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She wondered how long she had been in the box. It was impossible to tell. Time always seemed to stand still when you were in there. It was pitch dark, hot and cramped. An hour felt like a day or more.

She lay still, with lumps and bumps pressing into her from almost all directions. A sharp edge was sticking into her back. There was an uncomfortable lump right under her head. It might be a foot. She didn’t want to know.

Just a couple of centimetres above her face there was solid wood. She stared up at it and willed it to open. It didn’t move.

It never moved.

She wanted to shove it, push it, kick it, hammer at it with all her might. It would do no good. It only opened from the outside.

She tried to calm the panicky feeling that was rising in her chest. She couldn’t be kept in here for long, not this time. She hadn’t done anything wrong. It would open soon and she would be let out.

A sound from outside made her heart rise. A thump. A creak. The lid of the box rose and light flooded in. A figure with golden hair smiled down at her and reached out with chubby hands.

Her mistress lifted her out of the toybox, and the doll was happy once more.

© Kari Fay