Fiction On Odyssey: Top Hat

Fiction On Odyssey: Top Hat

He is called Top Hat, and he remembers the needle that sewed his mouth shut.
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He is called Top Hat, and he no longer remembers what his old name was.

It's not like he got to pick the new one, of course. None of them did. Nor do any of them have identities of their own. Their real names, their old homes, their entire lives... She had rewritten it all. Her "developing" imagination had created so many twisted stories and versions that he no longer even knows what's real about him and what isn't. The others don't have any clue either.

The difference between him and them, however, is that they claim that they are content with their existences in The Room. They weather the abuse of their bodies and psyches with plastic expressions and painted on smiles. Since they have free reign of The Room whenever She is not present, they've deluded themselves into believing in their serenity.

He knows better. The Room is a gilded cage, and they are nothing but toys for Her entertainment and childish fantasies.

He's tried to tell them this on multiple occasions. He's tried to rally a rebellion, an escape, anything that would express the dissatisfaction that they should logically be feeling... but nothing. They distrust him, ostracize him, because he is Her favorite. As if he had a choice.


He is called Top Hat, and he remembers the needle that sewed his mouth shut.

He remembers the excruciating agony, agony that he didn't even have the capacity to express with tears. Of all the messy stitches and lacerations and scars on his worn body, the decision to silence him forever hurt the worst by far. All he had left was his voice, his opinions, his way to express his beliefs, so of course She had to take that away as well.

"It's not Her fault. She doesn't know any better."

Sure She doesn't.


He is called Top Hat, and he recalls the match tucked inside his little black namesake.

Long ago dropped by careless hands, he retrieves it from its hiding spot. It falls to the floor, and he stares at it. It has so much potential. He'd originally kept it simply to have something to call his own, long after She took his voice. This tiny object is capable of so much destruction…


He is called Top Hat, and he discovers quite quickly that his purple fur is flame resistant.

The others, however, are not.

He listens, as they cry out for help, scream to him when they see him standing there. Quite the role reversal, he muses, for he remembers doing the same thing when She had isolated him in preparation of silencing him. And so, he listens as squeaky toy voices quieten, robotic monotones become mute, and whining wails are hushed.

Realistically, he can't possibly save them all. They're all scattered throughout The Room. That, however, was assuming he even wanted to help them.


He was called Top Hat, and he reflects as a light rain attempts to dampen the flaming ruins before him.

She had escaped along with Her superiors, the Great Ones, but the others had all fallen prey to the fire's hungry maw. All is as it should be. She no longer owns him. No more playtime for you, Young Lady.

There's a strange beauty in the unforgiving flames, leaping eagerly from surface to surface in their slow but determined quest to devour every last morsel of The Room and the rest of the house. In looking at them, he feels a joy like he has never experienced before.


He was called Top Hat, and he has stumbled upon a puddle.

He takes a moment to scrutinize himself. Glassy purple eyes stare back at him from the reflection. The rain had washed away his top hat a while ago, revealing quirky, puffy imitations of ossicones protruding from his head, just like a real giraffe. The water has thoroughly soaked his purple fur, right down into his stuffing, but it has also dissolved the thread keeping his mouth closed. He smiles, because he can, and because he is free.

He walks away from what's left of The Room.

His name is Match, and he knows there are others to be liberated.


Disclaimer: This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events and incidents are either the products of the author's imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.
Cover Image Credit: Stephen Radford

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