Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Disturbing Dream.

I looked up at the two small baby dolls of the sort that E. carries.  They both had faces that were exceedingly ugly: not inhuman or grotesque, but with odd, creepy features better suited to old people than babies.  Wrinkles, wide eyes, a tuft of wispy, white hair atop each head.  They sat on a counter, and I knew they were asleep before, but awake now.   Their mouths opened and gaped at me in dumb, toothless smiles as I came closer and picked them up.  I asked them how their naps were, then put them in a sitting position on a shelf near my shoulder.  Their mouths opened and closed with soft smacking sounds.

As I put one of the dolls down, I realized that its head came off.  I went to put the head back on the doll, its eyes watching me with a vague, dumb awareness.  Instead of being two dolls, now there was one large doll body, already sporting two large heads.  One of the heads was a large version of the one I held in my hand; the other head was the intelligent face of a crotchety old miner, watching with a careful, yet transparent air of disinterest.  He was the dangerous one; if I didn't replace the head I removed correctly, he was likely to eat it.

I had several placement options.  I went with the least obvious first, ignoring the typical socket that most rubber and plastic dolls have.  Instead, I pulled the gray rubber collar around the other two heads loose, revealing the mass of rubber bristles beneath.  The bristles, the sort one would find on a rubber basting brush but short as a fingertip, swayed and reached eagerly for the base of the severed doll head.  I closed the gray collar around all three heads now as the bristles took firm hold, only to realize that they swallowed the new head whole.

I didn't bother to pull the collar loose again as I tried to save the smaller head from the hungry doll body.  The larger doll head smacked its gob stupidly as I shoved it askew, reaching past its base and pulling the smaller head into position beside it.  All three heads now rested snugly in the body's shoulders, to the obvious dismay of the miner head.  It glared openly, and I forced its face away with a shove of my hand.

I returned to the game I was playing before the doll attracted my attention.  The pirate skeleton grinned at me with eager malice.  I looked at the cards he had produced for me previously; they were surprisingly good.  I still knew he meant me harm.  I played a card and moved my piece around the board, landing on a spot that triggered the little robotic skeleton.

He drew a card from his stack inside the game's treasure chest that turned out to be four cards, all linked by cheap chain so they would slide apart and swing like a rope ladder.  The skeleton proclaimed they were prize cards entitling me to a special card, a member of the royal family that was only in the treasure deck and not in the normal stack from which I pulled.  I saw the lie and malice on his "face", though, his grin too eager, his explanation too quick, completely without his usual verbal color.

Grabbing the cards, I read each with growing surprise.  The first allowed me to take the entire royal court from the usual deck, giving me an amazing advantage.  The second entitled me to the special Princess card, just as the skeleton said.  I puzzled through the third, reading with the difficulty of dreams as V. and the little undead pirate grew impatient.  The third card, when sent to an address on the fourth, awarded me no less than four, no more than 360 birthday cupcakes, divided as I liked over thirty years.  (It also had a description of the cupcakes and how they were shipped, how the company ensured their freshness through transit, etc.)  I tried to hurriedly scribble the address from the fourth card into a notebook, but V. pulled me away.  We had things to do.

1 comment:

Monica said...

Tim, I enjoy finding that there are stranger people than I out there. I knew this, but it's nice to be reminded.