01 – OFFICE WORK

Jingle Jiggins was a reindeer that sat on the corner of a desk and watched the office pass him by. On his left was a rack of papers that shielded him from the breeze from the open window and on his right was the computer monitor that hummed a comforting hum.

Throughout the day someone would pluck him from his vantage point and pet him, or place him on another desk with human sized glasses on his face and the people around him would laugh, but eventually he would find himself back home again.

The single thing he found most peculiar was that most of the people had no idea that he was watching them. Except that was for the owner of the desk who would sometimes pause while tapping away at the computers keyboard to look at him questioningly.

Jingle saw some dull understanding there.

It didn’t last.

Instead of talking (Jingle was convinced the Man wanted to talk to him) the Man would blink a few times as if something was caught in his eye and then continue that soul destroying work that human beings were so good at creating for themselves.

Jingle much preferred being a stuffed animal. The days consisted of being petted and admired. He would sometimes meet with the other teddy creatures that had accumulated around the office and they would share silent notes.

The days were pretty good.

It was the weekends that things tended to get out of hand.

It had been some time since the people had come in to work on a weekend, and those two days was sometimes like a lifetime to the scattered toys that sat on desks and decorated monitors.

Two days were a long time without company.

It was nothing like the “movies” the he heard people talk about. Toys did not run around on stuffed legs and get into adventures with neighbourhood children. Jingle’s legs were filled with cotton wool, how far would that get him?

It did concern him, and the others, that technically their heads were also filled with cotton wool and that cotton wool couldn’t, as a rule, actually “think”; but the fact that they were thinking proved that something was working between their fluffy ears.

That was a conundrum for the philosophers, Jingle was just a blue nosed reindeer and so had other things on his mind.

The nose was a problem, and he constantly wished that the person who sat with Jingle every day would realise the fact. It was the light that hung above them in a little bar of energy and reflected off Jingles nose in a most uncomfortable way. A few moments with one of those thick black pens would do it, if only Jingles arms weren’t as full with cotton as his legs he would do it himself.

What was a toy to do?

The day was Friday, the time was heading towards midday and Jingle could feel the darkness of the weekend creeping in. He couldn’t hear the other toys, they were too far away, but he knew thy probably felt the same.

Proximity was the key to it for toys, which is why they were made to be handled and played with and cuddled. Jingle could hear the Man with who he shared the desk as he thought. He couldn’t hear the Mans voice, Jingle’s ears were made of felt, but he could hear the Man hear his own voice.

Jingle supposed that toys read minds, or what passed for minds in some cases, and in such they saw the world in a much bigger way than simply seeing more THINGS would. If Jingle could walk on his own two little legs (he would dream of this) then he was not convinced that he would learn anymore about the world than he already knew.

He watched the Man who sat at the desk, a few moments of typing followed by an equal amount of time staring at the screen. Papers were spread beside the Man, a stapler sat next to a small pile of different coloured pens. Jingle wondered why the Man would need different coloured pens, surely one would be enough? He would think.

The Mans mind was a mass of contradictions and compromises. Little of what he thought had anything to do with the work he was doing and this seemed common not just for this Man, but all the people jingle came in contact with. Even those who thought they cared, cared less than they thought they did.

This amused Jingle, and sometimes he thought the Man could see the amusement on his furry little face. The Man would smile slightly or raise an eyebrow as if to say, “Yeah mate, I see”. Once the man left a biscuit for Jingle, Jingle couldn’t eat it of course (though he would have dearly liked to) so it was there the next morning; but Jingle appreciated the thought.

People could be surprisingly tender despite themselves.

Jingle also saw the darkness in them, it was unavoidable. Petty jealousies and other random ugly thoughts passed fleetingly through most minds but toys tried their best not to focus on such things. Jingle would rather concentrate on the nicer things with his friends.

The Man made up stories, he thought of himself as a “Writer” and he always spent a good amount of time in the day thinking about these far off lands that only existed in his mind.

This was something that Jingle appreciated, toys lived for the mind, it was all they genuinely had, and coincidentally this is where Jingle’s story really began.

A thing that toys understood very well, and people didn’t, was that stories were catching. They would stick in minds and evolve and change all they touched and they didn’t need to be good stories to do this, just heartfelt ones.

So when later on that Friday the Man decided to write a story about the stuffed toy who sat on his desk and Jingle saw the potential and leaped…

Right into the Mans mind.

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