And then, ever so delicately, her skin began to peel itself back, revealing a maze of iridescent turquoise tubes, pulsing and glistening in the torchlight.
I knew the "Li'l Junior Goal Setting and Performance Review Workbook, Preschool Edition" was just what I needed to boost my toddler's lagging productivity metrics.
I had no idea how many fragments there were, deeper and deeper; they became my constant companions, at once my hunter and my prey.
There it was again! This time I knew it was for real. Now I just had to follow the traces to where they converged.
The note on the pillow read, "I had a wonderful time last night! I forgot to mention one thing, though: I'm not a real girl. I hope you're not mad! Please call. . . 1-800-ROBO-GRL. Ask for XBD153."
He worked for one of those outfits that sprung up to mine plastics and styrofoam out of landfills after the oil ran out.
I took her home to meet my mother, and I guess they hit it off; I haven't seen either of them since. I get postcards sometimes.
The next morning, to celebrate, we had strawberries and trout for breakfast.
It wasn't until we had passed the first checkpoint that the full scope of his plan began to dawn on me.