Over the holidays my family had a fun outing at a location that had animatronics. Human animatronics. Something I have always enjoyed since I was a child. Until now I hadn’t had a good look at them as an adult, and as a writer. This location was a happy place, filled with childhood wonder. In my head, it was a horror novel.
The first thing I noticed was that these animatronics looked… angry. Sad. They were all children, yet more likely to resemble zombie-post apocalypse children than your normal everyday variety. These children had seen death and dismay, their faces clearly showed this.
After about ten little scenes like this the stories started to play themselves out in my head. Two children looking into a sweet shop were starving. They had no food to eat and their parents had no money. Soon they would turn to the poor, emancipated dog they had with them.
Then I saw the scene, the one with the full story written for my eyes to see. In a lively room two children decorated a tree. In a corner a little boy sat, scratching a dog. In the middle a little girl, the only girl of darker skin tone I might add, sat tying a bow on a present. In another corner a teddy bear lay on it’s back, kicking feet into the air.
I turned to my husband and whispered the story: the little girl of color was a slave. She was forced to work for this family. As the other children played she had to wrap gifts, gifts she would never see. One could practically see the tears filling her eyes. Who knows what horrors she had seen in her young life!
My husband hushed me and moved on, but the sad faces and sad stories continued rolling in my head. It was all I could not to find some paper and write these down.
As for the bear, I still can’t quite figure out how he figures into the story. There must be a supernatural element I haven’t come up with yet.