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Authors: Deryck Jason

Tags: #horror, #children, #dolls, #king, #clown, #dummy, #china doll, #ventroloquist

Inanimate

BOOK: Inanimate
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INANIMATE

By Deryck
Jason

Prologue

The beauty of youth is as
follows:

There
is a time, before you understand the
ways of the world (and some never do) when you attribute latter day
common facts with monsters. When, as a child you would lie awake in
bed wondering if the creaking in the hallway was a creature on its
way to your room, or if the sound of a mouse in the attic was
really some hideous beast scratching its way through the ceiling
above your head. You would not dare to have an arm or a leg outside
the blankets, for fear of it being eaten and you certainly would
not dare to have any limb dangling off of the bed. Before you
learned that thunderstorms were natural phenomena, (relatively
harmless in the grand scheme of things) you may have believed they
were the work of a demon; some great behemoth illuminating the
skies and roaring terribly. You may have believed the creature that
caused these things was a creature you saw on television and you
may even have thought it had taken up residence in your bedroom. As
you lay in bed, eyes stared back at you. Your favorite doll in the
daytime suddenly became an outcast in the evenings; a shadowy
figure that was possibly the cause of all of the strange goings on.
Now I cannot say that all children look at their own dolls and
picture horror, I cannot even say that all children believe in
monsters, but it is a fact that most children do.

In my c
ase, I had shelves full of toys. I
had stuffed toys, large robots, action figures and various other
human-resembling playthings including one, bearing the likeness of
a particularly famous cartoon character which I will not name. I am
unsure as to when the fear started to manifest but I can tell you
that it carried on for years. All these dolls had rigid, set smiles
and in the darkness, when your eyes like to play tricks, was when
they were at their most destructive.

Nations all over the world adored this
(unmentionable) character. The fact that he had such a loveable
persona during the day and such a sinister one at night was not
even the scariest part for me. The scariest part was the pull
string on his back. One pull and a random phrase from six
pre-programmed sayings would spew from his tight-lipped mouth. If,
after pulling the string, you didn’t release it fast enough, a
deeper, scratchier and more menacing version of the same phrase
would come out. I knew these catchphrases by heart, millions did
also, but no-one heard them as I did. Whenever I closed my eyes or
turned my back on him I would hear one heart-chilling sentence.
Whenever I was brave enough to turn around I would see him (and the
others) staring back at me. Their faces had the same fixed smile
they had during the day but it seemed different in the darkness. As
if using the night for their own devilish purposes they could trick
my eyes into seeing scowls or even winks. Some nights it would take
hours, some nights, minutes, but in the end he would always break
me. I would bawl, I would yell… carefully. Careful enough to wake
up my parents but also-in my childish mind-careful not to let my
tormentor know I was trying to tell on him. After I would yell I
would survive one more night, but only because I got to sleep in my
parent’s room. At the time I knew that tomorrow I would be alone
with him again and that then I might not be so lucky.

I woke up in a cold sweat; I
must have dozed off quick that evening, but it was nothing to
celebrate. Now I was awake and he was watching me again. As I
stared back into his dead eyes I wondered if tonight was the night
he would finally make his move. A master of patience it seemed he
took his pleasure in making me wait, knowing there was nothing I
could do. Who would have believed that he was trying to get me? The
blankets felt tight around my body. They had to be. My mind allowed
me to believe the blankets would save me so long as my body was
wrapped in them. Really, what I wanted to do was hide my face, but
I was convinced that if I took my eyes off him for a second then he
definitely
would
get me. The air was cold around my face. The heating wasn’t
switched on tonight but I didn’t care, heat was the least of my
worries tonight. I had to do something. I had already called to my
dad the previous three nights and I didn’t want my tormentor to get
suspicious of me. So I got up. Carefully I got out of bed,
swallowing hard as my little foot touched the carpet. I wouldn’t
put it past my tormentor to have an accomplice under the bed,
waiting to grab me at any moment. Trying not to arouse suspicion, I
looked down the hallway to the bathroom at the end. It was silly
that I did this. If this monster
could
read my mind he would know that I was not actually
going to go to the bathroom (as my rouse would suggest) but was, in
fact going to my parent’s bedroom just beside it. My eyes could not
see the walled staircase that lined the now pitch black hallway but
I knew it was there. Despite my young age I already had my route
committed to memory. Stealing an innocently veiled glance at my
tormentor I started to walk slowly out of my bedroom. My brain was
screaming at me to move faster as now I had my back turned to him
but I couldn’t let him think I was going anywhere except the
bathroom so I kept my pace slow. It was pitch black but still I
knew my parents’ door was closed. It always was. The feeling of
eyes burning into the back of me was overwhelming. I had to turn
around. I did. Nothing but eyes. Nothing but staring. The little
moonlight trickling in through my pale, star covered curtains
caught every one of their eyes, illuminating them ever so slightly.
I turned back around and approached the door quickly; darkness
seemed to be enveloping me. With a trembling hand I grasped the
brass door handle. Snores from within told me I was so close to
safety, but my next problem was right in front of me. Memory told
me the door handle was stiff and loud. I knew that as soon as I
tried to open it I had to be quick, for the noise would alert my
tormentor of my intentions and I would be in trouble. I could hear
my parents snoring on the other side of the door. With a breath I
counted down from three in my head.
Three. Two. One.
I turned the handle downwards but it
didn’t open, it did however, make that loud grunting sound I was so
morbidly afraid of. And then it happened, something dropped from
that high shelf in my room. I heard the thud in the darkness.
Swallowing hard I looked down the hall at the murky pool of
darkness filling my bedroom. As if he had planned it all along, a
faint flicker of air nudged my curtains just enough to allow a
sprinkle of moonlight through. That moonlight illuminated the face
of my tormentor just enough to allow his eyes to flicker in the
darkness. The curtains silently closed over, as if they were never
open and for a moment it was completely silent. I could no longer
hear snoring, nothing. Footsteps. Awkward, clumsy but constant
footsteps. I had to end this, and fast. I turned towards the
handle, frantically pawing at it with my boyish hands. It wasn’t
working, it had given up. Footsteps grew closer and closer. I
couldn’t breathe, hot tears streamed down my cheeks. Why wouldn’t
the handle work? Then
it
got me. I was tackled hard from behind, pinning me to the
ground. I smelled breath, as foul as decay. I felt hard plastic
that pulsed like cockroaches were running around underneath it. And
then I felt blunt, crooked teeth. And then a large mouth clamped
down on top of me. And then
it was over
.

This time I really woke. It was a
nightmare. But it was not all imagined. I awoke, wide-eyed, frozen
in terror as my tormentor was where he always was, watching me from
his shelf. The night shaped his face into mocking, he had created
nightmares for me and he was proud of the fact. I could not escape
now, it didn’t matter if I was awake or asleep he would get me.
Losing hope I cried out. Dad had only a few hours before he had to
be up for work and he was fed up with all this. I had been waking
him up for some time and he felt I had not given him a legitimate
reason as to why. Until tonight. His bedroom door swung open
furiously; he stomped down the hallway into mine.


What
is it this time? I need to get some
sleep.”

He
was careful not to yell, there were others
in the house.


It’s them, they’re scaring
me
.”

I whimper
ed, careful not to single out my
tormentor.


Them?” Dad
asked contemptuously.

This one word showed more defiance to my
tormentor than I had ever shown in all the years
combined.


It’s taken care of” he
said, quietly
regretting ever buying me any toys at all. Grabbing each one from
their shelf as if he wasn’t concerned for what they would do to me
he stormed down the hall and tossed each one down the
stairs.


Now, get some
sleep
” he
said as he powered back down the hallway and closed his door
firmly. He knew I didn’t like to sleep with my door closed but I
wish he had closed it that night. There was no way I could sleep.
My frightened little ears alerted me to every sound, every creak
that was going on around me. I was scared enough when I knew
exactly where my tormentor was, but now, he was out of my sight. In
my kind, he could have been anywhere.

To this day I still recall what happened
next. And to this day I swear it really happened. Footsteps. Little
footsteps, plodding up the stairs. Intent on coming after me. I
stared down the hallway into the darkness. I didn’t want to look
but I couldn’t bring myself to look away. The top step of our
staircase had a distinctive thump when it was stepped on; this was
the sound that made me hide under the blankets. This was the sound
that caused many, many sleepless nights afterwards.

Underneath the blanket I lay trembling, my
tormentor’s eyes sporadically flashing into my head. I heard
creaking that sounded like footsteps. I would later learn this is
caused by the house contracting/expanding in different
temperatures. I heard whispering. I would later read somewhere that
wind coming in from open windows can sound like whispering to a
frightened child. I was sure I even heard my door slowly creaking
closed but that was probably just my imagination. Either way it
took me a long time to get to sleep after that.

Currently, as I write this, my tormentor
is still in the house. Through unconnected circumstances I switched
bedrooms with my sister years ago but all my “toys” are still in my
old room, buried deep in the back of my closet. I have no intention
of getting rid of him. Knowing he’s there, in my old bedroom serves
as a reminder that all the scientific explanations on earth will do
very little to calm a child’s imagination. Beliefs in dark,
mysterious and often evil things are common place in a young mind
but as we grow older we tend to dismiss them as foolish stories.
It’s odd knowing that, although billions of people believe in some
variation of an unspeakable place called Hell, hardly anyone would
believe that a child’s darkest fears could actually exist. I
believe there are those who have the power to make these fears a
reality if it serves them to. I believe omnipotent beings like
demons get bored in the underworld and come up to us from time to
time to remedy their boredom.

The boy in this story does not have the
same fears as I did when I was a child. Instead, he develops a bond
with his dolls, a bond that will come to aid him in what becomes
his mission in life. Together, they remind others of the fears they
shared as children, but only for the length of time he chooses to
keep them alive…

CHAPTER 1

7:45 am. The bedroom door opened and a
kindly looking man poked his face in.


Time to get up
son.”

But Connor
didn’t need anybody to wake him;
he was already up and looking forward to leaving.


Ok dad”
the boy said excitedly.


I’m going to
wor
k now, but
I’ll see you when I get back ok? Have a good first day.” The man
said while leaving the room.


Thanks dad
” the boy replied, stepping out
of bed leaving his bear tucked in behind him.

The boy
stood in front of his stuffed toys. A
colorful clown, two small ventriloquist dummies and a toy Labrador
dog his cousin gave him all stare back at him from the corner of
his room. “First day boys!” The youngster stated with an air of
confidence, pausing a moment before nodding in acceptance as if
imagining their approval. Connor trotted down the hall into the
bathroom and brushed his teeth. The house was well kept, the
hallways meticulously clear, due solely to his dad being overly
conscious about fire safety. Many seminars at his job had drilled
that concept into him and he felt it important to be overly careful
at home. The whir of Connors electric toothbrush made him happy. He
liked to have clean teeth and the noise of the brush helped him
believe a job was being done well. With a click, he set the brush
down and turned on the shower. After lathering up his hair he
quickly wiped the soap over his body. His hair was the most
important thing to wash. That and under the arms. His dad told him
that; his father was always giving him clever little tips like
this.

BOOK: Inanimate
12.03Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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