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When they become the guardians of a talking doll that is actually the reincarnated Oracle...
When they become the guardians of a talking doll that is actually the reincarnated Oracle of Delphi, three youngsters soon discover how difficult their task will be.
Rose Wilson sat blissfully alone at the breakfast table. She was looking out the window, letting the sun pour in on her face and soaking up its sleepy warmth. It was so peaceful right now in the kitchen. The window looked out onto nothing special—just the Wilsons' driveway, busy with birds and a stray cat. A cyclone fence separated the driveway from their neighbors' yard. Through the diamond spaces of the fence, Rose could see the Smiths'little round barbecue and their picnic table, with the salt and pepper shakers still sitting on it. She could hear the voices of Mr. and Mrs. Smith coming through the open windows. They didn't have any children.
Not that she cared, anyway. There was nobody for Rose to play with in the neighborhood, unless you counted Rose's younger sister Lucy—which you couldn't. There was also James Leon Handry, but she and James were not friends. It didn't matter to Rose. She liked being by herself early on this summer morning, one of many that were stretching ahead. No one hurried her along, no one nagged at her to collect her homework and remember her lunch box and brush her own hair, now that she was ten. She could just sit in her nightgown and watch beads of water run down the sides of the cold glass milk bottle. She could just sit and stare out the window. When she sat close to the screen, she could make her eyes blur back and forth, now looking at the driveway and seeing the screen as a blur, now focusing on the tiny grids of the screen and making the background a blur. Now she saw the leaves on the honeysuckle bush, now she didn't. Now she saw the creamy blossoms, now they slid to a whitish haze.
"Rose, you'regoing to get a smudge on your nose," said an impatient voice. "Furthermore, you may just push that screen right out of its frame."
Rats! Here came the sergeant on patrol. As usual.
"I have some errands to do this morning, and I'd like you to get on with your breakfast so I can clean up before we leave."
Errands. As usual. Hurry, hurry, hurry. Do this, do that. All Rose wanted to do was sit in one place and not bother anyone. She didn't move, feeling enveloped in stillness as the sun streamed in.
"I don't see any action, Rose," her mother went on. She was rinsing things at the kitchen sink, going back and forth to the counters, her clogs thunking on the floor. Her mother was a morning person, as Rose had heard many times. "I never was one before, but I've become one," she would say, looking significantly at her children. Rose herself was not a morning person. She wasn't much of an evening person either. She didn't know what part-of-the-day person she was.
"Okay," Rose said. "All rigbt." She pulled back from the window and turned to the yellow pottery bowl in front of her. It was full of raisin bran. "Are there any strawberries?"
"We finished them all last night," said her mother. "How about a banana?"
"I guess." Rose didn't like bananas as much as strawberries. Last week Lucy had had strawberries all over her birthday cake. She had turned five.
"Now Rose, I hope you aren't going to let this entire day go to waste," her mother went on. "How about riding that bike of yours? Or roller-skating?"
"Maybe." Rose poured milk on her cereal and fiddled with her spoon. "Can't I just rest?"
"The Russells might go swimming. That would be a nice outing." Rose's mother gave her a smile that was also a question. Will you please go swimming with the other kids? Will you please do something, and not sit around all the time?
Rose's mother hadn't used to fuss at her to do things with other kids. But she had gotten pretty bad on the subject during the past year, when Rose was in fifth grade. She had gotten crosser about everything, in fact, saying they should never have moved to this old heap of a house, and why were the children always underfoot, and things like that. Sometimes she was her old self again, being silly, making faces with Rose, giving her hugs for no good reason, talking in made-up accents. She had short curly brown hair that was always out of combing, and brown eyes that were just like Rose's (Lucy had them, too). She thought she was a little too fat, but Rose thought she looked very nice, especially when she was dressed up.
The banana must have been sitting beside Rose's plate for a while when she noticed it. Her mother had whisked out of the kitchen, and now here she was, back again, saying good-bye to Rose's father. He stooped down to kiss Rose, tickling her with his moustache. He was wearing the green tie she had given him for his birthday. He smelled good, like soap and pipe tobacco. "'Bye, Daddy," she said.
"I want a kiss!" screeched Lucy, standing in the doorway. Of course her sister would come down, right at that moment. She was holding her new doll, a birthday present. It was a talking doll, with a voice box run by a battery. It talked every time it was moved. Tilt it to the left, it said "Ma-ma." Tilt it to the right, it hiccupped. Sometimes it even talked when it wasn't moved. A couple of days ago Rose had walked into the kitchen, and suddenly from under the table a voice had said "Hi-ya!" Lucy had left Gabriella on the floor, and the vibrations from Rose's footsteps had started her voice box.
"'Bye, dearie," said Mr. Wilson, kissing Lucy.
Posted November 11, 2000
The Oracle Doll is about a girl who discovers her sister's doll can talk. It IS a talking doll, that's the doll her little sister wanted. But, the unusual thing is, it speaks the truth-the future. And it knows what it is talking about. The girl, along with her sister, and a guy friend start asking the doll questions, and it turns out the Oracle of Delphi is living inside the doll. Together, they must know the power of the doll, and give it to someone who truly understands these powers.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.