The Strange Case of the Flea Market Puppets
Children like to play with dolls.  Little girls like Barbie dolls and baby dolls to dress up and little boys like G.I.Joe and army men dolls to play with.  I too used to like dolls.  But not anymore, not since I found the flea market puppet dolls.  Let me tell you the story.  First,  let me say that whether or not you believe this story still does not mean it is not true. 

It all started when I went into a flea market and saw a very spooky looking wooden puppet.  He was very old and painted in gold on his arms.  His clothes were old too but were very  nicely made and this must have been an expensive doll when it was first carved by an artist.  The face of the puppet was scary, like he was alive and watching and was ready to do something bad.  He was painted with very bright colors all over his face.  He had a crown on the front and was meant to be a King and the back of his head, where his hair should have been, was carved into a huge monster mask that stuck out like a deformity and made him look twice as scary.  It was painted in red and green and all sorts of colors.  The whole thing looked like it could come to life but it was just a puppet.    It had one arm with a wire attached to a stick to move it so he could be used by the puppeteer.  The other arm was broken off and gone.
There was no price tag on the doll so I asked the dealer,  “How much is the old wooden puppet with the missing arm?.”   The old woman  cackled, “There are two of them and you have to buy them both, they are a set, there used to be a third but it is gone.  They are five dollars apiece.”

These dolls were very old antiques and finely made so I was glad to give her ten dollars from my wallot.   She pulled a key from under the counter and told the old man by her to get the other doll.  I watched as he slowly arose, got his cane and hobbled to an antique trunk.  He opened the padlock and removed a brown bag and handed it to me.  I opened it to find the Queen puppet which was obviously the mate to the other one.

Upon arriving home with the dolls I placed them on my kitchen table and was going to inspect them the next day.  After a night’s sleep, I awoke for work the next morning and entered the kitchen to find two dead mice on the floor!  How strange.  Though I had a cat he had never killed mice before and would not even eat pieces of chicken I had offered him after dinner.  Still I guessed he must have caught them.   I went to work and returned that evening and looked over the puppets with a magnifying glass and was reassured these were of the finest quality and not mere toys. Under the clothing of the King I found a hidden price tag marked $115.  Strange I thought wondering why the dealer sold them for five dollars each.  I was about to find out why.

That night I put the dolls on a shelf before going to bed.  During the night I awoke to some noises and thought to myself that  my cat had found another mouse and then I went back to sleep.  The next morning I went to my kitchen and found my cat dead in a puddle of blood. He had a small puncture wound in his throat but there was no sign of what caused it.  I was very sad as he had been a good pet for three years.  I figured he must have fallen or jumped into something sharp.  I buried him and went to work and upon returning home I went to look at my antique puppets again.  These puppets did not have legs but instead, hidden under their clothes, they had a wooden rod.  The puppeter would stick his hand under the dress and hold the rod to move the puppet.  Over time the ends of these rods had worn to a point and while examining them I noticed the tip had red on it like blood.  Then I thought of my cat’s punctured throat.  This did not make any sense!  I must be crazy to think the puppets could come alive.  Just to be safe I locked the puppets in a trunk and went to bed again. 

I had a good sleep that night and the next morning was a beautiful sunny day.  I had a good breakfast and was getting my coat when I saw the trunk unlocked and open and…. the puppets gone.  I searched the house and found the back door open just a little bit.  I wasn’t sure what to think but I knew what I had to do.  I drove back to the flea market  eager to ask the old people about these evil dolls.  As I drove into the parking lot I saw a sign on the door. It said “Closed due to owner’s deaths.”  I shook with fear as I returned home hoping to never see those dolls again.  Fortunately I had taken two pictures of the dolls with my cell phone.  If you ever go into a flea market and see these two, run as fast as you can.

                    
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