- Vol. 04
- Chapter 08
In this room, you may see the fruits of a thousand hours of labor tirelessly scouring eBay and garage sales for the best of what other people no longer want.
It’s amazing what people throw away, not knowing the value of what they possess; here, a piece of gum chewed by Mickey Mantle, there, a box of petrified breakfast cereal from 1979, pristine, unopened, inedible.
Beside that, a fragment of the true Cross— the dealer had no papers, but I believe the provenance to be accurate— and that? I believe it’s a unicorn’s horn.
On those shelves, my collection of rare butterflies, displayed in bell jars—and that? Oh, that’s just an oddity, thrown in with other, better items, taken in trade.
The taxidermist did a decent job, affixing the shaved upper body of a rat to the hind end of a trout; the head’s likely that of a porcelain doll—
distressed to look older than it is. Yes, the eyes almost seem to follow you around the room—dolls’ eyes do that, you know; I’ve never liked them for that.
That high-pitched sound? It’s not singing. It’s just the ringing of the air conditioning. I’m sure it’s all in your imagination— no, I don’t hear words or pleading.
I’ve no doubt that in time, I’ll pass it along to some rube who will think that it has value, in exchange for something he thinks has no intrinsic worth—
You’ll take it off my hands? It’s just A curiosity, a hoax, and not a well-made one at that. Very well. Have your ‘little wonder’ and listen to her ‘song’ all you like.