Larry The Cuddly Sugar Glider Toy
I tear into the envelope with any excitement I might have once held placed firmly in my back pocket.
I unfold the letter inside and skim read until I see the only word that matters in a letter like this.
This time they use ‘regret’. Other times it’s ‘unfortunately’. Whatever the word is, it still means rejection. Rejection means no job. No job means no money.
I throw the letter into the recycling and it lands on top of the one from yesterday. Friends. They have so much in common.
I take to the living room and flop onto the sofa. I know I should look for something else but all I wanna do is put on Fifa and waste a day more of my life.
“Fuck Fifa, we got things to do.”
I leap off the sofa. What the hell was that? It sounded like how I imagine Batman to sound when he sneaks up on a cowardly, superstitious criminal. Deep, growly, angry. TV is off. Maybe it was someone outside. Yeah, that’s it.
“Hey, turn around, I’m talking to you!”
I spin and, I think, I lock in on the source…
On the book shelf.
Next to my copy of Neil Gaiman’s ‘American Gods.’
An off white and pink striped, fluffy cuddly toy. A sugar glider or some such, about eight inches high with a long tail and round glassy green eyes.
“My eyes are yellow, jackass. And plastic.”
And it’s talking to me.
It’s talking to ME!
I jump back, almost stumbling. In voice that sounds like it smokes three packs a day it says “Yeah, I’m talking to you, guy. What? Never seen a toy speak before? Never had a Teddy fucking Ruxpin?”
I rub my eyes and smack my ears. I look back at the glider. Oh my god! It’s folding its arms. It’s fucking frowning at me.
“Listen up, Joe.” My name’s not even Joe. “I’ve been watching a while. I’ve been listening too. Time has come to man up, sunshine.”
I Am. Terrified. On the one hand he’s kinda cute but on the other…
“Stop right there!” he yells at me pointing a soft puffy claw at me threateningly. I gulp. “I am not cute. Call me cute again and you’ll lose a fucking finger, understand?”
And it can read my thoughts! It’s in my head!
“I got a plan for you. Fucking fool proof. Ideal for someone like you. Wanna make some easy cash?”
And that was all my brain could take before it shut down and turned everything black.
Things didn’t get any saner when my eyes opened again later.