by Greg Carter
I threw the door open just as a bolt of lightning flashed, making the rain almost glow as it pounded the windows. The light switch proved useless so I ran into the room. "Robbie?" I always hated this part and sure as Hell wasn't going to allow it to happen this time.
"Robbie?" I stumbled against the wooden chair at the end of the bed. A crumpled blanket lay around its feet, trailing beneath the bed. Shit! More lightning followed by a loud clap of thunder. The house shook slightly.
I rounded the bed only to find Robbie, dressed in his red long johns, unsteadily reaching down to lift the comforter for a peak beneath the bed.
"Don't do that!" He jumped at my voice, screaming with fright. He dropped the edge of the comforter and backed into the wall. I knelt before him, grabbing his shoulders. "Robbie, listen to me. You need to get out of here. Now!"
"Who the fuck are you?" His breathing was rough, frightened. "What are you doing here?"
"No time for that. Get out of here." I tried to get him to stand.
"I can't. I need to look under the bed."
"No, you don't. Really." He started to crawl toward the bed, but I blocked his path.
"But, it's what I'm supposed to do."
"Robbie?" a tinny falsetto cried from under the bed. "What's the hold up?"
"Some guy just appeared," Robbie replied, "and won't let me look under the bed."
"What?!" I turned toward the bed as the comforter lifted and long, multicolored arms dragged a small body from its hiding place. The bright blue hat with white puffy ball on the top appeared, followed by the orange-red hair and plastic face. Its eyes looked at me. "How the Hell did you get in here?"
"I'm not going to let you do this!" I couldn't believe I was talking, shouting to a doll.
"Listen, pal, you can't prevent this. I've been pulling little Robbie here under this same bed since 1982. It's one of the scariest scenes in the film."
"I know!" I shouted. "The first time I saw this scene, I slept with my bedroom lights on for almost three months. But I can't let it happen again."
"It's not like you can do anything about it," he – it – replied. "This will happen whether you want it to or not. Right, Robbie?"
I turned my head just in time to connect with Robbie's fist and fell backward. The doll's hands wrapped around my neck, and I struggled to try ripping what I thought would be flimsy material. Those surprisingly strong little arms dragged me closer to the bed. "One way or another," it said, "the show must go on."
A recent transplant to Long Beach, CA, Greg Carter is an avid reader, movie- and theater-goer, and music lover. When he grows up, he wants to be a professional writer. No, really.
This work fiction previously appeared on Greg's personal blog: http://mrgregoc.blogspot.com