Alice Gets Lucky at the Toy Mall
by Kyle Hemmings
He comes to life in aisle six, nestled between a Play and Go Captain Calamari and a crib/floor mirror. Remember me? the toy-boy says to Alice, his eyes glistening wistful blue, the rest of him in lead alloy cast, perhaps the arms and legs made from sawdust and glue. I'm the toy you once tossed away.
Alice fidgets and feigns dumbness, recalls the feeling of having a dream surfacing to water while she is crouching at the edge of the pond, throwing worms at her reflections, dropping breadcrumbs in her father's cereal.
Remember the elm tree in the backyard, the toy-boy says, the one that wrapped its arms around the days like a lonely grandfather? Remember when you said you no longer could afford me?
Her lower lip quivers, the way she imagines herself sliding out from her womb-wolverine life and shivering in her slimy mottled skin. Her mother always reminded her, in some way or another, that Alice's pre-natal life was parasitic and ghostly. Around the time of her first period, Alice had the sensation of the teeth of tiny combs inside her turning, scraping, causing her to confess which friends' secrets she had given away.
But it is so good to see you again, Mother, says the toy-boy. I knew we'd meet again. Do you want to know how my life has been up until this moment? I've been stuck on a shelf, a substitute item in inventory. I'm not even high-maintenance. O Mother of Real Parts, why did you ever give me up? Because I ran on long-life battery and wireless need?
It wasn't a normal conception is what Alice wants to say but curbs the intention to short-speak, to cheapen old love, to mince meanings. They were extensions of each other.