• Vol. 05
  • Chapter 02
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Plum Robotics

Mum flourished her signature, and bought her for me, being secretly weary of re-reading pages 30 and 31 of Peter Pan every night for three months in the running. I called her Plum. No reason. Just did. Kids rarely need reasons, and I was six. A kid. Just did.

Plum’s ways were very gradual and meticulously bright, as if she were filled with lightbulbs, or fizzy energy that, once started, wouldn’t ever stop. I felt like an old ugly building standing next to her. Her robotics. Her revolution. Her voice soft as pale-grey willows.

She was my audience, and filled my needy gaps. I dressed her in black jeans, a red hoodie and a Radiohead T-shirt. No hair. Not never.

We were a Curiosity Shop; she was my Miss Havisham. I remember Mum saying those etheric words to Plum, “Come in, and please close the door.” Two hours later, Plum had memorised the entire works of Dickens. She made for a rightly good read, reciting to me every night.

Plum was the centre of my attention, and certainly not without her own dramatics. Like when she sat too near the radiator, and melted into a warm beige gloop. Mum shrugged. Said Plum was just a zombie mushroom with a tightly screwed-on lid for a head.