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My Name is Oliver

by AuthenticallyAngie

Once, an old man was living all alone in the rocky hills. Many stories start like this, some are only known to the hills themselves. This story in particular had an old, rickety farm with rotting wood. The old man never used his farm to its fullest, because he was never quite useful with a hoe, or a pickaxe, or animals. The one thing he was good at, despite his grumpy and strict nature, was toy making.

The rotting farm was connected to a rotting log cabin with the stereotypical rotting apple tree beside it. Sometimes, even the old man himself seemed to be rotting in his moth-eaten chair in front of the fireplace. There was a stable (not very nice or high in quality mind you) with a sickly cow standing there and 2 chickens he could never chase back into their coop, free to roam the general area. The other pens were empty, and all the wood would break and splinter at the slightest touch. There were bails of molding hay, probably the cause of the poor cow's sickness, and holes in the roof threatening to expand.

Inside the man’s house there were toys of all characters, purpose, and creepiness laying around and stacked on top of each other. Most of the toys were on the creepier side, but the old man didn’t care. The sizes ranged from a tiny windup to a lifesize skeleton with bendable limbs. This story focuses on that very skeleton, the one that the man was currently working on.

But first, it’s important to explain the man’s daily life before he had the horrific idea to build this skeleton.

In the mornings he would wake up to the haze that usually stuck like webbing to the rocks. Next, he would change into his clothes grumbling to himself about some newly found stain or hole. He usually made an orange, goopy soup for breakfast, made out of finely ground wheat he grew when he was much younger, egg yolk, and slightly yellow milk that tastes more and more like curd. After that, he would go down to the stables and check for eggs (usually only 1 or 2 bloody eggs a week) and feed the 2 chickens which look to be made of only skin and bone. He would check on the cow, attempt to get some more of the curd-like milk and go back to his cave of a house.

In his house he would fill his time looking at his toys and imagining a different memory for each one. Then he would start working on the skeleton, his biggest creation, and possibly his last.


Day 5,536:

I finished the daily chores. Pen number 7 broke, not that it matters. I’m getting too old for this. If Melissa was still here, maybe we’d have children to help around the farm and house. But that don’t matter either, Melissa’s a dirty betrayer and liar and I downright spent too long thinking about it. I want a part of me to be known. If only I could spend forever just living here waiting for someone young enough to get up and down these hills. If only even a piece of me could stay behind living here, I could finally leave this miserable muck.

Day 5,540:

I figured it out. I could create a toy with pieces of me. A toy that continues living after I go, and maybe even do my chores for me. Toys don’t need food, water, or have aches that don’t go away. I must start the construction of the skeleton right away.

Day 5,554:

It took me just under a week to get the plans and materials needed. I’m not as quick as I used to be. I will be doing status reports starting this entry:

Pieces finished since last entry-


-Left leg below the hip

-Right arm


Pieces working on currently-


Thoughts/Problems so far-

I had to be creative in picking out the materials. I can’t use wood, It’s too frail and hard to cut down. I decided to use the bones from previous cows. The only problem is sanding down some of the bones to be small enough. Maybe I could use chicken bones too.

Day 5,560:

Pieces finished since last entry-




Pieces working on currently-


Thoughts/Problems so far-

I’m already running out of bones for the skeleton. I had a problem with making the teeth, I had originally planned to use cow teeth but found they are too big. Maybe I could use smaller chicken bones?

Day 5,578:

Pieces finished since last entry-




Pieces working on currently-

-Left hand

Thoughts/Problems so far-

I have concluded that I should give up my right arm and left leg for the toy. I can use the arm I have already made for myself. The only problem is gaining the mental readiness to amputate my own limbs. I shall make mechanical limbs to replace the missing limbs for both it and I.

Day 5,639:

Pieces finished since last entry-

-Left Hand

-Left Leg

-Heart (Provided by the cow)

-Organs (Taken from the cow)

-Head (minus the brain)

Pieces working on currently-


Thoughts/Problems so far-

I am almost finished. I just need to take half my brain and transplant it into the toy. I will do so right after this entry. I’ll write about its behavior soon. I shall be keeping my memories and behavior, but giving it my creativity and experience on the farm.


I blinked. And blinked again. Then I took in what I saw: A rustic, cold-looking classic farm. A pile of shredded cow skin and feathers was covering half-rotted corpses with a few gleaming bones sticking out. An old man with a patch covering the upper left part of his head. He seems to be observing something like an artwork just finished. No, he wasn’t observing an artwork, he was observing me.

“Name.” He huffed, “It needs a name.” He seemed to be looking over me, figuring out my… name? Name. The word itself sent shivers down my spine. If I had a name, I’d have an identity. I liked the idea of having an identity. I could call myself by, “me” then. A name. I would assume it should be something special, like John, Mark, or Oliver.

I liked Oliver. Maybe I should suggest it. Would my opinion matter? I started to say, “May I pick my name?” He said something offhandedly, but I didn’t register it. Did my voice sound like that? It sounded clear, artificial, but also rusty, sore, and strained.

“Toy.” What? Did he just say toy? “Your name.” My mind went blank, no thoughts, nothing.

Then I heard a voice ring in my head, it sounded like the old man, “Obey.”

“Yessir,” I replied without hesitation, the deflated feeling left as soon as the word left my mouth. My feelings felt artificial, controlled. I didn’t like that, but as soon as I came to that conclusion, that opinion left. That very thought no longer existed to me.

“You will speak when spoken to. I tell you to do something, you do it. Got it?” He rasped.

“Obey.” I couldn’t say no. So far, I didn’t have a need to say no. But it still felt odd, like I was controlled.


As I looked over the old man, I realized something was off. Like he wasn’t whole. I double-checked. Yes, something was off. The cotton covering the upper left side of his head seemed to be placed there, as did the ripped cloth covering his left hip, the body ending at the cloth. His right arm looked long and mechanical, while the rest of his body looked fleshy. 

His hair was light grey, and very thin. You could see his balding head through it. His skin hung like rags thrown over his bones, and it was almost white it was so pale. His right eye was bulging, and the color was a faded hazel. His clothes were hanging off him as though they wanted to fall off and forget ever clothing him. He was sitting in a chair with 4 roughly cut wheels sticking out at dangerous angles.

He then tilted a 5-foot mirror towards me, “This,” He began, “is you.” I looked at the mirror. My eyes widened. The missing half of his head was covering mine. The skin stretched as far as it could go, to cover more area. My- His? The hair on my head was thinning even more, and only a few spots of fuzz left. The eye looking into mine was a bright hazel, the skin was white. I looked at my body, too sickened to look at my head, but only became more nauseated as I went. Skin was violently stretched to fit places across my body, and 2 white limbs stuck out of the bony frame that kept me together. My brain, heart, and vital organs were visible in places that the skin didn’t cover, held up by string connecting to the skeleton. Wait- that wasn’t string, that was hair. I saw my stomach lurch in the mirror, something I didn’t think was natural-

“Obey.” The voice again. And suddenly, everything about him, the farm, and I seemed normal. Why was it ever disgusting or decayed?

“Once the cow’s heart does some decent work, you’ll look better enough. I give it 2 weeks.” He huffed and walked off. A cow heart? That’s so obvious. Why would my heart be my own? If it was, that’d be ridiculous.


Day 5,654:


It has been 15 days since Toy came to life. I named it Toy, a proper name for such a thing. It is obeying my every command. But, I see a bit of rebellion edging in. I need to be more strict with it.


Ever since the heart started beating stronger, it has grown stronger. Hair I haven’t seen in years has started growing back, and its skin is starting to grow over the skeleton, just as I predicted. I sent it down to a town for resources yesterday. It came back with food splattered over it saying the people in a village below had screamed. Hasn’t anyone seen a mechanical worker before? I’ll wait until it looks fully human to send it down again.

Thoughts/Problems so far-

I have noticed something slightly different. It’s eye-color has changed to a soft green. It’s rather alarming, I must not let it have its own identity. That would cause rebellion, which is unaffordable.

Day 5,685:


Toy’s personalities have changed slightly. It’s becoming softer. Though it can grow crops efficiently and take care of animals I taught it to catch, it has started feeding animals more than I told it to. I see a small soft spot in its green eyes. I need those eyes to become hard hazel, like mine. I gave it 2 outfits to wear, and it’s been using them way too roughly.


The skin on top of its head above the nose has grown back, its hair now a healthy strawberry blonde, a color I don’t remember. It’s obvious its left brain has grown back a little, but not enough. Its skin has grown on the skeleton to just above the knee cap and halfway to the elbow. The chest hasn’t grown much. It’s growing way too slow.

Thoughts/Problems so far-

I regret giving up my right brain. If I’m planning it to stay after me, I want my left brain to stay. I need to discipline it into becoming a left-brained person.

Day 5,700:


I’ve found methods that work for discipline. Making Toy stay outside during the night, whipping it, and cutting its food has worked the best so far. I shall continue to do this until further notice.


Good news: Toy’s eyes have paled. Though there are new scars and it is noticeably thinner, it is behaving more. It hasn't grown much since the last entry, though it’s been almost a month. Most signs of rebellion are gone.

Thoughts/Problems so far-

I have found it harder and harder to move around with the stupid mechanical leg. Oiling doesn’t work, the leg just slips off. My skin hasn’t grown back, and I still only have half of my brain. I have concluded that I want my leg back. I shall complete the operation tomorrow. I am too old to grow, I’ll have the Toy remove my parts for itself once I pass on, but that will be another day.


I woke up in my usual punishing spot curled up under the window, the dewy morning fog sticking to my face. I kept my eyes shut and remembered what had gone down the day before, I sighed, but there might have been a hint of a sob mixed into it. I messed up again. I couldn’t get the wild chickens I caught to go back into the coop, and they ran off. I’ll have to catch more today. One of the chickens scares me, its pecks and scratches are mean. I don’t blame it though, I don’t really want to be here either.

Maybe if the old man was still asleep, I could dream of a better life. A life of color and freedom. For some reason, I was able to think for myself when I’m either too far away or he’s unconscious. When he was, I’d like to think of myself as Oliver.

Once, the old man sent me to the market earlier on, when I thought of myself as Toy. The people screamed and threw rotten vegetables. I don’t blame them like the old man and I had back then. I was half old man and half skeleton. The old man didn’t even notice the cuts on my hands and knees from traveling down the valley.

I opened my eyes to see my lower body curled up, red and white marks along my arms. I was about to feel some kind of emotion, I don’t know what kind, but the old man woke up. He was yelling for his morning breakfast, as usual. “Obey.” The voice rang. Morning breakfast? That’s easy. I’ll get that right away.

After breakfast, the old man asked for me to feed the mountain goat we had captured, “Yessir,” and off I went. It banged and kicked against the high-standing pen we had built, its attempts doing nothing. I was pretty sure I named her-

“Obey.” I tossed the usual precise amount of hay at it. It settled down to eat and went right back to kicking the pen. I was already making a mental note to fix the pen later when the old man called for me.

I didn’t need the voice to tell me to obey this time. I walked in and stood behind the old man, who was sitting in front of the dim fire. “What do you need?” I asked, not expecting what came.

“Give me my left leg back.” He said, so calmly you thought he could be asking for afternoon tea. But… his leg? He wants his leg back? Doesn’t he already have his leg?

“Excuse me for asking… but don’t you already have your leg, sir?” What does he mean by “back”?

“I lent you my left leg. I want it back. I expect it back by this evening. Am I clear, Toy?” What? He can’t be serious. How does he expect me to-?

“Obey.” No! I won’t. I can’t believe it, it’s- “Obey.” But doesn’t he care for-? “Obey.” How can I- “Obey.” Do I even-? “Obey.” Wait- “OBEY.” NO!

“My name is Oliver!” As the words left my mouth, I heard a snapping sound. A sound so terrible, so crooked my mind went blank. Maybe I started crying because at that moment I knew I wasn’t loved. Maybe at that moment, I was crying because I would never be Oliver to him, I’d be a thing, a toy clone, devoid of feeling.

The old man’s face went from anger to fear. Fear? Why fear? Was it because he now saw me like a wild animal, uncontrollable?

I saw my reflection in his eyes. The skin had only grown an inch or so since my punishments. Half my mechanical jaw was still showing, if I were to guess, my skin had grown to 60% now. With all the scars and almost no fat, I would have looked hideous even if I were fully human.

My glass eyeball bulged, its giant cow eyelashes unmoving. My body wasn’t even my own. Why had I thought it was wrong to have my own body? My mind was the old man’s! My heart was the cow’s! My teeth were from the chicken! If my own body wasn’t even mine, what was I? Why am I living? Do I mean nothing?!


Day 5,702:

I have made a mistake. I released a wild, uncontrollable monster into the world. When I simply told it to give my leg back, it looked confused. I got impatient, and everything went wrong. Toy ran off down the valley with my body parts. Last I saw, there were a few settlers there. I expect there to be a village by now, probably the same village it had been to before. At least it’s not my problem anymore. I no longer care for fame. This is my final wish: I just wish to die a peaceful death.


I had run down the rocky hills. My hands and feet were bleeding. I had hit my head somewhere, but I only knew that because of the cow blood dripping into my eye. How I wished the blood could be my own.

By the time I cleared my head enough to take in my surroundings, I was standing at the edge of the village I had been to before. My mind was still too muddled to think about the consequences, and I walked into the village. Maybe they would let me in. Maybe they would love me. Maybe I could pretend I was only a human here. I could make friends. That drove me into the bustling road.

The village was filled with people. Kids playing, parents talking, newlyweds buying fruit together. I took another step, and I heard a little girl scream. It wasn’t playful screams girls do when boys chase them. It was a scream of terror, a scream so blood-curdling I wondered what could’ve caused it in such a peaceful town.

Me. She was screaming because of me. I never saw the girl, but I came to that conclusion after everyone was staring at me, horror splattered on their once happy faces. The staring only lasted a tenth of a second though. After that, there was a dreadful chorus of people screaming, yelling, and running.

“It’s back!”

“That’s the thing you described?!”

“It’s horrific!”

“Tim, get the gun!”

“What on Earth!?” I stepped back, my scarred and fleshy mechanical hands raised in defense. Why did I think it was a good idea to go marching into the village unexpectedly? With each new second, the screams cut deeper, the children crying felt worse than being whipped. Out of panic, I stupidly tried to explain myself, but only one sentence came out:

“M-my name is Oliver.” No one heard me. So I did the thing I thought would be the best solution. I ran. I ran back up the hills, ignoring the new cuts and blood. I ran away from the farm, away from the village. I didn’t even notice the tears streaking my face, or the old man’s tattered clothes whipping against my body.

My body wasn’t my own. Nobody wanted me. I was a broken toy, a mistake. 


The village went back to normal, spreading tales of some mechanical monster. The old man died of hunger, still sitting on his chair in front of an ash-filled fireplace, journal in his lap, pen in his hand, and no more strength left to write after day 5,702.

I wish I could tell you about some happy ending for Toy, but I don’t know the ending. It ran into the rocky hills, heartbroken, feeling as if it should have never existed in the first place. Toy was never known as Oliver to anyone else, and was never heard of again

Is this a review?



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100 Reviews

Points: 11392
Reviews: 100

Thu Jun 01, 2023 5:02 am
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alpacaboss wrote a review...

Good morning/afternoon/evening to you! Alpacaboss here :D

First Impression:
ouch, just ouch, the ending broke my heart. And I was rooting for Oliver :( In terms of reality, this is realistic and believable way to go though. The writing was clear without too much subtlety. So it shows the horrors, hardships, and abuse that Oliver had to go through. I also have a bit of beef with the old man. He's so cruel and mean, but it makes me wonder what kind of hardships and abuse he went through to arrive at this point. But with his tone of voice, blaming others for his plight, I'm assuming he either went through a lot or he was raised up to be some arrogant brat. (pardon my language)

Actual Review:
Here's the actual review! Seriously, this was heartbreaking and astounding to read. At the first few paragraphs, I already wanted to scold or scream at the old man because he was the reason why the world around him is crumbling. As you showed in the story, the man is blaming everything around him from his wife leaving him to the toy rebelling against him. If he only put in the extra work, improved himself, and saw the world in a more positive light, he won't be in the situation he is currently. It's interesting that you noted that he made most of his toys on the creepier side. I've heard from someone that said the art you make can help show a reflection of the person you are on the inside. Obviously, there are some underlying issues that the man has, both with personality and mentality. In conclusion, I could say that the man himself is incredibly problematic as a person and he blames others for his condition instead of himself. Instead of trying to improve himself, he thinks that external support would help him.

Enter the gruesome, bloodcurdling process of making Oliver. Your description of what happened to Oliver is detailed, vivid, and gory. He used the bones of chickens and cows to create the skeleton. And the old man started amputating parts of his body to create him. This may seem selfless and humane at first, tricking one into thinking that he is sacrificing part of himself for the better. Personally, I see it as a manipulative trick that the man applies to have a helper until his death and a successor that ideally should take after him. It's controlling and selfish of the man to do so and this is backed up by how he treats the skeleton.

Oliver clearly has his own mind, despite inheriting his brain from half of the old man's mind. He clearly more empathetic and kind than the old man. His eyes also change to green, showing that he starting to be more in control of himself. However, these actions anger the old man, making him subject to forms of torture and abuse. It reminds me of how some households go through the same experience. Manipulative and controlling parents would do anything for their children to listen to them. From physical abuse to verbal insults, they debilitate their child and wound him for life.

Now, we have reached the climax! The old man wants to have his leg back. Going back to what I said about the old man, he is a selfish man who is manipulative. Oliver, of course, responds violently to this. At this point, he says "My name is Oliver!" What a turn point! Oliver has subjected himself to punishment and abuse and finally takes a stand for himself. But it seems to be in vain because no one would except him for who he is as they only looked upon his physical appearance.

The ending is tragic, but, like any good story, it teaches us a few things. Manipulative people can be the ones closest to us and they use that bond to control us for as long as they can. Sometimes, the world isn't accepting to us. There will be times when the weight of the world is on our shoulders. But self-improvement and kindness to self and others goes a long way. As we learn from poor Oliver, we must also be kind to others, no matter their title or appearance because we don't know what they may be going through.

Personal Comments:
Overall, I just want to say...WOW! I don't usually read stories this long because school has a heavy load (you know what I mean?). But this story really captured my attention so I applaud you for that. I also enjoyed dissecting the story and analyzing it because you touched upon so many layers of the human mind and society dynamics. I related most to Oliver. Although I haven't gone under surgery or severe abuse, I have seen situations with regards to the community not accepting people, even if they don't know who they really are. Bravo! My only advice is to keep writing and exploring which genre you're good in. Given this draft, I'm sure you'll do well in creating dramatic fantasy related stories. It won't hurt to also try other subjects to broaden your horizons. As a suggestion, dramatic realistic fiction or tragedies would suit your writing style well, especially with what I've read. Not restricting you though! hehe

That's it! Great job! I hope to hear more from you and your works soon.

This is alpacaboss, signing off.

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135 Reviews

Points: 13364
Reviews: 135

Wed May 31, 2023 10:52 pm
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OrabellaAvenue wrote a review...

Hi! Good morning/afternoon/evening.

This... is incredibly sad. There's so much I want to say about this, but honestly I've got no words.

The thought of rearranging animal parts as well as your own to make a "toy" is horrifying. And Oliver, wow, his life sounds miserable. No, more than miserable. No word could possibly describe what he must feel. To be made to obey, to be punished for caring, to not even have a voice. To never know what it feels like to be loved. Or even liked, for that matter. It must feel like torture.

I can't say that every story makes me feel for the characters. But this one does. I miss the old man, however cruel to Oliver he might have been. I wish I could just reach in and help Oliver; give him his own body and his own choices.

I can't tell you how much I liked this story. I really can't. It's just too good.

My only advice: keep writing!

AuthenticallyAngie says...

Thank you! Your words are greatly appreciated <3 And even I felt sad as I wrote the ending. Perhaps I'll write a sequel one day? Who knows. I haven't really planned on it though, so if I do write a happier sequel, it won't be as soon as hoped.

'This must be Thursday,' said Arthur to himself, sinking low over his beer. 'I never could get the hang of Thursdays.'
— Douglas Adams, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy