Chatty Cathy

The following piece was presented at the Jersey City Writers’ monthly genre event – A Night of Fantasy. Please enjoy.

I know those sitting on benches are watching me walk around the pond. I am not worried. I was trained well. My posture and arm swing are so human no one would guess my true makeup. This is my favorite park. If I didn’t have a job to do, I’d enjoy it more.

Sometimes those sitting nod or wave to me and I return the gesture. I can speak and understand all human language, a necessity in my work.

You see, I am able to communicate with dolls and stuffed animals, things humans consider inanimate. When children pass on, they are placed in a special section of heaven, apart from the adults. Many had dolls and stuffed animals in life; it is my job to reunite them in the afterlife. Certainly we have plenty of candy goodies there, but kids need something more. Something to hug.

For some of these beloved companions left behind, the choice is easy. They have been hidden away in trunks, boxes and garages, painful reminders of who the family has lost. They are quite willing to make the transition and reunite with their deceased owners.

But others have been passed on to another child and a bond has developed. Persuasion in those cases requires more tact.

Today my target is a little tyke holding a Chatty Cathy doll that once belonged to Felicia, who succumbed to a rare cancer. The girl is standing by the swing set and when she places the doll on the ground before mounting the swing, I will rush in and grab it. Rush and grab is my best technique.

Of course the child will scream and parents will chase me, but my spirit entity  allows me to outrun any human. Once I am alone with the doll, I will turn on the charm, use logic and praise and describe how Felicia cries every day for her old companion. I will bring tears to that doll’s eyes and it will agree to the transport to the after world. Believe me, the living child will get over it. Her parents will over compensate and surround her with toys and other dolls.

Everything happened just the way I described. Another day, another success.

I will radically change my appearance and proceed to my next target, which is a rather unattractive stuffed owl a six year old boy won’t let out of his sight. It belonged to Kevin, who drowned in his own family pool. There is no accounting for taste.

My superiors realize I have a talent few others possess. I am hoping for a promotion to the senior section of heaven where I can work on reuniting those ancient dead with their teeth.

I just wish I knew how to get Chatty Cathy to shut up.


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