Wednesday, December 7, 2011
Timmy the Little Coffee Cup
Almost didn't make it in this week! I procrastinated. But hey - when I barely squeak in under the deadline for a 350-word piece, I do it Big Time! This is the trimmed-down version here; I went a teensy over the word limit I myself set, so for the linkup I did some hatchet-editing (that is, I cut it off at the right spot). The full version is 691 words. This version is 345. To finish the story, click the link at the end; to start the story with the intention of reading the whole thing, click this link right here!
Timmy was manufactured in China with a hundred thousand brothers and sisters. Back home, he thought he was very modern because he didn't judge the other coffee cups by their color; Timmy was red, but some of his siblings were yellow, orange, and even blue, not that there's anything wrong with that.
It wasn't until he was unboxed far from home that he first saw other designs. Squat cups; square cups; cups with round bottoms, or funny-shaped handles. It was overwhelming; he was in some strange place full of more kinds of cups than he'd ever imagined could exist.
Timmy had a bit of a freak-out and banged into one of his fellow cups on the way out of the box. He watched, or would have if he'd had eyes, as a tiny piece of himself fell from the edge of his lip. It hit the cardboard below him with an earth-shattering "pip" sound that he could have heard if he'd had ears.
The other cups were horrified. Timmy was horrified. A chip! In the incredibly diverse world he'd been unpackaged into, Timmy found himself with the one bit of uniqueness that would ensure an eternity of un-ownedness. Timmy bawled out silent dry motionless sobs of unspeakable sorrow.
And yet... life went on, and Timmy did his best to support his siblings to succeed and leave the store in one piece. Not everyone made it; many a cup crashed to the hard ground and broke, never to be repaired. In the scheme of things, Timmy reflected, he was lucky enough to merely have a slight chip on one edge.
One by one, Timmy's siblings left for new lives while Timmy remained behind, cheering them on, hiding his pain along with his shame. Timmy was moved to the clearance rack, where he met some of the strange cups he'd once feared. Some had stories like his; a minor imperfection that marked them as pariahs, in many cases, or (more common to Timmy's eye) a design that could appeal only to very specific (and possibly blind) tastes.
(There's more! I could have maybe made this part make sense by itself, and it kind of does, in a sad, depressing, open-ended sort of way, but if you want closure and an actual story, click here!)