Writer’s Sketchbook: The Thing

writer's sketch book



It’s been awhile since I’ve made an entry into the writer’s sketchbook.  I found this writing prompt today for a 350 words or less story. Since I have an ‘issue’ with furby-things, it sort of jumped out at me.  So, entirely related to historical fiction or Jane Austen, here it is:

what-is-your-story‘The Thing’

It stared at me. Big blue eyes, framed with those stupid fuzzy eyelashes, unblinking. Orange bulbous mouth, finally silent.

Whose idea was this thing? Seriously, who thought a toy that played by itself was a good idea? It certainly wasn’t good for children. She was terrified of it the first time it blinked up at her and squawked. Poor dear ran screaming from the room, refusing to return until ‘The Thing’ was hidden in a box.

So into a box it went. Not that it helped much. No. Since some brilliant designer failed to install a proper off switch, the box only made things worse. The Thing complained about being in the box. It cried. It screamed. It tried to get out. So did she.  And she begged never to return until The Thing was gone.

Into the garbage The Thing went.

 It didn’t stay. I still don’t understand how it got out of the trash, but it did, chasing the poor cat all the way back into the house. Now the poor creature is huddled under the desk, yowling, begging as she did: Get rid of The Thing.

What choice did I have? A man has to do what a man has to do. I scooped up the furry, flappy, squawky, gear-driven little nightmare and took it to my workbench. There had to be some way to put it down mercifully.

There wasn’t.

Even once I skinned it, there was no off switch. No battery either.  I’d performed electronic surgery on many toys, but none like this. What kept it going? Every inch of casing, every limb removed and it still blinked and tried to talk. At least it didn’t scream in pain.

It did moan though.

Wire cutters. That had to be the answer. Clip. Snip. Trim. Tug. Pull. Yank.

Quiet. Still. At last.

Only old fashioned toys from now on. The kind with an off switch.

No fun. The Thing whispered. 



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    • Sheila L. M. on July 27, 2015 at 2:52 pm
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    Reminds me of that Christmas song about some sort of toy which was then given to his son. Can’t remember the title. It scurried about, under and out of the covers of chairs, etc.

    1. I’ll have to try to find that song, I’m not familiar with it. Thanks, Sheila!

        • Sheila L. M. on August 5, 2015 at 8:24 am
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        Found it: on the Internet – The Marvelous Toy – Peter, Paul and Mary…It went bop when it stopped…

        1. LOL! Thanks, Sheila!

    • Deborah on July 28, 2015 at 4:06 am
    • Reply

    Poor kitty. I never got one of those. Nicely done. That brought back memories if those freaky things that I couldn’t stand. I love the picture.

    1. Furbies still give me the creeps! Thanks, Deborah!

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