#FridayFlash: Benji

With Jake tucked up in bed, Hannah began tackling the mess that was her living room. Toys were strewn across the floor, the cushions from the sofa were balanced precariously high atop the coffee table and there was something sticky on the television screen.

Grabbing a handful of toys, she tossed them into a plastic toy box. Max, her husband, would be home soon and she would have to get on with dinner. It was true what they said: a woman’s work is never done. Scooping up another armful of toys, she cursed as she stubbed her toe.

“My name is Benji. What shall we do today?” Jumping a mile, she sent the toys cascading to the floor with an almighty crash. Realising that the ‘culprit’ was a battery operated stuffed dog, she laughed at herself.

“We must kill them all.”

Startled, she looked at the dog, with it’s sad, droopy eyes and floppy ears; shaking her head, she placed him on the shelf with the rest of the toys. It really had been a long day, she was exhausted.  She was hearing things.

“What shall we do today? We shall kill them all.”

Turning, she looked at the dog’s motionless face. All the sleepless nights must be finally catching up with her, maybe it was time for an early night.

Plumping up the cushions, and returning them to their place, she retreated to the kitchen, to prepare the vegetables for dinner. Turning on the radio, she absent-mindedly peeled and chopped as she listened. There was a Halloween phone-in. Hannah hadn’t even realised that it was Halloween, she didn’t for one minute, buy into all that nonsense. Some woman was talking about being spooked by wind whistling down her chimney. It was ridiculous.  Turning off the radio, she put the dinner on a low heat.  Grabbing her book and a mug of steaming coffee, she went to put her feet up for a much needed rest. Stopping at the living room door, she stared in disbelief. All of the toys she had picked up not fifteen minutes before, were scattered all over the floor again.

“What the—?”

“What shall we do today? We will kill them!” Benji began walking towards her. Rubbing her eyes in wonder, she looked back. Sure enough, Benji was making his way across the floor towards her, a vacant expression on his face. Slowly, one by one, the other toys followed Benji’s lead; each marching purposefully forward, the same evil, expressionless stare.

“What shall we do today? We shall kill them all.”

Stepping backwards in horror, Hannah tripped over the child safety gate, stumbling, she cracked her head on the banister. The toys were gaining on her.

Her mobile phone was on the kitchen table, if she went to retrieve that, she would leave the stairs open, for the toys who could get Jake. Taking deep breaths, she tried to calmly think of the best course of action. Motherly instincts taking over, she ran up the stairs, two at a time, the faint patter of a dozen toys not far behind her.

Bursting through the bedroom door, relief washed over her as she saw Jake fast asleep, his blonde hair falling across the pillow. The rhythmic sound of his gentle snoring, helped to calm her nerves; her blood pressure soared again though, when she saw that clutched in his little arms was a teddy bear. Lunging forward, she grasped the teddy bear from his clutches. Strains of Brahms Lullaby echoed around the room. Opening the airing cupboard door, she tossed in the teddy, slamming closed the door before it had a chance to escape.

Jake stirred, rubbing his tired eyes. “Teddy?”

“Shhhh, go back to sleep little man.” she hurriedly kissed his forehead, smoothing out his hair.

“Want teddy?”

“No baby, go back to sleep.” Her eyes darted sound the room for any more offending toys.

Backing out of the room, she turned to see the toys had formed a line across the landing. Benji was still chanting his evil mantra.

“What shall we do today? We shall kill them all. What shall we do today? We shall kill them all.”

Hearing the front door slam, she shouted out for her husband. Instead of the usual “Hi babe, I’m starving” came an “Ughnn!” sound.

“Max?!”

There it was again, that sound “Ughnn!”

Peering over the banister, she saw him sprawled across the hall, a dozen toys grappling with him, tugging at his hair and clothes.

“Max!!”

“Watch oughnht!”

“What?”

“Behind youghtht!”

Looking around, just a second too late, she saw Benji flanked by a green stuffed dinosaur and a grubby Winnie the Pooh.

“What shall we do today? We shall kill them all.”

Before she could get her bearings, they pounced on her, wrestling her to the ground. Benji yanked at her ponytail, while Winnie the Pooh bounced on her abdomen with breathtaking strength.

Out of the corner of her eye she could see Thomas the Tank Engine making his way towards them, his eyes moving shiftily from side to side.

Despite the pain, she was acutely aware of Jake standing just inches away.

“Jake, get in bed now!” she shouted.

“Mummy? Teddy?”

“Bed!”

Instead of listening to her, Jake walked closer. This was not the time to exert his independence, she thought as she sunk her teeth into the green dinosaur’s bum.

Stepping even closer, Jake picked up Benji.

“Jake nooooooooooo!” Hannah moved in slow motion towards her son.

Turning the toy dog over in his hands, Jake flicked the switch to ‘OFF’. The chanting stopped. The other toys stopped in their tracks and slumped to the floor.

Running to her son, she threw protective arms around her son, all the while never taking her eyes off the motionless toys.

Jake yawned and climbed back into his bed, his eyes closing before his head hit the pillow.

Dazed, Hannah grabbed all of the toys, and threw them into the airing cupboard, securing the door with a chair propped below the handle. 

Later than evening, as she and Max sat down with a much needed glass of wine, neither of them noticed as Iggle Piggle crept out from behind the settee…

 

7 thoughts on “#FridayFlash: Benji

  1. Don’t you just love it when that happens…along comes the todler to save the day. There are many other aspects of life that should come with an “Off” switch. Great story!

  2. I think there is something extra scary when cuddly things attack, I liked Jake’s simple solution to the problem.

    But who is going to deal with Iggle Piggle? 🙂

    Nicely written Emma.

  3. Oh that’s fantastic! I don’t know if Teddy would have hurt Jake or not but his solution is so simple. I wonder if they’ve done it before, considering how he knew how to deal with it?

    Wonderful story.

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