A bit of flash fiction for today, from my Killer Toys series...
Hug Your Dolly?
“I Love You”
The faint phrase drifted into Alice’s ear as she turned off the vacuum. For a moment, she believed her daughter walked into the living room and turned around with a grin on her face. Only, she was alone. An involuntary shiver ran through her skin.
“I Need a Hug.”
Alice pivoted her head toward the toy box, and realization dawned. Her body tension relaxed and she chuckled.
“It’s just one of Cindy’s toys.”
Alice ambled over and lifted the lid. Her daughter’s talking doll, Suzy Smiles, lay on top. Alice picked it up.
“I Need a Hug.” The doll’s eyes blinked. “I Love You.”
Alice laughed again. “Well, isn't that nice.” The doll blinked. “I hope this mean Cindy’s been playing with you again. Her attention span for toys is abysmal.”
Alice found the doll’s switch, and flicked it to off, placing the doll back in the confines of the toy box. She closed the lid, but as she walked away a tiny voice cried out, “I Need a Hug!”
Alice gasped, her forward movement halted, her heart thumping. She spun around and stared at the box. She shuddered, shaking her head.
“I imagined it. Or… Her pause hung there, a wall between reality and lunacy, as her mind raced for an answer. “Maybe something’s wrong. The switch, maybe. It could be faulty. That’s it. Must be. A bad switch.”
A deep instinct urged Alice to run, but she stepped forward and thrust open the lid in an act of defiance, a force of will to verify her sanity. She reached down and snatched up the doll.
Trembling, Alice flipped it over and opened the battery compartment. It was empty. She screamed and dropped the doll, any tangible certainty collapsing.
The toy fell on its head, toppling into a lopsided heap. Alice stumbled back, anxious and frightened, but unable to look away. Slowly, it moved, righting its small body into a sitting position, and glared at Alice.
“I just want hugs.” The words spilled from the doll, its synthetic, mechanical voice laced with anger. “Cindy hugged me. Then she stopped. Why won’t she hug me anymore? I need hugs.” The doll held out its plastic arms to Alice. “Hug me.”
Alice whimpered, and then flinched, lurching backward. The doll lowered its arms.
Its painted, molded mouth contorted into a frown. “Why won’t you hug me?”
Alice quivered, but didn't say a word.
Slowly the doll clambered to its tiny feet. It took a step toward Alice, and then another, its unnatural face sneering.
“I Hate You!”
And I leave you with this parting...
Fluffy the Clown says Die!