Monkey Screams

November 25, 2009
By , Scottsdale, AZ
The monkey’s tiny eyes stare at me. I stare back. I think we’re having a staring contest, but I’m not sure. He refuses to shut his eyes, or move at all-- he just sits on the shelf. He breaks the silence with a question, but it’s not meant for me to answer. Sometimes I think the only reason he talks is to hear his own voice. “Why don’t you help me?” He says, in that condescending tone that he knows irritates me so much. “Why don’t you save me?” His face is expressionless, but he is laughing at me. As usual, I ignore him.

A little boy with sticky fingers and a sticky face and sticky clothes runs in front of me and picks up the monkey. His eyes are drawn to the grimy sticker that’s peeling back- “Press Here” it says. His chubby fingers close around the monkey’s fuzzy yellow stomach, and the boy squeezes. The monkey starts screeching, a noise I’ve heard so many times it echoes seamlessly in my brain. The boy is enthralled by the terrible noise, and he squeezes the monkey again. The sound continues. The boy is about to press the stomach for the third time when his mother yells at him from the other side of the store. He cackles and runs away from her, screeching almost exactly like the monkey. Then again, it may just be my imagination.

The monkey is talking to me again. “See what I go through?” He says. “Day after day, these little idiots come in and suffocate me with their disgusting hands.” That, I admit to myself, is true-- the fur around his middle is matted and stringy from the boy. “And you know what the worst part is?” No, I don’t. “They control me. They force me to make that noise. I can’t help it.”

I am growing tired of the monkey’s inane complaints. Luckily, a woman and her daughter have stepped in front of his shelf, obscuring him from view. The little girl ignores the monkey, but instead grabs a baby seal off the shelf. She hugs it against her chest, asking her mother if she can have it; no, the mother shakes her head. The girl throws the seal on the ground and starts screaming, stomping her feet, wailing. The usual tantrum. The mother, of course, throws up her hands in defeat, grabs the seal and starts towards the cashier. The girl’s contorted face grows smooth as her lip curls upward in a satisfied smile. She follows her mother with a hop in her step.

The monkey sneers. “Little criminals, that’s what they are. Lying and threatening their parents to get what they want. Criminals. Nothing but.” I want to roll my eyes, tell him he’s wrong. But I don’t have the energy to lecture him; my back hurts.

The little boy who loved the monkey so much is back, giggling at his supposed brilliance as he hides from his impatient mother. She is yelling his name, but the boy screams giddily and runs the opposite direction. “God. Can’t they control their kids?” The monkey sound like an old man, but he’s younger than me. Finally noticing my disinterest, the monkey changes the subject. “You’re awfully quiet today.” I ignore him. “Say, are you gonna get that fixed up?” The monkey’s beady eyes are looking at my side. I follow his gaze. A large rip is running from my seam to the middle of my back. Some of my fluff is strewn haphazardly across the shelf. I do not panic at this distressing site, but wonder with mild curiosity what happened.

Ah, yes. It starts to come back. Yesterday, the two children running about. The tall one that knocked me off my shelf, and the short one that stepped on me. He made a rip in my side, a rip that got bigger as customers stomped on me throughout the day in their craze of Christmas shopping. Then, when the store closed, that pimply teenager who works at the cash register picked me up and put me back on the shelf. But he should have given me to the manager to get fixed. I am a retired edition, you know. I should be very valuable. But now the little rip is a wide gash, and my stuffing is slowly leaking from my body. I’ll surely be tossed into the garbage bin with the apple cores and stale gum teeming with ants by tomorrow morning. Oh well, I think to myself with a sigh. The monkey has been pressed again, and his mechanical screams echo through the store. Those tortured wails make up my mind. So what if I’m thrown away? What does it matter?

No one ever wanted me anyway.





Post a Comment

Be the first to comment on this article!

bRealTime banner ad on the left side
Site Feedback