the curious sculptural works of a dreamy idealist
The lappix sat motionless inside her pink ruffled cup as the Confectioner drew sturdy broomcorn bristles across the smooth worn floor planks. The man wiped his hands on the apron covering his red and white striped shirt before hanging the apron on a forged iron hook by the front door. He switched the hand painted sign on the door window to CLOSED and with one last glance around the rainbow colored shop stepped out into the glowing golden afternoon. The lappix remained still at the back of her forgotten shelf for a moment before slipping down. She ran a tentacle over the edges of the glass jars holding multicolored penny candy and jelly beans, selecting favorite flavors and dropping them in her cup. A peppermint and lemon drop, a molasses, a lavender and clove, a sugar plum, butterscotch and hoarhound. She made her way to the soda fountain, dispensing ginger ale into her small pewter mug. With a happy sigh she settled back against a bag of marshmallows to enjoy her confections as the sky turned red and purple and the clouds shone like platinum.
Dusk was ushered in by a show of firefly lights and a veil of cool air. She waited patiently, hidden in the blue-grey shadow of a garden gnome, until the footsteps and conversation softened and ceased. She crouched there quietly for a while longer, probing the stems and leaves around her with a wandering tentacle. Her teeth chattered with anticipatory vibration. Cautiously she emerged and sidled up to the house where she had seen the thing shining on the brick walkway quite early that morning. It had been lost by someone, she was sure, and she coveted it. She reached out and touched the treasure tenderly, sending shivers along the nerves of her limb. She encircled it and lifted it toward her, placing it deliberately in the crudely woven straw basket she had tied across her shoulder with a length of jute. It settled in the soft bed of milkweed seeds she had prepared. She quickly surveyed the yard and meadow and made her way back through the long grass. The whisper from the twilight breeze masked her movements as she disappeared back into the woods, her teeth clacking with excitement.
A distant rhythmic creak and jangle interrupted the simple quietness of the morning as the Tinker’s cart traveled the uneven country road. Its worn wooden wheels fumbled along, each revolution a clumsy and uninspired caress. It pulled to a gradual swaying halt and the big dusty horse rested its hind leg, slouching wearily and softly blowing an endless rippling sigh. The tinker clambered down, his limbs creaking more than the cart. He shuffled to the side of the road and reached through the tall grass and thistle that glowed with the sun’s early morning optimism. As he retrieved some sad looking detritus from the tangled dewy overgrowth the tinker’s eyes flickered. He pulled a once white embroidered handkerchief from his pocket and softly blotted mud and grass seeds from the thing’s face. He absently turned its wooden wheels with a fingertip and examined a badly worn tag fastened around its neck. “Someone did love you once", the tinker murmured with a voice as gravelly as the road beneath him. He ambled back to the cart, cradling the toy in his calloused hands like a strange newborn. He placed the pull toy inside a chest of smooth dark hardwood that seemed to breathe as it opened and whimper as it closed. The pull toy twitched an ear and rocked on its wheels. The road ahead held great promise.