Toy Story


I saw my neighbor on the street with what looked to be a small plush toy dog nestled next to his foot, its tiny head fluffy and white like a dandelion. As I approached, the dandelion suddenly tilted and scooted toward me as if on tiny wheels, then abruptly stopped as it bounced off the toe of my shoe. I reached down and picked up what turned out to be a real dog with shiny black plasticky eyes and the disposition of a warm baked potato. “She’s only a couple of months old,” my neighbor said as I casually turned her over, looking for batteries. “Wow, that sure is a little dog!” I commented, gently putting her back on the ground and pointing her toward him. “Here Rosie!” he called, backing away, but the dog just stood there so I nudged her with my toe and off she trundled, stopping a few feet from his foot as if the battery had just died. “She wears out easily,” he said, “just like a toy.”


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Paul de Denus publishes excerpts from the novels he's never written. This was one of them.

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