Twirling throughout the house, I dragged a hot pink boa, littering feathery remnants down the hallway. Wearing Mom’s broken dress slippers, I breathlessly clopped the floor similar to a moose in a tutu, leaving behind a trail of deeply ingrained scratch marks on Mom’s polished wood floors.

I called into the other room as I spun, “Mom, I’m going to be a dancer.”

With hair similar to curling dental floss, I was nicknamed Flossy after Mom’s favorite babysitter for me, who also sported a head of frills, although her hair was much darker than mine. Flossy was a black college student with a smile that opened her arms to the world, along with courage large enough to inspire my future—forever. It all began on a sunny afternoon.

I sat at the top of the sliding board in anticipation of a breezy glide downward, just me and my new doll, Christy, next to me, a birthday gift from my recent four-year-old party. Dressed with a grin, I slid downward. But something was wrong. My doll moved faster, reaching the bottom before I could catch her. The family dog, Blacky, who frightened me, snatched her and fled to the woods. I screamed.

Flossy, with a focused stare, erect shoulders, and reaching arms fled after Blacky, and after catching up to him they demonstrated a frenzied tug-of-war. As Flossy held the doll’s head, Blacky’s teeth penetrated Christy’s foot with enough force to nearly bite it in two pieces. With a grunt and a perspiring forehead, Flossy made one last jerk, and with a loud whoop my doll was free. Unfortunately, my doll was a “has-been”. When I saw her I cried.

Her once shining straight hair was now smelly and mangled with dog saliva, dried crushed leaves, along with dirty grime. I shouldn’t have placed her next to me on the slide. But even more than my guilt was my affection for Flossy. She triumphed as the heroine, plunged into a frightful world I could not navigate. In the end, it didn’t seem to matter that my doll wasn’t the same for it had been replaced with a person far more real than childish play, a life-sized heroine.

Adventures of the Boxcar Children, saved for me by the school librarian, persuaded me of invincibility where imagination transported the reader into a place where dreams became reality. Whether roughing it in the wildness of nature, or dancing from a pinnacle of achievement, we would all be somebody of significance one day, like a dancer or a rescuer of helpless baby dolls.

Someday came, yet, it unfolded more like scratch marks on the floor along with rubber work boots. It fleshed out like a tug-of-war in the raw earth where heroines live. These heroines are not the rich and famous but rather the devoted, loving, and creative creatures God places along our pathway.

3 thoughts on “Flossy

  1. Oh, Lisa, I love this story and I bet I would have loved Flossy and your babydoll, too. The vivid description put me right there, watching in horror from the top of that slide. Heroines are all around us, aren’t they? And you, my friend, are one of those in my life. (PS – I really like the new headshot, too).

    Liked by 1 person

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