They were busy making the plastic dolls. The entire workshop began to hum in repetitious melody. The heart-piercing and mind-boggling tanning of the tools drove the plastic to insanity. It began to melt. I stood in my chamber, smoking the remains of my hanging reminiscences. I looked outside the window, beyond the silhouette of the trees, where even the shadows refused to jump to complete their final images; the path that leads to nowhere. There were three trees alongside it, but with no leaves. I wondered what would happen if a mirror refused to accept the image of an object? Or, what if the shadows refused to portray reflections on those lonely broken walls of red brick?
A copy of National Amateur from March 1922 lay on the table. It was the abode of The Music of Erich Zann, I thought. In my head, I heard Alexey Voytenko’s violin begin its solo from a tune by the same title. I wiped the nib of my 1940s Conway Stewart with an old tissue paper that I had already used multiple times to clean the covers of my old journals. The trees seemed to have invited the shrouds of the black clouds. That was the place of no return, where the clichés go to kill themselves. I was content. I treated my mirror with a smile while adjusting the collar of my tweed jacket. A smile grabbed the corner of my upper lip and it was pulled toward that uncanny image. My distorted vision then met with the infrared waves. I vibrated incessantly inside the chambers of my heart. My entire being - physical, mental, psychological, spiritual, agnostical, sexual, parapsychological, and emotional - shuddered to distortion. I realised by seeing my image in the mirror that I was chewing my lower lip.
I set myself free by pushing the mirror with both hands. I coughed a little, holding my neck. I gasped. I dragged myself to the window. I could hear the plastic dolls being made and smell the odour of melting plastic. My nostrils were used to the pungent smell. Sometimes, I felt that it was somewhat sweet. Many a time I felt like drinking the molten plastic lava. I tapped the wooden block of the windowsill with my index finger as I explored the silhouettes of the bare trees. I had an immense urge to jump out of the window and explore the sinister sanctity of those trees.
Once, a doll had told me that once upon a time the trees used to grow poems. I neither believed nor disbelieved the statement. I simply shrugged. Their branches now stood naked amidst obscurity. Their children blossomed as poems once had died long ago. The trees had been robbed by those who claim to be “the poets of the centuries”. Those people who consume only filth as they cannot produce anything artistic nor can they decipher the exquisite essence of true art.
I turned to the bookshelf. Above it, there hung a painting by Buffie Griffin. I liked her work. It was beautiful. It depicted the dark side of human nature, in which the souls abide. The silhouette on the painting held a subtle despondency that hung onto the threads of my delirium and tedium at the same time. After every creation, the artist dies, but every artist leaves a part of themselves inside their paintings. The fragments of souls then get scattered around in there, and when they die, they live inside of their paintings. Similarly, the dolls are distorted human forms.
All humanity is plastic, which melts either under power or for materials. The religions play metaphysical roles where surreal illusions give birth to stubborn delusions. All of this seems disillusioned to me. There were no parameters in my doll factory. I had divided myself into many parts, and each one worked on producing the best quality plastic dolls that mankind had ever seen. The dolls produced in my factory had more pretense than the vilest human on earth. They knew how to multiply their carnages and produce their own babies while they hung themselves on my walls. I nailed the dolls in my chamber, where I sat and conversed with them. Sometimes we made wild love; their cries of orgasms shattering the window panes. There was, however, some difficulty. The glass splinters started crawling around, which wounded my dolls and they bled to their deaths. I had to bury them underneath those trees.
After the yuletide, the three trees usually gave birth to new dolls. But before the poems were over, the dolls melted and dropped dead on the soil. This happened in flawless precision, always. The procedure was perpetual. Finally, that night, I had decided to step out of my doll factory and explore the three trees. I walked briskly to reach them. I could feel my presence everywhere. As the dolls wept, I could feel their eyes protruded. I began to dig into the wet ground. It was cold. I trembled with every passing gush of wind that brushed my face and back.
I had to bury myself under these trees. I didn’t want to become one of my plastic dolls. Some dolls; my creations, assisted me in digging underneath the trees. After hours of excruciating labour, finally, we had dug enough pits. We sang the song of departure, and I gazed upon the doll factory. It stood in its gloom, all black with time. The dimly lit yellow lights called after me. I waved at them, teary-eyed. The earth shook a little, giving tribute to my endeavours. I heard the whispers of the wind, followed by the beams of the waning moon. The dolls helped me as I wrapped myself up with the roots of the trees.
One of the dolls jumped inside my mouth to stop me from whimpering. I was completely tied up. I shot a sharp glance, one last time, at the doll factory, where I saw a shadow waving at me and smoking up the words. I trembled at lightning speed. The dolls began to feed on me. They ripped my clothes and bit my skin. I could sense the numbness gripping my entire body from the spine. My head froze and electric currents ran through it. The electromagnetic shocks were unbearable. I bit the doll inside my mouth that had begun to chew my tongue and jaw, and my teeth began to turn into powder. I spat blood from the corners of my mouth where the doll had pierced itself in. My throat became the entry point of another doll. They stopped. My breathing grew louder amidst the silence around me. The ringing in my head was loud enough to have jolted the planets and stars.
Toothless, I lay underneath the three mysterious trees, where the rotting seeds of my three ages of life escaped inside a painting of Tiziano Vecellio. The painting shattered underneath my bleeding eyelids. I could see the distorted form of life and my doll factory melting. I began to melt slowly before becoming one of the poems of each tree. I multiplied. I kissed the divinity my final kiss, but it tasted of futility. The eerie silence exploded when my bones were crushed. I became a doll. I melted once more. I saw a shadow scrutinising me. It was from my mouth. I began to melt completely.
I melted into plastic, but my essence was everywhere. I became omnipresent. The three trees had disappeared inside of me. There used to be black soil where the abandoned factory stood before it melted. And they were busy making the plastic dolls.
The author is a 37-year-old who is passionate about directing theatre plays and films. He is also is an artist who believes that art should be raw and pure. Themes of most of his work revolve around various elements of absurdism and surrealism.