Greetings from the Abyss…
With Halloween soon upon us, it is time to open, for the first and possibly only time, The Toy Chest of Horrors!
Inside it you will witness the most disturbing tales imaginable. True tales of terror so macabre, so shocking, that pregnant women or those with underlying medical conditions should turn back now. The author accepts no responsibility for any damage done by what you are about to see.
For the rest of you, come with me now into the Mouth Of Madness and enjoy these 4 spine tingling tales of murder, betrayal, and the supernatural.
Our first tale begins on a bright summer day somewhere between 1978 and 1980. It was a day destined to end in a horrifying tragedy.
The prior day was spent sending my Battlestar Galactica figures out on adventures in the back yard. Cylons battled Ovions for control of the back corner of the yard. It was a glorious time. The details of who won or lost that battle are irrelevant, but it was the Ovion that would lose the war.
The Ovion were a 4 armed grasshopper like alien race, and as such they could perfectly camouflage themselves in the weeds and grass on the battlefield.
Their ability to hide would prove to be their undoing.
As I awoke the next morning excited to continue the adventure, I suddenly felt an icy stab of fear in my gut as I realized my Ovion figure was not with the others. Where could it be?
Slowly the answer came. I had left it outside, hidden in the grass.
I raced outside to retrieve the figure and was stopped cold by a sight I will never forget. I could only watch in horror as my dad put our lawnmower back in the shed, having just finished mowing the grass.
Frantically I searched the area where I had played the day before. But it was no use. The Ovion was nowhere to be found.
The mower had vaporized it. Not even a scrap of plastic remained.
One day in 1980, I discovered my original Kenner Chewbacca figure had been attacked by some sort of supernatural hell beast.
He was discovered mauled about the head and face, all paint removed from his mouth and eyes. Giant fang marks circled his head and one foot was gnawed almost completely off.
The damage was so severe that a replacement had to be purchased immediately.
The culprit was never apprehended.
Believe it. Or not.
Ok it was our dog. The same little bitch that shredded my treasury edition Empire Strikes Back comic. Asshole.
In 5th grade, for my birthday I received the Decepticon Soundwave. It was beautiful.
Not long after, against my better judgment, I allowed a classmate to borrow the Buzzsaw cassette that came with Soundwave. Why? I ask myself that question every day. What happened next is truly the stuff of nightmares and crippled my ability to trust anyone with my stuff to this day.
The agreement was to borrow it overnight. He would return it the next day he said. No. He swore.
But the next day there was no Buzzsaw to be found.
Nor the next day.
Or the next.
After an eternity spent reminding and reminding him. Finally. He promised that he would return it the next day.
When I arrived on the playground before school began, one of my friends raced up to me pleading with me to follow him. Something terrible had happened.
I ran with him to the other side of the playground where the kid, let’s call him Mark, who borrowed my Buzzsaw stood.
My friend demanded Mark turn it over but intentionally blocked my view of the exchange.
When my friend turned around and gently presented Buzzsaw to me, he only said 4 solemn words that I still hear echo through my soul to this very day.
“Your Buzzsaw, lies dead”
I looked down into his cupped hands and saw the remains of what had been a glorious golden Transformer. Now all I saw was a broken and mangled mess. Its wings had been snapped off, paint scraped and scuffed, stickers stripped in spots, and what looked like tire tread marks all over it.
I was in shock.
There was a half hearted apology and some bullshit story about a younger sibling tossing it out of the family car and it being run over. But the bottom line was Buzzsaw had been destroyed.
I kept the remains for a long time before finally giving it a burial at dumpster.
Some time later, I heard rumblings from people who knew Mark and who had been to his house, and the true story of my Buzzsaw’s fate was even more disturbing than I had originally been led to believe.
They had seen it, they said. My Buzzsaw. At Mark’s house. Very much mint and intact.
It seems the story he fed me had a shred of truth. His brother had thrown a Buzzsaw out of a moving car’s window. But it was not mine. It was Mark’s!
He had borrowed mine in an elaborate ruse to swap his destroyed Buzzsaw with mine.
I was never able to replace it.
I never forgave Mark. And even seeing him decades later (he was wearing a jean jacket emblazoned with sharpie on the back reading “FUQ IRAQ”), I cursed him and his descendants for generations.
Finally, I will leave you with a tale so hideous that it will haunt your every waking moment and turn all your dreams into the blackest nightmares.
We return again to the world of Battlestar Galactica. The Toy Gods were not kind to me when it came to BSG.
Once again it was late 78/79 and I accompanied my mother and grandmother on one of their many weekly shopping trips (the length and boringness of which merit their own anthology of terror).
Our normal destination would be Venture or even K-Mart when they were desperate enough.
But not this day.
This day would be a rare treat. A trip to Target where the well to do did their shopping.
After enduring hours of hellish wandering and waiting as they tried on clothes and touched every piece of merchandise in the store, we reached the toy section at the back of the store.
There on an end cap was an entire display of BSG figures. More than I had ever seen anywhere else. I could not believe my eyes, or my luck as my mom enthusiastically agreed to buy one.
I spied my holy grail.
My favorite character on the show. And there he was.
I excitedly snatched him from the peg and deposited him into the cart. The deal was done. He was mine!
But fate can be cruel, and I would soon learn just how cruel.
As we neared the checkout line. Disaster fell upon me like the grill of a runaway truck on a busy Maine highway.
The lines were long. So. So incredibly long.
I immediately began to hyperventilate and beads of sweat covered my face and neck.
I knew all to well what this might mean.
Please move fast, please, I begged the lines. But they moved like the walking dead, barely even a shamble.
I felt an icy shadow slowly envelop us, the end was near. Why? Why did this have to happen? And then…
“Oh well, PISS ON THIS!”
The words spilled out of my mom’s mouth in a curse that crushed my moment of triumph.
The dream was now a nightmare as she drug me away from the cart she was now abandoning in the line. My mother and her mother before her would not suffer slow lines.
Please no, don’t do this, I begged her. But it was no use. Her wrath had been invoked. There was no turning back now.
I watched as Starbuck gazed back at me through the wire bars of the cart. Heartbroken and scarred.
Starbuck was never seen again
(Thunder rolls, mournful wind howls)
And so with that I will close the lid on the Toy Chest of Horrors until next year when perhaps we will be brave enough to peer once more into the void. What secrets does the Chest still contain? What depraved acts and spine tingling tales will be unleashed next time? We will have to wait and see.
Until then, piss on this.