until rot and gravity have their way

Greg Fallis

The toy: They allowed people to return a couple of weeks after the water receded. Not to stay, but to gather what little they could salvage. Layers of brown dried mud and muck covered the floors. Mold grew on everything. Snakes nested under sinks, Feral cats took up residence in closets and under stairs. Recluse spiders hid in the corners behind the ruined flat screen televisions.

Vandals had been there, taking little but destroying much. People cried. People were angry. People were in despair. The police escorts were sympathetic, but still made sure everybody was gone by sundown. The welder and his waitress wife left with a box of dishes and their microwave.

The boy who found me later was too old to play with stuffed bears. He had no interest in toys, in soft things. He had only rage and anger and hurt. He wrapped a piece of wire around my neck, hung me from a tree, and felt no better for having done it.

Here I’ll stay, hanging like some ugly dead fruit until rot and gravity have their way.

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