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Jimmy's toy box

Short story By: Nixie
Flash fiction



A few nights later Jimmy sneaked back into her house, as agreed. This time he’d bought a few more toys, a jacking the box, a puppet a car and the toy soldier, and sure enough when the clock struck midnight they all came to life!


Submitted:Mar 21, 2008    Reads: 221    Comments: 5    Likes: 4   


Shortly after Jimmy's 69th birthday, he found himself on his death bed. His wife Jeanie, sat beside him tenderly calming his fever with a wet cloth, just as the doctor had advised her, had it come to this. Poor Jimmy, she thought to herself, he couldn't do anything buy lay there. He used to be the life of the party, he'd talk for hours on end telling his stories. That's what Jeanie missed the most, his stories.

He could've been famous, her Jimmy, if he'd of sold them. But no, they were Jimmy's stories and no more was to be said about it. He always told her to let it go whenever she mentioned it, but now that was harder then ever because the secret that they'd shared since his seventh birthday, would rest with her once he was gone and she feared she could not keep it.

She gently stroked his cheek and kissed his dry lips, he still looked like a young Jimmy to her, the same dimples and the same freckled nose. She closed her eyes and began to remember him on that special day - on his seventh birthday…

"Happy birthday to you, happy birthday to you…"

Jimmy sat at the end of the family table, like king of the castle, he thought, as the double chocolate cake set with seven candles, was placed in front of him. Jimmy grinned from ear to ear, this was his favourite part - making a wish! It had not concerned him yet, that his other wishes from previous birthday's had not come true. He only thought of the present, and those wishes before now, didn't matter to him anymore. Things had changed! He was seven, at last, and nearly as tall as Chris, his older brother who turned eight a few months back.

Jimmy looked around at the many faces singing to him and waited for the right moment to make his wish and blow out the candles. As soon as they finished he sucked in as much air as could, closed his eyes and let out an almighty huff! Cheers followed and Jimmy opened his eyes to see thin pillars of smoke coming from the candles.

"What did you wish for Jim?" came Jeanie's sweet voice from beyond blonde pigtails squaring her little pale face.

"You know I can't tell you that, it won't some true!" he wined and put his finger into the chocolate icing then licked it clean.

"But you told me the others!" she complained, watching Jimmy put his finger back into the thick on the cake.

She was right, he had told her, he tells her everything. They were best friends after all and he did want to tell her. He looked at her and smiled "Hmm… Ok!" he said simply, and licked his finger clean.

"Jimmy!!" came his mothers voice "take your dirty hands away from that cake or you won't be getting a slice, do you understand me young man?" she chided.

Jimmy nodded sourly, his finger still buried in crevice of his mouth. His mother was always very strict, and nothing changed as he grew. Jimmy assumed she'd been that way because his father had been away from home at war, but when his father returned she didn't stop. That's the reason he couldn't tell anyone when his wish came true - when his toys came to life!

His toy soldiers where the first toy's to move. He couldn't believe his own eye's when he woke in the middle of the night, watching the little green figures charge the rocking horse in the corner of his room. It was just the soldiers, until the rocking horse ruffled its leather main and snorted at the attack. Then his plastic aeroplane span in circles around the room and his playing cards shuffled themselves into some numeric order!

The morning after, as the sun was still rising, Jimmy escaped his bedroom taking a stiff toy soldier with him and planted it in his coat pocket as he pulled it around him over his pyjamas and ran out the house towards Jennie's, next door.

He climbed the tree beside her house, something he'd mastered during the summer holidays, and settled on the branch rested alongside her window. He pressed his face against the glass to see her sleeping in her bed.

"Jeanie!" he whispered roughly and tapped against the windowpane. It took a few more taps before Jeanie came to, buthe gavewas a sigh of relief when she finally pulled the window open and allowed him to sneak inside without being caught.

He had a hard time convincing her that he hadn't been dreaming. When he placed the toy soldier in front of her, the figure stood lifeless. It was useless, the toy wasn't alive anymore.

"It's just a toy Jim!" Jeanie sighed and moved away.

Jimmy picked the toy up and bought it closer to his face and searched it. "You have to believe me Jeanie, no one else will!" he stood and handed the toy to her, "you keep this one, wait and see, I will prove it to you tonight!"

That's how he managed to convince her he was telling the truth, you see, Jeanie had waited for the toy to come alive and fell asleep with the toy on her pillow and when she woke the toy had moved onto the windowsill pointing his plastic gun at the ballerina figure sat in her open jewellery box.

A few nights later Jimmy sneaked back into her house, as agreed. This time he'd bought a few more toys, a jack in the box, a puppet, a car which is father had crafted out of woodand the toy soldier, and sure enough when the clock struck midnight they all came to life! The car whizzed around the room clipping Jeanie's foot making her run and hide under her covers. Jimmy, meanwhile stood in the centre of her room and watched as one by one all his toys began to move.

From then onward, Jimmy and Jeanie hid their secret from their parents and friends, or from anyone else for that matter. Who would believe them? But as they grew older, and closer, Jimmy grew tired of the secret and locked all his toys away in a toy box which he kept in the garage of their house. He only spoke of the stories to his grandchildren, and made out they were plucked from his own imagination, but Jeanie always watched and smiled, knowing better.

Jeanie looked down at her dieing husband, kissed his lips again and searched his face for a glimmer of life as they parted. "My dear Jimmy, what do I do with your toy's now?" she cooed with a hand on each cheek. Jimmy didn't open his eye's.

A few months after Jimmy's death, Jeanie, with a rusty bronze key in her hand ventured bravely into the garage in search of Jimmy's toy box. Moving a few things here and there she made a clearing enabling her to reach it. It was padlocked - twice! The key was a little hard to turn for all the years unused but it came with a click releasing the clasp.

With tired fingers she pierced the lid and then lifted it up and watched it swing open. Jeanie's eyes widened at the sight - the box was empty? With a finger rested on her chin, she stood staring at it curiously. What had he done with them?

It didn't take her long to figure out what had happened. It was Jimmy's wish for his toy's to come alive, it was his wish not to tell anyone, and it was Jimmy's 69th wish that the toys die with him!

Jeanie smiled and with a chuckle closed the box and locked it. She continued to smile all the way up the stairs, struggling to catch her breath when she reached the top. Once in their bedroom she began sifting through the shoe boxes collected over the years that now lay at the bottom of the wardrobe. Eventually she found it, the one she was looking for!

It had been so many years since she'd touched it, and dared not open it in case Jimmy ever found out, but that didn't matter now, she thought to her self and so lifted the lid of the box and looked inside with a glowing grin.

There, inside the box amongst his love letters and valentines cards, was a green toy soldier. The same one that Jimmy had given Jeanie all those years ago to prove to her that it was true, that Jimmy's toy box was alive! Jeanie took the soldier and put it on the bedside table in the spare room where her grandchild often stayed. She couldn't wait for him to see it!




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