Prompt Day #188: Can you remember your favorite childhood toy? Using first person write a scene where you are playing with it (fictional or not). Progressively depict the object turning on you with deadly or malevolent intentions.
Please forgive me if this one and the next are short and not as fleshed out. I’m sure that even this last month’s worth haven’t been my best. I’ve been feeling the strain of working a fulltime job, running a household and trying to be a writer too. I’m sure some of this is seasonal and secondary to my crazy life recently, but I’m in a bit of a slump. I keep telling myself that even the best writers have to take some time off, they all have blocks, right? Plus I’m waiting to hear if I’ve been accepted into the graduate program in writing that I applied to and in anticipation of that possibility, I’ve been putting a lot of effort into working out some novel ideas. I’m hanging in though, and I will see this thing through to the end, I think I just need to remember that not every prompt needs to be a full short story.
“Oh my God! Is that my ET doll? Where did you find it?” My mom stood at my door holding a cardboard box full of childhood memories.
“I cleaned out the garage and found this in that far back. I saw ET and about died. Remember how much you loved everything ET?” She asked smiling. It was so long ago. I was the same age as Gertie, Drew Barrymore’s character in the movie and just like her, I fell completely in love with the little brown alien.
“Does he still work?” I asked, already undoing the Velcro slit in his back and looking at his voice box speaker.
“Try him” She smiled. My mom, I should have known she would put in fresh batteries before bringing me this treasure. I squeezed.
“Ouch” a croaky little voice came out of the speaker clear as day. He was well cared for, I wasn’t at all surprised he still worked. I squeezed again and again taking him through all of his famous sayings.
“Phone Home, Be Good, I’ll be right here, ouch” I hugged the stuffed doll to my chest.
“I’ve missed you, buddy.” I said. “You can stay in my room”
“You aren’t going to let the kids play with it?” My mom asked. I laughed; this thing had survived over thirty years in my care, he wouldn’t survive a day after my kids got ahold of him. No, he was mine, he would always be mine.
“Nope. They’d never love him the way I loved him. He’s my childhood. He’s going to my room with me.” I said. We had a great visit reminiscing and then finally watching the movie before saying goodbye.
That night I sat ET on my night stand.
“Night, my old friend” I said and drifted off to sleep.
It is the red glow shining through my eye lids that wakes me to find ET sitting on my bed beside my face. His chest glowing. I can’t say that I remember that feature on this doll but it certainly makes sense. I assume my husband has done this as a joke. I sit him back on the night stand and fall back asleep.
“I’ll be right here” wakes me up and he is back next to my head again. My husband is fast asleep on the other side of me. This is a little creepy, but it is possible that I grabbed him and pulled him on my bed in a state of half consciousness.
“You got stay over there” I whisper and set him back yet again.
In the morning he is gone. I’m too busy getting ready for work to worry about it. I’ll look for him later. Later, I am busy with homework, dinner, and bedtime. When it is my bedtime, I have honestly forgotten about him completely.
“I’ll be right here” I hear it and it wakes me from my sleep. There is a glow coming from under my bed. The color makes it look like the gates of hell have opened in the floor beneath me. I hang my head over the edge and see my doll. Its black eyes facing the exact spot where I have hung my head.
“I’ll be right here” it says again. I’ve had enough of nostalgia I decide and I take out his batteries and put him in my closet.
“Ouch, Ouch, Ouch” this time I awake with a shriek. The doll is sitting on my chest. It’s long finger glowing (I am quite certain this doll did not do that) and pressing into my chest. I took the batteries out and yet, the light is on and it keeps repeating “ouch”. I grab it and fling it off the bed.
“Fuck!” I yell. My husband startles awake.
“What’s wrong? You ok?” he asks groggily.
“No! That fucking doll was on top of me.” I say, flipping on my night stand light. I look down at my chest, there is a burn deep into my flesh, sunken in about half an inch. The divot is the exact dimension of the finger on the doll.
“Jesus” he says “that thing’s dangerous”
“Can you go throw it away?” I ask “Like put it in the trashcan in the garage or something?” I’m rubbing my burn. “And bring some aloe up when you come back.”
At work, the following day, my chest burns with every movement. The dent is swollen and red. I keep thinking I’ll probably have to make a doctor’s appointment although not until I come up with a believable story for how I got the injury.
My cell phone lights up and begins to vibrate across the desk. It’s my home phone number on the caller ID yet there is no one home. I grab it up and hit talk.
“ET Phone Home”