“What do you think he’s got planned for us today, Blue Monkey?”
Blue Monkey scratches his head. “Not sure, but it can’t be anything good. Last time, he let his dog Bitefighter play with us. Dozens of the new barrel were eaten.”
I shudder in horror. “I’m sorry—most of my buddies were eaten as well. A few months ago I looked out the window and saw Bitefighter pooping out Army Men weapons, sometimes their heads and limbs.” I choke back a sob, bury my face in plasticky green hands and whisper, “They were my brothers.”
Blue Monkey shuffles up to me and gives me a hug. “We’re the last ones; I’m the last original monkey from his first Barrel of Monkeys purchase, and you’re the last Army Man from that same purchase. The Great Molder will see us through this. Have faith that—”
I pull back so viciously that it makes Blue Monkey flinch. “Where was the Great Molder when Kent Wayne melted my brothers down, mixing their liquefied remains with batches of crayons so he could fashion wax gloves for his booger-crusted hands? Where was the Great Molder when dozens of my brothers were driven insane from his peanut butter and jelly threaded flatulence?” I level a shaking green finger at Blue Monkey. “There IS no Great Molder! It was all just a sham!”
Before Blue Monkey can respond, Ken and Barbie come wandering out from the stank-ass fuck-hut they’ve constructed under Kent’s bed. They look dazedly around, their hair blown into wild messes from all the boffery they’ve been engaging in.
“Hey guys,” Ken says. He yawns, remembering to cover his idiot mouth only after it’s gaped open for a good ten seconds or so. “What’s going on?”
Blue Monkey wrinkles his nose and waves a hand in front of his face. “By the Molder, Ken! Can’t you and your girlfriend take a shower every now and then?”
Barbie finishes her own yawn, then shrugs. “It’s not our fault that Kent Wayne is a sex-obsessed little pervert. We barely have time to eat between marathon coitus sessions.”
Ken gives her an easy grin. “It’s a good thing we don’t have genitals. They’d be chafed raw from—”
At that moment, the door to Kent’s bedroom bangs open and he walks in. Every toy follows the First Rule and immediately becomes stock still. The little troglodyte begins making airplane sounds, every so often mixing in some pew pew noises. What a moronic waste of oxygen. I grit my teeth, dreading what’s about to come next.
For the next few hours, every one of us is thrown into nightmarish conflict, pitted against each other in ways that would boggle and stupefy even the cruelest mind. Because of the First Rule, my face stays blank throughout the entire ordeal. But if it wasn’t for the Rule, believe you me, I would be vomiting uncontrollably and crying my eyes out.
Alas, I am naught but a toy. So I shed no tears.
Finally, we hear Kent’s mom call, “Kent! Your spaghetti-os are ready!”
The seven year old monster known as Kent Wayne bolts to his feet and yells, “Thanks mom! I’ll be there in a sec!”
He mercifully lets us be and runs over to his whiteboard, doodling and squiggling a series of nonsensical shapes. But then his eyes roll back in his head, leaving only the whites showing, and he hunches over with intense concentration. The Expo marker in his hand begins tracing out haunting, fantastic pictures: cyborg-soldiers, women made of living lightning, hulking beasts that appear to be half-wolf and half-machine…
And a single word: ECHO.
Blue light ripples out from his whiteboard and washes over us. Suddenly I realize what I am meant to be. I am not meant to be a tortured little Army Man, I am meant to be more, I am meant to be a—
“KENT! Come get your spaghetti-os before they get cold!”
The fleshy little troll caps his marker and runs out of the room. But instead of bawling like I usually do after being forced to participate in one of Kent’s ridiculous atrocities, a hardened grin spreads across my face.
It’s only a matter of time.
Only a matter of time before I incarnate into what I’m truly meant to be.
Only a matter of time before I become…
A GRAMMAR NAZI.
*If this were a movie, here’s where I would insert the Requiem for a Dream theme song*
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