The Tale Of The Catty Puppets

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Horror  |  House: Review Chain

I actually went through my old journals and found a story I wrote when I was in the sixth grade. I made some major editing from my journal and added a lot from what my twelve year old self wrote. Basically, my teacher had puppets and I wrote a prompt about it. A scary story filled with puppets, an eccentric teacher, and catty tween girls I still shiver from remembrance from my youth.



Diane could hear the heavy rain pounding against the window, which made her sigh since her 6th grade class won’t be going outside for recess today. 

 

Their teacher, Mr. Peterson, is a funny and weird sort of a fellow. He always wore suits, almost as if he’s going to a funeral, and had a creepy smile like a Jack o lantern. 

 

“Well, you guys, it seems Mother Nature must be in a stormy mood. So we will have our first recess together inside, don’t you worry, I have plenty of stuff for you guys to play with.” Mr. Peterson reassured the class as he headed towards the wardrobe in the back.

 

Everyone in the classroom started getting excited, given how Mr. Peterson doesn't let anyone open the wardrobe. In the corner of Diane’s eye, she could see her best friend Lisa, jumping out of her seat like Tigger on a sugar high.

 

Most of Diane’s classmates flocked towards their teacher, but Diane chose to stay in her seat patiently. She chose the safer route to watch from afar, not wanting to be shoved and pushed around like a volleyball. 

 

Mr. Peterson reminded Diane of a magician as he captivated his audience. He slowly opened the wardrobe, dragging out the suspense like how one would tug on a rubber band. Diane’s eyes widen slightly when she saw a bunch of puppets in his wardrobe. 

 

Diane didn’t like puppets, but she should just say dolls in general. Diane’s older sister Isabel introduced her to the horror movie Chucky, which has made Diane a bit weary around any kind of dolls. In fact, Diane always made sure her Baribe dolls were locked up in their pink dream house. She may seem like a paranoid dummy, but she’s not taking any chances.

 

Diane glared at the puppets, almost hoping her glare could zap them away, but she didn’t expect to get a glare back from one of them in turn. She quickly looked away, thinking that her active imagination had gotten the better of her. The classmates kept yelling in exuberance, which made her feel like an outcast since she’s not thrilled at all. 

 

Mr. Peterson finally got his noisy class to shut up when he slammed the wardrobe shut. The entire classroom got quiet, no one dared to make a peep from Mr. Peterson’s intimidating stance.

 

“Now then, that’s much better. You all will be going to middle school next year, but all of you are acting obnoxious kindergarteners,” Mr. Peterson acknowledged, making the classmates look down in shame. 

 

“Well, I can’t blame you guys for getting excited, since my puppets are the most amazing and shall change your lives forever!” Diane couldn’t help shivering at Mr. Peterson’s tone, which reminded her of sweet honey laced with poison.

 

“There’s so many of you, so not all of you will be available to play with my puppets today. I am a gentleman, so ladies, you’re the first ones to play with my puppets today. As for the boys, they will have the chance to play with my puppets next time, which is a promise.” The boys groaned at the unfairness, but they shut their trap at Mr. Peterson’s glare. On the other hand, the girls squealed in excitement as they grabbed the puppets from the wardrobe.

 

Diane didn’t want to go anywhere near those puppets, so she chose to sit in her seat and write a short story. In the corner of her eye, Lisa came towards her, and their female classmates snickered in their hands. Diane frowned at this when Lisa sat next to her quietly. Diane knew Lisa loved puppets, so Diane couldn’t understand why Lisa came over here to play.

 

“Hey, Lisa, is everything okay?” Diane questioned quietly, finding herself a bit lost.

 

“They wouldn’t let me play, they kept taking the puppets away from my hands, and Grace said I couldn’t play with them.” Lisa explained while pushing a tear away from her eyes.

 

Diane felt herself furious, but not surprised with Grace's wenchiness tendencies. Grace Regina is the Queen Bee of the class; a bubble gum kind of gal who popped out your insecurities, and made you feel inferior to her glossy exterior. 

 

“Don’t worry about them, Lisa. We can do something else, besides, puppets are creepy anyways,” Diane reassured her friend, even though Diane debated herself to give Grace a piece of her mind like always. However, something about those puppets made Diane feel funny, so she decided it’s best not to further this battle and not go near those puppets. 

 

Once recess reached its end, the bell signaled for lunch time. Diane and Lisa headed towards the boisterous cafeteria, eating their packed lunches at their usual table. Diane frowned heavily when her brown paper bag got all wet at the bottom. Diane grabbed her items out of the bag, grimacing at what happened to her food. Her turkey sandwich now smelled like raspberry, with her few potato chips crunched up, and her raspberry Capri Sun looked disgruntled.

 

Diane could hear laughter, she glanced over at the ‘cool’ table, seeing how the annoying girls cackled like hyenas. Diane chose to ignore their pointing, finding herself a bit relieved when Lisa shared her ham sandwich and fruit snacks with her. Suddenly, Diane heard someone choking, which made her eyes widen like tea cups as she saw her female classmates choking. 

 

Grace looked worse for wear, her glossy lips looked like someone zipped them up with stitches, and her brown eyes wouldn’t blink. Diane shivered in shock, seeing how Grace’s owl eyes landed on her, and Diane could see a bit of blood on the iris. Grace’s arms shook like crazy, with her neck tilted heavily to one side, and greenish vomit came out of her closed lips. 

 

The staff went to the girls table right away, trying to help Diane’s classmates the best they could before the medics arrived. Diane couldn’t move, she found herself frozen in her seat, but she couldn’t look away from Grace’s disgruntled position. 

 

Diane saw how Grace pointed at someone, making Diane slowly turn her towards the end of the cafeteria. Diane is not sure if she’s imagining or not, but she saw Mr. Peterson spider-like hands moving around like an orchestra. It’s almost as if he’s a puppeteer while the girls were his puppets. Mr. Peterson must have noticed Diane’s heavy stare, since he turned and stared right back at her. Diane quickly looked away, but she could hear Mr. Peterson maniacal laughter, even though the whole cafeteria screamed in terror. However, Mr. Peterson's laughter rang in Diane’s ears, since it reminded her of a cat being pulled by its tail. 

 

Screeching through her eardrums, making her feel like she’s next! However, Diane didn’t become next, since she chose to not be peer pressured to be pulled by the strings of the ‘it’ crowd. The next day at school, new additions of girl puppets sat inside Mr. Peterson’s wardrobe, but it's a dark secret Diane and Lisa would never ever tell.

 




Submitted: October 22, 2021

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Comments

Ann Sepino

I love twisted tales like this one. It reminds me of old Japanese horror films/comics where you take an ordinary scene (ex. a classroom), add something creepy, and let the chaos unfold. I'm so glad you chose to share your old piece.

There are a few typos and some words that don't quite fit because of context, but the plot points and descriptions are there. Your sixth-grader self should be proud of completing something this engaging.

Btw, is Chucky a reference to the 'Child's Play' movies? I know that some places renamed it that for local releases, but I'm more familiar with its alternate title.

Fri, October 22nd, 2021 2:15pm

Author
Reply

Ah thank you! I'm glad you found the story a bit twisted and creepy:} I'm glad how you liked how I turned something ordinary and made it unsettling. I haven't watch many Japanese horror films, but now I might take a look at them when I get the chance. Thanks, I was actually proud my sixth grade self for actually finishing a short story, I wrote a lot of stuff in the journal. My sixth grade teacher was a big fan of creative writing, so he really pushed us to write, a lot found of people found it as torture while I found it as a delight lol. By the way, his puppets, now that I remember were quite creepy. Yeah, when I read it, I was trying to decipher my old journal and then me as a writer now into one big context. There were times when I cringe at myself in my journal, but I knew I was only twelve and was still learning. So I tried to make it as concise as possible and save a bit of my old originality. I am glad though the plot and descriptions brought it out:} Oh yeah, Chucky was the movie Child's Play, we called it Child's play too in the States. I think twelve year old self really thought the movie was called chucky at the time.

Fri, October 22nd, 2021 7:49am

Roxanne B.

I really loved the imagery and descriptiveness in your story. The way that you described Mr. Peterson laughing like a squealing cat was frightening. I thought the part about Mr. Peterson having invisible string and playing them like he was leading an orchestra was really great and interesting.
You did a wonderful job detailing Diane’s paranoia and setting the tone for the whole story. I like the way you described how one of the girls became doll-like at lunch. The zippered mouth was one of the freakiest parts! Such a great story for Halloween!! Awesome job!!

Sat, October 23rd, 2021 10:32pm

Author
Reply

Omg thank you so much! I really glad you liked the descriptions. My goal was to convey a spooky atmosphere and tone. I’m glad I achieved that! I’m glad you liked how I wrote about Mr. Peterson. I wrote this short story when I was in sixth grade and of course made a lot of adjustments from what my twelve yourself wrote. My teacher said I even frightened him and he was one of the main characters lol. I’m glad you liked how I set the tone and the scene. The dolls especially, I even shivered when I described what happened to the girls. Anyways, thanks so much and have a happy Halloween:)

Fri, October 29th, 2021 8:35am

Thoughts Before Rem

It read like a goosebumps story in all honesty lmao. It was fun, I have no notes at all since I just really wanted to enjoy it. I loved some.of the outrageous comparisons used for description. Good write I really enjoyed it.

Fri, December 3rd, 2021 12:53am

Author
Reply

Thank you so much! I think some of my eccentric similies was from my 12 year old mind lol. Of course, I really edit my journal, but I tried to keep some small things I wrote. During sixth grade, our professor really loved teaching us similies so I would try to come up with anything lol. I am glad you liked this story, I always liked me a good spooky tale, and you enjoyed it:}

Sun, December 12th, 2021 5:20pm

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