The Haunted Dummy
Kaylee, Age 8, Perth, Australia

It was a dark and stormy night. The wind blew harshly.

I was upstairs, playing happily with my little brother Jack. I had no idea what horrors were to come.

I was just about to get out Jack's truck set, when a big gust of dust and leaves came shooting through the window. We coughed and spluttered as I walked over to close it, but something caught my eye. There was a shop dummy blowing in the breeze coming from the open store door. There is nothing odd about that, is there?

But it was the way that it looked at me. It seemed like it was cackling. I know I sometimes have a wild imagination and I go a bit crazy. But I had a feeling this was real life and not just my eyes seeing things. Something told me I was in for an eventful afternoon.

Then the dummy's grin grew wider. I forgot all about Jack and ran downstairs to call 000.* Fine, I admit it. I am a wimp. But I don't care. If you know you're in danger, you don't think about those things. Then I realized there was nothing they could do. This was my job. I gulped softly. I could hear Jack's trucks rolling on the carpet of the second floor. I tried to block the sound from my ears and took a step towards the door. I was only three steps away from the doorknob when...

"Aaaaaaaaaaaaggggggggggghhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!!!" I screamed.

The light had suddenly turned off! I could hear footsteps behind me! I turned around. I breathed a sigh of relief. It was just Jack, whimpering. I had to stop freaking out and think of an explanation why I was just randomly walking around and yelling at every flinch and flicker. "I was just..." my voice trailed off. Then the front door opened.

I was trying my best not to run up to my room and sob. I failed. I slammed the door and dived on my bed, shivering. I bet by now, Jack would be thinking I was a total wacko. It was only much later when I dared to go downstairs that I found out who the two figures were. It was only Mom and Dad, coming home early.

Okay, I had to figure this dummy thing out, so the next day after school I jumped on my bike and pedaled to that wicked, horrifying shop. I carefully tied it up in the bike rack and in slow-motion trudged to where the dummy was. Yep. It was still there. It wagged a pointed finger at me. I didn't run away or cry like a baby. I had come here for a reason, and I wouldn't rest until the problem was solved. I slowly walked into the shop.

A little bell rang at the top of the door. Then I heard a shuffling sound coming from the legs of the dummy. Then out came a HUMAN! "Whoah, kid! I didn't mean to freak you out! It is our new attention-getter!"

"Well, it definitely got my attention!" I stuttered just before my legs gave way.

*Australia's emergency services number

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