I think that maybe, hopefully, the crazy amount of busy from the past few weeks is finally winding down in to the normal amount of busy. I haven't even been getting much knitting done. Next week is looking up, which means getting some of these characters in my head back into conversational tones rather than the yelling they've been doing
My characters usually get louder when I have to ignore them for what they consider is too long. Story developments are very intrusive for day-to-day life. Especially when I have to interrupt the stories to exist in this 'reality' place that everyone is so keen about.... lol :)
Overall, I'm just happy this weekend is Canadian Thanksgiving and there's an extra day off. Hope you have a great weekend!
2. Lost and Found
It was a unicorn. The scratched eyes were those oversized ones with glitter frozen into them and the horn was sewn on at that weird angle of mass production. Felix picked it up, surprised that it was dry. He brushed off the leaves stuck to its butt and picked dead grass out of the clumped, short, plastic fur on its stomach. The hard eyes felt like they were staring at him.
“I’m just trying to make one of us look better,” he told it. “But I guess we’re both going to have to stay stained.” He turned the toy as if he was showing it the bruise his dad… the bruise Luis had left on his arm. The unicorn’s arms and legs hung forward. It was a floppy toy. It still felt like the arms were hugging his hand.
Felix pulled the toy close, tucking its head into the corner of his chin and his neck, closed his eyes and hugged it tightly. The floppy arms rested perfectly on either side of his throat. When he relaxed his arms and looked at the toy in his hands, part of him felt better.
One floppy arm patted his fingers.
Felix yelled and dropped it. He tripped on his own feet and fell back onto his butt. Part of his brain reasoned that he was having an episode after a traumatic event and the toy hadn’t really moved. Most of his brain was freaking out because the unicorn was rolling around where he’d dropped it and pushing up to balance on all four of its floppy legs. All of his brain was frozen in watching the toy limp forward to stand between his shoes and then lean on his leg to snuggle against his pajama pants.
It had to be a breakdown. He was having a breakdown.
The toy flumped to sit between his feet. Felix reached forward and touched its head. It rubbed into his palm like a friendly cat. He chuckled nervously and let it rub on him. The unicorn was seriously creepy, but as far as breakdowns went this one was pretty friendly. It limped a few steps closer and then stopped, one hind leg flipping in all manner of directions. Felix leaned a bit further forward and, using one hand to hold the leg steady, picked off the dried leaf that had gotten stuck in the sequins meant to look like a hoof.
“There you go,” he said, smiling nervously at the toy as he let go of its leg. It looked up at him, its head cocked sideways, and then it rushed forward. It scrambled up and over his thigh to hang in the crux of his hip with a contented squeak.
Rustling around the small clearing pulled his eyes up to stare out at more perfect circles reflecting back at him. All the small animal noises he’d been hearing accompanied more and more stuffed toys sitting or standing up, some of them peeking out from behind plants, forming a nearly perfect ring the entire way around the clearing.
“A teddy bear picnic!” Felix whispered. His imagination was off the charts tonight, but this was a lot better than the war flashbacks Mom said his real dad had.
Unicorns, ponies, bears, penguins, kitties, puppies and bugs… soft dolls of every type stared at him, unblinking. The unicorn in his lap braced its hooves and did a belly bounce on his hip. A little squeak peeped out from some kind of rubber squeaker its stomach. The lost and forgotten toys stumbled and tripped forward. Some helped others limp ahead. The ring of them closed tightly around Felix, limbs and bodies littered with thorns, branches and dead leaves.
One by one, he cleaned them up as best he could. The affectionate ones piled around his legs as the others went and sat in small groups to play. Some tossed stones like balls to play catch while others picked up smaller toys and treated them like dolls, to the apparent delight of the smaller ones. The nearly silent picnic continued as a happy event, only a few squeakers peeping at random intervals when toys with them fell or were hugged too tightly too quickly by another.
Once all the toys were cleaned up, Felix joined in the games. He played gently with the creatures, helping a penguin to catch because its stitching had come so loose that one flipper arm dangled uselessly. After the game, he carefully pulled the loose threads tighter and knotted them off as best he could. The flipper still didn’t work well, but it did work again and the little penguin hugged around his wrist.
One of the bigger bears ambled off to the edge of the trees and kicked under a pile of sticks and leaves. It bent down and picked up something square shaped before turning and dawdling toward where Felix was snuggling with the little penguin.
The first unicorn hadn’t left his lap. It belly-bumped a squeak as the big bear got close. Felix looked around as the toys circled him.
“What’s wrong, guys?” he asked the ring of staring eyes. The bear held out the box.
It was an old shoe box. He took it carefully, expecting the soggy cardboard to give way and dump out whatever the heavy thing was inside. Surprisingly, the cardboard held. Felix set the box on the ground between his knees and pried open the lid.
A weekly blog updating on Fridays with quick personal blurbs about me, as in what's going on during my life as an Author and mom, and that doles out my short stories and novellas in bite-sized parts for everyone to read for free!