Pearl and her human Toy...
And, in her solitary childhood, not a living soul to play with. Perhaps that was why she was here, as a toy, in a snow year. The full moon shone on her face: her figure, her body, silhouetted in dark relief against the vermillion sky, twinkling starlight, distant planets, far-off suns. Pearl,
‘Come into the warm. Shake off your coat. Take off those gloves. Dust yourself down. Come and sit beside my fire. You must be freezing. Hot chocolate, warm minced pies, rich fruit cake!’
‘Shtop teashing me,’ Toy whistled with the lisp she’d endured: taunted and jeered at since birth, ‘There ishn’t a fire. Or a coat. Jusht me in thith thilly thlip.’
‘Come to bed with me, Toy. I’m a big girl now!’
‘I know that, do you think I don’t know that?’
‘Well then, come to bed.’