I have never been one to look a gift horse in the mouth. You might even say that I brought this on myself, which would be accurate and true in every sense.
Did I wish for this?
Did I pray?
Did I quest and fight to prove myself?
Let us say that I did, though perhaps these questions are better answered by history than by myself.
After all, no one knows better than me that the story isn’t over until the book is closed, and even then, what happens to the characters after ‘Happily Ever After’?
Where do the dreams go when the dreamer awakes?
So, here I sit upon my bench in the back of the workshop in a bed of my own sawdust, a Real Boy through-and-through.
You never told me it would hurt this much, Blue Fairy. You never told me what it would mean.
I saw a rabbit the other day with fur like velveteen. I recognized your handiwork in him; we know our own. I saw myself in his eyes, and I know he understood some of himself in mine.
We shared a brief glance, a connection like a lightning strike and he was gone, lost to the underbrush and to the terror of the world. I wish he would have stayed.
Then perhaps I wouldn’t feel so alone. So confused. So… real.
What am I to do with these hands? They touch the world and the world touches back. There are hot things and cold things and thorns and sharp edges. Give me my gloves back, Blue Fairy.
My hands are cut, bruised and tired.
What am I to do with these eyes? I look in the mirror and see myself, and I don’t know who I am anymore. I know I’ve changed, and I’m afraid.
I look back at who I was, such a fool, and I envy my own ignorance and mourn my own recklessness. I look forward and I don’t know what I’ll become. Come paint on my happy eyes, Blue Fairy.
These ones leak far too much.
And what am I to do with this heart? I’ve never had one before, and it hangs heavy in my chest. It mourns the folly of who I was and it feels too many things.
It races at the possibility of a future and it whispers to me of dreams that I may never see. Fill my chest with wood, Blue Fairy. I think this heart is broken.
Part of me knows that there is no going back. Even if I were again a puppet, real things would haunt me in my dreams, and even on my shelf, I would know the terrible tenderness of the world.
There are some fruits that, once tasted, cannot be put back on the tree.
Still, I look out my window and I wish upon a star. I have no strings now, Blue Fairy. Once upon a time, they held me down, but now I see they held me up.
I have no song now, no talking cricket, no choreography. Only this, the quiet prayer of a Real Boy.
So please come back, Blue Fairy. I’m alone and afraid. Come wave your magic wand, and take this all away…