Tuesday, October 02, 2012

A Scary Story

It's October and that means my favorite time of year has officially started. It's the Halloween season. It's time for scary stuff and pumpkin everything, so I thought I'd start the month off right with a terrifying story of a possessed toy.

Anyone who's ever seen Poltergeist (pretty much the scariest movie of all time to me) is aware of the fact that toys can be terrifying, especially in the dark of night. There's something so uncanny about dolls and stuffed animals and any sort of childlike rendering of an adult thing. Given the right circumstances, toys can really creep you out. I've tried to avoid spooky toys and things with freaky looking eyes around here since Baby Lawns' arrival and I thought her little car, when my parents brought it over, was harmless. Little did I know it was demon possessed. Think a toddler version of Christine. 

Tacky? Yeah. Annoying? Possibly. Cute? Kinda. It was one of those little cars that toddlers can sit on and scoot themselves across the floor with their feet, Fred Flintstone style. It was pink and lavender and pale yellow. It had Disney Princess stickers all over it and it had several buttons and doo-hingers all over it that would make noise when messed with. Excessive noise. Incredibly annoying noise. It sang songs much like the ice cream truck. It had honking horns and chimes and bells that went ding and knobs you could flip and handles you could pull and they all made noise. My mother found the car at Ross and I'm convinced she bought it as some form of calculated revenge for all the noise I made to irritate her when I was a child.

The car made so much noise that I put it outside and declared it an outside toy. You may ask why I didn't simply turn it off. Here's the catch. It had no on/off switch that I could ever locate. That doesn't necessarily mean there wasn't one. It just meant I never found it if it existed.

It was a dark and stormy night. No really. It was. It was about midnight and my husband and I were in bed and the wind was just a howling outside. When the gales hit our fence and whip through the spaces between the boards, the noise is bone chilling. No banshee could ever compete. But through all that, something else managed to awaken me. Music. Music was playing.

Here is where I'd get killed in a horror movie. I went to investigate the mysterious noise. At first I thought my husband had left the TV on, so I went to check. Nope. TV off. I looked everywhere. Was it a phone? No. Something in the baby's room? No. Finally, I realized the music was coming from outside. Maybe my husband left the porch stereo on by accident. I went into the porch. Stereo off.

But once I was outside, I could hear the music more clearly and then it hit me. The car. The toy car was going through it's entire repertoire of songs and dingalings, it's overture of madness.

I stalked out into the backyard in the wind and rain with a mission. I would silence the toy car so all could sleep in peace. I yanked it up by its handle and shook the damned thing. It played its creepy carousel song seemingly louder, as if it knew and carousel music is way eerier when played outside at night in a storm.

I flipped it over looking for an on/off switch.  Nothing. Maybe if I took it inside, I thought, out of the rain, I could give it a good look over and find something to turn it off.

Once inside, on my dining room floor, to be exact, I switched the lights on and tried to find a way to turn it off, but it played on persistently, getting louder and louder. I began to feel desperate.

By this point, the racket had awakened my husband who found me huddled over a wet toy car, dripping and frantic on the dining room floor.

"I can't make it stop!" I cried.

He told me to take the battery out. Why hadn't I thought of that?

Great. The battery was, of course, under a plate which was screwed in. I needed a teeny Philip's head screw driver and where the hell was that at midnight in the rain, but in the shed, back outside and there are spiders.

By then my husband had gone back to bed and I was in actual tears trying to make this monstrosity stop. The music mocked me. It got louder and faster. It teased me by slowing so I thought it might stop, but then it honked a horn back to life and started all over again and now a little off rhythm and a lot off key.  It sounded like an ice cream truck driven by the murderous clown that terrified us as children.

I was really crying by this point. The whole time I'd been praying that the catastrophe wouldn't wake up the baby, but naturally it did, so I had to leave the toy car, still singing, and rock her back to sleep.

Finally, I got the screwdriver and through my frustrated tears I managed to unscrew the plate that held in the batteries. Wouldn't you know it that they were crusted in place and I had to get a knife to pry them out? It was like a miracle of silence when that damned thing shut up. I think I collapsed on the floor in a heap of gratitude for the quiet, for being rid of that awful organ grinder, circus of the macabre music.

And then I opened up the screen door and threw that car as far into the yard as I possibly could. You know, just in case it came back to life.

So far it hasn't. 

Yet.

7 comments:

kerry said...

The boring explanation is probably that the rain got into the circuits and shorted it all out. But it's more fun to say it's haunted. I'm glad you finally got it to shut up! (I'd get killed in the horror movies, too. I've got to investigate.)

I agree that toys can be terribly creepy. I had dolls as a child, but somehow they weren't as creepy then.

Melanie said...

Your blend of horror and humor is the TOPS. Seriously. I laughed all the way through.

Stone Fox said...

any kind of real or potential weirdness or creepiness that occurs after sundown or before sunup falls strictly under the 'Husband to deal with' column. i'm pretty sure that is actually a wedding vow.

if you have one of those husbands who "thinks for himself" or "has his own opinions" who feels like you should get out of bed to deal with Pennywise's Clown Car, there is this thing called a "kidney punch." highly effective.

mcgrimus said...

My favorite parts were "overture of madness" and "By this point, the racket had awakened my husband who found me huddled over a wet toy car, dripping and frantic on the dining room floor." Hilarious. Poe would approve.

Anonymous said...

Funniest thing I've read in a long time. Thanks for the laughs. I hope you're past the 'someday I'll look back at this and laugh' stage and are already laughing as well.

Melanie said...

Wide Lawns, I had to come back and leave another comment because I liked this story so much. I think that, after you publish the kittycat book and the O Holy Sh*t christmas book, you ought to write a follow-up book that encompasses ALL holidays and this story should be the Halloween entry. Knowing you like I do, I'm 100% sure that you could fill an entire book with funny, human interest stories, using themes of Jewish, Christian, secular and/or other holidays.
Oh, and by the way, I agree with Stone Fox without reservation!

michelle said...

I agree with you about Poltergeist being the scariest movie ever. But then I was so traumatized, I haven't seen a scary movie since then. Funny, funny story. We have a very firm, no noisy toys ever, policy around here. I'd be completely crazy otherwise.

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