OBJECTS OF DESIRE • by April Grey

The LexiMarie Ten is the Ultimate in Human Comfort and Pleasure.
Satisfaction Guaranteed or Your Money Back!

Glen read the placard. He then eyed the mechanical doll. When he was a kid, you blew them up, and you could buy them only in shops in the bad section of town. But here “she” was, a perfect replica of a woman, skin pearly and warm to the touch, just standing there in Central Mall where anyone, even children, could see her.

For shame!

He tried to look away, but his curiosity drew him back. The sheer black negligee didn’t hide a thing. Real hair — everywhere — and accurate to the smallest detail. According to Popular Mechanics, she couldn’t walk too well, but lying down, you couldn’t tell the difference, and she had two vacuum pumps as well as… He shifted uneasily, his temperature among other things rising. He took a deep breath and exhaled.

What if Laura should spot him ogling it like some teenaged Lothario? He blushed and then turned around, just in case she should magically appear from thin air. And there she was: salt and pepper hair already deflated by the summer humidity outside, splotchy skin, no matter what allergy-free make-up she tried, and a shape now closer to a beach ball than the glorious hourglass of their courtship days.

And what was that she was looking at? Not the LexiMark Eleven! His hand brushed over his balding pate as he became acutely aware of his burgeoning gut. He stepped in double time over to his wife of the past twenty-eight years.

“Laura, come away from that thing!”

“Oh, Glen. Can you imagine?” Her eyes disappeared in crinkles as she grinned up at him.

“Imagine? Imagine what?” He looked around, hoping no one they knew was nearby. “You couldn’t be interested in — in that,” he whispered in her ear.

She put her hand on his arm. “I need to get the company address and write to them.”

“Laura?” He felt sucker-punched as she began to root about in her bag.

“I really must let them know.” She handed him the bag to hold for her as she dove deeper into its murky depths.

“Know what?” His face turned red as his voice slid up an unmanly octave.

She got out a pen and pad of paper from her purse, and scribbled the address. “He’s not at all attractive. I’ll send them that picture I took last week of you at the beach.” She nodded with a smile. “Then they’ll have it right.”

Glen felt thirty years melt from him. His shoulders straightened and his gut tightened. Blinking back tears, he linked his arm through hers. “Come on, Honey, let me buy you a hot fudge sundae. Whipped cream, sprinkles, a cherry — the works.”


April Grey has been published in Amalgamae Magazine, Walking Bones magazine and Brilliant! (an anthology).  She has short stories coming up in two more anthologies, Northern Haunts and Terrible Beauty, Fearful Symmetry.

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