When Prokofy had been alone for a long time
he walked a certain street each evening, past a
tall gray house and on up the hill. He walked
past it each day for a year, and then for
another year.

One evening in the gathering gloom he saw what
he had never seen before: a certain window was
illuminated, and he could see into a certain
room. Within the room, Prokofy saw a high shelf
in an open cabinet, like a window in the wall.

In the bright light, Prokofy saw that there were
dolls, elaborately dressed dolls on the shelf.
As Prokofy stared, he saw the dolls turn and
speak with one another, with tiny quick gestures.

Then Prokofy felt a cold wind, and he knew where
he was.

copyright © 1998 Gordon Fitch