A seagull pecked at the open stitch on my arm, remnants of a meal left by baby. The bird gobbled down the last piece of the frayed fabric and flew into the horizon. The dump was busy. The large machines working to break down the rubbish. They worked methodically. The skips came in at one end of the yard. They were turned out into a huge pile and then the machines would gather around the edges and eat.
The scene is very different to how I’ve spent most of my life. I’ve never been so wet. The glue between my joints so soft. My struts and bindings loose. I remember when I was as hard as rock. My springs taught and strong. The fabric, stretched across me, was deep grey; Teflon coated with fire resistance. Back then, my stylish beading hid every stitch I had.
I remember the smell on the shop floor. It was a clean but somehow dusty smell. The gleaming windows smelled strong, like vinegar. Also, I remember the odours of the different families trailing past, children crying, children laughing. Their parents clutching their tiny hands. My springs enjoying the feeling of the little feet jumping on me. The parents scolding them.
Mr and Mrs Gold came in one spring day. They had money from their wedding day and were expecting their first child. When they saw me, they looked at each other. They came over and sat on me. As they touched hands the joy which swept through me was intense. I understood my purpose was to serve these human beings. Then, just like all the other couples, they got up and walked away.
I sensed them talking with the man who walked around with the clip board. He and I had a strange relationship. He didn’t sit on me. He would come up to me and push on my pillows. Then he would write something on his clip board. It was a while before Mr and Mrs Gold left the store. They all shook hands, then he put a large white board on me. No one else sat on me for the rest of the day.
The following morning, three women turned up with a large trolley and bundles of cardboard. They were laughing and joking between them until the man with the clip board shouted. They picked up a large plastic roll and wrapped me from my wooden, cubed feet up and over my back and around my cushions. They then pulled me up onto trolley and wheeled me off the shop floor.
A massive truck backed up to the warehouse loading bay and I was slid, ungraciously onto it. The man with clip board gave the truck driver a nod and took the trolley away. He looked at me when he pulled down the door until I was out of sight. I heard him lock the door and I grew a little anxious in the dark. I’d been in his sunny showroom for all my life and, to me, he was the most consistent human being I had known.
My fear at being bundled off the dirty truck and manhandled through a doorway, which was seemingly too small, was soon forgotten. It was the home of Mr and Mrs Gold. This was my family. They had chosen me. At full price too. Their home smelled like vanilla and roses.
Not like the smell of the decreasing pile of garbage I was currently part of. The seagull was back at me. Tugging at something buried deep in my back. Squawking loudly, it attracted four others. They hungrily tore me open. I felt the half-eaten biscuit, still partly in foil, jerked out from between my springs.
Remembering the intense feeling of devotion I felt as baby was sitting on me watching Peppa Pig. She’d felt so safe, so secure that she dropped her biscuit. So sure, that I would I look after it for her.
The gulls fought over their prize. Squabbling in the sky. Teasing me with their cries. As if I wasn’t aware of where I was. The machines are getting closer. Beneath my left leg is nothing but air. I am hanging on. I can see men with white hats pointing at me.
This was the last place I can stand. Soon I would tumble down the pile and be pulled apart by the metal mouthed monsters. I defy gravity and hang there, just for a moment longer. A shopping trolley is stuck into my bowels. It matters not to me. It allows me to view the world in one glorious flash as I fall.
By Samantha Harris