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Rated: 13+ · Fiction · Contest Entry · #2109109
1/17/2017 flash fiction 300 words or less writing challenge
The wind-up toy raccoon peeked from behind several books on mechanical engineering
“Do any of these books mention something like me?” he asked.

“Nope; these are not story books, but books by serious men who construct machines that make a difference in human lives.”

The light of curiosity dimmed in Raccoon’s eyes. “So I don’t make a difference to lives?” Raccoon sighed. “Not even in your life? Not even though I’ve known you for all of your twenty-five years?”

I had no answer now; maybe I’d have one, later.

“Are you a serious man?” Raccoon questioned. “Because I don’t believe serious grown men talk to wind-up toy animals.”

I glared at Raccoon, worn threadbare from years of desperate hugging. “You misunderstand me; you are meaningful and you do make a difference in my life.” I couldn’t admit anything further, or else Raccoon’s head might swell with an inflated sense of importance.

“So you,” Raccoon glanced around the room as if forming a very profound thought, “believe yourself to be a serious man.”

It was a statement, yet I knew Raccoon was asking the big question … a question I ask myself almost every day, because I realize not many twenty-five-year-old men have a raccoon on their bookshelf.

“You are unique, Raccoon,” I admitted. I don’t know anyone else in this world with whom I can speak so freely.”

“Do you mean the world as it is … or the world as you prefer it?”

Raccoon's question didn't anger or trouble me. As my dearest friend he was my closest confidant; the only one with whom I could be myself.

The door to my room opened, causing Raccoon to become quiet.

“Time for your medication,” Dr. Jacob said
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