“Talking Toy” is one of the outstanding stories of the first biannual International Short Story Contest 2018 written by Sarah Muhammed, Lammersville Unified School District, USA.
It was October 28, and Mark was sick. His parents predicted that he’d get better on Halloween, and he couldn’t leave the house until that day. For that reason, he was stuck in his room, on his bed, with absolutely nothing. His room was usually barren, for he hated a messy and unorganized room. His motto was: “the less stuff, the less messy”. Though, there was one thing that stood out in his room. It was his toy. It didn’t look like a specific animal. It had a plump body, a wide head, and stubby legs. The ears were long and pointed, and it had this inhumane smile, that spread across its whole face. It would’ve been creepy, if Mark wasn’t so used to all his friends scaring him at school. There was one odd thing about his toy, though. It talked, not in a human voice, but in a deep and monotonous robot voice. It only talked when Mark was alone. Whenever Mark’s parents came to check up on him, or give him food, it would disappear under the bed. One specific day though, otherwise known as today, it started being less friendly.
“Do you want to play catch?” It asked. Mark smiled, and said, “Sure! What are we catching?” The toy pulled out a sharp knife from behind its back. It was stained in gray blood. If it even was blood. Mark hoped it was either cement or paint. “What! No! I can’t play with knives! My parents would ground me for weeks!” When Mark finished, it said, “Okay.” and went under the bed. For the rest of the day, it didn’t come out.
The next day came by fast. Yet again, his toy came out. “Follow me”, it said. Mark was cautious, though. “What if my parents find that I’m out of bed?” he asked. The toy, if possible, smiled even wider. “Do not worry. Your parents won’t remember anything tomorrow.” It was a little suspicious, but Mark followed him anyways. It isn’t a crime if no one finds out, right? The toy led him outside, and stopped on the edge of the swimming pool. “Go in. I’ll be right after you.” Mark dived into the swimming pool, and right after he felt claws on his neck. He let out a gargled scream, as he was underwater, and started moving as much as he can. Suddenly, the claws left his neck as he dived up to the surface for air. His parents came as he climbed out of the pool. Mark told his parents that he was fine.
Then came October 30, and it was half an hour away from midnight. Mark’s toy came out from under the bed. “Follow me.”, it said. Mark, being the curious child he is, decided to follow his toy. The toy led him to the woods behind his house, and into a graveyard. Mark was never told there was a graveyard near his house. He looked at the graves. There were two specific ones that caught his attention:
Those were Mark’s parents. He looked around the graves again. There was an empty one, and a couple others that were filled. According to the dates, most of these people were children. About the same age as Mark. Mark turned around, and noticed the shadow of a knife looming in front of him. The toy was also there, its signature miniature arms outstretched longer than Mark’s arms. He looked up, and the knife was pointed straight at his chest. He closed his eyes, and braced himself.
And then he felt himself hit the floor.