hot as a sauna – the bundles of joy run across the gravel, passing through families selling their household crap.
On Lenna’s desk, there are ginger barbies with missing limbs, a fluffy white unicorn with baby pink hair, an old jewellery box with a broken glass lid and a set of unopened watercolours. I remember all her toys and the way she used turn around the hallway of her mother’s house, holding baby unicorn Anabella and barbie Fiona, as she talked to herself out loud. It’s been years since I’ve seen her play with anything. Guess I am one of her neglected no-good toys.
I look down, covering my dainty silver buckle when a little girl with brown, frizzy hair and deep brown eyes and caramel skin passing down our caravan. She is as jumpy and flustered as a runaway cat in the middle of the street.
Girl: Mama, mama, I want this!
Then she points at my sparkling buckle. In the distance, a heavily breathing woman stands with her hands on her knees. The lady is as frantic as a hamster on a wheel. There are blueish and purplish circles under her eyes and soft lines around her cheeks. Maybe she is the little weasel’s mum.
Lady: May stop running away from me. We have to get to the bus stop. We are going to be late!
The little girl glares up at her and blinks, fluttering her long, thick and curly eyelashes. If you saw her standing here, you would think that she is about to cry.
The lady comes nearer until she reaches her. Then she lets out a heavy, loud breath and smiles at her. The little girl makes getting what she wants easy.
Lady: Alright then, how much for the purse?
Lenna: Ten quid.
She hands me over to the stranger.
Lady: Okay May, we have to go.
That’s it. Just like that, I belong to a brown-eyed firecracker and her easily persuaded carer.