They come alive at night.
I mean, not in any real way. That’s ridiculous. They’re clearly inanimate objects.
The statues that you see in plazas and museums. The dolls, plastic with flat painted eyes, or those old-fashioned ones whose eyes roll back and forward depending on how you hold them. The worn old wooden mannequins with chipped paint on their faces that you’ve seen in unkempt arcades, inside penny machines brought in in the nineties as part of some kitsch middle-class aesthetic that thankfully never really went anywhere.
The refurbished wooden figureheads that you saw in that haphazardly bundled together exhibition in the back of that antique shop. Paint crisp, eyes bright, carving and clothing disturbingly anachronistic.
You know how this works. You know the difference between fantasy and reality. You know that out here, in the world where things happen, that you walk around in and talk in and share with other people, things like that aren’t actually alive.
But in the ten minutes between you getting into bed and closing your eyes, and you finally managing to fall into a fitful sleep, they come alive. Only at night, and only behind your eyes. They creak, and move, and look straight at you.
It’s only for ten minutes every night, and only behind your eyes. But it seems like enough, doesn’t it?
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