“YUS YUS YUS YUS!!!” A young purple fluffy ripped the wrapping paper off a pale blue fluffy plush. “TANKOO SANTA!!!” she screeches as she holds the plushy tightly to her chest.
“That looks pricey…” A man comments from the couch.
“Hush Danny, don’t ruin this for her.” His girlfriend replies, snapping pictures of her beloved fluffy. “What is it, Violet?”
“It am Chatty Cathy!!!” She hugged the plush tighter, triggering the internal speaker.
“Hewwo! Am Chatty Cathy!” The plush spoke in its tinny, prerecorded voice. With another small squeeze from Violet she continued, “Cathy wub yu!”
Danny rolled his eyes. He was not a fan of fluffies, to put it gently. He hated nearly everything to do with the creatures and little Violet was no exception. If it was up to him she would have gone on a garbage disposal adventure the second his girlfriend brought her home, but she was part of a compromise. He didn’t want kids, but his girlfriend Laura did. Cleaning a litter box was better than changing a diaper, but god did she grate on him. He silently cursed himself for not putting more whisky in his coffee.
“Mummah wan’ hug Cathy?” Violet held out the plush to Laura.
“Of course!” Laura hugged the plush tightly earning a small coo from the internal speaker. “Here honey, isn’t she good to hug?”
Danny shot her a look, trying to silently plead with her. She held out the plush to him and he took it with a sigh. The things he did for this woman. He forced a smile as he hugged the plush, tightening until he felt the click of the internal button.
“Cathy wan’ pway!” the plush said.
“Cathy nu wike Daddeh?” Violet asked.
“Oh, I’m sure she’s just excited to play with you!” Laura said as Danny handed the plush back to her fluffy.
“Yeah, why don’t you go show her your safe room?” Danny said, sipping his coffee.
“Yus! Dat am guud idea!” Violet bit down on the large plush’s scruff and dragged it out of the room awkwardly as Laura giggled.
“Isn’t she sweet?” she asked, leaning into Danny’s side.
“Mh.” He avoided the question with a non-committal noise. He was not looking forward to hearing that thing talking at all hours. One shrill voice in the house was more than enough.
Late that night, after Danny had gotten a very personal and well liked christmas gift from Laura, he walked down the hall towards the kitchen to find himself a snack. His foot landed on something soft and he jumped back, nearly falling, trying not to step on his girlfriend’s beloved shitrat.
“Oh, it’s you.” At his feet was the pale blue plush. He pressed on it with his foot.
“Am Chatty Cathy!” It said.
Danny pushed harder, feeling the plastic casing of the internal speaker bend under his weight. He could, just for a moment, imagine it was Violet there under his foot. Feeling her ribs bend under the pressure. The blissful idea of being finally free of it, no more begging for snacks or sketties or huggies, no more cleaning her nasty ass litter box, no more interruptions during his private time because some dumbass horse got scared of its own ass.
“Am Chatty Cathy!” The plush said, “Nu wike yu!”
Danny paused. Why would it have something like that as a prerecorded line? He leaned down and picked up the blue plush, looking into its glassy eyes and artificial smile.
With a small squeeze it spoke again. “Am Chatty Cathy! Nu wike yu!”
“Oh…” a sly smile spread across Danny’s lips. This was some sort of secret abuser toy. Either there was some switch inside it that Violet accidentally flipped or it was designed to start talking shit after a certain point. He was sure Laura didn’t mean to buy something like this, but that didn’t mean he wasn’t going to enjoy it. He tucked the plush under his arm, accidentally clicking the button again.
“Cathy nu wike yu! Gu way!”
“Yeah, yeah, save it for Violet.” He said, tossing the plush into her safe room.
The next morning Violet happily dragged her new “bestest fwend” into the kitchen to share breakfast with her.
“How’d Cathy like her first night here?” Danny asked from the kitchen table.
“Cathy wub nyu housie!” Violet chirped before digging into her morning kibble.
“Good to hear!” Danny smiled, knowing it was only a matter of time before the plush’s other personality was discovered.
“You two are so cute.” Laura said, setting down two plates of waffles.
“You were right, she loves her plushie.”
“I mean you and her.” Laura’s hand grabbed Danny’s across the table. “I knew you’d warm up to her.”
Danny forced a smile. “What can I say, she’s a cute little rat.”
Laura rolled her eyes playfully, Danny swallowed his disdain for the creature eating loudly on the floor next to him. Only a little longer and Cathy would start talking shit to Violet. Then she would wail and cry, maybe it would even be bad enough that he would be free of the shitrat. What a wonderful thought.
“When you’re done with your breakfast why don’t we go play in the snow?” Laura asked.
“Can Cathy cum pway tuu?”
“No, sorry honey, she doesn’t have snow booties. We don’t want her hooves getting cold!”
“Otay Mummah! Viowet gu get booties!” She hugged Cathy tightly and Danny held his breath, waiting for the new voice lines.
“Am Chatty Cathy! Cathy wub yu!” The plush said in its usual tiny voice.
“Wub yu too!” Violet said, setting down the plush and scampering out of the room.
“You mind getting the dishes, babe?” Laura said, standing to follow her fluffy.
“Yeah… no problem.”
She gave him a quick peck on the cheek before leaving to get herself ready for the snow.
Danny stood, ignoring the plates and grabbing the discarded toy. Squeezing it gently, he waited for the voice line.
“Am Chatty Cathy! Nu wike yu!” It said loudly.
“Why didn’t you say that to her…” he muttered.
“Nu wike yu!” The toy spoke again, before he could even press the button.
Danny frowned. This thing was odd. He couldn’t seem to figure out how it worked, there was something he must be doing to trigger the mean voice lines that Violet wasn’t.
He wrapped his hands around the plush in a simulation of a fluffy hug and squeezed until the button clicked. “Nu wike yu! Gu way!”
He squeezed slowly and gently, maybe it had something to do with the force? “Cathy nu wike!”
He hugged her to his chest, as someone who liked the colorful vermin would do. “Cathy nu wike! Cathy hate you!”
“Well, I don’t like you either.” Danny said, dropping the toy to the floor. Whatever it was, Violet would trigger it eventually. Turning back to the table he began to gather the dishes.
“Cathy wan kill yu.” The tiny voice spoke from behind him, sending a shiver up his spine.
He turned slowly, plates in either hand, looking down at the plush on the floor. Its glassy, unfocused eyes stared blankly forward, its forced smile seemed almost malicious as it lay on its side.
Danny shook his head, turning back to the sink with the plates. He must have misheard it. He was not about to get threatened by a fake shitrat.
As he washed the dishes he could almost feel the glassy stare of the toy’s fake eyes burning into the back of his head. He tried hard to ignore it, but the feeling only grew. He would not be intimidated by a fucking toy. Someone fucked with it in the store, he reassured himself. Someone changed out the voice boxes like they did to Barbies that one time. There was some punk kid out there, laughing to themselves at the idea of a toy being cruel to its fluffy owner. He was sure to see viral videos of this thing any day now, maybe even a product recall. He set the now clean dishes on the drying rack and turned to get himself another cup of coffee. He’d do a quick search to see if anyone else had discovered this setting on the toy, maybe they knew how it was activated.
The bright eyes of the plush caught his attention, it stood on all four stiff hooves on the floor where he dropped it. But… didn’t he leave it on its side…? Another chill ran down his spine as he stared at the toy, it’s eyes seeming focused on him rather than dull and lifeless.
“No. We’re not doing this.” He grabbed the toy and stomped out of the kitchen. He was not about to be scared of a goddamn toy.
Entering Violet’s safe room he lifted the heavy wooden toy box and stuffed the plush under it. She wouldn’t find it there. If Laura accused him of getting rid of it he would deny it and help them look. Toys had gotten stuck under the toy box before, there was no reason for anyone to accuse him of this.
He dropped the heavy box back down, and a muffled voice came from the toy underneath. “Cathy make yu sowwy.”
Danny ignored the creepy toy. This was some sort of prank. There would be tons of videos online of fluffies wailing that their nyu fwend hated them. He’d have a good laugh with all the others online.
“CATHY! WAN HEAW ‘BOUT SNO?” Violet’s voice called into the house as her and Laura returned.
Or he could laugh now. He made his way down the hall to meet them. “How was it?”
“The snow is a little wet, Violet got cold pretty quick.” Laura said, pulling the last of Violet’s booties off. “Go tell Cathy about our adventure!”
Danny smiled as she ran into the kitchen, where she had last seen the plush. She’d start wailing any second now, unable to find her friend.
“Chatty Cathy wub yu!” The tiny voice came from the kitchen.
“…What?” Danny said. Looking through the doorway, Violet sat next to her food bowl on the floor, hugging the light blue plush fluffy. Right where she left it, as if Danny didn’t do anything.
“…Everything okay, honey?” Laura asked, resting a hand on his shoulder.
“I could have sworn I… put that toy away.” He said.
“Ah, sometimes brains are silly like that.” Laura replied with a smile.
Danny lay awake that night, well after Laura had fallen asleep. That shrill, tinny voice echoed inside his head. What was wrong with that plush? It was almost like it had it out for him specifically. But that didn’t make any sense, it was just a toy! A cheap, shitty toy for a cheap, shit filled pet!
Danny sat up, pulling himself out of bed. He needed a drink. Something strong on the rocks and a few videos of fluffies suffering and he’d be right as rain. He debated his liquor options as he walked down the dark hall. He had gotten a nice bottle of bourbon from his brother, maybe that? Or maybe-
His thoughts were interrupted by his foot catching on something, knocking him off balance. He stumbled and tried to catch himself, ramming his wrist painfully into the wall and falling to the floor. His head spun from the impact with the hardwood floors, his arm pulsed with pain.
A tinny laugh emanated from his feet.
Sitting up he saw Chatty Cathy standing in the middle of the hallway, positioned perfectly to trip him. His rage overtook him and he snatched the toy up as he got to his feet. He’d had enough of this bullshit. The toy needed to be gotten rid of, if Laura had a problem with it he would get a replacement. One without this thing’s creepy bullshit.
He took the plush into the garage, slamming the door shut behind him. “Time to die, Chatty Cathy.”
“Yu wiww wegwet dis!” The toy said as he clutched it in his fist.
“No, I will not. Because you are a FUCKING TOY!” He shouted, slamming the plush on his workbench.
Looking around he saw his vice and shoved the plush’s head into it. “Let’s see how you like this.” He tightened the crank down until the plastic eyes seemed to pop out of its head.
Standing back he looked over his power tools. He had an assortment of saws and blades, but what called to him was his blowtorch. He never really had any use for it, but tonight it would have use. He clicked it on, tuning the flame to a sharp blue point and smiled.
He brushed the flame across the faux fur, watching it blister and melt. He ran it along the belly of the plush until the “skin” melted enough to split, revealing the fluffy stuffing within. Danny clicked the torch off, setting it aside.
“Let’s see what’s going on in here…” he ripped the faux fur open further, stuffing spilling out onto the garage floor. Plunging a hand in, he felt around until the plastic voice box and ripped it out.
It was a smooth, black plastic rectangle, with one entire side functioning as a button to trigger the voice. He pressed it down until it clicked. “Yu huwt Cathy!” The tiny voice said.
“Oh, you think you have feelings?” Dan asked the voice box.
“Aww fwuffies du!”
“YOU ARE NOT A FLUFFY!” Danny roared. “YOU ARE A TOY, LIKE THE SHITRAT YOU BELONG TO!”
He slammed the box down on his table saw. “Any last words, plastic shitrat?”
“Yu wiww wegwet this!” The voice box said again, shrill and artificial.
Danny replied with the roar of the table saw, shoving the voice box into it and watching with glee as the plastic gave way to the spinning blade. Halfway through the box he pulled it back and snapped the plastic the rest of the way. Evaluating the internals he didn’t see anything too far out of the ordinary, a greenish computer chip sliced in half, attached to a small speaker and a battery he thankfully didn’t cut through. He didn’t see any external switches or buttons other than the one that worked the voice, what could trigger it’s shift in tone?
A scream startled him, and he spun around to see Laura standing in the doorway, hands over her mouth. He quickly shut off the table saw. “I’m sorry, babe, I can explain.”
“What… what did you do to her?!” Laura cried.
“I’ll get another one, I promise. It was saying all sorts of fucked up shit, you should have heard-” out of the corner of his eye he saw something red, and looked to see a dripping purple and red mass dangling from the vice on the workbench.
Violet lay, skull partially crushed in the vice, where the toy was. Danny suddenly became aware of wetness on his hands, looking down to see them stained with the same blood that was splattered across the garage.
“But… that wasn’t…” he stammered, looking between the fluffy corpse on the workbench and the gorey mess in his hands.
Behind Laura, somewhere in the house, a soft tinny laugh sounded.