Many of you liked the story ideas I had in Bedtime Books I Wish I Could Read to My Kids. Here, I took my favorite idea and fleshed it out. Hope you enjoy. (Just know I’m not responsible for what happens if you do read this story to your kids, unless it’s good.)
Sunlight spread across the floor like spilled paint. Molly started to stretch. She smacked her lips as if her mouth were full of bits of sticky cotton. She tried to roll over and felt her scalp being tugged violently back. She tried to soothe her burning head, but her arms wouldn’t move. She tested each limb but it bounced back like a yo-yo.
Molly opened her eyes and saw the bizarre crime scene she was starring in.
Her feet were tied to her bed with hair elastics and they were turning blue. She tried to lift her head to make out the shadowy figure moving near them, but her hair felt tightly wound. Twisted braids formed knotted ropes to her headboard. Her wrists were bound with something, tiny pants? Doll clothes!
“Mom,” whispered Molly through the dryness of her mouth. “MOOOOOOOOM!”
“Oh good,” a voice answered. “She’s awake.”
Molly’s favorite Barbie doll took quick, tiny steps toward her. Molly knew she must have been dreaming. She would have pinched herself if she could get her hands to her face.
Her toys had gone nuts. The 200 inch-high Tiny Tots she owned marched toward her with straight pins. Robots aimed slingshots of Legos at her face. And her closet door rattled as if something were trying to escape. Where had she left Suzie Walks-a-Lot? Where? In the playroom like usual? No. Think, think. In a feeble attempt to clean, she threw her in her closet last night. Dear God. If that three-foot doll got loose, she would for sure be a King Kong monster that Molly couldn’t fight off.
Barbie waltzed toward her. “I see you’ve taken in the situation, Molly.” She couldn’t get over the snip in Barbie’s voice and the sneer on her face. She was all business even though she wasn’t Professional Barbie. Surprising. “Barbie, haven’t I always treated you well?” Molly thought.
“I can read minds, Molly. And no, your other toys and I, we don’t think you’ve treated us well,” she said. She sat on Molly’s waist, long, rubbery legs extended over her side. “You leave us out on your floor for days. When you run into your room, you step on our faces with your hard shoes. Some of us are missing pieces. Sure, you hug us from time to time. But we want to be with our families at night, in our warm cases, our beds. It’s cold out there half naked on the carpet. Your brother laughs at us, Molly.”
Molly understood. Dolls would get cold. But Legos? Robots? They’re just plastic and metal.
“Legos want to be built with, Molly. When they’re strewn all over your floor, they feel as if they’re drifting in the ocean and they’ll never get each other back. Don’t you kids see that?”
Molly nodded. She kind of did. She guessed she was the shark in their ocean some days.
“And robots, well, they don’t have brains,” Barbie whispered, “but they just feel left out if we don’t include them. Mmmkay?”
Barbie got up. Molly waited to be untied but Barbie just smiled and waved her hand, a signal and the army of toys moved in. Molly screamed. She fought against the restraints.
Mom came running in. “I’m sorry! I’ll keep my room clean!” Molly cried.
When Mom saw the mess, she didn’t seem surprised. “When it’s gone this far,” Mom said, “the only way to stop it is to get rid of everything.”
For once Molly didn’t argue. Mom untied her and they quickly stuffed Barbie and her entourage of Tiny Tots, robots, Legos, fairies, and more into pillowcases. No toy went down without a fight and they had pinprick and Lego block battle wounds to prove it.
It took both of them to wrestle Suzie Walks-a-Lot to the ground. They tied her up with doll clothes and hair ribbon.
“If you can keep your room clean for a month, maybe you can get some new toys,” Mom finally said, wiping her brow with Barbie’s dress.
Molly thought about it. “I think I’ll stick with books.” They were far less dangerous.