“Cardboard Box” (1975)
Hanmura Ryō (writer).
Read in 2020.
Read in Speculative Japan.
Then, the children came, one getting inside my body and two others pushing and pulling the two of us around. I was worn threadbare on the concrete road, but I was enraptured with being filled by human children.
A perfectly straight-faced attempt to imagine the “life” of an inanimate object counterfactually, as a richly emotional, social journey driven by the human reason for the object’s creation. This sort of animist thought experiment has been attempted a thousand times on film but has never worked as well as this. Evidently literature is the medium for it.
References here: Next Gen (2018).