Lizzie Koch’s Picture Choice: One
Title: Out With The New
Jessica wasn’t impressed. Christmas Eve and she was stuck at home babysitting her younger brother and sister when she was the one who should have been out partying instead of her parents. After watching too many cartoons and ‘tracking Santa’, Jessica finally got Jasper and Robin up to their beds where they jumped up and down, demanding a Christmas story.
Feeling a lack of Christmas spirit, Jessica ignored ‘The Night before Christmas’, deciding instead to make up her own Night Before Christmas tale. . .
‘Once upon a time there were two children called Jasper and Robin who loved Christmas and always got what they asked for as they were always good, well most of the time. The toys were played with like nothing else existed for the days and weeks that followed Christmas until, eventually, like with most toys, they either broke or were discarded and forgotten about. Inevitably, the toys were then boxed up and placed in the loft. Now, what Robin and Jasper didn’t know was that toys had feelings and those feelings were hurt. Toys don’t like being ignored or dumped and as the dust settled, the toys came to life.’
“This isn’t knew,” Robin moaned. “We’ve all seen Toy Story.”
“Let me finish,” Jessica replied sharply. “My story is different.”
‘Anyway, the toys started to move about in the loft, making a home for themselves but they couldn’t rid the feelings of being dumped. And what made it worse was they could hear the fun the new toys were having, the laughter from the children and the adventures the toys were enjoying. To them, it seemed very unfair so they decided to do something about it.
One night whilst the house was still, the little doll toys slowly lifted up the loft hatch. It creaked. The dolls held their breath until they were sure it was safe to carry on. A rope was thrown down and the dolls clambered quickly, reaching the floor. Under the cover of darkness, they edged along the landing, passing the bedroom doors, listening to the gentle breathing coming from within. It would have been so easy to have crept into the bedrooms, climbed up the bed and nestle next to Jasper or Robin, just to feel alive again by their touch. But that would come later. They had a job to do.’
“I don’t like this,” Robin said, burying herself under the covers. “It’s creepy and not very Christmassy.”
“It’s the only story your getting,” Jessica said, before continuing.
‘The dolls managed the stairs with ease and before long were standing by the Christmas tree where a pile of beautifully presents lay. Father Christmas had been with his new gifts, not caring what happened to the old ones. The dolls did care. They crawled over the presents like a swarm of ants, then from their pockets they took out little knives. Ever so carefully, they cut at the paper, opening the boxes, revealing shiny, new gifts. With a dark shadow encasing their hearts (probably from all the dust in the loft), those dolls began hacking away at the new toys, plunging knives deep into plastic bodies, gouging out eyes and tearing hair.’
“Jess, I don’t like it. I’m telling mum. You’re being mean!” Jasper cried.
“I’ve nearly finished. It’s only a stupid story.”
‘The new toys were destroyed. Even the best toymaker in the world wouldn’t be able to fix them. Ever. Those dolls then covered up the boxes in the wrapping paper, perfectly, leaving them exactly where they found them. With their hearts lifted, those dolls skipped back upstairs, climbed the rope and slid back the loft hatch. They slept well for the rest of the night knowing by morning, they would be in warm hands, going on adventures.
Morning came and Jasper and Robin ran downstairs, ripping off paper of the biggest present first. A scream woke up their parents as the broken, dismembered body of Robin’s new doll faced her. Jasper was a bit more brave as he opened most of his presents, hoping to find a present that hadn’t been destroyed. But as he sat, surrounded by punctured plastic and mutilated teddies, he whimpered.
Mum and dad didn’t know what to do apart from call the police but how would they explain? What would they explain? Instead, dad went into the loft and retrieved the box of old toys and dolls. And Robin and Jasper had one of the best Christmases playing with those old toys. Which was just as well because if they didn’t, those little dolls would be back and next time, toys wouldn’t be their victims . . . The end.’
“Now go to sleep.” Jessica kissed them both goodnight, ignored their pleas for a fun, lighthearted story and closed the door behind her as she left them.
Jessica heard her brother and sister run past her bedroom door, stomping down the stairs. Christmas morning was already here. She heard her parents get up, shuffling down the stairs. She smiled hearing the excited voices of her brother and sister but froze when screams pierced her happy bubble. She ran down the stairs, finding Robin holding a box with a mutilated doll inside. She watched as her parents opened every present, knowing by their faces every box was the same.
“It’s just like the story,” sobbed Robin.
“What story?” Dad asked.
Robin and Jasper retold the story as Jessica sat on the floor staring at the pile of broken toys.
“Was this you!” Dad yelled, making Jessica jump. “I knew you resented us going out last night but this is beyond. . . I can’t . . . I have . . . no words!”
“No! I didn’t do this. It was just a stupid story!” But her parents wouldn’t listen as they both screamed at her to go to her room. She turned, tears pricking her eyes as she ran up the stairs.
“Don’t worry. We’ll go out right now and replace everything. There’s bound to be somewhere open. If I have to drive around all day, I’ll find somewhere!” Dad said, his voice shaking.
Jessica stopped outside her room. Standing in her doorway was an old doll. She could tell it was old as it had a fine layer of dust over it, the paint had worn and the fabric faded. At the feet of the doll, something glinted. Peering closer, Jessica gasped as she realised it was a little knife. The doll smiled.
“Mum! Dad! Don’t go! You can’t buy new toys! There’s old ones! We have to play with the old ones!” But the front door slammed shut on Jessica and her words.
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I dream of sharing my work with the big wide world one day as a published author. Right now, I share flash fiction with a wonderful community of writers and friends. If you liked this story, then why not visit my blog at http://40somethingundomesticateddevil.blogspot.co.uk/ for more. Thank you. Love Lizzie x