Readers beware! Prams are not just for babies!
In the town of Rooseburk, life was slow and relaxed. It was a Sunday morning. Yet, the church was empty. There were no churchgoers, not even the pastor. In this bleak autumn season, the streets were almost empty too, except for the autumn leaves that littered the grounds of Rooseburk. It seemed like the town was dead, which was not surprising for a small town with a population of merely 900.
Not all shops were open for business. Only a few selling food and daily necessities were opened. There were barely any tourists since it was nearing winter and the town was rather remote and inaccessible. Business was poor. Except for the convenient shops which sold foodstuff, the other shops were barely earning anything. Some shopkeepers even chose to cease business till spring time.
At a corner leading to a dark alley, a shop selling baby prams had its doors opened. The shopkeeper was Fred, a balding old man of 68. Ocassionally, there would be a passer-by or two who would walk past the shop, stopping a while to gaze at the displays of baby prams, which were often old and dusty. Fred’s wife died several years ago while his son was happily married with 2 kids and were living in the city. He lived alone in this town and other than the town folks, he was left with no kin. He would always keep his shop open in the day though business was poor since he had no where else to go. In fact, he lived in his shop. It had become his permanent shelter. Every now and then, he would do a count on the baby prams to ensure that none was missing. Every baby pram was skilfully handmade by himself, and he was proud of them.
Fred was trying to put together a broken wheel from a pram when Dolly, a middle-aged woman walked in and greeted him.
“How’s business Fred?” She asked with a smile.
“Well, bad, as usual. Winter’s gonna be worse I guess.” Fred replied before looking up at her.
“Would you like a cup of tea?”
“Thank you but I had to rush home to prepare dinner. The whole family’s waiting for me.” Dolly said.
“Alright I’ll see you around soon.”
“You too, and do take care of your back. Don’t overstrain it.” Dolly smiled again before walking off.
Soon, it was night time. All the other shopkeepers had already returned home. Fred walked towards the shop entrance and locked the doors. He walked over to his couch and took a sip of coffee he made for himself and started watching the television. The television set was small, old and the display was monochrome, yet Fred found it years ago and fixed it by himself. He was watching an old movie, his all time favourite. All of a sudden, he heard a laughter. It started out to be soft. Gradually it became louder and louder. It was a baby’s laughter. He could feel the chill running down his spine as he turned his head around to survey the rows of baby prams. The laughter stopped. He turned back to his tv, thinking that he was probably imagining things. Then once again, the laughter returned. This time, it was accompanied by a gust of strong wind. Fred shook in fear as he managed to stand up, turn around and squint through his glasses at the prams. The babytoys attached to the prams were clinking furiously. Then, he thought he saw a particular pram from the back row moving.
“Who’s there?” He blurted, suspecting that someone had broken into his shop through the back door.
The laughter continued. It became louder and louder. It was no longer quaint, but a deep hideous one. Without notice, the rows of prams began moving towards him. He stepped back in shock, tripped over a wire and fell down, hitting his head hard. Without warning, he saw a baby pram flew towards him. He felt an excruciating pain as razors began cutting through his body. The wheels of the pram had changed into razors. He tried to pray. And then, a blade silenced him. Blood gushed out from his neck.
At this point of time, the television was showing “Child’s Play”. The cuckoo clock struck 12 midnight. Tick tock tick tock……
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