Augmented Reality: The Infinite Dollhouse

Augmented Reality: The Infinite Dollhouse
'Full with Curiosity' by fRandi-Shooters (©frandi-shooters 2010)

‘Full with Curiosity’ by fRandi-Shooters (©frandi-shooters 2010)

The seaweed washes from the hood of a rich oak treasure chest revealing a smattering of seashells spirited away from Scandinavian beaches by cold winter gales[1]. The shells have been arranged to spell “we stole seashells by the seashore”, in a clumsy off-white script.

Nestled inside the smooth wood is an infinite dollhouse, not infinite in size because it is actually rather small, but infinite because its residents believe it will last forever. There are many odd people living in the dollhouse, though the exact sum of their similarities and differences equates to an even number. A fact that is, ever so slightly, odd.

A man made of dust from the leafy abode opposite the dollhouse often telegrams. He once relayed the following 8.5 words to the girls, strung across the back of a snowflake: “people who live in stones shouldn’t throw glasshouses”. The residents meet his confusing acts of aggression with pacifism. They feel he misunderstands his place as a pillock of the community. He is prone to wearing socks outdoors and his recycling bin is always empty.

One animate resident of the dollhouse, a stumpy plastic female with neat blonde hair, works as an AVON sales representative. She vends box upon box of Summer Glow to residents at other reaches of the coastal postcode. When she wanders squarely into the seaside colonnade the residents happily snap up the beauty products as they serve as fantastic varnish for the stars they carve out of driftwood. Any excess they can flog at hugely inflated prices to plastic pilgrims who arrive in vast numbers and colours at preordained times in the newly calibrated calendar. All the residents have to do is crayon something cute on the packets, something like a unicorn.

On Saturdays the little women ride to the market in a sleek green motorcar, a gift from a mysterious gentlemen who claims to share everyone in the world’s worldview (though once in a dream I saw him chasing killer whales with a harpoon). The residents have a weekend stall where they peddle the crafts they’ve crafted to rich tourists in Eskimo boots. The most popular product they sell is moonlight.

In recent weeks I’ve noticed the porcelain walls of their shack are peeling, furthermore the pantry is running low on moonbeams and root vegetables. Sometimes I feel the doll’s world and the life I live are so strongly linked, as if they are two sides of the same stone. I have felt this way a number of years, but so long as the infinite dollhouse remains intact I think I can handle being right.

[1] These thefts were made by Mother Nature and she remains unrepentant. She will shape many more seashells in the shape of her hands.

Charlie Baylis lives and works in Nottingham, England. His poetry and short stories have most recently appeared in The Delinquent, Elohi Gadugi and the Boston Poetry Magazine. He spends most of his spare time slightly adrift of reality He blogs, sporadically, here:


  1. Charlie Baylis CharlieBaylis says:

    Thanks Maxime. I would like to order a paper business card bridge between realities augmented by the study of markets,

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