Photo credit: Roya M
Fiction: By David Huberman
I came out of my sleep nice and slow. The HDTV cable electronic clock read “12:02.” The sunshine was invading my apartment. Groggy still, ran into the bathroom, took a pee and threw some cold water on my face. Then I walked over to my window and cracked it open a little, regretted it immediately. Freezing cold air shot onto me. Closed it shut. Who needs the outside world anyway, nothing but bad shit out there! Surveying the situation in my apartment, I went over to the section of my studio called Spider Mountain. Sometimes I think of it as a mini-neighborhood among other communities that I design. I am the Toy God. One time my sister asked me, “When did you give up on human beings and fall in love with inanimate objects?” I had no answer at the time but let me explain: I’m a collector. Some people call me a hoarder but fuck them. I’m a collector. Toys: McDonald’s giveaways, matchbox cars, old lead soldiers, plastic dinosaurs, action figures, etc. – whatever I could dig up cheap at the flea markets and thrift stores – they make me happy. They’re quiet; you don’t have to worry about them like pets. You can abuse them (But who would? They’re collectors’ items for God’s sake!!) And you have total control! Maybe I am not a toy god but more like an artist by collecting them, finding unique spaces within my small studio and putting toy communities together. Now Spider Mountain consisted of sixty or so Spider men, and all the variants etc. with the mighty Marvel official seal marked on them. Well there might be a Mexican or Asian knockoff among the bunch. But so what? Counterfeit trinkets bring class to the collection and they’re just as good to me as big corporation high-end toys are. The minuscule arachnids were presiding over a pile of old, out-of-print books, hard to find magazines, etc. It resembled a little mountain and since there were so many items spread over them, you really couldn’t tell what the mountain consisted of other than Spiderman collectables. Something wasn’t right. It looked like somebody had deliberately smashed the figurines awry. This was wrong! My initial investigation was maybe it was work of the Tribolium. But past documented incidents concerning the Tribolium indicated that they might accidentally knock one or two figurines down but not twenty. No, water bugs are crafty creatures. They like to stay hidden. This was not their signature or style. My inquiry also showed no signs that this was made by a household tremor or avalanche. If this was a natural disaster the toys would have been all over the floor which wasn’t the case. From what the evidence showed, this was a deliberate act. But why?
The next day it was still very cold outside, but the good news was that I had plenty of canned food to keep me indoors. Security (meaning myself) was checking on a glue trap and noticed that the roaches trapped on the corners were missing their bodies while only their legs remained. No signs of their corpses. Even if a roach could tear itself out of the glue trap, it would need its legs to escape. And then there were the dead bugs in the middle part: they weren’t touched. This was very bizarre. Later in the day I made a grilled cheese sandwich with a creamy tomato soup. Everything was quiet the way I like it. Nothing else to report.
Pretty boring. BUT BORING IS GOOD.
Different day, same shit.
I noticed there were no roaches in my bathroom or my kitchen which usually has a lot of guerrilla activity. All of a sudden I was bug free.
All hell broke loose. Thunderdome was attacked! (Thunderdome is a tin metal hockey game without the hockey players. I found it in the compactor room. It displays all my miscellaneous toys that don’t really belong in the other neighborhoods. Thunderdome takes up the whole kitchen table.) There before me was my plastic Ronald McDonald clown with his head almost chewed off. Small-scale lead soldiers were piled high in some sections; others looked trampled on. Did an evil entity do this? It looked like a tornado came through. “What’s this? It looks like a small turd, a mouse turd?”
So far my food supplies are holding up. My pension check was just delivered to my apartment building today, so this month’s rent will be paid on time. Old Charley my postman has to be at least seventy years old if not more. He is the happiest human being I ever encountered. Rumor has it, that he has been working for the U.S. Post Office for over fifty years. I always kid him. “When are you going to retire Charley?” He always replies, “Never, gets me away from the wife.” We both laugh at our private joke. I go back upstairs to my realm and check on all of my neighborhoods. So far nothing has been touched. I sit in my easy chair and dwell on the mouse turd. What could it mean? Could this be a sign of disaster? I must have dozed off, but a loud sound woke me up. I immediately turned right to where the bookshelves were. It is populated with my mechanical men and women, priceless metal machines. Astroboy and the old fifties and sixties Japanese- made robots. Others engraved in English, “made in Hong Kong.” All the American motor heads were represented too. Robbie the Robot, various Terminators, original Transformer replicas from the seventies, pint-sized androids based on the movie Blade Runner, different versions of Iron Man, even the Tin Man from the Wizard of Oz. It was the sound of hard plastic, iron and steel crashing. So loud, like a thunder clap. The intense noise came from the section that I nicknamed Heavy Metal Valley (my community of rare metal toys on the bookshelves near my bed.) A live leaping creature jumped down with that destruction. Right in front of me, just out of bounds of my easy chair among the ruins of my priceless mechanical men, yellow eyes gleamed up at me. The shock stunned me. The nerve of this gnawing beast – for God’s sake it was way past noon! Daylight was flowing into my studio. The rodent’s beady eyes seemed amused, if that is possible. And then that abomination shat on my downfallen broken Tin Man. At that foul act I leaped out of my easy chair like a panther but to no avail. It was gone. Hidden no doubt among one of my many communities displaying thousands of miniature and not so miniature toys. It made the perfect cover for this vile crafty terrorist. This monstrosity could be anywhere among my treasures.
Five glue traps with peanut butter scent, four traditional mouse spring devices were spread all over my living quarters. This hideous pest will find out that I mean business. After securing my apartment, I sat in my easy chair thinking that this affair would be over in a day or so. In hindsight what a fool I was!
Not a peep, no out of place noises, no weird sounds, nothing. Did this disease carrying creep leave me for someone else’s apartment? Good. Let my neighbors have this curse.
I have been up twenty-four hours now. I think the bastard has moved on!
Finally knocked out, but I have always been a light sleeper. I heard one of the spring traps get sprung and immediately ran to where the trap was set. But there was no dead mouse. Then like clockwork, the other three devices went off, one after another. This evil motherfucker had activated all four spring devices. I couldn’t believe it. As for the glue traps, the rodent from hell left me his feces as a souvenir at the edge of some of the glue traps. SON OF A BITCH!
I now had twenty-five glue traps distributed all over my apartment. And once again that disgusting freak had disappeared like the invisible man.
It was late afternoon. I was sitting on my bed watching television when the fiend came into my view. I jumped off my bed and tried to grab hold of it, but the vile little demon was a lot faster than I was. Vanished! There’s only so much a man like myself can take. I realized I’m near my breaking point.
Forty different glue traps and I still had not caught this ungodly villain. Finally I realized I had to locate this obscene horror’s lair.
Eureka! Eureka! I found the mouse hole!!
I actually attached ten glue traps to each other so that it resembled a floor of goo. A blockade of death is waiting for this parasite. I even pasted some glue traps on top of the hole in case it tries to climb upwards if that is even feasible.
Day Seventeen WHAT A GREAT DAY. WE HAVE CAUGHT THIS TERRORIST, THIS MONSTER, THIS NASTY FILTHY VIRUS. I HAVE COMMUNICATED TO ALL MY TOY COMMUNITIES AND CERTAIN REPRESENTATIVES HAVE BEEN ELECTED TO BE WITNESSES TO THE DEATH SENTENCE OF THIS GRUESOME DEVIL. THE DECISIVE PENALTY OF DROWNING HAS BEEN CHOSEN BY YOURS TRULY, THE MAGNIFICENT ROYAL KING AND JUDGE. THE ALMIGHTY TOILET BOWL WILL BE THE SITE OF WHERE THE EXECUTION TAKES PLACE. MUCH CELEBRATING BY THE VARIOUS TOY NEIGHBORHOODS WILL COMMENCE AFTER THE FATAL CONVICTION IS CARRIED OUT. LET IT BE A FITTING EXAMPLE TO ALL OTHER MALIGNANCIES THAT THEIR SABOTAGE AND THEIR TERRORISM WILL NOT BE TOLERATED BY ME OR THE VARIOUS TOY COMMUNITIES!! THEY WILL BE PROSECUTED AND OBLITERATED BY THE LAWS OF OUR LAND!!