4. Chapter 4
Lily sat at her desk dragging her foot on the floor. Every now and then she would glance over to Tory, who sat next to her clutching his stick. They had signed him in as Tory Jones. A nice simple name, easy to remember. The other kids whispered and pointed, but Tory kept up his blind act and kept looking straight ahead. He was keeping up the act well but how long would it be before someone took his glasses. They'd have to tread carefully. "Settle down class." Lily jumped, she hadn't noticed the teacher come in. "We have a new student today. His name's Tory and he's also blind so miss Quark will be helping him with his lessons. Lily looked round to see a young woman with platinum blonde hair, standing in the corner. "Quiet now I need to take the register." People kept turning round to look at Tory. They whispered and nudged each other. Every now and then the teacher would tell them to settle down. When the bell finally went after what seemed like hours Lily jumped up and grabbed her bag. Tory carefully put his bag on his back and grabbed hold of his stick. "Let's go to your first lesson." Miss Quark lead him out the room and down the corridor, close behind Lily.
Tory sat in the art room looking at everything he could. He wanted to look around but his buttons kept his staring straight ahead and turning his head would arouse suspicion. Miss Quark sat beside him, the teacher at the front. He couldn't make out certain detail, though he wasn't as blind as he was pretending to be. He was great full for having Miss Quark as she would write down everything they needed to write, (she had explained they would be copied in Braille for him later). This was good because embarrassingly but for obvious reasons he couldn't read or write. "Look at the objects on the table and draw them." The teacher called. "Don't forget light and shade. "Tory felt around for the objects, when his hand touched one he grabbed it. "Miss Tory's hoarding the vase." One of the other kids whined. Tory ran his hands over the vase and began to draw. Miss Quark turned to look what he was doing. "That's very good Tory."
"It's rubbish." hissed the other kid. "Something tells me." Tory began picking his pencil up again. "You haven't even started." The other kid tried to say something, but nothing came out.
"So what did you think of school?" Lily asked as she and Tory walked home. "It's OK. Miss Quark seems nice. But why does everyone call you Annie?"
"Because they're idiots. Tory?" she turned around to see Tory had stopped a few steps back. "Tory what's wrong?" Tory just kept staring into the shop window. Sighing Lily walked over. "Tory what's..." Then she spotted it. A beautiful doll in a white Victorian dress carrying parasol. She had brown ringlets and bright blue eyes. "You really like her don't you?" Tory just nodded. "OK I'll buy her for you. I should have just about enough." Before he could say anything she dragged him through the door. "Hello." she called. "Hello." A voice called back as a tall elderly man stepped out from behind the counter. He had white thinning hair and a broad smile. "Ah Lily. How many years has it been?" Lily was gob smacked. The old man just laughed. "Many judging by the look on your face. I however haven't forgotten you. Especially as you bought something very special from this shop." There was a gleam in his eye. "And who's your friend here?"
"I'm Tory." Tory replied still staring at the dolls on a near by shelf. "Of course you are. You had to be." The old man cried stepping out from behind the counter and walking up to Tory. "Let's see you properly then." To Lily's surprise he grabbed Tory's glasses and pulled them off. "Yes. I see I was right to take such care." He frowned."But I don't remember this one. It looks a little clumsy." He pointed to Tory's arm. "That was Lily." The old man nodded. "Why don't you two come round the back with me. So we can have a proper talk." Lily hesitated for a moment then nodded. The back room was littered with wood shavings and paint brushes and different coloured fabrics. Red, green, blue, yellow, pink and black. "Please sit." The old man cried gesturing to the bench. The two of them sat down as the man picked up a folding chair and set it down. "I really should introduce myself. I'm Mr Walton. But you two can call me Bruce." Lily looked straight at the old man but Tory looked around the room. "I must admit Tory's very unusual."
"How?" Lily asked confused. Bruce's smile broadened. "Well first of all he's a boy. As you can see all my other dolls are girls. Also it's very unusual for a doll to become a person. Not unheard of. But unusual." He suddenly looked serious. "Tory why don't you have a look at the dolls. I need to talk to Lily in private." Tory nodded and left. "Now Lily I need you to listen carefully. OK? Now these dolls they're like my children. So Tory's like my only son. You have to take good care of him." Lily nodded feeling guilty about putting Tory in the attic. "Another thing you should know is Tory is a buttoned eye doll. And this comes with a curse. You have to be careful what you wish for. Do you understand?" She wasn't too sure, but nodded anyway. "Good girl." He stood up. "Now let's see if Tory's found a doll he likes." Tory still had his eyes on the doll in the window so he chose that one. Bruce insisted on giving her to him for free. "I think she'll be very happy with you." Tory picked her up carefully. "Thank you Bruce."