Little Angie

Short story number 1 from my short story collection “Who can Hurt a Doll?” (Hvem kan gøre en dukke fortræd?) in English and Danish

11 psychological and slightly absurdist short stories which deals with the difficult transition from childhood to adulthood.

Little Angie

Many years ago I stumbled across a book which was about a little girl Violet, whose parents were very religious. Every Sunday they went to church and this day was as if it was a festive day. When they had eaten breakfast in bed and had had their baths, Violet was dressed in her Sunday best, and then they walked hand in hand and with Violet between them to church. These visits to the sparkling church room, and with the altar’s representation of the Lord’s Supper with Jesus at the centre, the shining halo behind his head, and the twelve disciples gathered around him, were very happy moments for little Violet, because never were her parents more loving than in the high-ceilinged church room, where everything was calm and peaceful, and where she wasn’t bored at all during the long sermon, because everything in God’s world was good. After the service Violet should attend Sunday school, and here she learned about our Saviour Jesus Christ, his Crucifixion, Death and Resurrection from the dead. This introduction to the teachings of Christianity made such a great impression on Violet’s sensitive childish mind that she at home in her own little world felt called upon to repeat what she had learned. She began taking her beloved doll to pieces and putting them on the little pink chest of drawers in her nursery. At first she took the legs from the body, then she took off the arms and at last the head. She took the doll’s torso and put it gently on a small red table mat, which she had put on the chest of drawers, after which she put its right leg to the right and its left leg to the left of the torso. Finally she put its arms beside the legs and its head at the top, after which she tucked the body parts well up under the deceased doll’s small duvet.

    “Now you are dead, little Angie,” Violet said with her most loving maternal voice. “But tomorrow the Good Lord will resurrect you, my darling.”

    Her parents were shocked when they came into Violet’s room to say good night.

    “But what have you done to little Angie?” her mother exclaimed.

    “She is dead,” Violet said.

    “But how could you do it? You love little Angie so much,” the mother whispered with tears in her eyes, and she could hardly get herself to say it.

    “But mummy,” Violet answered. “Have you no faith in God? Tomorrow the merciful God will resurrect her. Don’t worry, mum! Have faith in God. Everything is in his hands!”

    And that’s what happened. When morning came God had Violet’s hands filled with a wonderful power so they easily and without any trouble were able to put together the different body parts so little Angie once again was a living doll, and she could go into the sitting room, where the parents were talking in subdued voices, which suddenly stopped when she entered.

    “Look!” she shouted with a smile and held up the doll. “God has resurrected little Angie from the dead! I told you so. Please say good morning to grandpa and grandma, little Angie!”

    “Good morning, grandpa and grandma,” Angie said. “Mum died me, but the good Lord has resurrected me again.”

    But the parents didn’t look at all happy. They were looking at little Angie with worried faces.

    “Violet,” her mother said. “I really don’t think that you should take apart your doll again. We don’t like it.”

    “But mum, don’t you believe in God?” Violet said. “Look at Angie. She believes. Don’t you know that whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child, he shall not enter therin?”

    “It’s true what mum is saying! Tonight mother will kill me again, and then I’ll be completely gone, and everything will be black, and I won’t even be able to dream, because I shall no longer exist, but then when God resurrects me again it will be absolutely fantastic!” Angie said, and she was talking so fast that she nearly forgot to breathe. “It’s so wonderful to be resurrected. Grandpa and grandma, you really should try to be died and resurrected again! Just put your faith in God!”

Of course, things went as they must. Soon Violet grew tired of taking her doll to pieces and putting them together again, and presumably it was this boredom of predictability, coupled with an irrepressible curiosity, which led her craving for activity onto other paths. She totally forgot little Angie, who, in separate parts, was put away in a box up in the dark and dank attic, and at long last ended up in one of the dustbins of the bin room.

    But stories never end. All unfinished stories are like rumbling magma chambers in the depths of our minds. They are lying hidden, simmering, and are looking for an opportunity to erupt. And maybe it’s this unfinished story which is the explanation of what happened later in Violet’s life … but this is quite a different story …

 

The same story in Danish/Den samme historie på dansk:

Lille Angie

For mange år siden faldt jeg over en bog, som handlede om en lille pige, Violet, hvis forældre var meget religiøse. Hver søndag gik de i kirke, og denne dag var som en festdag. Når de havde spist morgenmad i sengen og været i bad, blev Violet klædt i sine søndagsklæder, og så spadserede de hånd i hånd og med Violet i midten hen til kirken. Disse besøg i det strålende kirkerum og med altertavlens fremstilling af nadveren med Jesus i midten, den lysende glorie bag hans hoved og de tolv disciple samlede omkring ham var meget lykkelige øjeblikke for lille Violet, for aldrig var hendes forældre mere kærlige end i det højloftede kirkerum, hvor alt åndede fred, og hvor hun slet ikke kedede sig under den lange prædiken, fordi alting i Guds verden var godt. Efter kirketid skulle Violet i søndagsskole, og her lærte hun om vor frelser Jesus Kristus, hans korsfæstelse, død og opstandelsen fra de døde. Denne indføring i den kristne lære gjorde så stort et indtryk på Violets følsomme barnesind, at hun derhjemme i sin egen lille verden følte sig kaldet til at gentage, hvad hun havde lært. Hun gav sig til at skille sin elskede dukkes forskellige dele fra hinanden og lagde dem fra sig oven på barneværelsets lille lyserøde kommode. Først adskilte hun benene fra kroppen, så tog hun armene af og til sidst hovedet. Hun tog dukkens torso og lagde den nænsomt oven på et lille, rødt tæppe, som hun havde anbragt på kommoden, hvorefter hun anbragte højre ben til højre og venstre ben til venstre for torsoen. Til sidst anbragte hun armene ved siden af benene og hovedet foroven, hvorefter hun puttede kropsdelene godt til under den aflivede dukkes lille dyne.

”Nu er du død, lille Angie,” sagde Violet med sin kærligste moderstemme. ”Men i morgen vil den gode Gud genopvække dig til live igen, min skat.”

Hendes forældre blev chokerede, da de kom ind i Violets værelse for at sige godnat.

”Jamen, hvad har du dog gjort ved lille Angie?” udbrød hendes mor.

”Hun er død,” sagde Violet.

”Men hvordan kunne du dog gøre det? Du holder jo så meget af lille Angie,” hviskede moderen med tårer i øjnene og kunne knap nok få ordene over sine læber.

”Men mor,” svarede Violet. ”Har du ingen tro? I morgen vil den barmhjertige Gud vække hende til live igen. Bare rolig, mor! Stol trygt på Gud. Alt står i hans hånd!”

Og sådan skete det. Da det blev morgen, lod Gud Violets hænder fylde med en forunderlig kraft, så de legende let og helt uden besvær kunne samle de forskellige kropsdele, så lille Angie igen blev en levende dukke, og hun kunne gå ind i stuen, hvor forældrene snakkede med dæmpede stemmer, der brat forstummede, da hun trådte ind.

”Se!” råbte hun smilende og holdt dukken frem for sig. ”Gud har genopvakt lille Angie fra de døde! Det var det, jeg sagde. Kan du sige god morgen til morfar og mormor, lille Angie?”

”God morgen, morfar og mormor,” sagde Angie. ”Mor døde mig, men den gode Gud har genopvakt mig igen.”

Men forældrene så slet ikke glade ud. De så med bekymrede miner på lille Angie.

”Violet,” sagde hendes moder. ”Jeg synes altså ikke, at du skal skille din dukke ad igen. Vi kan ikke lide det.”

”Men mor, tror du ikke på Gud?” sagde Violet. ”Se på Angie. Hun tror. Ved du ikke, at den, som ikke tager imod Guds Rige som et lille Barn, hun skal ikke komme ind i det?”

”Det er rigtigt, hvad mor siger! I aften vil mor slå mig ihjel igen, og så vil jeg være helt væk, og alt vil blive sort, og jeg vil ikke engang kunne drømme, for jeg vil ikke længere være til, men når Gud så genopvækker mig igen, vil det være helt fantastisk!” sagde Angie, og hun talte, så hun næsten glemte at trække vejret. ”Det er så dejligt at blive genopvakt. Morfar og mormor, I skulle altså prøve at blive dødet og genopvakt igen! Bare stol trygt på Gud!”

Det er klart, at det gik, som det må gå. Violet blev snart træt af at skille sin dukke ad og samle den igen, og formodentlig var det denne forudsigelighedens kedsomhed, koblet med en ubændig nysgerrighed, der ledte hendes aktivitetstrang ind på andre baner. Hun glemte helt lille Angie, der i adskilte dele blev puttet af vejen oppe i en kasse i det mørke og klamme pulterkammer for til sidst at ende i en af skralderummets containere.

Men historier hører aldrig op. Alle de uafsluttede historier er som rumlende magmakamre i vores indre. De ligger og simrer i det skjulte og lurer på en mulighed for at komme i udbrud. Og det er måske denne uafsluttede historie, der er forklaringen på det, der senere skete i Violets liv …. men det er en helt anden historie…