Tonka and Barbie

October 8th, 2017 by Patrick Starks


Season 1 / Episode #2

Here I was, at Barbie’s new home, her new playhouse as some would call it—it had an awkward feeling, nothing welcoming at all, nothing that felt remotely like home; if anything, it felt like the home of Frankenstein, as all I would witness was madness and the baring of slight suspicion within the room. The place was cold, had a smell not usually identifiable to the nose—lingering within the nostrils, no matter how hard you blew, never able to escape, not a cold, not a flu. As well was it poorly lit—making it difficult for even ones with twenty, twenty vision to see, and for that I found where I laid would not be my cup of tea, not warm, nor cold, but neutral.

“Ah, so this is the fantastic Tonka you have told me so much about,” the man said. He was older than Barbie, and smelt of cigars, or the pipes men smoked in a time that was before mine—and I thought I was old, yet here this man stood in front me, contesting that very theory. Barbie nodded her head, putting me down in front of the man gently, as she always was with me.

“It’s a pleasure to meet you Tonka. I am Mr. Geppetto,” he said. I’d reach in to shake his hand, but it was just a tire, a flat one at best. “No need to feel embarrassed my boy, that tire will soon be a hand, just as mine, and just as Barbie’s, some will even be feet,” he said with a cynical smile. I turned to Barbie, gazing into her snow-white eyes, dreaming of what our lives would be together, if real. And for the moment, I felt honestly like a perverted old man—Barbie was just child, one I felt odd to have feelings for, at least in her current form.  Even if Geppetto was to make me human, a real boy, what would Barbie and I do, would are lives really be any different—waiting until we were old enough to marry, it would feel like eternity, waiting for the years to come together, as well as our love.

“Back off my girl!” a man yelled. It was faint, but I could steel feel whoever they were, they were close, possibly up the stairs we were standing by. The stairs were rigid, fragile, where any step one took would be their last, plummeting into a pile of splinters and punctures, where even a metal body like myself dared to risk. Out of all the guessing of the conditioning of the stairs, or who was up them, I was ready for anything, ready to fight, to take my Tonka tires and run over the toes of the one contesting my love for Barbie. “I said back away, or else,” they said. And sooner or later they would reveal themselves, and I remained ready, brave, and confident, with tires gripped into the wooden floor boards I waited.

Their eyes were blue, blue as Barbie’s, but nothing of the sky or the ocean it depicted; no, these eyes were much lighter, as the center of it concealed darkness, like cotton candy slobbered to the core by a sugar high child. His hair was chocolate brown, and skin that some would call olive, but I could see that it was more of a tan than anything.

“Well, well, look who’s here, your smaller than I last saw you, much smaller,” said the man. Barbie would give the man a look of what mothers give their children—when bad, when disobeyed. He immediately stopped his smart antics, walking past me, past Mr. Geppetto, straight in to what appeared to be their living room. I asked who the man was and Barbie just shook her head, I felt I knew them, they surely seemed to know who I was.

“I see you and Ken know each other very well,” Mr. Geppetto said, with curiosity at the end of his lips. Barbie continued to shake her head, I looked pass her shoulder to verify that it was in fact Ken, and by the looks of the god-awful tan that he had, I felt it had to be him, no one was as addicted to tans as much as he was—the Oompa Loompa of my nightmares, I would call him.

We got settled, Barbie went upstairs to her room, Ken remained in the living room—however, fell asleep with a bowl of rocky road ice cream and sorrow in hand.  Mr. Geppetto and I would go to his office, he wanted to speak with me more, before the creation of my realness. The house looked small from the outside, but surprisingly was much larger from the inside, at least that’s what she said—no point intended. We walked down a long hallway, it felt like a museum, nothing but paintings were all that remained on the wall, even the Mona Lisa, I wondered if it was the real one or not, but my reasons why, or how it got there, would give me too much of headache to ponder on it longer than necessary.

We eventually made our way to the office door. We entered, and it wasn’t exactly what I felt to be the room of Frankenstein. The room was clean, cozy, I thought he might’ve had a maid, maybe even a wife, but Mr. Geppetto had no one, he was alone sadly, but at least he had Barbie and Ken to keep him company–now even I, as I was now doing the same, keeping him company.  I had no nose, but I would guess the room smelt of cinnamon, and pages from only the oldest books in the world, in which he would have in his study.

“Don’t be shy my boy, come right on in, make yourself comfortable, we have much to talk about,” Geppetto said. I rolled myself right on in, next to the very chair I wish I could sit. It was an old chair, probably as old as him, but it looked comfortable enough for an ass, if I had one. Geppetto then sat in the chair next to me, plopping down an ass I wish I had, but not like his—something a little smaller, firmer, and designed to fit any kind of chair I see fit.  He then popped open a bottle of what I believed to be wine, or bourbon, or even whiskey, if it not the same. He would plop down a book on his lap, it looked heavy and by the way dust flew from his lap up to the ceiling, I could tell he hadn’t open it for quite some time.

“Come closer Tonka, you need to see this, this… this will help you understand everything a little bit more,” Geppetto said, and I continued to listen. “You see the boy in this picture, this is my son, he’s much older now, probably a fine young man,” he said. I wasn’t surprised, I knew Mr. Geppetto had a family, but I didn’t know he had a son—to have a child with another was hard for me to believe he could obtain. He looked teary eyed telling me so, his eyes looked like a clogged river, denying any kind of flow from traveling.  But there was another in the picture with his son, a doll, a weird one I thought, one that had the nose of a stiff sausage, again—no point intended.

“Ah, this is my oldest son. He always wanted to be a real boy, but could never really face the challenges of bravery, truth, or selfishness. Over time he just gave up, he started to believe he was fine just the way he was, that he never really needed to be a real boy; and in a way, he was right, such a blessing he was,” Geppetto said. I’d ask him where he was now, but I felt it been a long night already, no need to dig any further into a poor mans soul.

“So, you and Barbie huh, she’s told me a lot about you, she seems to really like you, if not love you,” Geppetto said. My yellow body paint would begin to look like mustard mixed with ketchup—the only form of blushing I could do. I asked him about Ken, why he was a different age than Barbie, and he grinned, I’d grin with him.

“Oh that, well, I figured if you and Barbie had any chance of being together it be best I made Ken the opposite of you two. I never really liked kids like him, so cocky, so arrogant; the only reason I changed him in the first place was because Barbie insisted, but not because she has love for him, but because she truly feels sorry for the poor soul,” Geppetto said. I missed every other word Geppetto had thrown at me, I was just happy to hear that he would change me just like Barbie, and that he was on team Tonka.

The Night went on and Mr. Geppetto would ramble off into a deep sleep, and as long as it went on, I almost did the same, but I needed to speak to Barbie, and so I headed to her room. The house was like a maze, I’d turn right, then left, then left again, then another right, and back to Geppetto’s office I was—oddly, when I came back Mr. Geppetto was gone. And while he was gone, I figured I would be noisy, and browse a little, I was still suspicious of the man.  I looked through his books, through his research and still, nothing gave me any information that I wanted, that I needed.

Barbie came down eventually, to see if I was ok, I was surprised she even managed to find her way around such a puzzle, but she did. “Tonka… what are you still doing down here, you shouldn’t be down here unless Mr. Geppetto says,” she said. I smiled, even at night, no makeup, she was still a joy to be in the presents of. I explained to her my suspicion, and worried that things might not be as they seem, that there was something not being said about the place or how it came about. “Don’t be so silly, your just as adorable as always, so paranoid. You are safe Tonka, and you will be even more tomorrow,” Barbie said. I was puzzled, just as the very one she walked through, that I walked through; I’d ask her what was tomorrow, but she had already left the room, leaving a sweet scent humanity behind the door.

Footsteps then announced themselves as they became louder and louder, as they approached. I rolled to a dark corner, where I couldn’t be seen, and there he was, Mr. Geppetto. He had an evil twinkle in his eye and was drenched in sweat, breathe heavy like cheetah after a long chase; at first, I wondered what for, but then it was revealed. “You see, we are close my son, you will be reborn,” he said. I could barely see what he was holding, but with legs and arms that appeared wooden from the distance, I could tell it was a doll; and as he turned slowly to candle light, I could tell it was the same doll in the picture. I never had to chance to ask, but I assumed that the doll, his oldest son, was no longer with him—but there he lied resting in the old man’s sweaty palms.

“That damn fairy, I told you to stay away from her, that wretched witch, and the wretched grasshopper, you should of listen to me, but you’re just a boy, even if you aren’t real yet, your still my boy—tomorrow we will be together again I promise. I have two that I have made real, and now I have one more for tomorrow, the sacrifice will soon be ready for completion. In due time my son, in due time,” Geppetto said, as he wiped away what looked to be either sweat or a tear from his right cheek.

Here it was I thought, we were all here, we felt out of the generosity for Mr. Geppetto, but like anything in life, he had his own ultimatum behind it all—tomorrow would either be my blessing, or honestly a false promise, a mistake. But out of it all, I felt it was worth the risk, for Barbie and I. I’d sleep on it. in the dark, yet tight corner for the night, until the sun rose again, until tomorrow.



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