Valley of the Dolls

Edmond Caldwell

Look everybody – it’s Moni™!

As a rule Dr. Fortier didn’t have much time for popular culture, but a week of vacation at her sister’s in the company of her young niece really opened her eyes to the phenomenon of Moni™.

See Moni™ in the pink hoodie. With sparkles!

This is not to say, of course, that Dr. Fortier didn’t know of the existence of Moni™. How could she not?

See Moni™ in the chunky platform shoes. With sparkles!

You’d have to live in a cave or off in the woods somewhere like the Unibomber not to have heard of Moni™!

—in the jet-pack etc. With sparkles!

Although admittedly Dr. Fortier spent a part of each year living in tents and Quonset huts and so forth out in the wilderness, as part of her research.

I’ve always loved Moni™ my first word was Moni™.

Which maybe explains the relatively dismal level of Dr. Fortier’s Moni™ awareness.

Tho’ Mom says I said it Mowee™ ‘cause I couldn’t pronounce the ‘n’ yet.

But most of the year Dr. Fortier lived in civilization like the rest of us, so what’s her excuse?

Mom says no reading Moni™ stories with a flashlight under the covers!

Well she had to spend a lot of time analyzing the data she collected in the field and drafting articles based on the results of the analysis and presenting papers at conferences around the world and peer-reviewing the work of other scholars in her field and writing grant proposals to get funds for more projects, Dr. Fortier explained,

But ha ha you won’t need a flashlight with the new Moni™ e-book reader!

which unfortunately didn’t leave much time for watching cable or surfing the web or listening to the radio except of course here and there catching the inevitable snatch of some power-chorus brought to her as if by the breeze,

And you can play Moni™ games on it, too, just like on a Game Boy!

except it was rather by the currents of the culture which moved around in breezes and flows and tides, which are just analogies from nature, of course,

Create your own Monster Mash-Up with these templates of Moni™ and assorted Monsters!

that is unless culture itself needed finally to be understood as a kind of second nature, obeying natural laws and not just metaphorical ones—

Upload your own pic too for Mirror-Monster fun!

“She can’t understand a word you’re saying,” said Dr. Fortier’s sister.

Play Moni™’s Surf Shop Challenge and win BIG!

Dr. Fortier disagreed. Her niece was exceptionally intelligent (the Fortier family genes, no?). And anyway Dr. Fortier would have nothing to do with this habit of talking down to children,

Direct the lights and stage effects for Moni™’s next show!

which was no doubt a contributing factor in the whole “dumbing-down” of the culture—

Design the newest fashions for Moni™ and her crew at Moni™’s Designer Dreams!

“No, I mean—,” said Dr. Fortier’s sister, “she can’t even hear you. She’s still got those earbuds in.”

Decorate Moni™’s bedroom!

“Honey? Honey?” Dr. Fortier’s sister gave her daughter’s shoulder a light shake. “Take those off when your auntie’s talking, OK? That’s a good girl.”

Give Moni™ a Malibu makeover!

This is exactly why Dad never allowed us to watch TV, thought Dr. Fortier.

Raid the beach for untold riches in Moni™’s Treasure Hunt!

(Dr. Fortier and her sister had philosophical differences about their upbringing, Dr. Fortier supporting their father’s strictness and her sister determined to “do things differently.”)

Guide Moni™ through the Sk8tr-Boi obstacle course!

She’s got that disapproving look Dad used to get in front of other people’s kids, thought Dr. Fortier’s sister.

Do you have what it takes to be a star? Take the Moni™ Rock Star quiz!

She even had hands like their Dad’s. Like they were grafted onto the ends of her otherwise feminine (more or less) arms.

Moni™ can sing, Moni™ can dance, Moni™ can act. A triple threat!

One time Daddy fed Dr. Fortier’s sister strawberries with those hands, the long fingers bringing ripe berries to her lips; it was the summer before her kid sister was born and she still had him all to herself,

Moni™ may have taken Hollywood by storm, but Moni™ is a small town Moni™ at heart.

and years later, in college, at the movies watching Roman Polanski’s Tess with her first college boyfriend, the scene where the seducer dangles a strawberry before Nastassia Kinski’s impossible lips—

The new Moni™ Interactive Sleepover is now live – pick an avatar and come play!

She practically drenched the seat with wet but then remembered Dad feeding her strawberries and felt very confused.

Mine wears adorable feet-pajamas.

And she blushed like strawberries in cream.

What color is Moni™’s hair? I mean natural color. Does Moni™ even really have hair?

Dr. Fortier took note of her older sister’s thoughtful expression and high color.

In our evolutionary future we will not have hair. Icky hair! Good Moni™!

She got Mom’s complexion, Dr. Fortier thought, whereas I got the Fortier yellow under-tone.

Just different wigs for each different Moni™ storyline.

I brown, she burns.

Moni™ is a superstar model who solves a mystery involving models.

“So,” said Dr. Fortier’s sister, taking a seat on the couch,“seeing anyone special?”

Moni™ is a super-fit archeologist who solves the mystery of the jungle temple and brings home a fabled princess crown.

Not just “seeing anyone,” note, but “seeing anyone special.” (We know you’re a tramp already, but are you ever going to get married?)

Plus Moni™ saves the whole rainforest and the tribe who lives there and worships the trees.

Her older sister resented the fact that she was single and unencumbered, Dr. Fortier believed.

Back home Moni™ helps stop a bully at school.

But really Dr. Fortier’s sister just felt protective of her younger sibling.

Moni™ visits the pediatric cancer ward and sings to the kids.

It wasn’t long after Dr. Fortier was born that her big sister started to feel this way. Eventually these feelings became remarkably strong and persistent.

Moni™ visits the old people’s home and brings them a kitten.

Fretting constantly that whenever her back was turned her kid sister was in some kind of danger.

Star voyager Moni™ develops a shot to determine who on the space-ship is still human.

In fact there were times at school (she had just started first grade) when she found herself almost hyperventilating at the thought that back home her sister was sticking a fork in the toaster,

Moni™ collides with anti-matter Moni™! Comedy and a physics lesson ensue.

slipping under the bathwater,

OMG! Moni™ got seven nominations for the Teen Glam Slam Awards!

chugging down Drain-O from the cabinet under the sink,

I bet Moni™ will win every one!

chasing a stray cat into traffic,

The hot gossip sez that Moni™ will be seen on the red carpet with Trace Disparue.

toppling into a cement mixer,

Moni™ flew to Monte Carlo in Trace’s private plane!

or being invited into a van to go help look for a friendly stranger’s lost puppy,

Yet Moni™ is an ordinary person, just like you and me.

so that she’d only ever have to see her again on the back of a milk carton.

Moni™ likes to ride horses and lead a simple country life.

“No one special,” answered Dr. Fortier. Next question.

That is what makes Moni™ so special.

Modern marketing uses research methods developed by the sciences.

Moni™ just likes to hang out and text friends. Sign up now for your daily text-message from Moni™!

A well-designed questionnaire should be shaped like a funnel.

I can put Moni™ between my legs and go riding, too.

Q: Have you ever used a doll to masturbate?

It is my Moni™ magic wand! So we are Harry and Hermione all in one.

Q: Did you ever masturbate to an issue of Teen Beat or Tiger Beat magazine?

Me and Moni™ created the world in seven days.

Q: Have you ever masturbated to a teen TV series, such as Mickey Mouse Club, Saved by the Bell, or Moni™ & Crew?

No— six! On the seventh, we rested and had a pedicure.

Q: Why did their father remove the pulsating shower-head right after Dr. Fortier’s sister learned how to masturbate with it? Was this just a coincidence or on purpose?

Hey, Moni™ and the gang are heading out to the boardwalk! You wanna hang with us?

Q: If the latter, how did he know unless he was watching?

Which of Moni™’s crew are you most like? Take the Moni™ personality quiz!

Hard to tell, though, because in those days Dr. Fortier’s sister always felt like Dad was watching her, even when they were miles apart.

Get Moni™’s totally stylin’ Temporary Tattoo Transfers!

Even when she was reading it was like Dad was behind her, reading over her shoulder.

My BFF can help put the sunset tat on my lower back.

The tattered paperback the girls were passing around at camp, that she read curled into her sleeping bag with the flashlight.

Make a Moni™ Star Card and send it to a friend!

She was in a robe when Tony arrived.

My thumbs ache from texting my BFF about Moni™.

“Hey . . . hurry and get dressed. The show goes on at twelve-thirty.”

She came to him. “Hold me first,” she said softly.

I ate so many Moni™ pops I got a tummy ache and had to run to the bathroom!

When he broke the embrace, he gasped. “Baby, let me come up for air. Jesus! I need a blood transfusion just being near you.” His hands stroked her breasts. His fingers fumbled with the buttons on her satin robe. “Jesus . . . why do you wear robes with buttons?”

Create your own super-hot styles at Moni™’s Fashion Fever Dream Closet!

He pulled the robe off her shoulders, down to her waist. He stood back, his breath coming faster.

“Jen, no one should have boobs like that.” He touched them lightly.

She smiled. “They’re yours, Tony.”

Perform all Moni™’s hits with Moni™’s New Millennium Karaoke Blaster!

He buried his face in them, sinking to his knees. “Oh God. I just can’t believe it. Every time I touch them, I can’t believe it.” His mouth was greedy. She held his head gently. “I never want to move,” he mumbled.

Moni™ accessory sets I still want: Sea World Shamu Trainer, Newborn Baby Doctor, Bride.

“Tony, let’s get married.”

Oh and the Sporty Moni™ Holiday kit.

“Sure, baby, sure . . .” He was fumbling at the rest of the buttons on her robe. It fell to the floor. She backed away. He crawled on his knees after her. She backed away again.

Moni™ shows off her new cheerleader’s outfit to the coach.

“Tony, all of this” —she stroked her body— “is not yours . . . it’s mine!”

He came after her. She eluded him again. She stroked her thighs, her fingers touching between her legs.

See flexi-Moni™ do the splits!

“That’s mine, too,” she said softly. “Be we want you, Tony,” she whispered hoarsely. “Take your clothes off.”

Moni™will certainly make the team!

He tore at his shirt. The buttons ripped and fell to the floor. He stood before her naked.

“Your body is nice,” she said with a slow smile. Then she backed away. “But mine is nicer.” She stroked her breasts deliberately, almost as if she thrilled to the touch.

Naughty Moni™ does a pole dance!!!!!!!

He stood watching, his breath coming in quick gasps. He rushed to her but she backed away.

“You can look,” she said softly. “But you can’t touch. Not until it’s yours . . .”

But it is just for fun. It is artistic self-expression and having a positive self-image.

“But it is mine – you’re mine!” His voice was almost a growl.

“Only on loan.” She smiled sweetly. “And I’m taking it back. Unless you really want it.” She stroked her breasts again. “Want it for keeps.”

It is in a firehouse or a set made to look like a firehouse, so the pole was already there.

He followed her, trembling. “I do. Just come to me . . . now!”

“Not now. Not until you marry me.”

“Sure,” he said hoarsely. “I’ll marry you.”

It is just one of many adventures to choose from.

He kept following her, but she eluded him, smiling all the while and stroking her own body, letting her hands play with her breasts, sliding them to her legs and touching herself. Her eyes were riveted to him.

“When will you marry me, Tony?”

Bet you can’t guess the picture on my new Moni™ lunchbox!

“We’ll talk about it later – right after . . .” He kept after her, hypnotized by this new game she was playing.

It’s Moni™ in a schoolgirl outfit, holding a lunchbox!

She let him reach her . . . he grabbed at her breasts . . . his mouth sucked at them hungrily . . . his hands reached between her legs. Then she pulled away.

And guess what picture is on that lunchbox!

“Jen!” he gasped. “Stop it. What are you trying to do – kill me?”

Moni™, holding a lunchbox!

“Marry me, or that was the last time you touch me – ever!”

And so on, and so on.

“I will, I will . . .”

It’s what they call an infinite regression.

“Now. Tonight.”

Moni™ dishes love advice on Twitter!

Edmond Caldwell's fiction has appeared or is forthcoming. He lives near Boston.