Talk about creepy and I inevitably think of Jessica’s New Toy by Sean Murdock. Here’s a happy little story about a little girl and her little stuffed owl. So sweet. The entire tale is told with a child’s voice with a sense of wonder and an innocence that the author has nailed with a silver peg.

Then, all of a sudden, the world starts to turn dark… early on in the kiddo’s life, too. Three birthdays isn’t too many to see before the toys start coming to life and ripping the throat out of your cat. Yeah, that happens, and it’s extra horrifying because you actually feel like a child witnessing it from under the covers of your parents bed. There’s such a deep author presence, tempered with the voice of the child… The entire thing has an eerie psychological effect. This story is short but packed with enough punch to make me worry about what sort of winged creatures might be after my pets.

I’ll never look at the local church bell tower or those cutsie owl-of-the-day pictures the same way again. Thanks Sean… jerk. Joke, you rock.

~Sarah

Listen to an Sean Murdock and Melissa Proulx!

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