Diamonds are for Emma

by James

Plenty of things wrong with being a dwarf. Think you have it tough, bitching about armpit face on the Tube? Try going from Euston Square to Embankment in rush hour, when all that you see is an ocean of jean and tweed, and - oh God - the cycle shorts. And nights out, it was almost inevitable, hoisted up to perch on the bar by a drunk rugby team.

But Emma wouldn’t change it, not for all the diamonds in the world, or at least those she was stuffing into her shoulder bag at Dashwoods. The staff and rest of the customers were crowded at the front windows whilst across the street four schoolboys were kicking the shit out of a homeless guy.

She worked her way methodically along the counter, and to keep her nerves from overboiling she told herself the weight was nothing more than a handful of rusty chain, not diamond necklaces and tiaras studded with carmine. This place was full of cameras, but no one ever thought about the little people who could move, head held high safely hidden from sight be the counter tops and display cases.

When her bag was full to bursting she joined the throng that were mobiles out filming the schoolboys as they whooped and turned summersaults. Emma cursed inwardly. Of course, they’d overegg it, these were circus dwarves, which explained why each of the four had a comedy roman candle bursting with fire protruding from the top of their cap. It took no persuasion to get them involved – she told them the owner of Dashwoods was prejudiced against little people and so they had donned school uniforms for pride and beer money.

Emma joined the concerned onlookers who began to crowd around the homeless. He was sitting on the pavement, knees drawn to his chest, shaking his head to clear the in-sensibility. Emma caught his eye, and Gustav – the circus strongman – winked her way. She set off, glad that the lads hadn’t gone too with their distraction.

One last Tube ride, and she felt almost mournful at how quiet it was. She caught an over ground train next, and then walked for half an hour until she reached Mansfield Airfield. She made her way to the north hanger to meet her dear little Abe-y, her Mister Darcy. Before they met she was an abandoned ship, rusting on the shore, but now each night they docked and he went to town on her Lady Susan.

Abe was stood on a ladder polishing the cockpit glass of the plane he had built from scratch. It was a replica of something from the thirties, wide winged and fat bodied with tiny porthole windows. It was built perfectly to scale for her and Abe, and she paused, foot on the first step, hand on the rail. They looked at each other, but no words to be said because this was it, this was heaven. Stairs she could climb like anyone else, no need to twist to one side and swing her leg as though she was mounting a horse. Inside was more wonderful still – eight seats done out in sumptuous blue leather arranged in two rows of four with an aisle down the middle. She moved slowly down the cabin, stopping at each row to lay her arms across the top of the headrests on both sides.

Soon they would be up, up and away, free to wander and look down on the world below that was nothing but little people