• Tom Batt

Playtime's Over

Updated: Jun 24, 2021

Isabelle always enjoyed being tucked in by her father, he always got it just right so that she was cosy and warm. She looked up at him, grinning with her rosy red cheeks. She was clutching a brown plush teddy bear, twiddling its long fur in her fingers. Her father smiled as she burrowed her head deeper into the pillow.

‘Did you have a good birthday?’ he asked as he finished tucking. Isabelle nodded enthusiastically.

‘Thank you for my presents. I love Mr Snuggles,’ she replied as she squeezed the bear tightly.

‘You’re welcome.’

‘I’m sorry I’ve been so naughty lately. I promise I’ll try and be a good girl from now on,’ she offered with puppy dog eyes.

‘I’m glad to hear it,’ a hint of relief in his voice. ‘Sleep tight,’ he added before kissing her on the forehead and stepping over to the door. He caught sight of a small blonde haired doll sitting on the shelf beside him, his eyebrows raised in surprise. ‘What about Princess Rainbow? Does she not get night time cuddles anymore?’ he asked gesturing toward the doll. Isabelle gave an exaggerated shake of her head.

‘I love Mr Snuggles more. He’s more cuddly,’ she giggled as she rubbed her cheek against the teddy’s head. Her father grinned. He flicked off the light and pulled the door closed behind him with a creak. Isabelle rolled over facing away from the door and closed her eyes, the teddy still nestled in her embrace. A thud from behind startled her and her eyes shot open again. She glanced over her shoulder, but all seemed calm. She turned her head back and closed her eyes. The doll was nimble and quick as it clambered onto the bed and stared at her with devilish eyes. Its tiny feet almost gliding over the duvet as it made its way toward her without disturbing the cloth. Isabelle was completely unaware as the doll peered over her to stare daggers at the teddy. It reached out its small plastic hand, but was halted by Isabelle’s mass rolling onto it, squashed under her back. The young girl’s eyes whipped open and she frowned in confusion as she reached under her body and dragged the toy out from under her. She analysed the doll with suspicion, but its inanimate state assured her nothing was amiss and so she cast the toy across the room. She rested her head and closed her eyes once more. The doll picked itself up from the carpeted floor and squinted its bright blue eyes at Isabelle. It scanned the room and caught sight of a pair of scissors wedged in a pot full of pens sitting on the desk. It climbed the handles of a set of drawers and reached the summit with ease. The scissors were a short few steps before it. It reached out with both hands and gripped the child’s safety scissors, yanking hard. The pot tipped over spilling its contents across the surface and rolling off the edge and onto the floor. Isabelle sat up startled and guided her eyes toward the desk. Pens were scattered. She watched as a solitary pencil rolled to a stop. Her brow furrowed, eyes shifting around the room. Once she was sure all was normal, she lay back down and closed her eyes. The doll’s head popped up from behind the foot of the bed and scowled at the teddy enjoying the warm embrace. It carried the scissors onto the soft duvet and approached Isabelle. The scissors were held out in front, the blades snapping open and shut with anticipation. As it neared the slumbering girl, the miniature feet pressing down on her legs alerted her and she opened her eyes to discover the terrifying sight of Princess Rainbow walking threateningly toward her with the open scissors. She sat up frightened clutching the teddy as the doll continued to near. Isabelle opened her mouth to scream, but no sound came out. She squeezed her eyes shut and waited with anxiety.

Isabelle’s father pulled open the curtains on the landing window and made his way to her bedroom door. He knocked.

‘Come on, Izzy. Time to get up now,’ he called. He opened the door and found Isabelle sat up in bed in a state of shock. The teddy bear had been torn to pieces, stuffing and bits of brown fur dotted around the room like an air-crash scene. His eyes darted around the room in stunned disbelief and then spotted the scissors in Isabelle’s hand. ‘Izzy, what happened?’ he asked with a demanding tone. Isabelle stared at him nervously.

‘It was Princess Rainbow,’ she replied with a stutter. Her father’s attention shifted to the doll sitting innocently on the shelf by the door. He looked at her with disappointment.

‘Come on now, Isabelle. I’m not going to believe that. I thought you promised to be a good girl.’ His anger was building, her explanation not helping the matter.

‘But it wasn’t me. It was Princess Rainbow. She killed him,’ she protested with desperation.

‘Don’t lie to me, Isabelle!’

‘I’m not,’ she cried. He merely shook his head incredulously.

‘I’m going to get the vacuum cleaner. You can clear up this mess and then explain to your mother why you destroyed your new toy.’ He huffed with frustration before exiting the room. Isabelle glanced up at the doll upon the shelf. It smiled at her smugly with an added wink. Isabelle’s eyes widened as she let out a short gasp.

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