Growing with a fierce intensity, the fire consumed the tiny house and all of the material objects inside. The humans were able to escape the flames. However, with no legs or means to travel, the toys were left behind; each had a soul-bound to the children that loved and played with them. The house gave all it’s effort to protect these unseen loved ones, but the fire was no match, and the house creaked and groaned in a final plea for water before crashing inward.
A young boy wearing dinosaur pajamas stared at the glowing shell of his home. His face streaked with tears that dripped from his chin. He was crying for the things he loved inside. Specifically, he lamented the loss of his toy dinosaur named Oh No Dino. Oh No was a vegetarian just like the young boy, or so that is what his father told him when the large rubber diplodocus became part of his life.
After the smoke had cleared, and the yellow tape drawn around the soaked and darkened remains, something mysterious began to unfold in the early light of dawn. No human has witnessed the magical afterglow of toy reincarnation, and no human ever will. Toddler-sized fairies called the Do-Gooders selected the playthings which would be given new life. They would wave their hands releasing the magic needed to provide travel for the singed and melted toys. Oh No was one of many toys the Do-Gooders found, his once soft green rubber melted and contorted. Upon being discovered, he felt a surge tickle the spine. Slowly, as the do-gooders laid their magic upon his body, he began to reshape and blink his painted eye. Curious and confused, the little dinosaur began to levitate and drift into the clouds ever so gently.
His travels took him to a large room with tiled floors and kitchen apparatuses. The room smelled of burnt cookies. He swiveled his long neck, spotting other toys he recognized from the house. He was about to speak to Voltron, a transformer he was very familiar with, when a flash caught the attention of the audience.
Just ahead a new Do-Gooder appeared; she was short and plump with brown hair and green eyes. Oh No observed that she was, in fact, a young girl, no more than six years of age, though her disposition was that of an adult. Her smile flashed over the group, and she began to speak, “Hello friends. I’m so sorry to inform you that your life on earth has ended. You were loved toys and will never be forgotten. It is an honor to have you here.” Her speech went on to explain that not all toys would be given a chance at reincarnation, only the most loved and cherished. The process was simple; each toy was given an opportunity to be formed into new toys and would be sent back to Earth to be loved by another human.
“I don’t want another human! I want Tony, my little boy!” cried Oh No with angst in his heart. The other toys cried out that they too wanted to be reunited with their loved ones.
“Nonsense!” scolded the lead do-gooder, glaring at Oh No. Her smile turned into a thin, crooked line, no longer as welcoming and soft as her introduction. “Come along now. We will give you a fresh start, do not fear.”
The toys mumbled to each other, becoming combative and searching the space for a way to escape. Oh No jumped forward with his stout body and long slender neck. He had spotted a window and was determined to make a run for it.
Suddenly a large stove roared to life in front of them. Flames flicked towards the toys like arms reaching out. The toys screamed and struggled as more Do-Gooders appeared behind them, herding them towards the oven. Oh No thrashed his head, “They want to destroy us. Run!”
The toys were no match for the childlike foes who had firm grips on the toys and tossed them into the oven. Oh No bobbed and dodged the first two attempts to reach him, only to be grabbed by the neck and swung with great velocity towards the open oven. As he flew through the air, anxiety tripped through his thoughts. He heard the lead Do-Gooder cackle and say, “Silly toys, if they only knew how lucky they were.”
Darkness consumed Oh No. The inside of the oven was not the temperature he had braced for; instead, it was comfortable and numbing. He felt as if he were having an out of body experience where he watched his components stripped down and then reassembled with pristine follow-through. There was no pain when he fell into unconsciousness.
Upon his waking, he noticed he was back in the bakery, placed on a shelf with a new box around him. The Do-Gooder fairy walked over to him and lifted the box read aloud: “New and improved. Live-action dinosaur. Well, Oh No, you may have thought it was all over, but I promised you otherwise. This is not the first time we have met, and it will not be the last. Go be loved again; next time don’t be so feisty when we meet in my toy reincarnation bakery!”
With that, she tossed Oh No down a shoot, which swirled and twisted for what felt like days. A sudden stop and complete darkness ended the journey. Muffled human voices broke through. A ripping noise followed by a snap revealed artificial light. The dinosaur was hoisted upward and placed side-by-side with several other diplodocuses. This space was familiar, but he couldn’t remember it; come to think of it, he couldn’t remember much beyond being placed on the shelf with his identical neighbors.
Tiny hands reached for him moments later and pulled the box to eye level. A boy smiled, missing his two bottom teeth. “Mommy! I want this one!” It was love at first sight.