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A Letter From Your Favorite Childhood Toy

Categories: Creative Writing Prompts Tags: creative writing prompts, writing prompt.

You open the mail and receive a letter from one of your favorite childhood toys, explaining what the toy has been up to all these years since you have moved on. Some of it comes as a shock to you. What’s even more shocking is the reason the toy is contacting you.

Post your response (500 words or fewer) in the comments below.

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227 Responses to A Letter From Your Favorite Childhood Toy

  1. TheAwkwardLlama says:

    Feedback is always lovely! :)

    There’s something refreshing about waking to the sound of buzzing flies. It’s sign of decay, and decay means progress, because it implies death and death is where we all end up eventually. A lone fly has wandered up from the basement to land on my nose. I catch him carefully and take him downstairs. “Don’t worry little buddy,” I whisper to him. “There’s nothing for you guys to eat down here, is there? Time to go hunting.”
    I’ve always had a way with flies.
    The clock on the wall says 2 AM. Well, it doesn’t literally SAY 2 AM. Sometimes it does. But not this time. 2 AM feels like a good time to check the mail, so I do. I never get letters, but I like to check my mailbox regularly. It’s a good idea to have a little normalcy and routine in one’s life.
    There’s a letter for me, which is a little unusual because as I said I never get letters, unless of course I write them to myself, which I do sometimes because too much routine is not good for a person. I said a little routine, damn it!
    Anyway, I don’t remember writing myself a letter recently, which means someone else must have written it. If something happens, and you didn’t do it, you can usually infer that someone else did it. I open the letter.
    “I know what you did,” I read aloud. “You think you’re the only one, but you’re not. You were so careful, too! I know because I watched. You were all alone in that room, all alone because they just didn’t understand you. I felt sorry for you sometimes, watching how they treated you. But I stopped feeling sorry for you that day. You know what day I’m talking about. You took that gun and ‘took care of them’, one by one, mommy, daddy, and little sister. Then you were so careful to clean that gun and hide it, and you were so careful with the bodies. It was almost like you loved them, how careful you were with them when you touched them. You got them all bagged up and ready to go, and you put them in daddy’s truck. Then you carefully cleaned the room. You did it so much better than when mommy asked you to clean your room.
    I know that they weren’t the last ones, either. Because I was the first. I’m your little sister’s doll. The one that she loved so much. You chopped me up in little tiny pieces, and left me on her bed. You thought they threw me away, but little sister kept me. I was there. I know. And I know you’ve done it again, and again, and I’m writing to ask you to stop, just stop, stop, stop, STOP!” I’m screaming now. Then I rip up the letter, and throw it away.
    Silly doll, it can write letters to me but it can’t tell on me! Because dolls…don’t…have…mouths!

  2. laurentravian says:

    Dear Lauren,

    I just want to say thank you. I heard you read those books by Ann Martin about those dolls, the china ones and the plastic ones, to Tiffany and then Nancy, and I also know that you never threw me out or even put me in the attic like Oscar, Oliver, Tiddlywinks, etc. I suppose its because of my age.

    I still remember you, at three years old, finding me. I was dirty, ragged and torn. I had almost melted my candy heart out of sorrow, that your mother had left me there. But you cared for me. I got a new set of clothes, made by your great-aunt, and even when you were fifteen, you still couldn’t sleep right unless I was in your arms. I also remember that time in third grade, you brought me in for show and tell, and that awful boy who had left was visiting, and I would have leaped out of your arms, he was so…unkind! Thankfully, you began hitting him with me, having nothing else, and besides, I was stuffed full of nice clean cotton, remember?

    I know that you were sad as a child. I know that you always put your friends before yourself, though it didn’t help you at all. But then you met Johnny. And he changed your life! He brought you flowers, candy, and even those books you love so much. Your grandparents loved him, and so did your parents. I remember that time when we had that tea party, with your grandparents, after learning about my adventures, especially the one about the paper dragon. You didn’t really have tea parties as a child. I remember that impostor your mother got. She also got an impostor of my dear brother, Andy. But you weren’t fooled.

    I just wanted to say thank you, Lauren. I could’ve ended up in goodwill, and believe me, I am actually grateful to your mother for not throwing me away, and I’m also grateful that I had such a nice and pleasant home in your grandmother’s attic, and that you found me and kept me. As I write, I watch Nancy sleeping. She’s a lot like you, you know. But, she has more confidence. And you should too.

    With All Our Love,
    Raggedy Ann, Tiffany’s old Little Bear, and Emily,
    in the places of honor on Nancy’s Bed Brigade.

  3. Egg says:

    Unreal idea – love it. I can’t comment on the technical aspects because it is a letter from a jigsaw puzzle, afterall.

  4. jjrattus says:

    The Shed,
    27 Smith Ave,
    Wednesday Morning

    Dear jj,

    Sorry it’s taken such a long time to write this letter. I’ve started it again and again, each time screwing the paper into a little ball and watching as Front Legsy chased it around the shed. It’s not easy to ask what I need to ask and I know you’re busy; too busy for a job like this but we have nowhere else to turn.

    Next week is our twenty first birthday. I know right? We’re getting on, time to grow up, get out and see the world and so on. We do what we can from out here in the shed. Your mum spends a lot of time in the garden and me and the lads nip out every now and then to scare away the caterpillars at night if we see them coming in time.

    Tailsy watered those tomato seedlings of hers, if he hadn’t you’d have been opening cans instead! Grassy and Grassy have a pet mouse that they look after and Sunny makes sure the bicycle chains are always well greased (although if you ask me he’s got a bit of an obsession).

    We thought seeing that it’s our twenty first we’d make a bit of a deal of it; small get together, maybe light a few sparklers and talk about old times. That brings me to my point at last.

    Now eventhough we originally started out as a twenty piece puzzle, there are only actually fifteen pieces left here in the box. Twenty one years ago when we left the factory we were a team, a gang, a crew making up one pretty fantastic picture of a cow standing in a field, if I do say so myself. I know you thought so too as you put us together and took us apart often enough, right? Lower Right Hand Corner will forever have the bendy joiner to prove it.

    We’d love to have you come and celebrate with us jj as you’ve always been our biggest fan. On top of that though we’d like to ask you a favour…we need you to track down the five missing lads. It wouldn’t be the same without them.

    We’ve included a small map of the house at the end of this letter with an X for where each of the lads was last sighted. Now we don’t expect miracles and I’m guessing Udders is gone forever seeing he disappeared somewhere out the back with Spot when he was just a pup. Just in case though we’ve marked Spot’s favourite digging area under the Gum Tree.

    Left Ear, Front Hoof and both the Skysies should be easy enough to find though. Behind the lounge, under the sink, in your brother’s sock drawer and on top of the fridge if our sources are correct.

    We know you’ll do your best jj and we hope that you and the missing lads will be able to join us in The Shed on Friday evening after your mum goes to bed.

    Yours sincerely,

    Both the Eyes and a Bit of the Left Ear

  5. Cain Karl says:

    Saw this a little late and I popped out something I liked so here goes.

    To Cain Karl,

    It’s been a long time Cain. I don’t know if you remember me, but I remember you. It was so simple at first, our battles together our adventures spent side by side, the thrill of combat, my scars formed again and again to your amusement, but you always put me right every time. Days went by as you laughed and we fought valiantly. You were kinder than the others, and stronger. I want to believe my television show helped inspire you to be good at heart, but I can’t take all the credit of course.
    I slowly formed a kinship to you, and I didn’t realize how important you were to me until the day you became sick with that terrible fever. You let me stay with you and wouldn’t let your parents take me away. I wanted to help you so much. I couldn’t stand being so helpless, ME, the strongest man in the universe! But all I could do was agonize until you were feeling better, and then back our heroic exploits in the universe!
    As weeks turned to months, and then years, my time with you became less and less. My caves and battlegrounds were shoved in the back, and newer toys made their way into your bedroom. But you were always important to me. I doubt you realized that your mother had given me and many other toys to the goodwill afterwards.
    I traveled, starting in discount bins, moving from place to place, even ending up on ebay, sold to a collector to show off on their table for a while. The ever changing world slowly becoming my tomb. But none of it mattered. I knew you were getting older, but I never forgot.
    Somehow I ended up as a toy in a hospital, and as if it were destiny, I heard about your heart condition, that you were dying and needed a new valve for your heart. I know you are too old for me now, and that we can never go back to the way things were, but I will continue remembering the time when you were a young boy and I wanted to save you. I want to be the hero you always made me feel like, not just a toy. So know that I am slipping into a vat that will destroy my body, but be used to create the valve for your heart. If only a part of me can stay with you and give you a longer life, I will gladly sacrifice myself to do it.

    Farewell, and thank you for being my friend.

    Battle Damage He-Man

  6. islandofsand says:

    Dear Neel,

    I am that little red Hot Car that you use to race up and down the narrow yellow strips of track that you assembled each day next to that house in Redondo Beach where you once fell off the fence and broke your leg. As time went by you began to play with the Hot Car construction trucks more than me while you imagined building dams and things I wasn’t interested in. I am writing to let you know what a jerk of a little kid you were and that I am glad that you fell off the fence that day. The extent to which you abused me makes my headlights dim, as I remember the countless times you left me out in the rain and cold of night while gathering up all the ugly construction vehicles so carefully and taking down the hot track and placing it in the box. Do you have any idea how cold it got out there? How my antifreeze couldn’t even keep my engine warm and how lonely it got out there with the critters running around in the dark… The dew caused me to rust at the ripe old age of two.

    The real point of this letter is to let you know that I survived and grew up to be a big car and that I have been driving around your neighborhood looking for you. So one day soon when you are walking around like you do, don’t be surprised when I drive over your ass and flatten you. I’m gonna smash you and leave you for dead. Just like you left me when you moved away from Redondo. So keep your eyes open cuz the next time you smell exhaust it may be the last thing you smell, oh yeah, baby I’ll drive up on the sidewalk and knock you out of your socks.

    Sincerely Yours,

    The Red Hot Car

  7. darkwinter09 says:

    Anne Hathaway is Catwoman? And Tom Hardy is Bane? He was great in “Inception” and “Warrior” and looks even more awesome in this preview. I believe Christopher Nolan is one of few directors who truly knows what he is creating. This is supposedly the most anticipated movie of 2012. I watch the preview on YouTube several more times until I am suddenly interrupted by a knock at the door of my apartment.
    At the bottom of my door is an envelope with my name typed onto the front. Usually my mail and other packages are left downstairs, but this is a surprising exception. Although I am very anticipated to find what is inside, I am rather disappointed to discover a simple note inside.
    “When your apartment is ashes, you have my permission to die.”
    The wall along my windows explodes inwards. I feel as though every nerve ending just ignited and an air horn was just blown into my ears. Through the flaming and smoking hole in the wall, I notice a figure at ground level with a rocket launcher in hand. He appears to be a weight lifter disguised like a professional wrestler.
    He looks very familiar, although does not even look human. His body appears to be made of plastic, his joints are connected by plastic screws, and his decals are painted. That is when I make the connection. This is the action figure of Bane, the villain of Batman, who I collected when I was eight years old. When I got older, he was put in a box and placed in the basement. As the years passed, I almost forgot where I placed him.
    From behind the Bane action figure, several more life-sized action figures emerge. My God! Those are the toys of my childhood each holding machine guns to the sky like a mob and chanting like a tribe marching to war.
    Their chants grow louder and louder as they pass Bane and charge towards the apartment building. I turn the other direction and run out of the apartment. The action figures have already begun to flood the building while firing their weapons in my direction.
    I finally reach the outside when I turn to the horrifying image of the entire apartment complex in flames. All of my childhood action figures, including Bane, burn the complex to the ground. Through many windows, the action figures through several flat screen TVs, laptops, cell phones, iPods, and iPads which shatter all along the ground. Adult toys are all destroyed.
    Bane emerges from the destruction and approaches in my direction. I turn and sprint only to crash into the hardest object I have ever encountered. What did I run into? A wall? No, another one of my action figures in a black suit, a cape, and a mask with pointy ears. After many years of hiding in my basement, he returns as well.
    After many years of hiding, the Dark Knight rises.

  8. DeborahDolen says:

    My Dearest Deborah,

    I was one of your best toys when you were young. In fact, I was one of your only toys. I went everywhere you went. As you got older and noticed adults did not play with toys – you held on to me tighter proclaiming to everyone who would listen, you would never give me up and that “age” would never come between us. You said countless times that would never happen and we would never part. I believed you.

    By age six I had taken you to Paris, to the Round Table with the bright shining knights in England, helped you make tea with Angels (and during rare occasions with Jesus himself) and Barbie dolls out of potatoes. I helped you build an elaborate fort in the woods-with all the neighbors kitchenware [they reported missing] and you had me with you all of the time. I helped you make up the best excuses too! We even created some cool sand castles, held court in the forbidden attics of Catholic Clergy – I helped you wear their sacred garments and swing their scepters as swords high above your head. So loyal was I, I even helped you sentence a few mean people in that attic, and at other times I helped you marry your favorite stray animals. And in case you forgot, on countless occasions I helped you catch hundreds of frogs in the rain, which was your favorite thing to do-and then let them all go.

    But age twelve was not a good year and you set me down never to return again. It was something about a job, horses, then school. Then the people at school. It was not long before it was a baby, a husband, then another baby, then college. Then there were the board meetings, flights, and therapy. [In that order.] I remained quiet. But now the kids are grown, the husband is in heaven and there are cob webs in that board room.

    I’m contacting you because you need me back.

    Sincerely,

    Your Imagination

  9. Alex says:

    Dearest Alexander,

    Or should I say “Dad”. I know it’s been 30 years since we’ve hung out together, however I knew in my heart you needed to hear from me. My old friend, my confidant, my comforter, my fellow combatant in the trenches of of childhood – it is I, yellow blanket.
    All those years we paired up against the dark reaches of the walls when Momma left the house empty to find her own comfort. We fought back with tight grips and tears when boyfriends unknown passed through with cigarettes dangling and a potty mouth to tell us to shut up so he could make Momma cry and wheel about in pleasure in her own room – which was precariously placed next to ours. No soundproofing in those green lead painted walls to suspend childhood innocence.
    We fought like little soldiers, our grip on the flashlight let us read the comic books over and over. My edges, worn from washing and rolling and hang wringing could wipe away any tears. Our battle cry to each other was to be at peace with our kids. To never suck the soul out of a child as long as we shall live – so help us God.
    I heard it last night dear old friend. You were tired and the boss always wants more. Your son held his yellow blankie in tears as you admonished his dirty room and restless boy energy, letting your dark energy out, the maddening adult power unleashed upon the child worshipper. He will leave you if you become the soul sucker. His soul will get up and walk away and you will perish.
    Pick him up old friend and hold him tight and tickle him and kiss him and read him a book. For an old friend.

    Love,
    Yellow Blanket.

    • Huh, my younger cousin had a yellow blanket, too. Instead of a play pen, he would stay within the square of the blanket, and we would always say, “Patrick, stay on the yellow!” whenever he looked naughtily at the edges.

      Sweet story – it obviously hit a chord with my own childhood, so well done!

  10. (Note – Got blocked on “childhood toy” so I went for something more in-the-now. – S)

    Hey you,

    I’ve managed to sneak away to write this, though she’ll be ready to go again any minute. No choice for me – not that I mind. This was what I was created for, but I thought you should know: she’s been using me for hours, and my sides are getting heated.

    Yeah, this is happening because of your generosity, but she’s used up a lot of me today, and not all of it has been productive. We’ve been listening to the tall, tall man blather on for hours and she has a lot of trouble etching shorthand notes in such rapid succession, so I’ve poured out plenty of stars, circles, and those funky caterpillar-like things she draws when she’s bored.

    (Has the tall man ever tried to write down what he says? I honestly don’t think so.)

    It’s not even the lack of creativity that bothers me. I just hate how damn bored she gets when he speaks, and when she gets bored I get twirled, swung, tapped, peeled, and sometimes bitten.

    I’m not so much a fan of the biting.

    Besides the doodles, it’s just been notes and they are all blah, blah, blah. Words that aren’t even her own, blah. I sooo prefer creative writing, outpouring ideas, brilliant ideas. I like to be a part of something bigger, yeah, something more than my plastic design.

    Crap, she’s back. Okay, I’ve gotta go, but promise me you’ll take me back after class, all right? I don’t want to go home with her (again). I want to go home with you, to where I belong.

    Much love,
    Pen

  11. Jeremysaysrawr says:

    Dearest Carter,

    Remember me, that old, raggedy teddy bear? You used to call me Teddy Rose-belt, because you couldn’t say Roosevelt.

    Good times, good times, right?

    Remember how you said you would never abandon me? How we would be best friends even when you were married and had kids; even when you were an old man on his deathbed. You said you’d never leave me, Carter, and that we’d always be together.

    But when you were ten, you put me in a dark, smelly garbage bag and sent me off to Goodwill with the rest of the shit you didn’t want. You didn’t just abandoned me. You GAVE ME AWAY.

    Do you know what happens to toys in Goodwill, Carter? Do you?

    Kids fondle us. They take us home and they—they—they do stuff to us. I once had a matchstick stuck up my ass while it was lit.

    I finally escaped from the clutches of the last little asshole that bought me. I ran the streets, got involved in the drug trade. I went to Colombia stuffed with at least a kilo of heroin and coke. I watched Ramone and Juan get shanked when they didn’t have all the goods that were promised. I also screwed some underage Barbie and Ken dolls,pimped out a few of them on the streets of LA, killed a few people under the name Zodiac.

    There’s a reason for this letter, Carter, after all these years, and after all this painful silence.

    I have AIDS now. Damn Barbie didn’t tell me she used a dirty needle.

    I have AIDS, and I bled on your toothbrush.

    Merry fucking Christmas, Carter.

    Love,

    Teddy

  12. seamimr says:

    Ms. Tori Franson
    202 Rosewood Road
    Virginia Beach, VA 23453

    Re: Position Available

    Dear Ms. Franson,
    It is with great pleasure that I am applying for the position for which you advertised. I have attached my resume, and as you peruse it, I am convinced that you will be impressed with the many attributes that I bring to the position. Please give your full consideration to my qualifications as I’m convinced I’m the best applicant for the job.

    With age brings experience and experience is the best teacher. I come from a quality background, from a time when people actually cared about the things that they made. Durability and dependability are qualities that I’m sure you still value, although not a distinction often found in today’s society.

    Although nepotism is not my usual modus operandi, I feel that a reminder of the past, and the quality of work I brought you, which you have been witness to, will stand the test of time. When you are considering help for your own child, I believe that my qualifications and experience will be of most benefit to you both.

    I have a very open schedule as I have been “shelved” (so to speak) due to my lack of technical aptitude. However, for the job duties you look to fill my simplicity of talents may stand me in good stead.

    Thank you very much for your consideration of my resume and qualifications,

    Respectfully yours,

    Carl, Your Panda Bear
    Second Box on the Right
    Your Attic

  13. Molly12 says:

    ‘Mail’s here!’ yelled my fiancé, Beau, from the kitchen and we both rushed outside hopefully. We had been waiting on news about our wedding venue for days and finally there was some mail in our mailbox.
    I whipped open the lid and picked up the one letter lying on the bottom. In messy handwriting ‘To Molly’ was scrawled across the envelope followed by my address. Beau looked at it disappointed and then disappeared back into the house while I quickly ripped it open.

    Dearest Molly,
    It’s been tragic since you left the house, I don’t even know where to begin. Fairy Floss Bear, Pounce Bear, Bamboo Bear and me have all been shoved up in the dark attic with the cobwebs and spiders. While all the Bears have been taken to a childcare centre!
    Everything is so different up here and we all wish you were still playing with us. Fairy Floss’s colour has been fading, Pounce is miserable and doesn’t like to play games anymore, Bamboo Bear has nothing to eat other then dust and me? Well I am desperate for some fresh air and a good play.
    Come and get us and then we can rescue the other Bears and live with you. I’m sure when you and Beau have kids that they’ll need someone to play with! Please Molly, we need you.
    Thanks
    Snoz Bear.

    Suddenly I felt faint. This has got to be spam… Beanie Kids can’t talk. That’s when everything went blank.

  14. RobertCordaro says:

    Dear Oliver,

    Yes, Bubba, I know your real name! I’ll bet you are still embarrassed by your birth name. You do remember the one your mother gave you, right? You remember her don’t you? It was about nine months ago now that she was killed right here in this basement.
    It’s alright, your brother didn’t believe me either, and look what happened to him!
    Do you remember a few years ago when you and your brother found the little girl by the creek? She was playing with her Barbie Doll, remember? Do you remember how much fun you had teasing her? Ripping her doll apart while she cried?
    Do you remember what else you did to that little girl before you finally killed her?
    I do.
    I’ll bet that you didn’t know her mother was a Witch.
    Look behind you on the shelf.

    “Well, that’s disturbing.” The detective said as he placed the bloody letter into the evidence bag.
    “You’ve been on the Force for a while, detective.” the uniformed officer began, “Do you know the little girl mentioned in the letter?”
    “Yup.” He stated, staring at the carnage on the floor at his feat.
    He watched as the CSI tech gently placed the little Barbie Doll into the plastic evidence bag, careful of the bloody straight razor duck tapped to the left hand.
    “I remember that doll, too.” He continued, “The mother of the victim was clutching it in her right hand as she signed the missing person’s report.”
    “Wait,” the uniform said, “that means she was left handed.”
    “Just like the doll.” The detective said, “Good eye.”
    The uniformed officer beamed, “And now all we have to do is find the mother.”
    “I already know where the mother is.” The detective stated, “What we have to do is find where the family hid the body.”
    “You already know where the mother is?” The uniform asked.
    “She committed suicide nine months ago.”
    “But that’s when…”
    The detective looked at the bloodless face of the uniform as the rookie realized what all that suggested.
    The old man’s laughter sounded sorry as he patted the younger man on the back and said, “Welcome to New Orleans, rookie.”

  15. Jocelynn says:

    My body froze when I saw my childhood doll sitting up against my front door. It no longer looked

    beautiful, her flowing crimson locks were gone leaving a bald head with holes, her porcelain skin was now

    sooty, those vivid emerald eyes that once told stories now laid vacant and her sunflower dress

    was ripped to shreds. Where had she come from? Setting my backpack to the side I noticed a note pinned

    across her heart. With hands shaking I unfolded the wrinkled paper and hungrily read the words strewn

    across it.

    Dear Suzy,

    Do you remember me? We’ve been through a lot, from when your mother snatched out your first tooth (I still have your blood stain on my shoe) to the late nights when you would look into my eyes and I would tell you stories about fairy’s and dragons, getting your attention so the harsh screams of your parents fighting drowned out. I still can never forgive myself for laying there helpless while your father touched you. But then relief came when your mother found out and got a divorce. Remember the tea party we had to celebrate? The mud pies I accidentally fell into… I know you still ask yourself what happened, where did I go? Well, one night I was stolen out of your room while you and your mother were out. At first I didn’t know who this masked man was. All he did was watch you as you walked home from school, stalked your dates when you got older and I saw all of it. He carried me like a trophy because I was yours, the only thing close to you. I didn’t think things could get bad until the night your mother died in the car crash. It wasn’t and accident Suzy, he killed her in order to get close to you. Please as soon as you read this leave and never look back. Goodbye sweet Suzy.

    Tears began to dribble over my waterline and the note fell to the floor. Just knowing some obsessed

    stranger was out there watching me, went to the lengths to kill my mother. I had to show this note to the

    cops, whether they thought I was crazy or not, I didn’t care. Putting a hand to my heart I couldn’t stop the

    violent sobs. Suddenly the feeling of dread intoxicated the air, I heard the porch steps behind me creak. I

    closed my eyes and clenched my fists, please let that be Aunt Caroline…please.

    “Suzy…Suzy please don’t cry,” his familiar voice triggered goosebumps to crawl over my skin.

    “Why did you do it?” I demanded.

    “Your mother wouldn’t let me near you Suzy…but now I’m here to take care of you…daddy is here to take

    care of you.”

  16. danmcgrath says:

    To: Daniel
    From: Mr. Monkey Bear
    Regarding: Planetary Bombardment

    How do I make a long story short? Given the technology of the vessel I’m on isn’t as advanced as it could be I will need to keep this missive under 500 words. Remember that night when you saw those lights in the sky and ran away? Remember how you accidentally dropped me and later on thought that I was run over by a lawn mower?

    Well turns out I was captured by the XILLLINILLLLININININI from YOOYOYOYONGUNNNA VI. I went from just being a toy bear stuffed full of left over cotton balls that your mum used to repair me after the neighbor’s dog had his way with me to a fully sentient being capable of remembering everything that happened to the two of us. All of this came with a price tag, a very steep price tag at that.

    For the last twenty years I’ve been serving as the Commander of the 114th Planetary Bombardment Division. I’ve made entire worlds burn while their trembling mortals begged and pleaded with me as I dropped rocks the size of Texas on them. Entire species died by my command, which normally went along the lines of, “Oi, someone drop a rock on that planet and when you are done get me another cup of tea.”

    Daniel, my friend, I’m tired of war. I’m tired of genocide. I’m so very tired of the things that my masters force me to do. Could you stand the idea of being a 2 foot animated toy bear in charge of weapons so powerful they could blast Kansas down to the atomic level in under a minute? I do declare the stress is phenomenal and the nightmares are even worst.

    Oh god, the nightmares….

    Daniel, I’m writing this message to you because while you are safe I am not. These wars might have left their deep wounds on my soul (or processors as the techs call it), but I’ve waged these grim battles for the future of the human race. I was given a choice Daniel, fight for freedom and liberty for all man or watch man burn under the guns of an enemy with a name so long I’m not even sure how to spell it properly.

    Tomorrow, I go into a battle so vast I may not survive. It is important to me that you know I’m a father. A few years ago I met a lovely Rainbow Brite doll and we have a child. Daniel, I beg you, look after my wife and son. Take care of them as you do your own family. Do not let my boy grow up alone in a cruel world.

    Your Friend
    Mr. MonkeyBear

  17. yellehs7777 says:

    Dear Shelley,
    I took my first breath the day you shed your first tear. The millions you bestowed gave me life. I imagine your young body was too fragile to handle all the sorrow in your soul. I became a piece of you–made up of innocent sadness, bruised knees, stomach aches and runny noses. Can you imagine being born from sadness, created in pure sorrow? This is the life that was given to me.

    I do want you to know that my life was not all heartbreaking. Our long conversations late at night always tickled me. You would try so hard to convince yourself that our conversations were pretend. Long after you were asleep, I would stay up and relish the time we spent together.

    For years, after you left me, I tried to convince myself that when you looked back you didn’t see me, but a single flash of green has haunted every thought of every day since you left.

    I’m on the bed; the luggage is in the car. Mom and Grandma are in the bathroom grabbing the last of the toiletries while you’re dancing in circles and giggling about something and nothing. It took years, but I’m finally able to see clearly. The flash of green, your piercing eyes, looking over your shoulder at me as you closed the door.

    My senses were heightened, I could not move without you. I panicked, I depended on you for everything, and I was bred from the very eyes that pierced me as you walked away. I lay there, desolate and lonely, with no way to ever find you again.

    The lost and found was quiet and dark. On most occasions it was empty, just like me.

    Years later, a phone book found its way to me. There you were.

    It’s taken me about 20 years to actually write this letter. Being that I’m a part of you, I know you have never forgiven yourself for leaving me.

    I’m writing to tell you that it’s okay. You were ready to move forward from the sadness, and embrace a new life. You had to leave that sad part of your soul behind, you just had to. I was there; I know your childhood was less than ideal.

    Shelley, I want you to know that I’m happy you were able to lock the sadness away in a closet far, far away.

    Never come back from me.

    With pure love and devotion,
    Pillow

  18. Hi Folks. I started out with the prompt, but the story took a life of its own, so I went with it because I have to keep the story in character for Rett. Anne

    “Pop The Question”
    A Rett Bonneville Story
    By Anne M. Freeman

    “Dear Retta,”

    The use of my childhood nickname for Loretta told me the unsigned comment that showed up on my website’s visitor comment book was definitely from my childhood. I wondered who it could be.

    “I’m one of your favorite toys from your childhood.”

    OK, weird.

    “I am pearl on one side, sliver on the other, and I pop in the middle. Can’t guess? Let me give you a few clues.”

    Hmmm. That sounded vaguely familiar. The comment was so out there, it must be one of my old friends.

    “I was loud and brash, and commanded everyone’s attention.”

    That sounded like me as a kid.

    “Still confused?”

    Yes. How did you guess?

    “OK, let me try again. You liked to hold me, and when you did, you felt very powerful.”

    My baseball bat? It was metal and the ball popped when I hit it just right. I definitely felt powerful when I ran around those bases and the opposing team scrambled to catch the fly, which they rarely did. But, there was no pearl on my bat. Darn the luck!

    “How about this: I made people run.”

    We never used a toy to play tag. OK, just tell me and get this over with.

    “If you haven’t figured it out, I’ll give you one final clue: “I don’t.”

    I burst out laughing! It must be Eddie! And the toy is my cap gun with the pearlized handle!!

    “I’m assuming you’re having a good laugh by now, Retta. Yes, this is Eddie. I’m coming to town for my high school reunion, and was hoping that you would say, “I Do” to accompanying me. I’ve included my number and e-mail below. If you can’t go, I’d still love to see you. I’ll be here for a few days. Give me a shout.
    “Yours, Eddie.”

    I printed the e-mail and read it again, smiling. Eddie, Alan, and my best friend from childhood, Barb, went through a funny stage one summer in early grade school when we first had our cap guns. Every weekend, we played a game where the boys would chase and capture us, and they would lead us back to their “camp,” which was actually a small deck that wrapped around a huge oak tree in Eddie’s back yard.

    Once in camp, the boys threatened to marry us and make us kiss them after the “I Do’s” – a fate worse than death! It was always an “almost” double wedding with Eddie and me and Barb and Alan. Of course, we had our cap guns in our belts and right before the I Dos, we yelled “I DON’T” and pulled them out blasting, making our escape. Then the boys would perform complicated death throws with much groaning, twisting and falling off the deck, trying to outdo each other, with us laughing on the sidelines.

    I e-mailed Eddie and wrote, “I Do,” and picked up the phone to call Mother to see if she still had that old cap gun packed somewhere…
    ###

  19. JRSimmang says:

    “Stop Playing”
    J.R. Simmang

    I live in the North Dakota wildlands. I have been here eight years. 24 years ago I left the life my parents laid out for me. That makes me 40, I think. I write this letter to tell you that I am being hunted. Buried under the largest root of this tree is my pistol, bullets spent, social security card, family photo circa 1987, and an unused condom. That is all I have left in my name. Please send it to Marcie Booker, 2312 Brookhaven, Charleston, SC, 29414. That is my mother.

    As for why I’m here.
    Twenty-four years ago I received a letter. Normally, this is not unsettling. I usually received letters from numerous people, friends, tutors, socialites, etc. My family is wealthy, substantially wealthy. My mother will be in SC because it’s Fall, and she always “Falls in South Carolina” just like she “Summers in Maoui,” “Springs in Bolivia,” and “Winters in Texas.” I had grown up with wealth and when my mother told me she was going to buy me a special toy for my eighth, I was unfazed. I didn’t care. I had new toys daily. However, this one was special. Very special.
    His name was Hegland, Reggie Hegland. He was a big toy, nearly double my size, with chocolate skin and curly hair. He was fully poseable. He was precious. I fell in love with him. Three years later, he and I had a competition. We wanted to see who could survive a jump off the roof. I took him up, pushed him to the edge, and watched him fall to the ground.
    I watched as his insides became his outsides. I watched as his thoughts became small spilled thoughts on the grass. My mother ran outside, ran back inside, and twenty minutes later an ambulance came. What a peculiar way to react to a toy. I didn’t realize just what kind of a toy Reggie was until I turned 16, when mother bought be a Veronica. She was blonde, with a large chest and small waist. She was anatomically correct. That’s when the letter came. It read this and only this:

    “Will. I am better. I am coming for you. Run, child. Run.”

    And now, if you get this note, please do not look for me.

    • JJerome says:

      Quite creepy. Your tone suggests something wicked is coming. “I watched as his insides became his outsides. I watched as his thoughts became small spilled thoughts on the grass. My mother ran outside, ran back inside, and twenty minutes later an ambulance came.” That part was stunning.

      I was left with a few questions. Was Reggie something other than a toy? What made him so special. I have a feeling I totally missed something…

      • JRSimmang says:

        Thanks for the input. I’m always unsure of where my 500 word limit is, hence the brevity. I think I might add, after “I fell in love with him,” something like:
        For three years, Reggie and I became very close. He was my confidante. His shallow, sad eyes told me stories at night. He slept with me, his smooth skin creating a tent for my growing prepubescent anxieties.
        Mother smiled when I would feed him at the table. Toward the end, he was no longer a toy to me. He was an extenstion of my own thoughts.
        And again something, after “ambulance came,” like this:
        For the first time since I had Reggie, I almost heard a flutter of a voice from his lips. How human I had made him!
        Again, thanks for the feedback. You got me thinking!

  20. kaceymichelle says:

    Dear Kacey,

    It’s Pink Ted. This may come to a shock to you but I am writing to you in a plea for help, but not only that: I too have something to offer. It has been a long time since we’ve spoken but I believe you owe me this favour. I will address this more specifically at the end of this letter.

    I have known you almost from the moment you came into this world, when your Nan gave me to you at your birth. There are few people in the world who know you better than I. As a child you came to me with all of your problems. You gave me much of your affections and I returned them happily. You played with me, cuddled me and cried tears into my fur. You confided your fears, your secrets, your dreams. But as you grew old you eventually forgot me. I sat amongst the other forgotten relics of your past, where I remain to this day. Do you even remember me? Do you even know where I am at this moment? I doubt you can say ‘yes’, but I hold nothing against you.

    Over the years I have witnessed every stage of your life and your development: like a guardian angel but unable to give advice and help you like I wish I could. I have watched that vibrant, imaginative, ambitious little girl turn into a miserable adult who can find no hope within herself. You are special, and you were made to make a difference in this world: and I am here to put you back on track. I am here to inspire you, offer you advice, and support. I am a shoulder to lean on and I’m not sure at what point you stopped believing in me.

    All I ask of you is to bring me to life once more. Us toys stop bringing joy, and support when our owners stop believing in us, when they feel they don’t need us anymore. But if you can just take my word for it and begin to believe in me again I can be of great use to you. Please, just take me down from your shelf. Let me lay in bed with you again. I will let you cry your tears into me once more, and I will help you feel better. I will listen to your worries, and I will remind you of the dreams you’ve forgotten. I will remind you that you a special and worthwhile. That is all I ask. And as your best friend of seven years, I believe you owe me this small chance to prove that I can bring you back to life, just like you can me.

    Regards,
    Pink Ted
    Always yours.

  21. yellehs7777 says:

    Dear Shelley,
    I took my first breath the day you shed your first tear. The millions you bestowed gave me life. I imagine your young body was too fragile to handle all the sorrow in your soul. I became a piece of you–made up of innocent sadness, bruised knees, stomach aches and runny noses. Can you imagine being born from sadness, created in pure sorrow? This is the life that was given to me.

    I do want you to know that my life was not all heartbreaking. Our long conversations late at night always tickled me. You would try so hard to convince yourself that our conversations were pretend. Long after you were asleep, I would stay up and relish the time we spent together.

    For years, after you left me, I tried to convince myself that when you looked back you didn’t see me, but a single flash of green has haunted every thought of every day since you left.

    I’m on the bed; the luggage is in the car. Mom and Grandma are in the bathroom grabbing the last of the toiletries while you’re dancing in circles and giggling about something and nothing. It took years, but I’m finally able to see clearly. The flash of green, your piercing eyes, looking over your shoulder at me as you closed the door.

    My senses were heightened, I could not move without you. I panicked, I depended on you for everything, and I was bred from the very eyes that pierced me as you walked away. I lay there, desolate and lonely, with no way to ever find you again.

    The lost and found was quiet and dark. On most occasions it was empty, just like me.

    Years later, a phone book found its way to me. There you were.

    It’s taken me about 20 years to actually write this letter. Being that I’m a part of you, I know you have never forgiven yourself for leaving me.

    I’m writing to tell you that it’s okay. You were ready to move forward from the sadness, and embrace a new life. You had to leave that sad part of your soul behind, you just had to. I was there; I know your childhood was less than ideal.

    Shelley, I want you to know that I’m happy you were able to lock the sadness away in a closet far, far away.

    Never come back from me.

    With pure love and devotion,
    Pillow

  22. WildCarrot says:

    The giant monkeys should’ve been dead by now. They should have died after the bomb Tommy left them in a nicely wrapped gift basket – they always fell for that.

    It made no sense.

    Tommy held his breath. There wasn’t enough light under the bridge for to see the hands in front of him, scratching through the dirt. He bit at them every so often, though they were already at the bed.

    There was no use and everybody knew it. Dr. Rotten Cabbage-Patch and his giant army were about to take over the world and steal the moon. Only they were capable of such evil.

    Tommy had defeated Dr. Rotten Cabbage-Patch countless times before, and all of his evil allies. But not today. It was also the first time he went against the doctor alone. Cow was always by his side. At every adventure, they were together. When friends left Tommy feeling worthless, Cow was there for him when no one else would.

    But not today.

    Not since the monkeys ripped open Cow’s arm, forcing him to reside in the hospital until he recovered. As far and Tommy knew, his best friend was dead. That was why he needed to finally defeat the doctor. For his friend. Not for the world, or the moon. His mom would send him to the corner for saying such things, but he would take a million corners for that day.

    The ground began to rumble. Tommy fell against the ground. His shoulder slammed into the dirt, causing pain to ripple through it. He winced and spit out dust, blinked the tears out of his eyes.

    In between the blur, there was a flash of red and curly arms. The cackle of triumphant laughter that made his hands pump from anger he couldn’t control.

    The giant monkeys were looking for him. Soon he would be no more. His eyes widened. He needed a plan, if only he had time to make one.

    Tommy picked up his feet, moving so quickly that his head felt heavy. He kept one eye on the monkeys when he was about to run, when he felt another shot of pain in the back of his head, a fast burst before is disappeared again.

    He spun, expecting one of the monkeys, with clenched fists and jaw, sweat forming a perspiration mustache over his upper lip. When he found it was a paper plane he wanted to laugh. He smiled without showing his teeth. It disappeared when he saw open me on the side.

    Picking up the plane, he opened it slowly, curiosity and confusion battling in his mind. The writing inside was faint, but he recognized it. Cow’s.

    He almost dropped the letter, but he forced himself to read it. Tommy wasn’t good at reading. The words twisted and turned, forming themselves into other words, it made him dizzy just to look at it.

    All he could understand was that Cow was there and he wanted to help Tommy – or he wanted a roast beef sandwich.

    He wasn’t sure exactly, but he didn’t know Cow was foxed. How long was he out of the hospital? Why didn’t he come to Tommy earlier? Wasn’t he allergic to roast beef?

    Tommy let the letter fall from his hands when the ground stopped rumbling. He had grown so used to it that he almost fell again, but he caught himself. It was silent, more than he liked. With legs like jelly, he started to run, when a ringing caused him to skid to a stop.

    Tommy dropped the sticky barrel of monkeys and watched the blur of kids rush past him and out the door. He was breathing hard out of his nose.

    With a glance, he looked up to the shelf where all of the broken toys sat. Cow was in the middle, leaning on a dusty Dr. Seuss book. Tommy gave him a curt nod before jogging out of the door, sunlight enveloping him.

    Next time Dr. Rotten Cabbage-Patch.

    Next time.

  23. erikabaxter5 says:

    is it that funny
    if you think so commet me
    reply i mean

  24. erikabaxter5 says:

    i opened my mail box today and i had a letter in my face flying

  25. Dean Kutzler says:

    Love it! If there is anything that I believe in, it has to be Karma. She is a bitch and I’d have her no other way. I love the build throughout the story. Had me thinking until the end.. Hmmm? Jupiter? Uranus? Pluto? What’s the creation!???!! Then KAPOW! The epiphany hits! Great job!

  26. JJerome says:

    THE DOLL MAKER
    So I make dolls for a living. I’ve been doing it forever, even before Adam, Noah, Abraham, and that Moses fellow with the severe case of ADHD. He never could stand still. But he was a good boy and he loved his mother. He looked nothing like Charlton Heston.

    But these dolls are my life, my love, my raison detre. And they are killing me. My back is hunched over, my neck is stiff, and my eyes can barely see beyond my fingertips. And I got a hemorrhoid the size of the Red Sea. I apologize for that last one, but I’m too old to stop complaining. Once I start, then whoosh, it all gushes down in torrents. How do you think the Great Flood came? You drink extra-extra large lattes and see how you control yourself.

    I have other hobbies, other crafts. You should see one piece I’ve been working on for about five billion years. It rotates on a pottery wheel, which I can’t get to stop. My hands get damn dirty on it. I spin, mold, spin, pinch, and it’s still not done, tempting me to throw the whole hot mess into the trash can and start over. But not my dolls – I’ll keep them forever.

    The latest doll is my single greatest act of creation. Her face is as smooth as marble, her eyes deep and blue like oceans, her fingers and toes as delicate as a single drop of morning dew. And her smile…let’s just say DaVinci stole that smile right off her face. I’ve got to stop giving away my best ideas.

    But her best quality is her strength. I crafted her to endure the worst evils ever conjured by other malfunctioning creations. She may not look that strong, but this doll can withstand the most devastating accidents to the bloodiest wars ever fought on that rotating blob of clay. I made her that way.

    And now, I’m about to be finished.

    After all the cutting, crafting, shaping, sanding, painting, the final step is a breath from me to her, a kiss that will instill her with a soul. After that, my beautiful toy will be completed, and she will stand next to the millions of other dolls lined up on the wall of my workshop, where she will wait for as long as my eyes and hands can function.

    She stands ready on my workbench. But before I endow her with a soul, I need a little assistance, for you see my memory is not so good any more. In my hands, I hold a black and white photograph. On it, I see the face of a devil, a man wearing a black suit, red arm band, black hair slicked to the side, tiny black moustache. He raises his arm like a god. I’ll show the bastard.

    After I kiss her head, I place her next to the other dolls. She’ll outshine them all.

    I think I’ll name her Karma.

  27. Frank says:

    An Instant Message jolts him. He guesses, wrongly, that it’s someone named Henrietta who wants to do strange things to him with leather.

    “Hi — What’s Up, Man?” the message says.

    “I don’t do bondage,” he replies tersely.

    “No, it’s me, your old pal, Al. You remember your pet rock?”

    There is only silence, a blinking cursor, a blank screen. He thinks on the enormity of the message and writes, “You were no pet of mine.”

    “What’s wrong man?” it replies. “Your liver finally give out or what? You know you loved me when you were a kid, fished around me too. It was only later when we really got to know each other on account of — well let’s not talk about that — but I was a special kind of rock. I’d say you got to know me pretty well.”

    The old man, tears falling on the keyboard, typed “Is it time?”

    “Hey old timer, what do you mean, is it time? It’s way past time. I’ve been out of commish for a while, but even I know that the gig’s up, man.”

    “But I’m too old to go now,” he typed

    “What do you mean old? I came with the Ice Age!”

    “OK,” the man wrote, “I can’t stand solitary again — that’s what life’s like now — but I thought I’d buried you in the past, Al, thought it was behind me.”

    The IM screen said ‘typing‘ and he shivered thinking what was to come: He read the words, his tortured face haggard in the blue light: “You remember the pact? If you could leave me, you’d come back one last time. That’s the deal.”

    “I remember,” he said aloud as he typed.

    He looked again and saw, “You better hurry, my old friend, ’cause this ol’ Rock knows you’re running out of time.”

    He decided he would go to the Rock when it was dark. He felt shameful about the reunion, didn’t want people to see him. And for all he knew his end could be messy, so there was no point in getting folks all riled up about the place again. The biggest problem was getting there: it was across the water, so he stole a boat — what could they do now — and he crossed the blackened bay with the stars the only witness to his end.

    He reached the ramp and scrambled up the slope, remembering the first time he had walked the walk to spend the lonely years with the Rock. He could feel his weak heart beating harder, but he must complete the pact. Finally he was there, could see his old nemesis again from the inside, the way he had grown to hate it. He felt the crushing pain in his chest.

    If Alcatraz — The Rock — was pleased, the only sound came from the crash of restless waves against its rocky shore.

  28. Smiley182011 says:

    Dear Ryan,
    While I know that the consequences of your actions may come as a shock to you, I feel you need to know. Not only am I looking for compensation for what you did to me, I am looking to prevent other toys from suffering the same. I don’t believe you did it on purpose. You and I were once good friends. You kept me in your back-pack and took me wherever you went. We kept each other company. You had such faith in my talent that you always took me to the top of the stairs and let me loose. Always proud and amazed when I walked all the way down the stairs; which is pretty impressive it I do say so myself, I mean come on, I have no legs. Anyway, remember that day you took me to your mom’s work. You got bored and thought it would be cool to let me walk down the ten flights of stairs to the ground floor of the office’s building. I’m writing to tell you that it was not a good idea. I sustained serious head trauma and cannot find work. After you gave me to the good-will, I met another beautiful slinky and we fell in love. Now there are twins on the way, but no one will hire me because I’m broken. I believe you humans call what I’m looking for worker’s compensation. I’m not looking for millions, just enough to steadily support my family. I hope you agree, I do have a lawyer on hand and I am prepared to take you to court. Please Ryan, you have kids of your own now, you understand why I am going to such extremes.

    Your Long Lost Friend,
    Mr. Slinky
    P.S. Watch your kids as they are young and hyper. They will get silly ideas like yours. I don’t want to see another toy hurt on the job. It’s too much to handle.

  29. Aragedy Kilof says:

    Shelly opened her apartment door and tossed her exercise bag and purse into the corner and walked over to the kitchen table, flopping down in the chair with an exasperated sigh. And then she began the first ritual of her standard evening alone, sorting the mail.

    “junk, junk, bill, junk, junk, catalog, junk, bill, catalog, letter…” She paused. An actual letter. Not a card or a note from a relative or friend. An actual letter. She put down the stack of unsorted mail and looked at it.

    It had her name and address on it, written in what looked like a child’s handwriting. She brushed her hair out of her eyes and looked at it a little longer, then carefully opened it. She couldn’t remember the last time she had read an actual letter.

    Inside was a sheet of bright yellow paper, with words written in the same handwriting. Puzzled, she began to read it:

    Dearest Shelly,

    How I have missed you. We have had some really good times and some bad times too, but -

    Shelly stopped reading and skipped down to the bottom. The salutation read “Love, Gentle Ben”

    She gasped as memories and the strong emotions that were wrapped around them came flooding in. Gentle Ben had been the one toy she kept throughout her childhood. A brown stuffed bear that she clutched to her as she and her dad moved from town to town, school to school. When they lived in a car, Ben was there. When they stayed with Aunt Stacy, Ben was there. And when Dad finally settled down in Denver, Ben was there. So much loneliness, so much sorrow. But there was always a friend with her.

    She went back to the top:

    but through it all we were together. I understood when you left to go to school, to find your own place to be you. But I still missed you. But being a special bear, I needed to find more kids to be with, to help. That neighbor boy Robert came over soon after you left and I used my charm to make him take me. He was sad a lot. So I stayed with him for a while until he felt better. You know I am a great snuggler.

    I convinced Robert to give me to Heather, a little girl with six brothers. She just needed someone to talk to. So I listened. Then there was Conner, then Bryce, and then Sydni. Yes, with an “i” on the end. She needed me because her parents go divorced, and I let her hold me to make that easier.

    I loved each of them just like a loved you.

    Shelly felt a tear fall from her eye and roll down her cheek. She couldn’t believe what she was reading, but she knew that this was the same voice she heard in her head when she and Ben had talked all those years ago. Discussing a new town, new kids at school, or how her father was always so sad.

    And then I ended up where I think I was always meant to be. Sydni donated me to a half-way house in Portland. And there I felt attracted to a lady because she reminded me of you. The lady picked me up and looked at me and said “Oh my, you look just like the little bear I gave my darling Shelly the day before I had to leave.”

    Shelly, it is your mother. She talked to me a lot and I learned that she had been sick, she could not cope. She didn’t want to disappoint you or your father so she left. But she is doing better.

    I think she needs you now. Shelly, can you call this number and talk to her.

    502 555 2315

    Love

    Gentle Ben

    As she sobbed uncontrollably, Shelly put the letter down and began to dial.

  30. catbr says:

    Earlier in the afternoon Jane had gone down to her mail box to see if she had gotten any mail. Just the usual mail she thought checking through the junk mail and utility bills. But then surprisingly there was a letter addressed to her that she definitely did not recognize. It looked like a child’s printing. She was very shocked to see this as she wasn’t acquainted with any children. This was what the letter contained.

    Dear Jane,
    How in the world are you? You aren’t going to believe this but my name is Chico. I was your favourite of all times stuffed monkey. I know this sounds crazy but please don’t faint or throw this letter out. It is for real.

    Jane could not believe what she was reading. I must be losing my mind she thought. She did remember as a child she did have a stuffed monkey that she thought the world of. She even brought it to school in grade 3 for a show and tell. It was always on her bed waiting for her to snuggle up with at bed time. But, continuing on with the letter.

    When you got a little bigger and lost interest in me, your mother donated me along with a some old clothes and dishes to the thrift store. I can’t tell you how much I missed you. I never thought anyone would ever buy me and that I would end up in the trash. It was scary. But one day a kindly old woman came in and bought me and a few other toys. She worked at an orphanage, which became my new home. A lot of kids came and went over the years and I was getting a little worn out from all the hugging and playing by the children. I guess a lot of other kids liked me okay.
    Recently this new little girl came into the orphanage. She is about 9 years old and is the saddest little girl I have ever seen. She instantly took a liking to me and I to her. Jane, this is why I’m writing to you. The guardian angel of the orphanage gave me the power to relate this message to you because we are pretty sure that this little girl is your daughter. Please come to the orphanage and get your daughter Jane. She really needs you.
    Love, Chico.

    Jane’s eyes filled with tears as she held the letter close to her heart. It was 9 years ago that her then husband told Jane that she had to give the baby girl up or he would divorce her. Jane’s husband was very mean to her. He never wanted children and when he found out she was pregnant he wanted her to have an abortion. She thought he would change his mind once the baby was born, but he never did. He did not want any children at all. Regretfully she gave the baby up. And 3 years later they were divorced. Jane tried to find out where her baby was but somehow she got lost in the system after being shuffled around from one foster home to another.

    Jane did not hesitate to go to the orphanage and claim her daughter with all the necessary paperwork. After Jane and her daughter were back together they immediately got Chico to come home with them. Chico was never able to communicate with anyone ever again but they didn’t care, they just loved him almost as much as they loved each other.

    • mariagavila says:

      Wow! What a turnaround! Wasn’t expecting that.

    • rich-jolii says:

      Great story. Loved the ending, especially after the shock of how she had to give her daughter up.

    • JJerome says:

      It’s nice to read a story with a happy ending. I can tell you have a lot of love for the story and the characters.

    • JR MacBeth says:

      Catbr, a great story! I think with a bit larger word allocation, Chico could have managed to stay “in character”, as a child. The set-up, stating “child’s printing”, was perfect for Chico’s intro. “It was scary.” Very nice! I imagined the voice of a five or six year-old child at that point. But it shifted into (necessary) explanation that didn’t remain in-tune with the initial tone, in my opinion. Not sure if it was intended, but obviously, it is very hard to get the gist of a somewhat more complicated (and “adult”) story into so few words. A bit more room, and perhaps Chico could have remained the small child. No doubt it would have been a big challenge to have Chico speak of such grown-up matters as the innocent child, but if you were able to pull it off, it would be the kind of thing that puts the room on their feet with a standing ovation. (I’m almost tempted to try writing such a challenging scene myself!) My hat is off to you for tackling such a difficult matter.

    • Frank says:

      Beautiful story. It leaves a lasting impression about the power of l-o-v-e that is timeless and handled with skill by you.

    • Icabu says:

      Wonderful story.
      Sad, warming, and a happy ending!

  31. Jaybo says:

    “Mr. J. Volpe? I’m sorry to wake you from your nap but I have parcel to deliver.”

    “Mmmf pffted…”

    “Mr. Volpe? Are you awake? “

    “I-I am sorry, young lady. What did you want to give me? ”

    “I have a parcel for you… from England.”

    “What in the heavens?”

    “I am sorry, sir. I don’t know what’s in the package. It’s rather heavy, like a book or something. The tag says, ‘Magnetic Recording enclosed. Do not expose to magnetized metals.’” According to the tracer placed on it, the U.S. Postal service received it through the American Attaché in England. The British Conciliate must have had it for quite some time according to the original package stamping. It took a while for the U.S. Government to find your last known address. From there, The Social Security Administration was able to offer a PO Box, which led us to you. I think, judging from the date of the package, it was thought wise to hand deliver it. It is addressed to a Master Janus Volpe.”

    “Th-Thank you, young lady. My gratitude; and my best to your supervisors on such conscientiousness in delivering this-this parcel. I should not need anything else. Is there is a fee?”

    “No. Um, …I hate to be impudent and presumptuous, but would you mind letting me know what it is. I am dying of curiosity. We don’t get much from England in these parts.”

    “That is fine. I’ll open it. I had forgotten about this…almost fifty years now…the recording was something I made on an old Dictaphone my Father owned as a Barrister before the old Bailey. He preferred to have Mother transcribe his notes and he’d leave it where I could easily play with it, as a child, when he was not in the Law study. Once, I sent recorded a note to the Crown’s Historical Commission regarding a certain incident which happened many years ago, the subject was of great fascination to me as I dearly loved big machines and Man’s ingenuity to build something grand. Anyway, this recording must have been transcribed and both recording and message sent to the appropriate party. Mother must have found I was playing with Father’s machine; she may have done this. I never got a response, though. I forgot about it when we moved to the States. Someone must have ultimately received the message and replied. I just never received the information. Let’s see what the note says:”
    Dated: March 24th, 1964
    Dear Sir,
    Thank you for your interest in the specified subject matter. We are pleased to have obtained a volume from the United States Government. We are returning your recording with the post packet. Sincerly, British Historical Society.
    Enclosed: recording media. 1 Copy: Washington, Government printing office: “Hearings before a Subcommittee on Commerce, United States Senate, Sixty –Second Congress, Second Session, pursuant to Senate Resolution #283, Directing the Committee on Commerce to investigate the causes leading to the Wreck of the White Star liner ‘Titanic’”, 1912.

  32. Mark says:

    Brad bolted upright in bed and wildly scanned the room. Fighting the disorientation that comes from waking in a strange place, he tried to calm his breathing and his pounding heart as the thunder rumbled outside of his motel window. Untangling himself from scratchy sheets, Brad padded to the bathroom and sucked tepid water from the bathroom faucet. “Tomorrow I can go home”, he thought. He turned and made his way back to the bed, something on the floor catching his eye as he sat heavily on the bed. Curious, he switched on the lamp by his bed. A dirt-smudged envelope beckoned to him from the floor. Scratching his head, Brad padded over to the door, bent down, and picked up the envelope. “That’s weird. There’s no writing on it”, he thought to himself as he turned the envelope over in his hand. He walked over to the small writing table in the corner of the room and picked up the scratched and tarnished letter opener from the corner of the desk. He opened the envelope and extracted a single sheet of paper. Unfolding the paper, his breath caught as light spilled upon the page.

    Hi Skippy,
    I know that you must be really surprised to be reading this considering how we parted ways and knowing you the way that I do, I would say that you must be really nervous. Granted, you have a lot to be nervous about. Most people would be highly offended if you invited them out for a fun-filled summer afternoon only to bury them in the woods and leave them alone and forgotten. Is that the way to treat you best friend? I think not. Fortunately for you, I am the bigger man. When I heard about the tragic car accident that claimed the lives of your wife and son, I just had to reach out to you. It was not easy to overcome all of those obstacles, but surprise! I’m back.
    Jack

    “No. It’s not possible”, Brad whimpered as the paper slipped through his shaky fingers and onto the floor, the bile rising in his throat. Frantically, he sprang to his feet, flipped on the lights, and wildly searched the room. Faster and faster he searched, but to no avail. Exhausted, he focused his attention on the last object in the room, the dresser. As he pulled out the third drawer from the top, his worst fears were confirmed. Dirt fell away as he removed the old burlap bag tied with heavy twine from the drawer. “It can’t be”, his mind screamed as he untied the familiar knot in the top of the bag and reached into the darkness. Brad’s knees gave way and he sank to the floor, sobbing as he pulled out the blonde-haired doll, its one dark eye mocking and accusing him. With a cold knot of dread in the pit of his stomach, Brad waited for Bad Jack to tell him who had to die.

  33. rich-jolii says:

    I sat down at the cluttered desk in my man cave. The envelope had caught my attention, it was hand written with no return address. I opened it and pulled out a letter and a picture. I looked at the picture and saw that it was a snapshot of a toy collection that included an Evel Knievel action figure standing next to his stunt cycle and energizer.

    Something about the picture caught my attention immediately. I grabbed a magnifying glass from my drawer, and inspected the energizer up close. Sure enough, it had a spiderman sticker on it. This was not an ordinary toy, it was my old toy! I couldn’t believe it, how was this possible, I hadn’t seen this toy in over 30 years. Childhood memories of my friend Brian and I, making ramps, for evel to jump, came to my mind. I started to read the letter.

    Dear Rich,
    “I know it’s been a long time since we were last together and it may be a shock to hear from me. Recently, I was released from storage, where I had been for the last 25 years. Don’t feel bad, a toy is able to shut down and sleep while in storage for long periods of time.” I couldn’t believe what I was reading. I knew it had to be a joke, but I couldn’t stop reading, the letter continued,” I am afraid I have some bad news regarding some of the others that were sold with me during the garage sale of 81’. Johnny West lost his leg back in 82’, to a puppy chewing incident. The boy that bought us was very cruel. The mego action figures including the superheroes, planet of the ape’s figures, star trek figures, as well as Starsky and Hutch, were all burnt during the boy’s fire starting period. GI Joe had a hole drilled in his chest. A firecracker was inserted; when it exploded there wasn’t much left of him. I must warn you. You are in danger.” I set the letter aside. Danger? This was going too far. The letter warned me that if I wasn’t careful…, I was startled by a knock on the door. I set the letter down and opened the door. There stood my wife and friend Brian. Jane was holding my old Evel Knievel toy, and said happy birthday to me.

    They explained how Brian found the toy at a client’s house, while looking at the man’s toy collection. When Brian, had noticed the sticker he knew it had to be my old one. After all, Brian had played with the toy almost as much as I had. Jane had asked Brian for help in finding me a birthday gift. Brian was able to convince the client to sell it to Jane after he explained how it had been my childhood treasure. The letter was payback for years of practical jokes. I headed out the door, toy in hand, as I planned the first ramp I was going to build.

  34. Robert says:

    One Saturday, my wife and I sat at the kitchen table drinking our coffee. As we talked, we heard a noise at the door. I walked down the hall toward the front door and saw an envelope beneath the mail slot. My name was on the front cover with the instructions, “Open the door.” A tall, narrow package sat on the front steps. I looked around, saw no one, and then took the package and envelope inside.

    At the kitchen table, I tore open the box to find my old Mattel Vertibird rescue ship. I knew it was mine because I had wrote my name and address on the bottom. The white boat was made of Styrofoam and covered with in Coast Guard insignia. A flexible 21-inch arm extended from the boat to a red, plastic helicopter with black rotors. On the boat’s stern sat two red levers, one to control pitch, and one to control the throttle. With these two levers, I had flown a thousand missions around that boat.

    “This is my Mattel Vertibird. “Dad and Mom gave it to me for Christmas when I was in the fifth grade. I thought Mom threw it away years ago. I wonder who found it.”

    My wife looked at me, “Read the card.”

    Dear Bob, I am the Mattel Vertibird Rescue Ship you gave your best friend, Johnny. He asked his wife to return me to you. You were not difficult to find since your mother lives in the same house where you grew up.
    You may not remember Johnny, but he remembered you. He used to live down the street from you. You would invite him inside to play “Deep Sea Rescue” with us for hours. You may not know this, but his mother and father would fight and your house was his escape.

    When he was twelve, however, his parents divorced and he moved to New England, but before he left, you gave me to him. Johnny displayed me on a bookshelf above his bedroom door. I was his prized possession; he never forgot your generosity.”

    When Johnny was eighteen, he applied to the United States Coast Guard Academy in New London, Connecticut. After flight school, he served in the Coast Guard for 27 years as a helicopter pilot. He refused to tell his wife how many sorties he flew, but his commander told his wife he was one of the best.
    Six months ago, John died of lung cancer, but before he died, he made his wife promise that she would return me to you. He wanted you to know his story. Your gift of me to him, almost thirty-five years ago, was his inspiration to enter the Coast Guard. Both John and I wanted to say, “Thank you.”

    My wife and I dried our eyes as our son, Jonathan, bounded down stairs. He asked, “What’s that?” I put my arm around him, “It’s a Vertibird Rescue Ship, and I have a story to tell.”

  35. amyhad218 says:

    My trek to the mailbox is a long one. The driveway is dusty and dirt devils dance in the wind, stinging my bare legs. Heavy air surrounds me, dark clouds hanging low. I can smell the impending rain.
    Hanging open on its hinges, the decrepit mailbox stands as a reminder of all that needs to be fixed in my world. I reach inside, not expecting anything. The mailman rarely stops. My daily walk out here is habit; it imparts structure to my days.
    The envelope I withdraw is addressed to me in a childish hand with some of the letters written backwards. Inside is a single sheet of paper.
    Dear Elise,
    I finally got up the courage to write this letter. I have missed you so much over the years. I have kept up with you since you wrapped me up so carefully and placed me in this box. You were 12 years old. I wonder why you tired of me. I was a faithful companion and we had such fun together.
    Then, your mother died and nothing was the same again. The laughter stopped. The games we played ceased. You left me cold and naked upon the shelf, punishing me. I’m sorry for my painted smile and my eyes that won’t cry. I always felt your pain, wishing I had the power to trade places with you.
    Over the years, I’ve survived without protest in my box. In airless darkness, I’ve waited, always listening.
    I heard your first kiss. I eavesdropped when you snuck that boy into your bedroom and you…
    Your senior prom I noted, as you prepared and primped and cried, missing your mom. My heart swelled with pride and longing on your graduation day. If I could have, I would have clawed my way out of this box to witness your wedding day.
    You cleaned out the closet and removed items above me, next to me, beneath me. But my box, you never touched. I tried to harden my heart, to blame you, to hate you. I never could. New objects found their way into your heart and then into the closet. I gathered dust.
    Noting the births of each of your children, I thought surely my time would come. Your little girl would play with me, dress me, tell me stories. But still I lay here, forgotten.
    I perceived trouble. I heard the loud words, wielded like weapons between your husband and yourself. Darkness descended on your life and my own, and all I could do was nothing.
    Now, you are alone. Your husband left and your children are grown. Please release me from my prison. I long to comfort you.
    Love,
    Dolly

    I crumpled the letter in my hand. How had I come to this? Was the letter from Dolly, or a higher power? I trekked back to the house and relit the pilot light, firmly shutting the oven door. Death could wait. Dolly was calling.

  36. Icabu says:

    “So, what do you think?” Carol asked, watching her friend as she read the letter that had mysteriously arrived the day before.

    “It’s creepy,” Linda said, laying the letter on the counter. “Who the heck is Giovani Affetto, anyway?”

    “You remember that old Italian guy that lived down the road from me when we were kids?” asked Carol.

    “Oh, yeah. He wrote that?”

    “No, he’s been dead for years. He made me that doll. It was three foot tall with a beautifully carved wooden head, hands, and boots. His wife sewed the body and clothes – white t-shirt and jeans.” To Carol, the doll had been like a close friend.

    “I thought that thing was creepy, too.” Linda shivered.

    “Giovani was the name he gave the doll,” Carol explained. It disappointed her that Linda hadn’t liked the doll.

    “So the creepy doll wrote you the creepy letter?”

    “Don’t be silly. It’s a prank, obviously.” Carol shrugged. “Probably someone I had over after school back then being weird now.”

    “More than weird.” Linda picked up the letter again. Reading, she asked, “Did you really talk to it?”

    “I used it like a kind of verbal diary after I outgrew the tea party stage. I unloaded my problems to it, bounced ideas off it.” Carol smiled, remembering. “It listened a lot better than my ex.”

    Linda waved the letter in front of Carol’s face. “Well, it’s missed your chats and wants to get to know you better.”

    Carol grabbed at it, catching hold on the third try. “Hardly.”

    “You gonna call the cops or anything?” Linda asked.

    “No. The best thing to do is ignore it. If you play into the weirdos it only encourages them.”

    “I’d call the cops.”

    Carol frowned at her friend.

    “What happened to the doll?” asked Linda.

    “Mom said she gave it back to the Affettos when I left for college. They had grandchildren to give it to, I think.” Carol folded the letter and put it back in the envelope. “I don’t really know.” If she believed the letter, it had pined away for her, wishing to be with her again. Shivering a little herself, she tucked it away with the rest of the mail.

    Weeks after receiving the letter, Carol sat in her favorite coffee shop, grading papers for the second graders she taught.

    “May I sit here?”

    Carol looked up, blinking in disbelief. The white t-shirt was filled out very nicely, tucked neatly into jeans. Her gaze dropped to the man’s heavy black boots, snapping back to the familiar face. Either her mind was playing tricks on her or her childhood doll had pulled a Pinocchio.

    “Giovani?” she asked, her voice squeaking.

    He smiled.

  37. Turtled says:

    Tim rubbed his eyes and listened again, wondering if the tapping was real or just the blood vessels in his head drumming out the bass rhythm of the Black Sabbath tribute band from the night before. “Man…I will never forgive fake-Ozzie for this!”

    The tapping came again. He tried to lift his head off the pillow, but the muscles in his neck wouldn’t cooperate. “Someone must have slipped me something. A sudden Ashley flashback burst through his brain. It woke his senses enough to remember that he hadn’t seen her since St. Patty’s day. “Yo, Pat…” he wasn’t sure if he had called loud enough to be heard, but the sear of pain through his temples was enough to stifle the rest of the thought. “Dang.”

    Tim rolled over his right shoulder and lowered his left leg slowly until his foot met the floor. His hands gripped the sheets as he buried his face deeper into the pillow. The tapping came again, this time louder, as did the thoughts of Edgar Allen Poe.

    With a deep breath he pushed off his elbows and stood, mostly upright, his eyes still clamped shut. He thought maybe he was still wearing one shoe. He turned and walked blindly toward the noise. His shoulder bumped the door and threw him off balance. His eyes now suddenly opened, he regained his balance on the door frame and stopped once more just to be sure.

    The pounding came again, this time accompanied by an indiscernible voice.

    Tim turned the knob and opened the door until the flimsy chain lock held its ground. “At least I remembered to lock the door last night”, he thought.

    A hand shot in the door. Between the thumb and fore finger was a white envelope. “Read and sign this.” The voice on the other side of the door was deep and monotone.

    Tim rubbed his eyes again hoping that it might somehow bring more clarity to his brain. He took the envelope, used his finger to tear it open and pulled the contents out. In bold red letters across the top it read: Summons.

    His eyes darted back and forth noting some of the highlights, but leaving out the minute details…neglect and abandonment, endangerment…? Tim couldn’t believe what he was reading. “Wait, I am being sued for…what?”
    The voice repeated its earlier instructions, read and sign.

    “I’m pretty sure none of this is my responsibility.” Tim pleaded. “I mean, I was just a kid, and he was old enough to take care of himself. Is it really my fault that someone found him in a dumpster covered in dirt? Time in and out of VA Hospitals, how is that my problem?”

    The voice began to utter that same phrase.

    “I know. I know, sign here.” He handed the receipt to the voice. As he closed the door, Tim turned and hollered into the next room, “Yo Pat, remember that GI Joe we used to play with in my sandbox…?”

  38. embeider says:

    I open the envelope, not knowing who in the world is Mr. Skater, the one on the return address. I open up the neatly folded letter which goes as follows. It was from my favorite childhood toy: a troll doll with electric blue eyes that lit up in the dark, bright yellow hair, and had skates that actually moved him around. I used to like to turn all the lights off at night and watch this creepy troll that was a foot tall skate, his eyes lighting up the dark.

    Anyway, back to the letter, ever since we had moved from the apartment at Summer Tree which was his first real home after being adopted by me from Lyno Toy Warehouse- he has had quite a time. See, he is not soft or little and definitely not a girl’s toy. He got broken and lost. But, he found a community of trolls where he fell in love with a girl troll he could skate with. The more time they spent together, the more he grew taller and taller. Different parts of his plastic exoskeleton started breaking and cracking until his new body grew taller. The troll and his new troll girl grew up together, becoming gigantic creatures with skates as feet.

    I was shocked that my toy was writing a letter, turning the letter over and over in my fingers. Hmm. Why was this troll contacting me? I had thought that he was just a toy. He was dying and needed my blue eyes, which have faded over time. Do I give a toy the right live?

  39. Chilo says:

    P.O. Box full of junk mail
    Like my secure e-mail
    Who else lurks
    In these envelopes?

    What’s this?
    A letter from Poochie?
    It can’t be
    A letter from Poochie!

    Here
    Within my grasp
    A letter addressed to me
    From my favorite toy

    Toys came and went
    In my childhood
    But Poochie understood
    I had to let her go

    The letter thanked me
    For moving on
    A long list of things
    We did together followed

    But wait
    There’s more
    Poochie has been up to more
    What a shock it is to hear

    Poochie escaped
    Unscathed
    No garbage landfill
    Could detain her

    Poochie traveled light
    Only one ear missing
    All these years
    She has visited children

    Children who resembled me
    She creeps into their homes
    Suffocates them
    A rare form of death

    Poochie is sorry
    But she contacts me
    For a reason
    Much greater than this

    Poochie has found me
    She has traveled light
    And she will come in the night
    When I least expect

    Oh, Poochie!
    How could you?
    You don’t understand
    I don’t have the ear!
    —Chilo 4-3-2012

  40. punkrockster says:

    It was so far a Normal morning.
    The smell of coffee permeated the kitchen as the pot started to fill. The sound of my mailbox lid clanging down startled me as I bit into a semi-hard muffin left out from the night before.
    Not quite as normal, the mail usually didn’t come until the afternoon.
    But nothing that alarmed me.
    Yet.
    I opened the front door and peer out, the sun was too bright and I had to squint. No sign of the mailman walking up the street on either side. Phil usually stopped to check who was next and sort every house slowly, that was his way.
    Again abnormal, but not alarmingly so. I usually notice these things.
    I reached into the mailbox and pulled out this strange envelope. The envelope was small; the size seemed for something closer to an invitation to a child’s birthday party. I rolled it over in my hand to look at the front. No, no mistake, my name in typed font letters on the front. Henry J Williams the third. No return address.
    I walked back into the house and sat down at my kitchen table. I opened the back and pulled out the small childlike handwritten letter.

    Dear Henry,
    I hope the years have been kind to you. They have not been so to me. After you left me, my heart was broken. Your cousin earl was my only consolation, he stayed behind with me. Well he didn’t stay so much as he couldn’t leave. Hehehe…

    I looked up, Cousin Earl? My second cousin went missing back when I was a child. We had moved from Kansas to Chicago and he had gone missing a week after my family left. Hehehe? Who actually writes hehehe in a letter? I shook my head and looked down.

    They did search the house though; they must have thought his best friend leaving would make him run away. They couldn’t hear him though, that the best part of being a plush little critter. I’m very good at muffling screams…

    Plush?? This was getting scary, they never found my cousin. I could feel sweat starting to clam up my hands as I nervously continued.

    But earl became boring; he eventually stopped screaming as well as doing anything else. So I left. I had to find you. You were the first one who ever played with me, I was your first too.
    I finally found you. I thought I’d mail you first cause I’m not quite done with where I am now. My current toy hasn’t stopped playing with me yet. But they always do eventually. Maybe I should start feeding them… Oh well I digress. We will play together soon, As it was always meant to be.
    Together always and forever.
    Fred.

    I put the letter down. A sick joke? It had to be. This made no sense. Fred? Wasn’t he the small plush bear my grandmother bought for me when I was born? I picked up the envelope and a small tuft of white stuffing fell onto the table.
    I screamed as there was a knock on my door.
    Not such a normal morning after all.

  41. moiradane says:

    It was supposed to be my day off but instead it turned into a scene from “Urban Legend,” only it wasn’t a phone call that was coming from inside the house.

    I walked into the kitchen to find a strange note attached to my fridge. I wouldn’t have thought much of it except for the fact that it was only a foot from the floor and being held in place by a magnet I “won” for simply participating in my elementary school’s field day. I haven’t seen that thing in years. Come to think of it, I haven’t seen it since that day at school. It went right in the basement along with the rest of my suppressed memories.

    I turned the magnet over in my hands while I looked at the note it was attached to. On one side it said “To Ms. Claire Sampson” in a very regal looking script. On the other was a familiar wax seal. I immediately froze, dropping the magnet to the floor where it broke into a thousand tiny pieces. I know this seal.

    When I was seven,my tonsils were removed so my mom bought me a princess doll to help pass the time between ice cream and popsicles. I named her Princess Tulip and gave her a kingdom to rule over. Her favorite thing to do was to write encouraging and inspiring letters to those she loved. She always sealed them with a wax tulip. I ripped the letter open and began reading.

    Dear Ms. Claire Sampson,

    It has been some time since we last spoke. I remember it as if it were yesterday. I can only hope you do as well. I must make this brief for I fear I am not long for this world. I have spent the last twenty years right you left me. But, alas, it is not as comfortable and peaceful as it once was. Our kingdom has been invaded by a horrible creature that I cannot seem to find a remedy for. The last of our defenses have been toppled and we are exposed. I implore you, my dear friend, please get out while you still can. I only wish I had done the same.

    Sincerely yours,
    Princess Tulip

    I didn’t feet the least bit encouraged or inspired. However, despite my better judgment, I went to the basement. I had been meaning to replace the light down there for the last few weeks but a strange smell and scratching noise kept me from it. As soon as I descended the stairs, blinding pain sweeps over my head. Once I can see again, I realize I’m on the floor and someone is standing over me. It’s my ex. He talks but I can’t hear a word he says. All I focus on is Princess Tulip, her head ripped off, sitting on her throne in front of an old blackboard with the words “I warned you” scrawled across it. She always was a little vague.

  42. mariagavila says:

    As always comments appreciated/Thanks

    I was sitting lazily drinking a cup of tea, sorting through the thick pile of mail. Trying to find the bills that needed to be paid, but also wishing there were none in that stack. No such luck. I found the water bill, the gas bill, my cell phone bill and a letter. How odd. No one ever writes me anymore. At least not in letter form. Emails and texts had taken the place of that. There was no remitter on the envelope and I was intrigued.
    Putting on my reading glasses, I unfolded the envelope to discover a piece of paper that I immediately recognized. It was a pink stationary piece, with a princess on the top sitting on a letter C. I caught my breath. It’s what I had written on when I was a little girl. I knew that they no longer carried that stock. I looked around making sure I was alone. With the way I was feeling already, I figured I would need privacy. Slowly I began to focus on the letters.
    Dear Candy,
    It is I… I hope you remember me. My name is Jennie, your teddy. I can only imagine your face wrinkled with confusion as you read these words. I won’t ask how you are… I know you’re doing well. I have kept up with you all these years. I was happy for you the day that you graduated from middle and high school. Also the day that you married and now I’m elated to know that you are a mother.
    I still remember those days when we would have tea time, or princess parties. You would dress me up in pink, frilly dresses and you always kept a bow on my right ear. At night I would lay with you soaking up your tears when your daddy was away on a business trip and he wasn’t there to tuck you in. I witnessed your nightmares, and wished that I could’ve done more to calm your fears. And I loved it when you would hold on to me, so tight that I could taste your lavender chamomile wash.
    (—-)
    I had to stop reading. My eyes were so full, they were heavy. How could I have forgotten Jennie?
    (—-)
    Don’t worry too much over me. Where I’m at, it’s a little dark, but I’ve been well. I’ve prayed for you every day, and tried to keep things organized for you.
    I would like to ask of something of you. If I can’t be with you anymore, can you please move me towards the window? This attic is very dark and cold. And if you ever need a happy thought to carry you through, think of us.
    Love,
    Jennie
    I folded that letter and immediately walked up into our attic. I saw the box labeled toys and when I opened it, there she was. Her eyes glittered, just like mine. I picked her up and carried her to my daughter’s room.

  43. DBSharp says:

    Dear Laura,

    This is Princess Dumbo the elephant with the orange ears. It must be a surprise to hear from me after all these years, or even at all since you did not know that I could communicate. Do you remember when your mom bought me in a second-hand shop when you were three. I remember you. I remember you dancing in your room in a little pink tutu and yellow ballet slippers. You were such a beautiful girl with your dark hair and eyes. I remember the way you would wash me in the sink because you were afraid of the clothes washer. I remember the lemonade stands and the last night snacks you snuck under the covers. I remember your smile. The smile you had when you twirled me around the room and when you cuddled me to sleep at night. You were always smiling.

    Until the day you stopped.

    I remember other things too. I remember the way your mother and father screamed at you when they found out your condition. I remember how you begged them to listen. I remember how you sobbed and held me, alone and afraid at the age of fifteen. I also remember how much you loved the child inside you, would rub your belly as it got bigger. I remember how you cried, begged the woman at the adoption agency to let your child have me, that you would never try to see her or interfere in her life, but to please let her have something to know that her mother loved her and wanted what was best for her.

    You kept your promise.

    I’m writing to you because you were always my favorite child and I thought you deserved to know. Your daughter’s name is Sarah. She has green eyes and prefers baseballs to tutus, but, like you did, she takes me everywhere, although she calls me Ellie, and she smiles all the time. She has your smile.

    She is happy and loved.

    I promise that I will always look out for her as best I can, until she does not need me anymore.
    Then, maybe, who knows. Keep checking in all the second-hand shops you see and I might be able to find my way back to you.

    Love, always,

    Princess Dumbo

  44. Dean Kutzler says:

    “Janie! Janie!” Angela yelled upstairs. “You got a letter from someone named Mr. Wallington. Is he from one of the colleges?”

    “No Mom! Geez! I told you—I haven’t sent them out yet. It’s probably junk mail for Christ’s sake! I’ll get it when I come down. Get off my back and stop being such a pain!” She tossed the iPad she got for her birthday on the floor and it slid across the room face down. “Piece of crap!” The Angry Birds got the best of her. “You’re always bothering me! Can I have some privacy once in a while?”

    “Sorry honey! I’m just trying to help.” Angela touched the picture by the stairs. Janie was eight then. It was Easter Sunday and they were cheek to cheek, grinning underneath their Easter hats. They’d spent the entire Saturday looking for just the right hat to compliment each other’s.

    They always used to spend time together, now Angela was lucky if Janie even talked to her. And by talking, she meant conversation that didn’t involve screaming. Where had she gone wrong with Janie? She used to be such a sweet, thoughtful child. Letting go of the picture she yelled, “Honey, I’m running to the store. I’m coming down with a cold and we’re out of cough medicine. You want to come with?”

    “NOT!”

    “Okay then sweetie, I’ll be back in an hour.” She said before leaving.

    “Whatever. Maybe now I’ll get some privacy.” She said to herself on her way down the stairs. It was one o’clock and she hadn’t eaten all day. She was famished! Time to raid the fridge now that the nag was gone.

    She grabbed the last piece of cake from the fridge and sat down at the center island. Fishing a fork out of the drawer, she noticed the letter from Mr. Wallington. Mr. Wallington? Where was that name from?

    She snatched the letter up and tore it out of the envelope. It read:

    Dear Janie,

    It’s been quiet a few years since you’ve last seen me. I know you don’t remember when you tossed me away, but I’ll never forget. We were inseparable, you and I. There wasn’t a fallen ice cream cone or scrapped knee that I couldn’t make you forget all about with just one tight squeeze.
    I never cared about all the mishaps. I didn’t mind the time you dropped me in the toilet or even the time you left me at the store. Aunt Ora had to rush down and get me before they closed. I didn’t mind, not at all. I didn’t mind, because I knew you cared.
    Things have changed now; you’re all grown up. But being a grown up comes with a whole new set of challenges to face. And I just want to tell you that you don’t have to face them alone. When you’re ready, you know where to find me.

    Love always,
    Teddy Wallington

    P.S. “You mother isn’t coming down with a cold.”

  45. Just B says:

    Hey, Girl!

    It’s Theodore Elmerton Bear. Long time no see. How’d life turn out for you? You were always coming up with those fantastic stories. And, ever the bookworm, didn’t you read every Raggedy Ann book ever published? Boy, they sure inspired some great tea parties. So what did you ever end up doing with that imagination of yours? Lord, I hope you’re not whittling the hours of your life away at some numbers crunching, paper pushing cubicle prison. What a waste that would be.

    I’m doing good, been taken real good care of. The little girl that I’m with now is a bit more of a tomboy than you ever were though. I spend a lot of time watching her play flag football with the boys or fly kites and such. At least she brings me along though. And, like you, she can’t fall asleep without me.

    Remember that time you fell asleep at your grandma’s house and your parents threw you in the car without me? Boy, were they ever sorry at 1am when you woke up and I wasn’t there. Your dad was pissed. But you were inconsolable. At least he drove back for me. He may not have expressed it very often or very well, but he did love you.

    It was sad when you discovered those letters from his student. From the crammed paper grocery bag full, they must have been at it for awhile.

    I know he hurt you. You sure left in a hurry (I couldn’t believe you forgot to take me with you!) then steadfastly stuck to your final words of “I’ll never speak to you again.” We kept hoping you’d come back, but you always were the tempestuous, stubborn one of the family. Reminds me of this little girl. She sure has a temper. It takes her awhile to go, but when she does, boy, look out. She makes The Hulk look like a newborn bunny.

    I guess that’s why I’m writing. Her tenth birthday is tomorrow, and I was wondering if you could come back home for it. You see, after you left, your mom wasn’t too far behind you. Your dad tried to keep things going with that student of his, but, well, the age difference was pretty huge, and after she got her A in his impossible Physics class, she hightailed it. She did give him something before she left. A gift that’s been key in keeping him going these past ten years I think. It was your sister. She’d love to meet you.

    • Imaginalchemy says:

      I like how matter of factly Theodore states things, especially that last line, as if it’s not shocking that there is a secret sister that his original owner didn’t know about. Would be interesting to find out what would happen if the bear’s original owner did decide to come to the birthday party.

    • Frank says:

      Agree with prior comment: The words come tumbling out with skill and precision. The lightness of the writing (i.e., easy on the eye & brain) underscores something much deeper, much more complex. Very interesting.

    • Icabu says:

      I like Theodore Elmerton Bear – that fits the prose better than Bobo.
      Interesting twist at the end.

    • Hi Just B. A thoughtful story. I like that your toy was not unhappy and left over to rust in some attic or basement. I also like how the toy acted as her consicence. Nice.

      ~Anne

  46. bmadsen says:

    Dear Jason,

    How have you been, man? I gotta tell you, it was hard writing up these words without actually sounding all fruity and corny, you know how I am. But, as I sat in the corner of that dark, cold and dusty chest in a God forsaken attic in the middle of Minnesota, I realized there was nothing left to lose and life’s too short to keep secrets.

    Do you remember those days? Gee, they were great. I miss being launched from the second story of that apartment; it sounds weird, I know, but there’s no better feeling that complete freedom, even just for one second. I can still feel my heart pumping as my flat foot was reaching the ground, I was ready, cocking my rifle and aiming at your brother’s brown troops, damn them.

    I got to confess aiming was a thing of luck: it all depended on where I landed. But we sure gave those brownies a hell of a fight. Now that I’m retired, I miss getting knee deep in makeshift rivers and commanding those tiny tanks to attack the anthill. I still remember how Lefty McGee used to crash that C-130 all the time, and yet we always won. But I guess time takes its toll. Now I can barely move, my foot is broken and one of my arms is missing; my last commander wasn’t that smart, he sent us to war and didn’t give a damn about us, unlike you, Jason.

    Well, I guess I’ve made too much of a fuzz about this. I writing to you because I’m dying, buddy, I’m old and cracked. My body can’t take any more punishment and I have to close some of doors of my past; I’ve contacted everybody I wanted to, except you. This is the hardest letter I’ve ever written.

    I guess you clearly remember that day when you arrived at your house and you found your room empty. You blamed the maid, right? Ah, crap, man, I feel so guilty. It was me! I pushed all the toys over the balcony! I couldn’t face it, I was growing old and you were not mine anymore, man. How was I to fight against a PlayStation, really?

    I’m sorry, I really am.

    My days are numbered but you can still make things right so do one last favor for me: write to Rosita and tell her you’re sorry. Tell her you know it wasn’t her fault. At least one of us can make it right.

    Cheers, buddy.

    Sincerely,

    Cap’n Green.

    • Chilo says:

      Buzz Lightyear with a vengeance! Ha ha!
      Threw all the toys overboard is a good paragraph. You get the frustration in the toy.

    • Frank says:

      Great writing and a real affinity for character. You write as if you are very confident of the type reader for whom you are aiming, although this would appeal to differing age groups.

    • Icabu says:

      I can see the non-electronic toys relating this way.
      Good read!

    • What a sweet story wrapped in bravado. I never thought of a toy dying. Really enjoyed reading it. I didn’t make the connection to Rosita – who was she? Was she another toy or a real person? I’d like that last bit to be a bit more clear for those of us who don’t know the toys or characters. Nice job.

      ~Anne

      • bmadsen says:

        Anne and everybody, thanks a lot for your replies.

        Regarding Rosita, she’s the maid that got fired, but reading it back I’d twitch it just a bit to make it clearer.

        Thanks!

  47. jincomt says:

    Dear, dear Penelope,

    I’m writing as a friend. We were best girlfriends for the longest of time. Honestly, if I can’t talk to you about these things, who can? Frankly, I’m disappointed in how you’ve turned out. What happened to you? The web is a fascinating tool, isn’t it? Did you honestly think I’d never find or see you again? Of course, it’s obvious you had hoped not.

    You used to have such a flair for fashion, combining outfits that were, well quite honestly, shocking at the time but showed great promise. Remember the pink tweed jacket you paired with the lime green mini skirt? You pulled it all together like a true visionary with the shiny white go-go boots. Impressive! Now look at you. You shlep around in those horrid boots with the fur lining and rubber soles, jeans that go up to your belly button and a gray baggy sweater.

    And don’t even get me started on your bust line, dear. Did you forget that breasts were meant to be perky, held high and in a uniform shelf on your front? I realize not everyone can be like me with my flat stomach (still!), hard-as-nails ass, and tiny feet. Of course walking is a challenge, but damn it woman, I still look good. (It’s a pity blue eye shadow still isn’t in fashion; it would do wonders to bring out the whites of your eyes.)

    I understand dear, maybe you weren’t born with the assets I was, but you can still accessorize. I saw that picture of you with that shapeless brown bag you call a purse and your hair pulled up in a messy pony tail with a black band. It’s disgusting. You use to tie my hair up with that groovy paisley scarf and make me wear those white sunglasses and the belt with the big gold buckle. Those were the days, weren’t they? For the love of everything that was ever in my wardrobe, think beyond the sweats, Penelope!

    I’m looking in my mirror now, darling. (You remember the one: the pink plastic with the round foil on it? The foil has mostly peeled off, but, thank goodness, I can still get a reflection.) I amaze myself. Sure the hair needs a comb through, but it’s still as long and blonde as ever. I am wearing a yellow suit, the skirt tight, but professional, white high heels and a matching yellow jacket with a faux-leather brown belt cinching in around my ridiculously small waist. I look good.

    Let me encourage you to get out of your middle-aged doldrums and remember who you are: a diva! Suck in your gut, stick out your chest and get those feet into 5 inch heels. I believe in you, Penelope!

    Yours forever,
    Barbie

    PS In case you were wondering, the thing with Ken ended years ago. Turns out there weren’t any “goods in the package”, if you know what I mean.

  48. H.R.Mittrucker says:

    Two days ago I would have said that toys are toys. Nothing more nothing less. Oh how wrong I was.

    Two days ago I sat on the balcony of some hotel that I didn’t even know the name of. It was something that
    didn’t matter as long as it was a place to stay. I sighed as I picked up the Vodka I had poured a few minutes before. How had my life come to this.

    As I placed the glass to my lips a soft knock echoed through the bland room. I sighed and went to the door, irritated by the fact that the ‘Do not disturb’ sign had been ignored completely.

    “What?” I growled at the poor girl standing at my door with a letter in her trembling hands. My gaze softening as I realized she was probably sixteen. If that.

    “U-um th-there was a l-letter for y-you sir.” She stuttered as she held out the letter as if I was going to bite her head off.

    Sighing I ran a hand through my moppy blonde hair and took the letter, “Thanks kid.”

    She nodded quickly and nearly ran from my room tail between her legs. “And that’s why you’re still single Apollo,” I muttered to myself.

    I looked at the blank envelope as I pulled out a cancer stick, placing the cigarette between my lips I lit up and turned back to open the mystery letter.

    I sat on the bed and read the letter. Once, twice, a third time. What the hell was this?

    I picked up the envelope and examined it again. Nothing, just like the first time.

    My heart pounded in my chest as I reread the letter again:

    Dearest Apollo,
    I don’t even know why I’m writing you of all people. You probably won’t even believe it’s me. Um, now I sound crazy. But I’m not done yet, uh I don’t remember if you realize this but I’m Joey. Yeah, the black and white stuffed bear with the red patch on her right ear. Ha, I remember you thought I was a boy. Sorry, but no.
    I uh, was writing to tell you that I’m pregnant. The father left and I don’t where to go. Can you, just um… Take care of the babies for me for a while until I get settled? Please?
    I know this is sudden, but I need your help, kinda like you needed mine for a while. Well anyway, let me know. I didn’t write an address because I’m in the room next to yours. Just come there with your answer.

    Hope to see you soon,
    Joey

    Without another word I rushed to the room on the right of mine. I didn’t know what I expected to find, but I knew that it wasn’t Joey.

    • mariagavila says:

      So who was it? Who was over there? Just thoughts I was left with. Overall your story was good. I especially like the part where he thinks as to why he’s still single.

    • Frank says:

      Yeah! Nothing like a good cliff-hanger. Well done!

    • Icabu says:

      Aw, I was hoping it would be Joey with a bed full of little bears!
      Good read.

      • H.R.Mittrucker says:

        Thank you for your comments. Um…I’m new to letting people read my writing so it’s nerve wrecking for me. But honestly it could go either way. It may have been Joey with a bed full of little bears or it may have been a stalker that lurks in the dark….We may never know.

    • catbr says:

      Good story. Nice build up to hold the reader’s interest.

    • Hi HR – join the nervous club. We have all stood in your shoes. Believe me, it does get easier, especially when you realized that everyone here is truly trying to help each other get better at their craft.

      I enjoyed your story. Liked his internal dialogue, and how you showed the girl’s reaction to him. A funny surprise regarding the bear being pregnant. I though of the story about the elephant who ended up sitting on the bird’s egg forever, while the mother took off. I thought he was going to end up in the same boat. Fun read.

      ~Anne

  49. slayerdan says:

    To:Mr. Danny Wallace
    From:Rich Pennybags for Joseph Wallace/aka GI JOE
    Mr. Wallace,
    I am banker and attorney Rich Pennybags, representing Joseph Wallace, a.k.a. “ Kung Fu Grip GI Joe”. Joseph has retained my services to pursue a breach of promise suit against you based on multiple oral commitments you made in 1978 and 1979. Below is a list of promises that my client contends you did not fulfill and wishes compensation for. Also sought are the fees for searching for you 29 years, since 1983 when my client was released from the ownership of a Eric Smith upon Mr. Smith reaching his 14 th birthday.
    My client maintains the following obligations were not fulfilled as agreed upon when purchased:
    1. You did not love and always care for him forever.
    2. You did not make him the lasting team leader, instead relegating him to guarding some night stand.
    3. Multiple times my client was left without proper attire, suffering humiliation from a large portion of your sisters toys, as well as the family dog.
    4. My client was left without his signature hand in July 1979, during a firecracker incident.
    5. Violating the oral trade clause, giving my client to the aforementioned Eric Smith in exchange for a bag of Dungeons and Dragons dice, a Rubiks cube, and some gum.
    6. The abuse suffered at the hands of Eric Smith, a known toy torturer.

    My client has 33 years of pain, suffering, and humiliation as a result of the above actions and non actions. It took 29 years to find you, finally cross referencing information found on Facebook to locate you.

    At this time, my client requests that you make good on ALL promises made. He wishes restoration of his hand, suitable GI Joe attire, a place among other collectibles that you surely have amassed since 1979, and to address the “To Hell With Barbie, Where’s Ken?” that was Sharpied on to his chest by Eric Smith. Lastly, he wishes that you fulfill your promise of caring and loving him forever.
    If the above conditions can be agreed upon and satisfied, my client has agreed to waive any financial settlement. I however will require payment for my services, to avoid a separate suit. I can be paid in 100s or 50s or if you can successfully sign the leases to me for park Place and Boardwalk. I will leave that matter for a later date, but please do not allow it to lapse from your memory as you did my long suffering, forgiving client.
    Please reply within 10 business days to avoid suit.
    Sincerely,
    Rich Pennybags, J.D. Esq,
    2206 Marvin Gardens Plaza
    New York, New York

  50. Icabu says:

    Sitting on the stoop of her upscale townhouse, Shelly read through the strange letter a second time. Clipped to her brass mailbox, the letter had no return address, no cancelled stamp. Her full name, Michelle, was the only thing written on the envelope. She hated that name.

    Three-quarters of the letter was typed, formal sounding. The last few paragraphs were in a grade-school style script. Shelly’s hand trembled as she turned the letter over to reread it a third time. Maybe it was the fourth, fifth?

    The signature, Bobo, had loopy bunny ears over the o’s. She had not dated anyone with that name. She hadn’t gone to school with anyone named Bobo – she hadn’t been allowed to. There had been only one Bobo in her life.

    At the fire that had claimed her family, a policeman had given Shelly a stuffed rabbit. Bobo. She’d been three. The orphanage let her keep Bobo, but at five, he had to sit in the corner of her room until she came home from school. By nine, he sat in the closet with the other youthful toys she’d acquired. When she’d finally been adopted at twelve, she’d left Bobo at the orphanage. It surprised her that another lonely child hadn’t needed and clung to him like she had.

    The chill creeping into Shelly’s bones came from the typed portion of the letter. Bobo had not liked sitting in the corner. He’d liked the closet even less. No one had needed him like she had after she’d left. Life at the orphanage was no better now than when she’d been there.

    The written portion of the letter used her preferred name, Shelly. Her adopting family called her that. It fit like a warm cloak. Michelle was cold, the way the orphanage had always addressed her. Within the careful script, Bobo requested that she quit her lofty position managing a large financial company and return to the orphanage – as manager. The position was open, needing.

    A shiver ran through Shelly as she remembered the remote coldness that permeated the orphanage. Even to a child, the place had no warmth, no heart. Her adopting family had provided that. What of the children that didn’t get adopted? Shelly knew there were many that did not. A knot of guilt twisted her stomach when she thought of them. Even at twelve she knew how lucky she’d been. And still, to this day.

    Feeling somewhat manipulated by her past and the one soft spot she had, Shelly rose on weak legs. She had phone calls to make.

  51. Imaginalchemy says:

    Dearest Cheyenne,
    I am not quite sure where to begin. It has been such a long time…all the years of tea parties, mud baths in the backyard, slumber parties…they all seem like carousel whimsy and cotton-candy-with-caramel dreams to me now. (I still remember your favorite carnival food.)
    But I write to you now because I finally realize why you gave me up. At first I blamed your mother, urging you to give away all your stuffed toys because you were too “old” for them. But I knew you were too headstrong, too proud of your “royal court” to just throw us away on a parental command (I still have the cardboard crown you made for me…King Wuggles of the Kingdom of Kaloo! How I loved that). I realized that was the same time that boy started to visit you more often…and how you would snuggle him the way you did with me. I was very confused, since he was not filled with stuffing so I couldn’t imagine he was very cuddly. But I remembered how he would take you to movies, and buy you gifts, and he had that nice car I saw out your bedroom window. Now I see…how could I have competed with that? You needed someone to take care of you, to give you everything you could ever want.
    So through the years, as I was passed from child to child, my drive gnawed away at me, for I was determined not to return to you until I could offer more than that boy could. Finally, I ended up in the hands of the eight year old daughter of a foreign ambassador, and while on a diplomatic meeting to a small island nation off the coast of South America, she offered me as a gift to the Governor’s young son. When I discovered that the Governor had an obsessive belief in angels and spirits, I revealed my cognizance to him and he immediately took it as a sign that he was a prophet and should follow my holy word. So I convinced him to declare war on the “unholy blasphemers” on the mainland (you may have seen that in the newspapers or on TV), and once the nation’s resources and manpower were depleted enough, I led an insurgence of toys to overwhelm the nation and begin a new regime. After some careful negotiations with the mainland countries, I am set quite well for a long time.
    So, now I am the ruler of my own country, I have an army of toys at my command, a beautiful view of the ocean from my villa, and I can give you everything you ever desired. Humans are not allowed as residents here, except on one stipulation…
    What I wish to ask of you, my beloved Cheyenne…will you marry me? (I saw your status on Facebook says “single”…and you look stunning in your picture)

    Sincerely,
    King (for real) Wuggles of the Island Nation of Kaloo (formerly Bonaire)

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