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A Longer than Life Obsession
It was his before his first breath.
It would be his beyond his last.
The object was a simple wooden toy truck, and it was in pristine condition. He had taken good care of it throughout his life. After all, it had been a gift from his father who had died at the claws of war before his birth.
Time had passed, as had the eternity of his life. Now though, he could experience the feeling of death as his father had before him. An immense ache of pain before being pulled into an abyss of nothing. Even then, his toy truck had remained at his side.
When he woke up, he could tell he was dead. Everything was silent. Even his breath as he looked at his dead body. That precious toy still at his side.
Even after his body was hauled away, with his family mourning, he continued to follow the little truck. By now, he had more of an attachment to it than ever. The toy passed from possession of his wife, to his son who then passed it on to the grandson.
He didn’t like the grandson much, but at first he was proud to see that the toy had remained within the family. Moments later, his mind had changed. He watched the boy play with it, rolling it across the floor before colliding the little toy into a wall. Age had made the toy fragile, and one wheel easily fell off. He watched it clatter to the ground.
Rage filled him.
Before he could realize just how angry he had become, the man turned to slap the little boy across the face. He was surprised when his hand contacted the little boy’s face, with nails digging in to leave a mark. He hadn’t meant to hurt the boy; the man figured that he was dead and would cause no harm.
Cries of pain echoing across the house told a different story. In response, both parents rushed in. The father, his son, picked the boy up to cradle him. They both seemed horrified by the child’s wounds. The man knew that the pair were speaking to each other, but he could not hear their voices. It was as if he had gone deaf.
Quickly, the father picked up the toy and threw it in the garbage before both parents rushed their child out the door.
His attention was on the discarded toy. The man hurried to take it out, only to find his hand went through it. He panicked, watching the toy. He wanted it out, not in some garbage dump. The more he thought about it, the more he found it disappearing before his eyes. He stared in shock, only to catch the wooden frame out of the corner of his eye. Looking over, he found it sitting nicely on the counter. The environment around it shifted, as if moving back into place after being pushed around. Had it… teleported? It was the only explanation he could find.
To test his theory, he stared at the broken wheel. His mind focused again towards where he wanted it to go, and like magic it vanished from the garbage and appeared leaning on the toy truck.
He now felt exhausted. The man laid down on the couch, closing his eyes. Except he didn’t sleep. Instead it felt as if he was drifting through empty air, waiting for his energy to regain itself.
The sound of the door opening brought him back to reality. His eyes opened, looking to find his son’s wife carrying his grandson back into the house. The son wasn’t far behind. As the wife walked in, she looked at the table with the precious toy truck. She pointed at it, saying something to his son. Words that he could not hear.
His son responded, and although he saw the movement of the mouth it appeared to him as if no words were coming out.
Whatever his son had said, it seemed to upset her. She grabbed the toy, seeming to put herself between the grandson and the toy while shoving it into his son’s hands. The woman stomped away, leaving him staring at the toy.
With a sigh, the son picked up the broken wheel of which had been tossed to the ground in her dispute. His son turned, leaving the house with the toy. Curious, the man followed. After a bit of a drive, they arrived at a house. He faintly knew this house because it belonged to an old teacher of his son.
His son took the toy up to the door, knocking before handing the toy to an elderly woman who had once been full of youth and knowledge. They exchanged a few unheard words, and just like that the son was gone. The past teacher went inside, and the man followed. He was agitated; his toy was now in unfamiliar hands and broken.
The strange woman went to her basement. As he followed, he found that the basement was full of woodwork and tools. A small dog jumped around the woman’s feet, barking and growling at the toy, but she didn’t seem to mind. Instead she sat down at a chair and began working on the toy.
In the next moment, the toy was out of the woman’s hands, materializing itself again on the ground.
An expression of surprise escaped. Hesitantly, she picked the toy up to begin working on it again.
Once again, it ended up on the ground. He didn’t want this stranger handling the toy. It didn’t belong to this old hag! The elder began looking around the room unsure of what was unfolding and confused with how to proceed.
Relentless, she picked it up again and worked quick before it could be moved from her again.
As he tried to move the toy again he felt exhaustion wave over him. Again, and again he tried to move his truck out of the hands of this stranger. The anger he felt once before started to come over him worse than ever before. He soon found himself thrashing around the desk for any means to get him to leave his toy alone. With a swing of his arm the lamp on the desk fell over and shattered.
The elderly woman at the table nearly fell back in surprise as the glass shattered.
Seemingly flustered and unsure of what to do a stern expression suddenly overtook her. Seeming to be one not to give up, she gathered her composure back and once more went back to working on the toy.
Their battle went into the darkest hours of night, extending into the day. Both were exhausted and had nearly given up.
He found himself at his strengths end closing his eyes, feeling once again as if he was floating in thin air.
When he next woke up, the elderly woman was asleep. Sitting beside her was the toy, looking more brilliant than it ever had. The wheel was fixed, and it seemed to have a brand-new shine to it.
He stared at it, bewildered.
Eventually, the sleeping woman woke up. Much to his dismay, she picked the toy up and left the house with it. He followed.
The woman entered a large building, and talked to a front desk attendant.
She took the toy from the elder, smiling throughout the process. Nervous, he followed the lady as she left the elderly woman. She set the toy down, exchanging words with another lady that he still could not hear.
In a few days, the toy truck was placed in a display case with a bunch of old toys back from his time. No one touched it anymore, besides to clean dust off it when the place was closed.
For once, he was happy. It might not have been in the hands of his family, but his little toy truck was safe and taken care of.
That was all he wanted.
© 2017 Alexis Chantel