Bogy—(say bo-gee) noun A hobgoblin: evil spirit. Anything that haunts, frightens or annoys. Originally a name for the devil. Macquarie Concise Dictionary (Fourth Edition)
‘Tell me, Brat, what part of the word “no” don’t you understand? I told you not to touch Bogy Bob.’
My older brother, Jack, grabbed the front of my hoodie and pushed his face right into mine. His breath stank of salt and vinegar chips.
‘I – I didn’t touch him, Jack. I swear I didn’t.’
‘Crap! How did he get on the floor, then?’
‘I don’t know.’
Jack only got Bogy Bob this morning. The postman delivered him in a box. Apparently, he’s a family heirloom but he seriously gives me the creeps. He’s a ventriloquist’s dummy made out of wood, with mangy red hair and teeth that Jack reckons are real. But they couldn’t possibly be … could they?
Jack let go and I fell back on the floor beside the dummy. ‘Stop lying. I told you not to touch him.’
I looked at Bogy Bob. One of his eyelids dropped down. He winked at me!
Jack picked the dummy up and sat him on his knee. ‘Bob, what have you got to say for yourself?’
Bogy Bob’s eyes blinked and his head swiveled towards me. ‘Hey presto… chango… the kid’s a liar.’
‘Can’t you put him away? I don’t like the way he keeps looking at me,’ I said.
Bob’s eyebrows shot up. ‘Hey, presto… chango! The Brat’s scared. I’m only a wooden doll, you know?’
At bedtime, Jack put Bogy Bob in the cupboard. The dummy was staring straight at me as the door closed. Jack fell asleep quickly, burrowed down under his blankets.
The moon was shining in the window. I couldn’t take my eyes off the cupboard. I just knew something bad was going to happen.
The cupboard door creaked open. ‘Hey… presto… chango…’
Bogy Bob was looking at me, his eyes glowing red and his mouth wide—real teeth bared. I dived down and yanked the blanket over my head, but someone was tugging at it, someone much stronger than me. Bogy Bob was on top of me! Our noses were almost touching and his red eyes burned into mine.
“Hey… presto… chango… Brat!’ he chuckled softly and wrapped his hands around my throat.
I tried to scream Jack’s name, but no sound came out.
And that’s the last thing I remember.
‘C’mon, Brat. Time to wake up.’
Jack! My eyes flew open. My body felt stiff. I couldn’t wait to tell him about the weird dream I’d had.
But I was not in my bed. What was going on? I was inside the cupboard. How the heck did I get in there?
The door jerked open and Jack reached for some socks, but he didn’t seem to see me.
I looked past him, into the room. Somebody else was in my bed. Somebody who looked just like me.
He looked at me. And he winked.
Jenny’s great grandfather was a ventriloquist in the Music Halls of London, and researching her family history inspired this story. Jenny also has two chapter books--Football for Dawks and Looking for Sherlock--that are a good read, too.
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