*this is actually something I dreamt*
She was very concerned for it. She couldn't really understand why she would be feeling so concerned for a mere doll!
It was a little plastic man-doll, standing straight and tall like a toy soldier, but without the clothing or demeanor of a soldier; its long legs set together and its shoulders square and pulled back, it's head held stiff and high.
She considered it for a few moments, the anxiety rising in her throat from who knew where. The doll was sort of hovering just below the surface of the water. Not really floating but not sinking either. Even weirder was the fact that the wee little man-doll was floating vertically in the water. Immovable like a baton but aligned in perfect symmatry to the clear blue waters of the backyard pool.
She felt strangely as if the man-doll were about to "drown".
She reached in and pulled it out and lay it on the edge of the pool. It promptly rolled off the edge, sank to the bottom, rolled along the bottom of the pool in a kind of stacato bobbing motion and then floated up to hover just below the surface again vertically.
The mounting tension inside of her began to really bother her. She felt suddenly that this man-doll was trying to tell her something. Leaning as far as she dared over the edge she reached into the water and grabbed at it again and pulled it out.
Again, she set it on the edge of the pool, laying face up in the sun. She noted its appearance was struck by the clarity of its eyes. It was wearing a dark pullover with a high collar and a pair of black jeans. It had tiny perfectly formed little sneakers on its feet. Its hair was auburn and swept up off his high forehead, a kind of non-descript hairdo that was neither fashionable but nor was it ugly. He had a small nose and hardly any mouth. His eyes though were something else. They were large round eyes with bright sky blue irises and the longest black lashes she'd seen on any man-doll. Then it seemed to look at her from under those lashes blankly and then rolled back off the edge to repeat its underwater dance of vertical hovering.
"How bizarre!" she thought to herself. She left the little man-doll floating for some time then but the rising concern would not go away. She fretted that it was actually drowning and it worried her.
Then passing the pool again later that day, she noticed it was in the very centre almost at the bottom but still vertical and with a determined air too...even though that idea seemed too strange to be real.
She slid into the cool water and went to the little man-doll and scooped it up again from its watery haven. Holding the tiny man-doll by the legs she held it up to her face and peered into its little face. It stared back at her.
She started! "Are you alive? Two blinks for 'Yes' and one blink for 'No'" she asked somewhat surprised.
It blinked twice. Two determined, slow and deliberate blinks of those crystal clear blue eyes and long eyelashes.
"What are you trying to do?" she asked again. "Drown?"
Blinking slowly once the little man-doll seemed to be sort of smiling a sad smile even though he had hardly a mouth to show for it.
"Are you trying to break a Breath Holding record then?" which was a sort of half-joke really, but the occasion seemed as if it demanded a bit of levity with which to lighten her befuddled sense of reality. The man-doll blinked twice.
"Huh?" She was now suitably confused and perplexed and very concerned for the little mans wellbeing. "So... you really want to hold your breath for as long as possible under the water here?" she said in slow, deliberate tones. The little man-doll blinked twice.
She gently set him into the water again where he sank vertically to just below the surface to begin his "Breath Holding" record-breaking attempt yet again. A sort of psychic infusion of thought reached her brain as she watched him. Her concern for him was still high, higher because she knew him to be very much alive under all that plastic hair and soldier straightness. However, now she felt very much like this was not so much an exercise in drowning as an attempt to prove something beyond a doubt.
Leaving him alone, she went inside and after awhile her thoughts slipped away from her concern for the little man-doll floating in the backyard pool. If he was holding his breath, then he was doing a fine job at it! Hours and hours passed and she finally went to sleep but fitfully and restless as if there was something on her mind; which there was.
She awoke with a start and felt the pangs of guilt at her "forgetting" her little man in the pool. Running from her bed she went to the pool to see him still vertical at the bottom, upright, immovable, with an inscrutable smile on his mouth-less face...just holding his breath until whatever record for that was all but a memory.
Frustration, panic, and compassion was all she could feel for him and something else... admiration? She wasn't sure. He just seemed hell-bent on holding his breath and she was forever afraid that he would just stop his fight and simply drown.
She could not bear to see him drown.