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Rated: ASR · Fiction · Children's · #719090
How did I get here? Why am I being held prisoner?
The Naughty Gift

         I open my eyes but can see nothing -- just total darkness above and below, all around. Everything smells of dusty cardboard. I can feel the sides, the top, the bottom, it’s all the same flat surface like a cage, a prison, a box. I desperately want out.
         The air is getting stale, and I feel thirsty. I keep breathing through my mouth which now feels so dry it hurts just to swallow. I have an urgent need to relieve myself and the pressure is more than I can endure.
         “Let me out!” I whine, but it doesn’t matter, no one comes to set me free.
         I lie down, breathing hard. I need more air! The box is small, and I have to tuck my legs underneath me just to get comfortable. How did I get here? Why am I being held prisoner?
         I remember seeing a tall man at the store. He was watching me for a long time as I played; studying my every move. He brought me here, closing me up inside this dark cell. But why? Why would he do such a thing? He seemed so nice at first. He was smiling at me when he picked me up and ruffled my hair. I felt so happy.
         Sadly, I lie my head down on the dark floor. I feel so alone. Why would anyone do this to me? Why would they leave me here alone in darkness, with nothing to eat or drink? I’ve got to get out of here! I can’t stand it anymore!
         “I want out! Let me out!”
         Wait, what’s that? What’s that noise? I hear something. Voices! I hear voices--people talking!
         “Merry Christmas, everybody!” someone says.
         “Merry Christmas, Mom. Merry Christmas, Dad. Can I open my presents now, please, please ...?”
         “Sure you can, Honey! But I think you better open this big one first.”
         I’m jostled about as someone moves my prison. I hear paper ripping. They’re going to let me out! I’m so excited! So happy! I have to go to the bathroom. I have to go bad!
         “Gosh, Dad, what’s in here, anyway?”
         “You’ll see, just open it up!”
         The top is coming off. I can see a glimpse of light! This is it! Now’s my chance to get out of here. I jump up before the lid is even removed.
         “It’s a puppy! Oh, my goodness! A puppy, a puppy! Look at him! He’s so beautiful! Oh, Mom, Dad, thank you, thank you, thank you so much!”
         I see a little girl in front of me. She’s so excited, filled with happiness. Her sparkling eyes are so loving. She’s got to be my best friend! She has set me free; she must be my best friend! Yes! Yes, she is!
         “Oh, thank you so much! It’s just what I've always wanted! I promise to take good care of him. I promise, I promise!”
         I run circles around her as fast as I can. I’m so excited, so very excited! She reaches for me and I jump up on her lap. I lick her face all over. She tastes sweet like milk. She smells like a soft cozy blanket. I love her! I love her so much!
         “A puppy! A puppy of my very own!” she yells.
         She picks me up and holds me tight...too tight! I’ve got to go potty! I’ve got to go potty, now!
         I wiggle away from her and land on the floor. I smell a tree. It smells good, hmmm--(sniff, sniff). This is a good place, right here! Ah . . . that’s good, so good. Yes!
         “Uh-oh, Dad! I think he’s doing his business under the Christmas tree!”
         “Oh no! Not there! Bad dog! Naughty dog!”
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