Tiny Hands3 mins 271 3 mins 271
Carol locked up her office and turned around to the dark factory floor. She hated being the last one to leave at night. Walking from the back offices through the factory floor unnerved her. Although it wasn’t the silent machinery that put her on edge. The factory made dolls. Short dolls, skinny dolls, baby dolls, dolls with springy hair, dolls that could talk and eat and cry. Every kind of doll that you could find on the shelves of a toy store. The dolls were made from pieces and assembled on the factory lines.
Carol was never really bothered during the day when the factory teemed with workers and noise. But walking alone at night past the lines of dangling arms, hanging wigs, and disembodied heads made her anxious. Head down, she started toward the exit, her heels clicking on the floor the only noise. She was halfway to there when she heard a titter from behind. She turned around. “Hello?" In front of her was a hooked line of doll heads stretching into darkness, their faces turned away from her. Sheepishly, she was glad she couldn’t see their small black eyes. But then movement caught her attention. At the furthest end of the line, one of the doll heads creaked on its hook, slowly turning around to face her. Two beady eyes blinked.
A scream caught in her throat as she turned and ran. From behind she heard a scuffling on the concrete floors, a sound she imagined could only be made by miniature plastic feet. Something came between her heels, twisting her ankles. Her body crashed to the floor and the last thing Carol felt as her chest tightened and the world went black were the tiny hands slowly clawing up her legs.
Jim Stevens grimaced. The last sight he’d expected to see this morning was his secretary’s dead body sprawled on the factory floor. As his eyes scanned over Carol’s face, eyes wide and mouth twisted into a scream, all he could wonder was what had happened.
The police had come quickly enough to case the building, but so far nothing had turned up to give any clue to poor Carol’s demise. Weston, the responding officer, wandered over to Jim.
“Coroner will be here shortly.”
“Thanks,” Jim nodded. “So any thoughts?”
Weston shrugged. He opened his mouth to speak but behind him the bark of another officer rang out. Both Jim and Weston turned as the officer reached down to the ground. Curiously they wandered over. “What’d you find?” asked Weston.
“I ain’t tryin’ to plague your morning with headaches, Mr. Stevens, but I think I have one more to add to your list.”
The officer held up the squirming issue, its black eyes beady and its tiny hands pawing wildly in the air. “You guys got a big rat problem.”