I hated Charlie ! He was fine during the day but at night, on his chair, when the moonlight stroked his face he came to life. I was never known to lie but still nobody believed me. He didn’t get up or walk around but he came to life. There would be a noise, a little shuffle and I would look. Something deeply hidden inside, wanted out.

Charlie arrived one Christmas day, in his box that looked like a coffin. I don’t know where he came from, everyone else seemed to like him.I didn’t like the way he looked at me when no one was looking. I don’t think he liked me much either. He didn’t look any better when I pulled his cap over his eyes, that made him smirk because he knew he was winning.

I didn’t want to touch him but family always came at Christmas and my auntie wanted a performance. Being a kid meant I had to do it. My show started the way most eight year olds would do it !

“Gottle of gear ! Gottle of gear ! I got a lot of laughter, and smiles that made me feel loved. But then, I got good, I got really good. In fact I didn’t need to press the lever for his mouth I was so good. It sounded like my voice but I wasn’t speaking. I didn’t know where the words were coming from but they didn’t come from me. Everyone went quiet then because I was so good.

Charlie said ” No one wants you here! You both drink too much!  did you shag your husband’s friend when your husband went to the pub today” I laughed because I thought Charlie said a rude word but I didn’t know what it meant.

My family didn’t laugh. My uncle Tom went in a bad mood and my Auntie Elsie went quiet. My mam told me to put the doll away but I couldn’t, my hand was stuck. My thumb got stuck behind the lever and Charlie started laughing. It was a horrible laugh and I couldn’t stop him. The lever started to squash my thumb and I started to scream and Charlie was still laughing. My mam and auntie Elsie came running over to help. The lever was cutting into my thumb and blood trickled out of Charlie’s mouth. My dad came running with a hammer, I don’t know what he was going to do with that.

The lever released my thumb, I was free! My thumb was bent the wrong way and the pain was unbelievable. There was some blood and a gash that showed bone.

My auntie Elsie had a wet face when she sat next to me at casualty. I said sorry but I didn’t know why. She said I shouldn’t listen to grown up’s conversations, but I didn’t they were boring.

I didn’t want to play with Charlie and he was put on my reading chair next to the window in my room.

Charlie would make my thumb hurt more when I went to bed so I would sleep next to my dad.

Charlie was getting stronger.



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