Toy Story Of The Dead
(© Dorian Stanley)
White. The walls and floor and ceiling
were stark white. The sharp fluorescent lights overhead helped to bleach out
any color that could be found. The buzzing of the lights drowned out all other
background noise which adds to the feeling of calm lifelessness in the maze of
The odd calm was torn apart as a klaxon
suddenly sounded loudly throughout the industrial complex. White-coated technicians
suddenly scurried to and fro like the rats they used in their varied and random
experiments. Whether any of them grasped the irony or not didn’t matter any
more – or at least they wouldn’t for much longer.
Two technicians in particular seemed extremely
panicked as they hurried down the hall with a steeled determination. The swish
of their disposable cloth shoes was the only sound they made as they hurried
down the hall at a near run. Several of the random people standing around in
the hall watched the two lab coat wearing streaks with various degrees of fear
and apprehension. Most of the hall’s inhabitants simply stared at the red
bands that they wore around their forearms. They all knew that the "butcher
boys," as they were called by the other staff of the building, would NEVER
leave their dungeon –like sublevels. To see TWO at the same time in such a
panic was not a good sign.
As they rushed past, the people left in
their wake began to panic even more. Whispers of apprehension spread as they
went farther down the hall. The other techs began speaking of hushed rumors
about government experiments and dark practices performed by near-crazed
scientists treading where none should dare.
It was then that the screaming began...
A warm, summer breeze blew through the open
window as the curtains ruffled gently to and fro. The scent of baking could be
detected throughout the spacious, two-story home. Excitement filled the air in
anticipation of the celebration to come. Today was Andy’s fourteenth birthday!
Colorful streamers and balloons were hung
from doorframes and ceilings in every room downstairs. Even the mailbox was
decorated with three bright red balloons and a small, hand-written sign
declaring the reason for all of the flair and to guide Andy’s friends from
school to his home. Sid, Andy’s former neighbor and reformed toy torturer, was
already there along with his sister, Hannah. He and Andy had become good
friends after Sid had learned the "error of his ways." The boys had become
inseparable and, in turn, their sisters done so as well.
It was no surprise the toys themselves were
showing such happy agitation. Today, they prepared to welcome the new toys
that inevitably came from such a joyous occasion. Buzz and Woody were already
prepping the standard recon team of plastic army men who would provide details
of the party for which they were excitedly waiting. The other toys were
collecting in Andy’s room to gather around a walkie-talkie in anticipation of
the day’s festivities.
As the miniature RECON team made its way to
the potted plant hiding place located in the formal dining room, Woody began
going over his checklist once again. His pencil would make quick marks on the
paper as he made annotation besides names or added memos to himself regarding
incomplete or unstarted tasks.
"Alright, everyone get over here for roll
call!" He said as he checked his clipboard once again. The wide range of
toys, some from Andy’s sister’s room, bumped and jostled to get into position.
Each arranged themselves by order of height and the ability to see/hear Woody
speak. Sitting next to Woody on the quickly erected dais was Buzz Lightyear,
Defender of the Galaxy™, and Woody’s newest friend, Jessie the Yodeling
Woody began the meeting with the usual roll
call. Andy was now twelve and his taste in toys had changed to include some
toys that Woody neither liked nor trusted. They reminded him too much of the
toys he met at Sid’s house – each contained an element of dark or angry
feelings that no self-respecting CHILD’s toy would have. He kept his opinion
to himself though as he knew that Andy was growing up as little boys tend to
do. He knew that toys changed as children grew up but he didn’t have to like
[ Continue to page 2 ]