The Haunted Toy Store… Canto 8

Canto 8 – The Slink

On the car ride home, Maria worked up the nerve to ask her stepfather a few things.

“Why did you lie to those people, Stan?”

“I didn’t lie.”

“You were pretending to be that woman’s friend.  You never met her before.  How is that not a lie?”

“I only said I knew Brittany from her charity work.  When I researched her, I found that information about the charities.  So, that was exactly how I knew about her.  I can’t help it if he interpreted my words differently than that.”

“So, you really want the man and his little girl to think of us as friends and call us?”

“We need to listen to anything they have to say.  If we are going to learn anything about why this woman was struck down in this way, it will come from what they want to talk about when they want to talk about the incident.”

“But why bother at all?  It doesn’t really have anything to do with the case we really want to solve.  We need to find out about Rogelio and Yesenia.”

“Strange things have been happening in and around that toy store for a long, long time.  I have a suspicion we will need to find out how more than one of those things happened in order to figure out what your boyfriend is caught up in.”

“So, what do you really think happened to Mrs. Nguyen?”

“I don’t know anything for sure yet.  You have to be open to anything as a possible clue.  Once you find some things out, you follow those leads and try to eliminate them as paths to the answer.  You eliminate all the false paths, and the one you are left with is the one that will lead you to the answer.”

“It makes you sound like Sherlock Holmes.”

“It should sound like logic.  In fact, it is the methodical application of logic that Sherlock might’ve called “ratiocination.”

“What ratio-whatsit do you already have about Rogelio?”

“Well, you said he seemed to be hearing voices in his head before he disappeared.”

“Yeah.  He seemed to be talking to a papier-mâché skull.  You know.  One of those Day-of-the-Dead Mexican holiday things.”

“Did you hear it say anything?”

“No.  It was just a toy on a shelf.”

“But was it really?  Do you know for sure he wasn’t talking to someone, somehow?”

“Like how?”

“A miniature radio?”



“Be serious!”

“I am.  At the start, you don’t throw out any possibility.  It is the weirdest ones that make it hardest to find the real answer.  You can’t discount anything without evidence.”

“Okay.  I see your point.  I hope it’s ghosts, actually.  That would be more fun than a miniature radio to contact Yesenia in the alley.”

“Yes.  We might want to see if we can eliminate the radio thing first.”

“You going to that toy store to check on it?”

“We are going.  I need your eyes and ears and brain there too.”

So, it was settled.  The investigation had a new lead to track down.


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Filed under ghost stories, horror writing, novel, NOVEL WRITING, Paffooney

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