Gipetto's Sin

by Josh Maday

The boy grew frightened when his grainy wooden skin began to melt, every fiber humming and softening. Slumped on the workbench against some lumber scraps, he watched his own chest swell, and then shrink.

He looked at his father, asleep on the cot after a feverish day's work, chest rising and falling. The boy's eyes opened wide.

He climbed down and moved quietly toward the cot. Father would be so happy that he was a real boy now. His first sticky tear gathered. And his nose didn't grow one millimeter when, handling the lathe chisel, he whispered to father that he felt things, too. He always had.