Broader Picture: Sindy sees Action

"GOD, BUT you're lovely," he breathed.

Sindy smiled her brightest, emptiest smile and took in great gulps of the lush forest air. It was so good to be free! That bitch Barbie could say what she liked about having finally kicked her rival off the shelf, but at least Sindy was free now. Free of all those years of dolly celebrity. Free of the pink little life she'd made for herself with her "friend", Paul. Poor Paul. Here she was, the long grass stroking her lean, plastic limbs while Paul stayed back at home having his low-lights redone.

There had been a time when Paul was all she'd ever wanted. Clean-cut, fashionably dressed, a nice career in estate agency, Paul was always there for her. But suddenly she met a real man - and it was forbidden love at first sight. From the first moment she glimpsed his frayed flak jacket, his poor, dear scarred cheek, and the shining contours of his biceps, she knew that this was the man for whom she had been moulded.

Suddenly there was a loud, rattling hiss from the hydrangeas that loomed darkly up on either side. "What's that?" she screamed. ''Stay calm," came his deep, throaty tones, at once reassuring and arousing. "I'll take care of it. Wait there, angel." With a single bound he scaled the garden wall, leaving her entirely alone in the mixed border. From out of the shadow of the Sedum spectabile 'Autumn Glory' came a motley gang of Jurassic Park merchandising - and they were heading right towards her! She could feel their hot breath, rank with the scent of last year's best-seller. The lawn shook as the prehistoric posse drew ever closer. Suddenly a different note was sounded among the pants and growls. It was the friendly purr of a jeep! Her hero (who had found time to slip into full camouflage kit) appeared over a molehill firing from both barrels. Steering with one hand and brandishing his smouldering weapon with the other, he powered down into the midst of the reptilian throng.

She must have fainted. Suddenly the lawn was covered in dismembered play figures and the only sound was the insistent blare of the jeep's horn. The shattered vehicle stood upturned by the lawn's edge. A combat cap lay where it had fallen, its leafy pattern stained horribly with fresh blood. His blood. Sindy's poseable form was wracked with sobs and her elfin features drew back in the agonised simulacrum of a smile.

Then, through a blur of tears, she suddenly saw a clenched fist reach up from the wreckage, the bronzed skin on his taper fingers fitting his hands like a glove. He was alive! "You still there, doll? I could use a drink." His arm snaked round her tiny waist as her fingertips sought the reassuring six-pack nestling beneath his torn and bloody shirt. If only he had a dinner jacket, she thought. As if reading her mind he looked down at her as his lips sought hers. "Anything you want, doll, I'll get it. What do you want, exactly?"

Sindy smiled the same smile. "I want Action."

! With thanks to William Hinton, 8, for the use of his "Eagle Eye" Action Man. Stephen Curry's photographs are at Harrogate Library, North Yorkshire, until 18 April.

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