Two 100-word pre-series Buffy drabbles, set at Christmas 1993. All characters belong to their respective creators / toy companies, and there is no intent to infringe on copyright. Thes stories may not be distributed on a profit-making basis. Speaker To Customers requested "Xander and GI Joe" after I posted the first story on my Livejournal, but someone else seemed to work better.

Barbie Girl

by Marcus L. Rowland

She's nearly twelve, too old for Barbies, but her aunt doesn't realise that. Buffy pretends to be pleased, and presses the button to make it talk.

"Eat lead, cobra!" isn't what she expects, and the voice seems a little odd too.

"Cool!" says Dawn - it's her favourite word right now - reaching past Buffy to press the button: "Vengeance is mine!"

"Weird," says Buffy, as the doll adds "Dead men tell no tales!", "She's kick-ass Barbie."

Years later it's the only Barbie she's kept. Sometimes she wonders if her life would have been different if she'd been given Malibu Barbie instead.


Soldier Boy

by Marcus L. Rowland

Warren is thirteen when he swipes the GI Joe. He doesn't want it as a toy, but the speech chip sounds cool, his allowance won't stretch to buying one at Radio Shack.

"Math is hard!" the toy says in a girl's voice. "Will we ever have enough clothes?"

It's defective, and sounds a little gay. What if his friends (not that he really has any) notice it. As it burns in the furnace, its last words are "The beach is the place for summer."

Years later, as he solders April's last connections, he's confident he hasn't made any stupid mistakes.


Note: In 1993 members of the "Barbie Liberation Organization" swapped the voice boxes of hundreds of "Teen Talk" Barbie and "Talking Duke" GI Joe dolls and slipped them back onto shop shelves to heighten awareness of gender stereotyping. See the Wikipedia article on the BLO and its links for the full story.