'Dale Dingle' by Michael R. Young
Dale Dingle hated his job.
Dale spent his days dialing digits into a computer from the hours of seven in the morning until seven at night. From dawn ‘til dusk, Dale wondered what he did to deserve such a boring life. He didn’t know what the numbers even meant. For all he knew, he could have been entering nuclear arms codes for terrorists or social security numbers of his boss’s enemies. Dale didn’t really care, though.
The only thing that made Dale relatively happy was designing dolls. This, of course, was a secret hobby, as Dale was completely suspicious of his always-whispering co-workers. So, during his lunch breaks, Dale snuck into a supply closet and neatly sewed smiling faces onto his happy dolls.
Sometimes he would whisper to them.
During the rest of the day, as he mindlessly entered insignificant numbers, he dreamt of his dolls. He liked to reach into his top drawer (where he stored his favorite doll), close his eyes, and shiver as he felt the intricate folds and creases of the doll’s delicate dress.
Besides their dresses, however, all the dolls were the same. All their diminutive faces reflected that of their creator: black button eyes, glasses made out of pipe cleaners, and pouted lips drawn with marker. What made the mini-Dales complete was their oh-so-perfect hair, to which Dale proudly donated his own locks.
“Which one of my darlings wants to go to work with Daddy today?” he asked his audience of Dale-faced dolls every morning, neatly arranged in his one room apartment.
“Now, now Donald,” he said, squinting through the darkness, “Daddy told you that you couldn’t be seen in public wearing white after Labor Day. You are going to have to change dresses with Daniel.”
“Oh, don’t cry Daniel. You need to learn to share. Daddy will make you a new dress.”
Dale was a man of his word, and he made the new dress that very same day. After all, thought Dale, what kind of a man would let his dolls go naked?