The Toy Maker

Reads: 144  | Likes: 2  | Shelves: 2  | Comments: 6

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Horror  |  House: The Imaginarium
A chance discovery of an old toy shop leads to a an unusual ending.

Submitted: February 23, 2019

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Submitted: February 23, 2019

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Rick Blakely stumbled out of the pub and crashed into a group of young women. He made a half-hearted attempt at an apology before zig-zagging his way through the busy London streets.  It was a Friday night but he had been drinking since three o’clock that afternoon and was pretty much oiled. A lot of offices turned out early on a Friday, it was all part of the work/home life balance that seemed to be the trend for a lot of companies now.

Rick staggered his way pass Wagamama as he headed down Ludgate Hill looking for a bus that would take him home.

The dome of St Paul’s Cathedral towered over him. It seemed to Rick that this bastion of self-righteousness was giving him a displeasing ecclesiastical eye. Rick stopped swaggered for a moment, looked up at the imposing Cathedral gave it a defiant two-fingers then realised he needed a pee!

Rick scurried along the shopfronts of Ludgate Hill desperately looking for a discreate shady doorway to unload his bladder. But the streets were busy with revellers, and since the disappearance of so many people recently, also busy with police handing out flyers and questioning members of the public about possible sightings.

It was when Rick took a flyer off a police woman that he noticed a narrow alleyway behind her. He waited until she moved on then ran straight into it. The pungent stale smell of urine told him that this was a favourite spot for many a pub-goer.

With his bladder now empty, Rick felt a little sober and was about to re-join the Friday night throng, when he caught out the corner of his eye the flicker of a yellow light.

He turned, looking further down into the alleyway, to see it was a flame burning in an old-fashioned wall-mounted gas lamp. Although previously his mind was on other things, he could have sworn the alleyway was pitch black when he entered.

Like a moth drawn to a candle, the light was beckoning Rick towards it, he set off. Once he reached the light, he saw that the lamp was above what must have been at one time a shop! It was a typical low Dickensian shop the type seen in TV period drama.

The front of the shop was dark, blacken with ancient soot, like the rest of the alleyway. The door was warped and the paint was peeling. Rick tried to peer through the grime of one of the two twenty-four pane windows. It was difficult to tell, but the inside looked just as black and abandoned as the outside.

Looking up, he saw what would have been the name of the shop. It was hard to read exactly what it said as the calligraphy had not fared much better than the paint on the door, only the words ‘Toy Shop’ were still visible.

Rick turned away satisfied there was nothing more to see, when he heard the distinctive sound of a key turning in the door!

A part of Rick, the smart part, wanted him to run away. The dumb part made him turn slowing to see the door was now at ajar. Now a third open, the black mouth of the shop was ready to devour the unsuspected.

Against his better judgement, Rick pushed open the door a little further. If he wanted to keep his arrival a secret it was instantly blown by the sound of the bell above the door.

Once inside, Rick stared into the gloom all he could make out were tall shapes. At first, he thought them to be shop mannequins but as his eyes became accustom to the dark, he saw that they were in fact giant teddy bears!

For the second time that night, Rick tried to pull himself away from the shop. For the second that night the shop grabbed his attention.

Ahead of him, a small candle burst into flames! He stumbled backwards, almost falling through the door back into the alleyway. It took him completely by surprise.

At that moment, Rick’s better judgement was screaming at him to run and not stop until he got home. But he was a curious creature, and his curiosity was about to get him into trouble.

Regaining his composure, he watched as the small light illuminated parts of the shop. Around the walls he could now see there were shelves filled with drab sad looking toys. Some of the shelves had at one end collapsed, sending the toys cars into a mini pile-up at the bottom.

But the shop was really dominated by the giant teddy bears.

Rick moved closer, touching one of them, the fur was damp and smelled of wet dog! He then looked into the face of the bear, it’s black eyes should have been soulless but they weren’t. There was something alive in those eyes.

“Can I help you?” came a voice.

Rick spun around, his heart in his mouth. Behind the candle sat a person. Male or female it was hard to tell.

“I said, can I help you?”

“I eh!” Rick croaked, now wishing he had left moments ago. As he fought for the right words to say, he was unaware that the bear he had looked at was now slowly gripping Rick by the arms.

When the grip became noticeable, Rick turned to look up into the bears face. It smiled, flashing its razor-sharp teeth. Gradually the bear shuffled forward, pushing Rick along towards the Toy Maker.

The closer Rick got to the counter, he could see the Toy Maker’s face was bound with strips of cloth, like that of an Egyptian mummy. Only the ruby red eyes of the Toy Maker were visible.

“Well, well. Looks like we have another person to join my Teddy Scares!”

Rick tried to wiggle free, but it was useless. As he drew closer to the Toy Maker, he happened to look down upon the counter. There were copies of the flyers the police had been handing out about the missing people.

Rick’s blood chilled as he remembered seeing life in those Teddy Scares eyes. “No, let me go!” he cried out.

“Resistance is futile!” Mocked the Toy Maker as it produced the largest sewing needle that Rick had ever seen.

Moving away from the counter, the Toy Maker pulled back a curtain and Rick could see that the room beyond held the lifeless skin of a giant teddy bear. Wide-eyed Rick caught sight of the Toy Maker sucking on a piece of thread the thickness of a rope. Now humming to itself, the Toy Maker threaded the rope-size thread through the large eye of the needle.

With the Toy Maker now alone with Rick, the yellow light from the gas lamp that attracted Rick to the shop spluttered before dying out. The raucous sounds of a busy Friday night would drown out the screams that would soon be coming from within the Toy Shop.


© Copyright 2019 Markie Bee. All rights reserved.

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