partial machine Photograph by Rebecca Fudala.

Heaving and hurling and churning out the dolls. They come along on conveyor belts shivering as they bump across the rollers, naked and staring like tiny women’s corpses. All around is grease and filth, the air you breathe is black with soot but the dolls are pristine, flesh coloured with a dull gleam that insults your eyes.

“Maxwell!” yells your diminutive boss from across the plant. “Your wife is here to see you!”

You haven’t seen Yolanda in three days. She up and left while you were at work, no note, no idea of why she’d gone except the argument you’d had the night before. If you had to guess, she left to figure things out.

You step away from the conveyor belt, nodding to Denise, the jolly Aunt Jamima who’ll take up the slack of your going. You scratch your head as you hurry towards the office. There’s a crowd of men standing around, peering in the window from the plant.

Squeezing past them, the grind and wheeze of the machines now behind you, you enter the grimy office. Uncovered file boxes filled with smudged papers line the walls.

You knew she’d be naked before you stepped through the door. Her white flesh shines in the dull light of the florescents. The boss is passed out bleeding on the floor as Yolanda munches on his dick.

“Yolanda!” you scream at her. “What are you doing?”

“Wah?” she asks you, looking up from her bloody meal. “Isn’t this what you wanted?”

“That’s not shrimp, Yolanda and this isn’t Australia!”

Even after three days the woman is as confused as ever.