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A short story by Anna LaFountaine.


Amanda began her day like any normal day. She had breakfast in the living room while watching television and she flipped through the channels, unable to find something interesting to watch. Ignoring what was on the TV, she read the back of the cereal box that she had with her just in case she wanted more. “So bored,” she thought to herself. She slumped down into the couch and continued to scarf down her breakfast while mindless commercials blurred across the television screen.

“Hey, kiddo!” a voice said to her. It was her father, carrying a big heavy box.

“Hey, Dad. What’s that?” Amanda replied.

Her dad sat the box down with a loud thud onto the floor next to the coffee table. “Oh, just old stuff from the attic,” her dad said, “Your mom thought it would be a good idea to go through some old things and have a yard sale.”

He shuffled through the box he had brought down and excitedly pulled out old photos and baseball cards. “Can’t get rid of these!” he laughed. “They might be worth something one day!”

Amanda leaned over the side of the couch. “Dad, I’m bored,” she groaned.

Her father chuckled. “Why don’t you come help me clear more boxes out of the attic? If you find anything cool you’d wanna keep, it’s all yours!”

Amanda nodded, hopped off the couch, and followed her dad to the attic stairs.

She looked up at the dusty entryway to the attic and noticed cobwebs and dust floating in the air. “You guys never clean up there!” she said to her dad, “It looks gross up there!”

He laughed. “Well that’s why we’re cleaning! It’s been too long, kiddo!”

Amanda took hold of the ladder and shuffled up to the attic. When she placed her grip onto the attic floor, she could feel a thick layer of dust coat her palm. Her dad followed right behind her and she began to look around the attic at the old and forgotten items. “There’s so much stuff! I don’t think I’ve ever been up here!” she said. She watched as her dad shuffled boxes around and noticed how much the dust made him cough.

“Well, have a look around!” he said to Amanda, “If you see anything you like, put it in this box.” He set an empty box aside and went back to organizing what to add to the yard sale. Amanda began to sift through the boxes and found something that caught her eye. It was a box with a doll inside. It was an old-looking doll that was made from cloth. His hair was made out of brown yarn and he had glass eyes that made Amanda feel uneasy.

“Hey, Dad?” She said, “Look at this creepy thing.” She held up the box so her father could see.

“Oh!” he said, “That’s Percy the doll. A collectible back in the day.” He walked over and took the box in his hands. “I can’t believe we still have this. I thought your mom had thrown him out years ago. He was a gift from your grandmother.”

“Why would mom throw him away?” Amanda asked.

“She hated the way he stared at her,” he laughed.

“I don’t like him either,” Amanda said. “I wanna keep him though. He’s weird and I’d wanna scare my friends with him!”

Her father laughed and gave Percy back to her.

“Can I take him out of the box?” she asked. Her father nodded.

Amanda set Percy aside and continued to look through the boxes for things she wanted to keep. After filling the box with items, her dad helped her carry her things to her room. Amanda carefully opened the box that Percy was in and sat him down on her bed. She felt that his eyes followed her as she walked around her room to put things away. Amanda would look over her shoulder just to see if he was still staring at her. Without fail, his eyes would be pointed at her.

“Why are you so creepy?” she asked out loud. Laughing, she walked up to the doll and picked him up. She turned him to see a pull-string on his back. She pulled it, wondering what Percy would say.

“Hi, Amanda!” he said.

She gasped and dropped Percy on the floor. The pull string wound back in place. After a moment she picked him up and pulled the string again.

“Thanks for digging me out of the attic!” the doll said.

Without pulling the string, he said something else.

“It was dark in the attic. So lonely.”

Amanda threw the doll down on the bed. She saw his eyes blink.

“You won’t get rid of me!” Percy laughed. Amanda grabbed the doll and ripped the string out of his back, hoping to silence it. She began to cry and threw him back down on the bed.

“Ow,” Percy said. “Why would you hurt me, Amanda? I don’t want to have to hurt you!”

The doll’s limbs began to move and Percy sat up on the bed, staring at the girl.

“Don’t hurt me again!” Percy’s face turned from a smile to an evil grin.

Amanda ran out of the room as fast as she could. “Dad!”

She ran down to the living room to her dad who was still packing boxes.

“What is it, Amanda? What’s wrong?”

“Percy!” she said. “He’s alive! He’s gonna hurt me.” She inhaled deeply, trying to catch her breath. She brought her dad up to her room to show him but when they entered the room, Percy was no longer on the bed. He was nowhere in sight but there was a note stuck to the box he had come in.

“Find me before I find you!” the note read.

Anna LaFountaine
Anna LaFountaine
Read next: I See You
Anna LaFountaine

Author • Illustrator • Cartoonist • Photographer • Freelance Copy Editor


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