(This short story began as an idea I had for Tonal Travesty Tales, but was scrapped because of how strange the concept was. I had fun writing this so far and decided to make it a series. The concept came out of left field and I could assume when reading this someone would say, “Uh, what?” However regardless of how you feel please leave feedback either as a comment or on my Twitter profile. This is definitely a short story I’m writing mainly for experimental purposes, hope you enjoy!)
A cool sensation runs down my plastic spine, the last drop of water. I have witnessed this part of the backyard before. The sunflowers eclipsing their god before them, basking in their givers light. As for me, I look to get away from their overbearing god. Maybe it is because we have opposing views, or maybe it is because I am adorably bashful. The name is Tap, I am an empty plastic holder looking for salvation.
That salvation being the blue bin that takes other plastic individuals to the promised land. I wish to be there, but I cannot because I am tethered to this dormancy. As my time being a plastic holder sitting on a window ledge I was forgotten by my owner. To him it felt like seconds since he was through with me. For me, it felt like an eternity being stuck on a ledge bound by both the light and darkness. But there was a third element I had not considered, the wind from a twisting turbine had knocked me into the backyard.
What a coincidence that turned out to be, or was it? I was knocked unconscious, but my body kept rolling around for what felt like an eternity in a perfect circle. That is because I was…rotating my body around in a perfect circle, it was quite impressive I have to say. I woke up with my body covered in soil and various blades of grass. Then I met a stranger in the shape of a green blob with bulging eyes, a long tongue, and ceramic skin. This blob said to me, “You look like a daunting fellow, seeming lost and withered.”
My face was not on my plastic skin, it was instead labeled on a layer of artificial rind that wrapped around my body. It was small, droplet shaped, white, and was permanently stuck between alien signs. I looked up at the green blob and said with my deep voice, “To say I was lost would imply I had plans on my travels to begin with.”
The green blob had a laugh, “You are amusing, the name is Frogyo.” I removed my cap, dusted it off, and tell Frogyo my name. “Greetings Tap, welcome to the Forest of Labor.”
I looked around the tall trees and unlit structures as he says, “The Forest of Labor? So who puts in the labor, is it the trees who just sit there waiting to be blown by the wind?”
“Fascinating you say this considering I saw your roly-poly shape spinning in a circle due to the wind itself.”
“Well, salutations, I guess these trees and I have something in common. Now allow myself to perform some ‘labor’ as I briskly walk away from this dull conversation.”
“That is not labor.”
“It’s no more labor than what these leaf-misers are already doing by standing and doing nothing.”
“Maybe it would be wise to cleanse yourself first?”
I stop and immediately turns back around to Frogyo, “You know where I can clean myself?”
“It’s not the most efficient solution, but there is a wall-hung gear that leaks fluids.”
“The gears that control the water givers? Why not use those instead of relying on puny drops of fluids to clean myself?”
Frogyo daintily laughs, “You know that the water giver does nothing but give, give, and give without any direct orders from the gear? Unless you have the reach of a titan to control the gear, I suggest using the gear’s foible to clean yourself.” I perform a mild groan as I walk away, Frogyo then loudly asks, “Do you need directions dear? I hope you did not just lie to me about being lost.”
“I know the way and do not care enough about you to lie to your face.”
I walk away on the stone platforms leading away from the Forest of Labor, Frogyo whispers to herself, “Oh you will care about what I say soon enough Mr. Tap.” Thanks to a trail of liquid left by the water giver, I managed to easily find the leaking gear. The dampness of the area brought its own sense of psychological pressure. Mud was smeared across the wall and clots of dirt were slowly hanging from the tip of the water giver. Green smears were left on the white ground, as leaf blades trapped underneath the white ground were bending in unusual directions.
A distressing noise filled the sky, as if air were being sucked through a wide tube. I began to water myself down but was careful not to get any liquids inside my plastic carapace. So I tilted forward, shifted away from the drops of liquid, and moved behind while tilting backward. The process took less than four minutes, I had never felt more relieved yet exhausted at the same time. As I drew myself away and dried myself off in the breeze, I started to have a flashback. The coldness of the breeze reminded me of my former place.
Didn’t have the luxuries of a home, and it didn’t have the societal pitfalls of a prison. It was an icy cubicle where I was staying with an array of strange beings or objects. A tall rectangular monument that bled white blood, a green ball that could uncurl itself, and a clear holding-cell that housed tiny red spheres with green patches. All these things were becoming vivid, the blots from my memory were slowly fading. Until the wall in front of me opened as a bright light blinded me and a loud thump mildly shook the ground.
I was back in my present mind, walking back to that annoyingly complex Frogyo. It looked at me with its round cement eyes and asked, “Feel refreshed my plastic friend?”
I was bothered, “Friend? We only just met.”
“My apologies for acting hospitable, I assumed that maybe being less cryptic and more, eh, welcoming would be a nice change.”
I sighed and then said, “Thanks.”
“Appreciated, what are your next plans Mr. Tap?”
There were no plans set in stone, just confusion and a need for change. Being stationary was not bad, but it also was restricting in terms of learning about the world around me. Then I thought of the promised land, but I couldn’t trust Frogyo enough to mention it. I gave a vague answer in hopes of maybe finding the promised land, “Explore.”
This made Frogyo giddy, even I could tell. “If that is your goal then may I suggest a nice starting point?”
Frogyo pointed to the center of the Forest of Labor, “Not only are there fascinating sights to behold, but I heard that the laborers are looking for help.”
“Doesn’t seem like a pleasant place to be looking around in.”
“I never said it was a ‘pleasant’ place, but perhaps a plastic being such as yourself could provide wonderous assistance to the Laborers. But be warned, if you do not put up a fight in the forest then the forest will win.”
“What? Am I going to be beaten by its inhabitants if I say or do one wrong thing?”
“Who said anything about physical endangerment? The forest has its own ‘tricks’ it likes to play on wanderers and has taken a toll on some of the Laborers. If you can find the source of this issue then would that not help us both out?”
“I’m not running errands for you.”
Frogyo had both its hands out, “I never said you had to.” I hesitated at first, but the allure of this forest’s problems had me intrigued.
“Guess I’ll casually throw myself into danger.”
End of Part I
For Part II, click here!