Story Submitted by Robert:
Sophie and I planned to meet up in a small suburb that was known for its little antique shops, knick-knack stores, and tchotchke havens. I wasn't as into the shopping as she seemed to be, but it was a better way to spend time together than going to see a movie.
We visited one place that had a pretty massive spread, set up like a big lot. I was into the old typewriters, but Sophie discovered a section with something else.
There was a shelf of candles that were shaped like little children. In fact the first thing that came to mind were Hummel figurines, as these were shaped and colored similarly, aside from their creepy little bug-eyed faces.
Sophie loved them at once.
"Oh my God! Look how cute," she said, then picked one up and examined it from every angle.
"A little morbid," I quipped, "With the wicks at the top of their heads. You can have a small army of melting children."
She said, "You're not supposed to burn them."
"Oh. Then why are they candles?"
She flipped one over to check out the price. Over forty dollars each.
She grabbed two, a boy and a girl, and bought them on the spot. I'm not sure why. One of them, the girl, had little wax eyes that were looking in two different directions.
She brought them with us to dinner, where she informed me that the money that she would have used to help me pay for the meal was spent on the freaky wax children.
I had planned to pay for dinner, but it was still rude. Also, she acted very distracted the entire time and kept glancing at the brown paper bag wherein her two little wax possessions waited for her to bring them home, not burn them, and collect a thousand layers of dust.
What was even ruder came after dinner. It was, apparently, a half-hour until the antique place closed, and Sophie wanted to go back to look at more of those kid candles.
We went back, and she inspected one of a kid in overalls, holding a red ball. She looked at it from every angle and handed it to me.
I didn't take it, but I nodded and said, "Very nice."
She made a puppy face and asked, "Early birthday present?"
I said, "No. I think you have enough wax people for the night."
"But someone else might buy this one if you don't buy it now."
"It's probably been sitting on that shelf for the better part of 50 years. I don't think it'll go anywhere."
She found a place in the store to hide it, under an old bureau, so that she could, I guessed, come back later to buy it.
She barely spoke to me for the rest of the night. After I made it home, she texted me a thank-you-but-I-didn't-feel-any-chemistry line, and I essentially forgot all about her.
Story Submitted by Robert: