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Blinded by Colors

Words and Audio of Chapter 1

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Excerpt from Chapter 1

Click the part to hear the section being read

Part 1 of Chapter 1

             Animal sounds rang through the farmyard in the countryside of a little town in South Carolina. Mayfield, that was the name. It was July of 1982, and the wind whispered through the grapevines as Lynn sat on the porch's steps with Kat, her doll.

            About a month ago, Mama found the doll, abandoned near the dumpster, and carried the worn-out piece of plastic into the house.

            "Whose is that?" Lynn asked as Mama thrust it towards her.

            "It's your'n," replied Mama. "I found it and thought you'd like it."

            "I do," Lynn said earnestly, "but - she's white."

"What does color gotta do wit' it?" Mama asked. "You ain't gotta just have dolls your own color."

Lynn stared at the battered image. The clothes were raggedy with age, and its child-sized body was disfigured, nearly broken into pieces. It winked its full-scale, black eyes everytime Lynn tilted the head back. There was a patch of hair on top of its head with the sides cut low to reveal the tiny hair holes.

            Examining the doll carefully, Lynn finally said, "I'm a name her Kat."

            "Kat," Mama repeated. "Why Kat?"

            "She looks just like one of those stray cats walking around," Lynn explained. "You don't like that name?"

            "Yea, I do," Mama replied. "It sounds good to me."

            After fixing up the doll, Lynn pretended to drink tea with her from the new tea set almost every day. New to Lynn meant the old things given to them from the wealthy family down the road. Since it wasn't hers from the beginning, Lynn considered it to be new.

Part 2 of Chapter 1

         As Lynn sat in the yard with both hands on the tea cups, she offered Kat a drink of tea, which was nothing more than mere water. "Here, Kat," she said fittingly, "Would you like a taste?"   

            Gradually, she placed one cup to Kat's mouth, and then the other one to hers. She lowered the cup and smacked her lips together. Kat's lifeless body sat silently, slumped down, staring into space the way stuffed animals do. Suddenly there was a loud BAM from the old broken down screen door slamming, and a large structure stepped on the porch. Lynn looked over her shoulder and saw Mama stretching her arms over her hefty body. Her premature legs held up her round mid-section, and strands of gray peeked through her half-dyed, black hair. Father Time was good to her, but the hands on her clock were slowly ticking. The hump on her back revealed her heavy load as the dust clouds flew around her feet in circles.

            Mama was an everyday Southern lady from the lowlands of the Deep South and to hear her talk, one would automatically know it. Sometimes her words were so quick even Lynn and the others had a hard time understanding her. Since she was born back in the days when education had little importance, it was a challenge for her to speak properly, but an even greater challenge for other people to make sense of her.

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 Deborah Grate Frink
July 8, 2006