In Glasgow, Scotland, an Italian toymaker named Gaius was working on his favorite toy to make, a plushed animal. Gaius could create more than just the stereotypical teddy bear; he also created monkeys, dogs, cats, rabbits, dolphins, even unusual creatures like octopuses and dragons. But Gaius was no ordinary toymaker. Rumor had it that when human eyes weren’t looking, his toys would come alive. Gaius was secretly a wizard of great power; he could give life to inanimate objects.
One night, a few of Gaius’s toys were playing a game of football (or soccer) while the others were watching from shelves; the toys were mostly active at night because that’s when most humans are asleep. The toys used a miniature foam soccer ball for the ball and two baskets for the goals; the two teams were Team Octopus and Team Teddy Bear. After several scores on both sides, Team Octopus won; the toys that routed for Team Octopus cheered (the toys communicated telepathically so Gaius wasn’t awoken). The teammates from both teams showed good sportsmanship.
When the plushed toys crawled into Gaius’s room to say good morning as they usually did, they found Gaius’s bed drenched in blood and Gaius’s body repeatedly stabbed to death. All the toys were terrified that their maker was dead, some wept while others hurled fits of rage; but they all wanted to find out who committed this villainous act. The toys knew it wasn’t any one of them because they were all at the football match.
Tentacles, an orange stuffed octopus with some reddish spots and realistic eyes, spotted a small splat of blood on the doorway toward the base along with a thin cut that looked like it was caused by a knife. Another interesting feature about the splat was it looked like a torso with an outstretched arm. The toys searched around the house for more evidence to identify the killer; the only other thing they found was a window that was once locked was now slightly open and there was blood on the sill. Tentacles, who was always very bright, remembered hearing a police siren which must have frightened the killer into escaping in a hurry.
Theodore, a drowsy teddy bear who loved to cuddle and sleep with Gaius, wasn’t taking the tragedy very well; of all the toys, Theodore was the closest to Gaius. Despite all the heightened emotions of the situation, a few of the toys such as Tentacles were able to keep a rational mindset; Tentacles thought very deeply about who and why someone would want to kill an innocent toymaker like Gaius.
Tentacles decided to search the house library to see if there were any answers there; judging from the evidence in the house, the killer was not human. Tentacles searched through a spellbook specializing in bestowing life to inanimate objects; after leafing through the book, he found a page about the different spells required to bestow life upon figurines. What caught Tentacles’ sharp eye was a dark spell called the “Ripper spell” which was used to make an object murderous.
While Tentacles was thinking about the situation, Inky, a pink octopus with googly eyes who was always a bit of a dandy, had the idea of talking to other toys to see if they saw anything; all the other toys liked the idea. Because of that, the toys unlocked a window and climbed out of it; Inky had to be carried by a stuffed caricature of Tigger out the window because he afraid of even the smallest stain or tear. Once the toys were outside, Devin, a dolphin with yellow, pink, and red blotches of color, checked to see if the coast was clear and led the stuffed army out across the street; when one of the toys worried about being seen, Inky cast a spell which killed the street lights.
The toys searched house to house for fellow living toys to see if they saw anything; apparently, a teddy bear in a nearby bungalow saw a running figurine not even a foot tall with blood on it and knives for hands. The teddy bear also agreed to help search for Gaius’s killer. Many other toys joined the search for Gaius’s killer. Whenever the sun would awaken, the toys would hide some place out of sight.
After searching several houses across the city, the toys decided to go to the toy store to see if any of the toys there saw anything. However, a stray Rottweiler appeared almost out of nowhere, growled at the toys, and chased them causing them to turn in the opposite direction; because the Rottweiler was gaining on them, the toys decided to split up in different directions to confuse the vicious dog.
Unfortunately, the Rottweiler pursued Tentacles as Tentacles rolled and crawled away as fast as he could. Sadly, the barbaric mutt bit down on one of Tentacles’ arms and slammed him around on the ground causing Tentacles’ arm to rip. Then, the dog threw Tentacles away by a trash can and, seeing no other toys, ran off down the road.
When the toys emerged from their hiding spots after the dog disappeared, they found Tentacles injured lying on the ground; fortunately, Olivia accompanied the crowd. Olivia, a dark orange octopus with a pipe cleaner siphon, was gifted in sewing and acted as the group’s medic. She pushed the stuffing back in Tentacles’ arm and sealed his tear using orange fabric. After that, the toys continued their search for Gaius’s killer.
After searching throughout most of Glasgow, Inky stumbled upon something interesting with his psychic abilities; he found a trail of footprints. When the toys followed the footprints along, they found a figurine with knife blades for hands trying to break into a house; the figurine had a red demonic head and wore a tight black suit which revealed its slender figure.
Filled with rage, the toys attacked the figurine, but the figurine was a ferocious fighter and managed to cut some of the toys. All of the toys attacked except Inky; Inky used long range spells to avoid being cut. The octopuses would wrap their arms around the killer, but the killer would cut himself free. The sock monkeys would leap around the killer figurine and pounce it, but the killer would slash them too. The teddy bears wrestled the figurine to the ground, but they would get impaled. After a long while of ferocious fighting, Inky cast a binding spell which bound the figurine and immobilized it.
After the fight was over, Olivia took her sewing kit and healed the wounds the toys sustained during the fight.
After Tentacles’ wounds were healed, Tentacles slapped and beat the demonic figurine and then telepathically interrogated, “Why did you kill him?! Who are you working for?!”
“I didn’t kill him,” denied the figurine.
Out of rage, Tentacles slammed the figurine’s head into the brick wall repeatedly and rapidly causing a small fracture to form on the figurine’s head.
Then, Tentacles cried out, “We know you did it; we found blood splats shaped like you and knife marks! So tell us why you did it and who you’re working for!”
“Okay, okay,” panicked the figurine, “I did it because my maker ordered me to.”
“Why did he want Gaius dead?” interrogated Tentacles further.
“He wants all his rivals dead so he can dominate the toy making business,” replied the demonic figurine, “his next target is Priscilla the doll maker.”
After hearing that, the toys decided their next mission was to rescue Priscilla; however, the sun was waking up, and the streets were becoming more active so the toys decided to hide inside trash cans for the day. Unfortunately, that turned out to be a bad idea; a couple of garbage men took the trash cans they were hiding in and emptied them into a dumpster truck. The dumpster truck reeked with the smell of old garbage, and the toys were slimed with all kinds of nasty things.
As the dumpster truck drove off to the city dump, the toys climbed and wrestled their way through the trash in an effort to escape. However, while Tentacles was trying to crawl his way out of the truck, he came across a magazine with an article of the top ten toymakers of the year; Tentacles wrapped an arm around the magazine and hauled it out of the truck along with himself. Then, the toys spilled out of the rear end of the truck as if the truck was getting too full.
However, it was still noontime and someone took all the plushed toys and hoarded them into his apartment; the man must have been on Social Security to be doing nothing all day, figured Tentacles. The toys waited until dusk to make an effort to escape. Torpedo, a miniature giant squid who was a bit of an engineer, studied the small apartment to see how they would escape.
While Torpedo was planning an escape for the toys, Tentacles leafed through the magazine to see which could be behind Gaius’s murder; he found Priscilla in there, a puppet master named Adrian, a toy robot builder named Dupont, an action figure maker, and other kinds of toy makers in the article. According to the figurine, Priscilla is the next target unless that was a diversion, thought Tentacles. Or should I say ‘puppet’, thought Tentacles because in a way the figurine was a stringless puppet. However, it could have been an action figure or a toy robot, thought Tentacles further. Tentacles at least had a few possible suspects in mind now.
After sitting in front of the TV for hours, the man who kidnapped the toys finally fell asleep. Torpedo ordered the toys to search the small rooms for fishing and a hook; when Theodore the teddy bear found some, Torpedo threw it at the lock on one of the windows, gently climbed up the fishing wire, and turned the lock with his eight arms and two tentacles unlocking the window. Using a levitation spell, Inky raised the window and the screen behind it up.
Hoisting each other up, the toys poured out of the apartment and onto the sidewalk; a copper’s siren flew by which worried the toys that it would awoken the man, but it didn’t. After all the other toys poured out, the Tigger caricature bounced out the window with Inky on his back. Then, the man awoke and closed the window not knowing how it opened.
The toys continued on with their quest; Tentacles found a street address for Priscilla so they knew where to go. After crossing several streets and rounding several corners, the toys made it to Priscilla’s house; so far it did not appear to be invaded. Inky levitated a stone using a spell and rammed it against the doorbell; when Priscilla answered the door, she immediately recognized the toys as Gaius’s especially since they looked up at her as she opened the door. Not hesitating for a second, Priscilla quickly hauled all the toys inside her house and locked the door.
Priscilla had a very pleasant house; the walls were painted pink and small dolls were sitting around on shelves and on furniture. Priscilla was a middle-aged woman with blond hair who looked younger than her true age.
“My, my, my,” said Priscilla in a concerned voice, “What are you toys doing outside of Gaius’s workshop?”
Because living toys couldn’t communicate well with humans, Tentacles grabbed a pen and some paper and wrote a message saying, “Gaius has been murdered.” The toys did learn some English from Gaius.
“Oh my goodness,” mildly cried Priscilla in a shocked voice, “who would do such a thing and why?”
In response, Tentacles wrote a message saying, “We don’t know yet; I did find in a magazine some possible suspects. That’s how we found you.”
Then, Priscilla inquired, “So why are you all here?”
Tentacles replied, “Because the puppet that killed Gaius said that his master’s next target was you.”
Priscilla wanted to scream, but it was clogged into her throat.
Then, suddenly, everyone was startled by the sound of glass shattering; when they all entered the bedroom from which the sound originated, they found nothing but glass shards lying around. Everyone looked around the room but couldn’t see anything. Even though nothing could be seen, they all had the eerie feeling of being watched.
Then, Priscilla bellowed a shrill scream as a bizarre figurine emerged from behind a door; its head was a crazy looking skull and in its hands was a sharp, electric chainsaw. The figurine laughed as charged at Olivia, but a sock monkey jumped in front of the figurine being cut into pieces in the process. Theodore the teddy bear threw a bouncy ball at the figurine sending it flying backwards into a wall.
Then, they all heard what sounded like thousands of termites chewing through the wall in the living room; when they all hurried to the room, what they saw terrified them. A head with sharp teeth and lightning fast jaws attached to nothing but four human arms emerged from the wall; the dolls in the room ran from the revolting creature. Unfortunately, one doll in a halter top tripped and fell to the ground; the four-armed toy raced toward the doll to destroy the doll until Tentacles pushed it away.
For a while, Tentacles and the monstrosity of a toy wrestled each other; the toy did however manage to shred a few of Tentacles’ arms. While the two toys were fighting, the doll that tripped hurried away to safety.
Then, the puppet with the chainsaw entered the room and attacked the toys, but Devin the Dolphin head butted the puppet to the ground; however, Devin did get stabbed with the chainsaw. When the puppet raised its chainsaw to decapitate Devin, the puppet found its arm being yanked by something wiry; it was Torpedo’s tentacles. Then, Theodore the teddy bear grabbed the puppet’s feet, spun around in rapid circles, and tossed the puppet clear across the room causing it to smash its head on the leg of a sofa.
After that, another strange figurine crawled into the room; it had a gas mask, a robotic outfit, and no hands. The figurine raised one of its wrists and sprayed a green smelly gas into the air; quick on his feet (or arm tips), Inky broke a window with a spell and summoned a whirlwind to vacuum out the noxious gas. Priscilla fled the area, but the figurine pursued with its stream of fumes; Inky bound the figurine’s arms by summoning rope, and Theodore ripped the figurine’s head off killing it.
When the puppet with the chainsaw returned to its feet, it brandished its chainsaw at the toys, but two of the dolls arrested its arms and with the help of other toys played tug of war with it until its arms were ripped off. Torpedo lifted up the chainsaw and stabbed the figurine with it killing it.
When the four armed puppet saw that its comrades were dead, it retreated through the hole in the wall that it made. Before the toys could pursue it, Priscilla cried, “Wait!” When the toys gave her their attention, she continued, “I recognize those puppets; they were made by the puppet master, Adrian. He and I used to be together, but when we separated, he began creating these disturbing puppets.”
While Priscilla was showing the toys where Adrian lived, the doll in the halter top approached Tentacles as Olivia repaired his arms and telepathically thanked him for saving her.
“Oh, it was nothing,” telepathically replied Tentacles with a hint of embarrassment.
“You were so brave when you fought that puppet,” continued the doll.
“Heh heh, I guess so,” added Tentacles.
The doll added, “By the way, my name is Megan; what’s yours?”
Tentacles replied, “It’s Tentacles.”
“You’re so amazing for a plushed animal,” complimented Megan.
“Why thanks,” thanked Tentacles giggling a little.
Then, after all the toys were healed by Olivia and Priscilla, climbing onto the Tigger caricature’s back, Inky ordered the toys out of the house and to their next destination. Tentacles and Megan bid each other farewell, and Tentacles joined the stream of plushed toys flowing out through the door; deep down, Tentacles hoped that he would see Megan again.
For the next few hours, the toys hiked through the streets to find Adrian’s house. When the sun came up, they all hid behind a dumpster; fortunately no garbage men came to throw the toys away nor did any savage dogs come along and chew up the poor toys.
When they arrived at Adrian’s house which looked rather creepy, they began to think of ways to break in; Torpedo searched the nearby area for something to pick with. When Torpedo found an old hair pin in the driveway, Torpedo climbed onto Devin’s back, and Devin leaped onto the doorknob. Then, Torpedo picked the lock until he heard a faint click and turned the doorknob causing the door to inch open.
Once the door was open, the toys creeped in looking for Adrian; the furniture was old and dusty, and cobwebs lined some corners of the house. The toys kept alert at all times to prevent the possibility of a surprise attack. They heard tinkering noises down the hall so they followed them.
When they entered the room the noises were coming from, they saw a middle-aged man dressed in all black working on a bizarre puppet. There was also an army of bizarre puppets watching him work including the four armed puppet. When the man turned around, he turned out to be none other than Adrian himself.
“Well, well, well,” mocked Adrian, “what have we here? It looks Gaius’s squishy creations have come to avenge their maker’s death. However, your efforts shall be in vain. Attack them my children!”
Upon Adrian’s command, the puppets charged at the toys, but the plushed creations of Gaius stood their ground and fought back. Toys and puppets alike were torn to shreds in the clash. What made matters worse was Adrian cast a vile unstuffing spell on some of the toys which killed them.
Tentacles was attacked by a puppet who had one hand bent backwards and the other was replaced with a saw blade. The puppet tried to grab and saw off one of Tentacles’ arms, but he evaded; Tentacles grabbed the puppet’s leg and pulled it causing it to fall.
Guarded by the Tigger caricature, Inky cast a spell which summoned and wrapped a snake around Adrian’s arm, but before it could bite him, Adrian turned it into dust. Then, Adrian cast an unstuffing spell, but Inky dodged it. Inky shot a fireball at Adrian setting his robes on fire, but Adrian extinguished the flames with a water spell.
The puppet with the saw blade swung its saw blade cutting one of Tentacles’ arms open; after that, Tentacles picked the puppet up and threw it against a plastic bin. When the puppet recovered, it yanked Tentacles’ arms wounded arm causing the tear to worsen. Tentacles then pounced upon the puppet; however, the puppet stabbed Tentacles with its saw blade.
Meanwhile, Inky cast a wind spell which blew Adrian and some of the puppets into the back wall. When Adrian recovered, he levitated Inky with a spell and bashed him around the room; Inky freed himself by shooting electricity out of one of his arms.
After a while of fighting, Tentacles grabbed the puppet’s saw blade, ripped it off, and stabbed the puppet repeatedly until it was dead. Then, Tentacles telepathically shouted to Inky to blind Adrian so Inky cast a spell that blinded Adrian; Adrian turned in different directions and chaotically cast spells in different directions. Tentacles climbed up Adrian’s robes with the saw blade in his arms dodging spells as they flew by; once Tentacles reached the shoulders, he stabbed Adrian in the throat spewing blood in the process.
After the blade was driven, Adrian fell dead to the floor. When the puppets saw that their maker was dead, they all surrendered to the toys. After that, the toys began disarming the puppets as punishment for their murders. However, the fight was not over yet.
Once all the puppets were disarmed, the one Adrian was working on came to life and slowly arose to its feet. The puppet had four arms with lasers in them and its metallic head had two antennae on it.
The puppet laughed a wicked laugh and said, “You squishy losers thought you could kill me so easily; well thanks to you, I’m now stronger than ever.” The puppet was Adrian resurrected.
An electric current appeared between the two antennae and zapped one of the toys causing its stuffing to burst out. The toys ran around the room madly in an effort to avoid the electricity and the lasers; some even threw tools and puppets at it with little effect.
However, Theodore found a magnetic bar which gave him an idea; when the puppet fired its electricity at Tentacles, Theodore leaped in front of Tentacles with his magnetic bar repelling the electricity back the puppet causing the puppet to explode with a scream. The battle was now over; Theodore felt satisfied that he avenged his beloved maker.
Once the battle was over, Olivia did her best to heal all the battle wounds; however, there were some toys that were beyond her healing abilities. After the toys paid their respects to their dead, they celebrated at Priscilla’s house. In addition, Tentacles and Megan were married with Inky as the priest.
When the coppers investigated the deaths of Gaius and Adrian, because there appeared to be no human evidence of murder, they concluded that they were suicides.