[The auction for this object, with story by John Wray, has ended. Original price: 99 cents. Final price: $20.50. Significant Objects will donate proceeds from this auction to Girls Write Now.]
“It’s certainly — well. It’s certainly a something,” Lily murmured, upon being introduced to the Object. “But what kind of something is it?”
“This,” said Oliver, cradling the Object reverently in his open palms, “Is the something that is going to save our marriage.”
Not having been birthed yesterday, Lily had her doubts, but she was willing to be persuaded. She was desperate to be persuaded, in fact. And there was something about the something in Oliver’s palms that resisted all her efforts to resist it. Unlike most of the objects in Lily’s environs, it seemed to raise more questions than it answered. First of all, what was it?
“What is it?” said Lily.
“I just told you,” Oliver said patiently.
The Object expressed no opinion.
“Well, we might as well give it a try,” Lily said. “How do we make it do?”
Oliver squinted down at the Object for a while, and then shrugged. “I think we just set it down in the corner,” he said finally. “Give it room to do its work.”
Lily considered this a moment, then took Oliver’s hand, and they deposited the object, gently and circumspectly, in the room’s nearest corner. “How long will it take?” Lily wondered.
“Ten and a half days,” Oliver said firmly. Lily couldn’t help noticing, however, that he avoided looking her in the eye. You’ll never persuade me that way, Lily said to herself. The Object chittered and hummed in its corner.
“What a strange thing it is,” Lily said. “It reminds me of something.”
“Shhh!” Oliver whispered. “Don’t talk about it. The less we acknowledge it, the better.”
It wasn’t until weeks later, when their marriage had long since been saved, that they saw the Object for what it truly was. By then, of course, it didn’t make the slightest bit of difference.