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The Oliver Twist
The Oliver Twist
A Jim Hare & harris Tobias collaborative story
If it weren't for the wind blowing off his hat, Oliver would never have run into the convenience store. It wasn't that he needed anything but it was warm and dry. The place was empty save for a bored Latina sitting behind the counter reading a paperback romance. She barely glanced up when Oliver entered. He roamed the brightly lit aisles marveling at how little the store's contents appealed to him. Overly processed foods in expensively designed packages sporting tightly focused names like "Dash" and "Cruncher". He picked up an artfully designed box called Instant Pleasure. If you asked him why he wouldn't have been able to tell you. Farther down the aisle he found a hat rack.
He brought both items to the girl at the register. She rang them up and placed them in a bag. She gave him a judgmental glance when she handled the Instant Pleasure. Oliver felt himself blush like he did when buying condoms. He paid the bill with his charge card, took the hat from the bag and put it on his head.
"What do you think?" he asked the girl. It was a black woolen ski hat with a pull down face mask like bank robbers wore. It didn't go with his suit and tie. He saw his reflection and thought he looked like a thug on his way to a wedding.
"You look like you're holding the place up," the girl said handing him the charge slip, "or like you're gonna go rape someone."
When he got home he pulled off his wet clothes and took a long hot shower. Never underestimate the restorative powers of a long hot shower. He felt much better. He slipped on a favorite tee shirt and an old pair of cut off jeans and poked around the kitchen preparing something to eat. Since Carol left his dinner choices had dwindled down to a choice between canned soup or frozen ravioli. Since it was so rainy and cold, he went for the soup.
After eating, he rinsed his bowl and padded into the living room where he expected to spend the next few empty hours staring at the television screen and wondering when he was going to get his life back together. He had just picked up the remote control when he noticed the bag from the convenience store in the corner where he'd tossed it. He retrieved it and pulled out the box. Inside the box were directions for constructing some object, but the words were printed in Asian alphabet characters, probably Chinese, Oliver thought, they make everything these days. Fortunately there were a series of pictures numbered one to six for the non native speaker. the little diagrams showed the connecting of the metal strips into a sort of wire form skeleton of a diminutive human. It didn't take long to connect the pieces but it was hardly instant. He got the feeling that the name Instant Pleasure was a bad English translation for whatever its real name was.
Once the wire skeleton was finished, the next step was to add the contents of one of the several inner packages to a couple of liters of boiling water. He had a two liter Coke bottle in the fridge which he dumped out and filled with tap water. He brought it to a boil and added the powder stirring for six minutes as the little diagram clearly instructed. After six minutes he had a thick, viscous rather slimy looking porridge. To the porridge he added the contents of the other two packages and stirred until they were absorbed. By now the mixture was a rosy pink color. When it was cool he poured it over the wire frame. It covered the metal skeleton completely. He left it to set for six hours as instructed and went to bed.
He awoke with someone crawling into bed with him. It was a familiar feeling, and for a brief moment he thought of Carol his wife, until he remembered she was gone now. What was on the pillow beside him was what would pass for a child's doll with pink plastic skin. The doll's body was not an infant's, however, but rather that of a perfectly proportioned young woman about three feet tall. The doll had oriental features, long black hair and appeared to be sleeping peacefully. Oliver blushed and quickly covered the doll's nakedness but even that small glimpse had aroused him. Almost in spite of himself, Oliver reached out a tentative hand and touched the sleeping doll's face. Almost immediately its eyes opened, it rolled over and and gave Oliver the warmest, sexiest smile he'd seen in years.
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