It happened during some typical Sunnydale craziness. I was chilling on the bed, as normal, when a couple of kids burst in. Neither of them was Buffy or Willow, but there was something familiar about them. The boy was agitated, and he picked me up and clutched me to his chest as he sat rocking on the bed. Then he bounced up to look out the window. That was when the vampire grabbed him. He and I were dragged down to the yard. I rolled away into the grass, which was new for me. It was kind of scratchy, but I didn’t mind because I wanted to see what the vampire was going to do.
Buffy tells me things, you see. Lately, there have been a lot of tears soaking through my covering, so I wasn’t feeling very friendly toward the vampire. Big jerk.
He was making a big show of threatening the boy, but then another vampire came up and knocked him down. That was pretty funny, but then she started making improper suggestions to the boy, and seeing Buffy’s vampire react to that was even funnier.
Things moved fast. There was a stampede, during which one of my ears was punctured, and then I was alone in the yard with the two vampires. She was pretty upset for a while, but after a few minutes she just shook herself and wandered off, humming. Buffy’s vampire stared after her, but then he sniffed me out. He picked me up so we were looking eye-to-eye, and his smile would’ve chilled me to the bone, if I had one.
“This little piggy is going to…suffer.”
He took me to his lair. He plopped me down on the table and then yet another vampire rolled up and started to give him a bunch of guff about playing with stuffed animals, wearing short pants and a whole bunch of other stuff that got him riled. While they were arguing, the lady vampire came in, still humming, scooped me up and carried me downstairs.
She put me next to a teapot on a spindly table covered with a fusty lace tablecloth. Then she introduced me to the dolls she’d invited to tea. Misses Abigail, Florence, and Edith. When I met the beauties in that basement…well. I had never felt quite so stimulated.
Understand, I get along great with dolls. Buffy’s old dolls were empty-headed, underdressed, and sort of sex-obsessed, but we had a lot of good times after they figured out I wasn’t interested in them that way. She didn’t bring them when we moved, and truthfully I missed having them around.
These dolls were several steps above any I’d met before. They were polite, charming, and very understanding about my unfamiliarity with proper tea procedures. We had a few laughs and it was a wonderful time, really. Afterward I was put up on the shelf with them. I thought it might be awkward, but it turned out that they’re used to unexpected guests, so we managed just fine.
Florence turned out to be a whiz at charades, Abigail was a terrible—but amusing—gossip. Miss Edith, however, was a true delight. She was whimsical, witty, and wise. We spent hours talking about all the amazing things she’d seen in the stars. She appeared to be entranced by my accounts of Buffy’s exploits. She shivered in an utterly fetching way when I told her the awful tale of the school mascot being eaten by hyenas. She was horrified by my story of the mean robot stepboyfriend. She laughed her tinkling laugh at Willow covering herself with the ghost costume. She never once made me feel as if I was anything less than fascinating.
After a few days, I began to feel that we really understood each other. It was the kind of connection that I had never felt with anyone, not even Buffy. I try to be supportive and understanding of Buffy, and to be good company for her, but a pig has needs. I enjoyed having that back and forth that you get with another inanimate object. Not that Miss Edith was just any IO to me. She was kind, intelligent, and classy. I won’t lie; she was beautiful, too. I did catch a glimpse of her leg, below the petticoat, and I liked what I saw. I often found myself wondering about the color of her eyes, late at night. But our discussions and the gentle teasing we engaged in meant more to me than revealing her chubby ankle or sparkling eye.
I decided to tell her how I felt. But she knew before I began.
“Oh, Mr. Gordo! You are some pig! It’s been terrific, and I wish that you could stay here with me forever. Nothing would make me happier. The stars, however, have told me that you will be leaving soon, and I want you to know how much it has meant to me to have met you and shared these few glorious days.”
My stuffing twisted unpleasantly. From her stories, I knew the stars were seldom wrong, even when we might wish otherwise.
“I will miss you, Miss Edith. Even if this time we’ve had together is all we ever have, it has been the most joyful of my life. I will always treasure my memories…”
Before I even had time ask her for a small remembrance—a lock of hair or a spare ribbon—I was scooped up by the rolling vampire. He did not appear to be rolling anymore. He stuffed me into his pocket and strode out into the night.
Before long, he pulled me out and dangled me in front of…Buffy! She stood for a moment in the flashing red and blue lights with her mouth hanging open.
“I’m bringing you your sodding toy as a gesture of good will, alright?”
She snatched me and looked suspiciously at him.
“What’s wrong with his ear?”
“How the hell should I know, Slayer? I’ve been in a wheelchair for weeks! Are we going to parley about taking down Angelus, or what?”
Once we got back to the house, she gently put me on the pillow and gave me a little pat.
“Sorry Mr. Gordo. I’d love to stay and catch up, but there’s Slayer business brewing. We’ll talk later.”
Thing was, she came back, packed her bag, and left. I didn’t see her again for months.
I missed her, of course, but it was the radiant Miss Edith that occupied my thoughts that long summer. What a doll.