As promised in my previous post, a bit of fun today. A little horror story for halloween, dedicated to my good friends Emma and Lisa……..
She coughed, and dust puffed out of her hard wooden jaw as it opened slightly with a creak. Slowly she raised her floppy cloth arms to her mouth and tried to move her jaw up and down and wipe the dirt from her eyes. Oh no, it must be Halloween again. Agnes had slept in the attic for a full 12 months and only awoke each year for this occasion. Gently twisting her neck to see if her head still pivoted, she groaned with despair. She wasn’t surprised that she woke up any more, and no longer had to go through the shock of realising she was a puppet, and a witch puppet at that. Each year she would suffer the indignity of someone’s arm being shoved up her dress and her horrific head thrust into children’s faces to scare them. For the last 5 years she had hidden that she was alive and conscious and simply waited it out until she was thrown once more into the old cobwebby attic for another year. This year was going to be different. She pulled back the uppermost workings of her wooden puppet mouth into a sneer, bearing an off white row of tiny teeth. “Hee- heeheehee, hee-hee -heeeeee” she sniggered.
She had contemplated how she would get her revenge on the family who owned her, during the many hours of ridicule and revulsion directed at her over the Halloween period. She’d been hung places, screamed at, thrown about, made to say things she hated, but worst of all, used to scare small children. She had no idea how she came to be a Halloween puppet, she tried not to think about it too much in case it was Karma, a punishment or such like. All she knew was that she didn’t actually hate little children, and had never wanted to make them cry. There was one main culprit in the family that would use and abuse her the most. Duncan. He was 15 and thick as shit. He found it hilarious when a gaggle of children would come trick or treating and he could make them all jump and run away. A bully.
Agnes hadn’t formulated a plan as she wasn’t quite sure what she was capable of by herself, so decided to test things out. Firstly moving. Her body consisted of a long black dress with black old-fashioned lace trimming the bottom edge. Her thin stuffed legs simply dangled from the inside of her dress, stitched into the font panel. It was only really her shoulders that had any substance and then a heavy old hard head balanced atop of it all. Of course when there was someone operating her it all worked, but now? Alone? She had already determined that she could move her jaw, her eyes and her arms, so she gently rocked her shoulders to fall onto the dusty floor from where she had been propped against a box. With a gentle thud she was over. Stretching out her long green fingers she began to drag, sweeping up the dust particles, into a ballet around her as she hauled herself along.
For several hours Agnes experimented; what she could lift, how fast she could go, if she could make any noises other than her high pitched sneering witch laughter. Turns out she couldn’t. Whatever she tried to manifest out of her mouth was ultimately expressed as “Hee-heeheehee, hee-hee-heeeee”. It was the same pattern, the last three sounds slowing to a final long and lingering wail, every time without variation. With no voice she would just have to find another way of letting Duncan know how vile he was. Just as she thought this, she heard a crash and some banging as Duncan suddenly appeared through the hatch into the attic. “Ahh, there’s the old girl” he shouted and roughly grabbed Agnes pulling her back through the hatch. “big plans for you this year, witchy, big plans.” Agnes hung limply from his clenched fist, her mind whirring and revenge plotting in her mind.
Once downstairs it was apparent that a party was in full swing. Duncan’s younger sister, Alice was dressed in a witch’s dress with green face paint and she was smiling and dancing with her other small friends. As Duncan moved passed her she caught sight of Agnes hanging from Duncan’s hand. Her face dropped. “Oh no Duncan, do you have to? I hate that thing, it scares my friends when you do stuff with it. Please don’t spoil the party by being horrid. Duncan? Duncan? Please…”
Duncan just grinned and bent down towards Alice’s face. “Baby” he whispered nastily through his teeth. He carried on walking and went into the kitchen, where a few clingy children were hanging round their parents legs, whilst the adults chatted with each other and absently ate crisps and sausages shaped into monster fingers. His mum spotted him and the puppet in his hand.
“Oh not that bloody thing again Duncan” she said, but then resumed her conversation without waiting for a response. Duncan walked through and out of the back door in the kitchen, he crept round the side of the house to the windows looking on to the room where the majority of children were dancing and chatting and having fun. He ducked beneath the window ledge and put his thick fingers up Agnes’ dress, wriggling them until they reached her head and shoulders. He lifted her up so she would be seen through the window and then began to tap the glass, quietly at first then progressively louder until a child spotted her grotesque face against the glass. He quietly laughed to himself as the children began screaming. Once one started, they all went. He smugly enjoyed the reaction and had begun to think of his next scare when he felt a strange sensation on his hand. Agnes had started to move her head, independently. At first Duncan thought it was something he had done by accident so with his free hand began to twist her head back into place. As soon as he had, she did it again. Slowly, but surely she managed to swivel it all the way round until she was facing him. “Hee-heeheehee, hee-hee-heeeee” she cackled.
“What the…” he shrieked! Flinging her off his hand in surprise. She lay on the damp grass, but with the glory of frightening him strengthening her, she stretched out her cloth arms and begun to drag her body towards him. The look of terror on his face was sublime, she revelled in it, getting nearer and nearer to him. He tried to back away and fell backwards, then paralysed with fear, he simply stayed where he was, a silent scream shaping his mouth whilst Agnes inched ever closer. Unfortunately Agnes didn’t really have a plan of what to do once she actually reached Duncan, she hadn’t thought that far ahead. So when she did, she could only think of one thing a witch could do. She lifted her hands and wiggled her fingers casting a spell over the frightened lump in front of her. She ended with another cackle “Hee-heeheehee, hee-hee-heeeee.” She didn’t really expect anything to happen, but to her surprise Duncan began to shrink, and as he did, he lost the volume in his body, his arms became limp and his head turned to wood, with a hard open mouth, forever fixed in his horror.
It was only at that point that Agnes realised she had grown, her skin was soft and warm and she could move all of her limbs. She tried them all out and stretched a delicious long stretch. “Oh dear. Dummy Duncan.” She laughed, delighting in the soft feminine voice that oozed out. Agnes got up from the cold wet floor and picked up the small puppet from in front of her. She looked around and then walked decisively to a tree at the edge of the front garden, already decorated in ghoulish, halloween decorations. She hung Duncan on a free branch, upside down, by his floppy useless legs. She grinned and strode away down the lamp lit street. “Hee-heeheehee, hee-hee-heeeee.”