My eyes have always been glassy. A special, magical glance that reflects only the special and the magical.
My skin has always been taut, smooth and unblemished. With hair that coils like rolled wafers, and a face that perfectly smiles a toothless grin at my Beholder, I exist with welded cherry lips and a rosy blush that’s never disappointed.
Some say the bottom of my shiny shoes have Made In America embossed on them, but I, unfortunately, am not flexible enough to see. I saw a friend of the Duke bent their legs to see the soles of their feet, complaining that the leather hadn’t broken in, and something of a corn that you couldn’t eat.
I watched with heavy-lidded eyes, lying not quite flat enough to pretend to sleep. I may have been envious that my legs only twist in circles at the hip, and that on some days for many weeks, my Beholder forgets to place my tiny legs in a way that’s suitable for someone in a velvet skirt trimmed with lace! My underwear may be part of my design, but I am a lady!
I pink in shame, but my Beholder never knows the difference. So, I think that if I were a friend of my Beholder, I can bend, twist, and voice all of my frustrations. I could tell her that my tea cup is dismally empty, and even if she were to tip it in my favor, all she does is snowflake dust onto me.
“Aren’t you supposed to wash these things?” I look in the direction of the animal beside me, concentrating strongly for him to hear my thoughts.
He makes no indication that he heard me, but what should I expect of a hairy beast whose ears seem to be attached to the ribbon of his top hat?
Actually, I may be a little too insensitive for thinking so loudly. After all, if he could actually hear, someone would have told him it’s inappropriate to just wear a bow-tie at a tea party.
Granted, the other guests also have no consideration of how hard my Beholder must work for their every whim. Where is the mouth on Firetruck and Puzzle? Our beastly friend, at the very least, politely declines with his embroidered grin.
It’s exhausting for a lady like me to entertain them, but luckily, we can enjoy the silence in a sunlit room.
After all, one cannot complain so much of their status in society. Many of us are born without the means or the choice to buy into nobility, to be one of Beholder’s kind. We were selected, bought, and now must live our duties until we are no more.
Or, I suppose, until the Beholder is tired of us.
Bear, Firetruck, Puzzle, and I are of the very select few she has kept as she grows taller. We’ve all proven our worth somehow.
Bear, although a terrible dresser, has been her bodyguard since she left Duke Daddy and Lady Mommy’s room. I say they were cold for doing that to such a young girl, especially with how loudly she wept the first weeks. I even ached for my Beholder, but a person that cannot bend their legs cannot move as they should so please.
Luckily, Bear has kept her safe.
Luckily, Bear has taught our Beholder how to be brave, and to sleep soundly even as the house creaks. The Duke and Lady may have used their gold to own his life, but it is Bear that bestowed her the strength she needed. He listened as she recited her prayers, and stood on guard when her dry eyes could no longer muster a tear. He is the brave one, exemplifying the composed smile we must keep in spite of our fear.
Firetruck was a gift from a distant relative. His sirens bled my ears when he first arrived, and I wasn’t sure what we had in common, but even he has proven his worth.
When the Duke chases our lovely Beholder, she screams and shouts at him to cease his insanity, but he is relentless! I’m afraid that I can only cower when his shadows cast onto our decorated walls, and I am prone to fail our Beholder when my eyes widen in horror, paralyzed at such a monster would unnervingly do that to such a small child!
Luckily, Firetruck is on our side.
Though he has fallen silent with age, we are very fortunate that Firetruck has grown to be an enemy of the Duke. He appears in places many of us cannot reach, and has taught our Beholder to think on her feet when a foe approaches. He deserves all the credit for her resilience during hard times.
Then, Puzzle brings to the table something even I cannot do. Wonderfully talented and mysterious, she challenges our Beholder in the mind. She and her tiny thousand children frustrate us to wit's end, but all teachers who inspire must. Many times, we are unsure of what Puzzle means, and her many clues don’t seem to fit together at all. However, when her lesson is over, she gives our Beholder a beautiful sight of flowers and a colorful future!
It is Puzzle that has taught her creativity and patience, time and time again. The Lady of the House likes to say that she is the reason for our girl's artistic nature, but she is wrong. How can she be the one to bestow such a delightful gift when she herself cannot get past Puzzle’s riddles?
Nevertheless, she is jealous, I’m sure. When Puzzle must be disassembled and gathered with precision, she misplaces Puzzle’s children, and blames it on our Beholder! Long were our missions to bring them back together, and apologies were never given. How a mother could be so cold-hearted to another, I will never know!
Then, I, of course, am deserving of the highest of praises. I have a glorious story: one with heartache, tragedy, and a poetic victory that even Homer would be jealous of!
As a young girl, I was first bought by a terrible collector, one that imprisoned me in a box for years and years, until he passed away without any inheritors. We were left in the dark for many months, until it was notified that we would be auctioned off by the bank. They called us antiques, but we were untouched, unloved.
Then, on the fateful day, one by one, my beautiful sisters and I were sold for pennies. Some of us were stolen and to be unheard from again, excused that we were lost in the move. Others went to hungry, new collectors who would still preserve them in their box, a cruelty that haunts me to this day.
I was one of the very few who were fortunate enough to be donated to a local orphanage, saving us the humiliation of being devalued with a price we could not decide.
Though the orphanage was often cold and dirty, I was thoroughly loved by a girl with freckles. She loved that my eyes matched the amber shade of hers, and she held me close, telling me her dreams of being part of a family that sat at the table together. Though I was shy then, she understood my feelings, as I too wish to be part of any family again, even if it meant without my sisters.
Three years later, we were chosen by a lovely couple with three sons. They lived on a farm with a golden retriever named Ginger. Often, we would dance by the crackling fireplace, and tell stories around the wooden dinner table. It was delightfully loud, and full of cinnamon-scented warmth. Even when my girl with freckles married, she took me with her, and for decades, her children’s children would love me with precise care and special attention.
They trained me to be the lady that I am today. I am able to show my Beholders how to care for another, and how to be unconditionally loyal to one's hearts’ desire. Regardless if my Beholder was rowdy as a lion and in need of my softness, or if my Beholder was timid as a mouse and needed me as a conversation starter; I was there with my glassy eyes and rosy cheeks.
I was special. I was magical.
The Beholder before my current Beholder was a lovely woman. She was older than my usual girls, but she loved me until she was grey with skin pecked a million times by the sun, and her face stiffened like dried grapes. She did have children, but none of the boys or girls wanted such a dated thing like me by then, preferring flashing lights and more contemporary characters.
After she fell into a slumber she would not wake from, giving me the graciousness of being turned away; instead of an estate sale, I was sat in a yard with many other withered and unwanted things, waiting to be selected.
When the Duke and Lady found me, my Beholder had yet to be born. Ripe in her mother’s belly, I wish and hoped I would be loved by whatever soul was graced in that womb.
The Duke initially wanted a pair of wooden skis, although he had only lived in a sunny place like California his entire life. I was not a second, or third, or fourth thought. I was just an added item to some glass punch bowls that the Lady liked. I supposed they’ve saved me the embarrassment of ever having a numeric value labeled onto me, but the future was beginning to grim.
For days, I grew in anxiety, wondering who could come into existence between these two characters.
The Duke was a strange fellow. He found such a dainty and beautiful thing like me to be terrifying! He would tell the Lady stories from films, reminding her that I would curse them in the future. Firstly, I would never spend my afterlife on such a meek man. When he was alone, he would throw me in an ottoman full of snake-like things! For days, even months!
Even if I were to curse him, it would be in his favor. My Beholder deserves a father that can commit to wearing a wig, or to be completely bald. His current look is appalling.
His half-hearted nature mostly exhausts me, but as the years have passed, my perspective has changed. Slightly, but it is not the same as it once was, I'll give him that.
The only thing I like about him is that at every achievement his daughter brings, the Duke cries without shame, reminding himself to procure the moment with a photograph. It’s thanks to him that our walls are decorated with memories I can stare at when I am not with her, especially now that she leaves for hours every weekday.
Make no mistake, however, he still hates me and I still hate him.
The Lady is a different beast, but I find her more tolerable. She is opinionated and stands in her convictions; both are needed qualities in a mother as I’ve learned with my experience.
My qualms with her are unfortunate, however, as they are of the personality variety. She swears like a sailor, and drinks bloody wine as if she was exsanguinated. She cannot be changed, but she fills the house with flowers and daughter’s favorite cake every year.
Also, as the one to take me out of the ottoman to make sure I was never forgotten, it is obvious why I prefer her more.
Though, I am to be credited for my Beholder’s graciousness, kindness, wonderful social etiquette, and so forth. I will give thanks to the Duke and the Lady for such a cute child, one with eyes that are not glassy; and legs that can bend, twist, and turn.
I have loved her since she was born, and she has loved me. Although I'm not sure what the future holds, I’m thankful to be of use one more time, even when I am not as enticing as I once was.
My Beholder gets complimented by many friends and strangers for being wonderful. They love her bravery, resilience, and creativity. When she gets praised for her loveliness and kindness, I am full of pride, although my face may be hard to read.
She is one of my favorites, although I say that every time someone is willing to put up with a lady like me. I only raise the special and the magical, after all.
The Duke and Lady are also praised, for some reason, every time she shows her the person we’ve taught, loved, and embraced her to be, but I’m sure it’s only because we can’t speak.