A Story by AidanTonbridge

Don't know why but started drawing a bird's head, that turned into part of a box, that turned into a toy. The dialogue below came as a result. Calling it a story; really a conversation.


And is that why you think your date at the haunted house went so badly?

Ugh… I guess.  I mean.. I just don’t get it… what kind of child gets enjoyment out of a randomly timed object jumping out at them from a box?  I don’t know if it was a combination of the music and the box or the false sense of control I had with that… metal rod thing.  I mean I can specifically remember when I was 5 years old… and my aunt had one in her family room.  It was the only toy she had.  I was forced to either entertain myself with that, her 20 year old cat, or whatever conversation her and my mom were having in the smoke filled kitchen.

May I interrupt you Jason?


So why did you even play with it in the first place if you hated it so much?

I don’t know, isn’t that your job to figure out?

It’s my job to ask questions and observe… you’re here to figure yourself out remember?

Yeah… I don’t know… this one was a little different.  I was intrigued.  I remember it was metal.  I mean all metal.  Like they don’t make those kinds of toys anymore doc, ya know?

Yes, yes I do.

So anyway.. I’m on the middle of the room with this metal box and it’s already giving me the creeps, but my stupid inquisitive 5 year old mind won’t let up.  So I start turning the little... the.. rod or whatever sticking out of it.. slowly.  I remember the sound it made because it was so … haunting. 


Yeah, it was really old so I think some of the metal prongs may have warped.  Like taking a major chord and making it minor.

I understand.

So I’m slowly moving this... this stick rod thing.



Just saying.

Fine, I’m moving the crank slowly and I’m just staring at this metal box.  I know what’s going to happen… I just don’t know when so my heart starts to beat really fast and I speed up the crank.  I started sweating because the music went on for what felt like eternity.  I started to lose my breath and hyperventilate.

You remember all of this?

Yes.  To the last detail.  It's the only thing I can really remember from when I was little.

Go on.

So I’m sitting there… hyperventilating with this box and then it happens and I f*****g FLIP. 

You flip…

Yeah doc.. I mean I went crazy… I don’t know why but I had so much built in anticipation that once it happened I had to release it somehow.  I was in some kind of psychotic rage fueled by that damn metal box.  I think of it like Edgar Poe’s beating heart in the floorboards.

And that’s why you stabbed yourself.

Yes… I mean… no … I don’t know.  I didn’t know what to do so yeah, I just took the… the bird thing that popped out and shoved it into my eye.  My mom still thinks that I had my face too close to the toy.

And that helped?

For a second, I remember it did.  Then I realized I couldn’t see out of it… and started really freakin out.

So what did you do, Jason?

I threw the thing across the room and went and hid in a closet and hummed that damn song until my aunt eventually opened the door and found me.

You remember specifically humming the song from the box?


And could you hum it for me now?

I’d rather not doc… I'd.. really rather not.

© 2011 AidanTonbridge

Author's Note

FYI: brosef.com is a doodle blog where Aidan Tonbridge draws first, then writes whatever comes to mind after seeing what he's drawn. There is no consistent format to what he posts (could be a screenplay, dialogue, a story, etc.)

I welcome all feedback. Check out brosef.com for other posts!

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An almost rigid framework of anticipation and fracture, I felt drawn in and relieved with this piece, well done good read

Posted 13 Years Ago

haha i hate those kinds of toys.
Well written, and even though the character is referencing a sort of destructive psychlogical episode, the feeling of tension, building expectation and anticipation he describes in that moment before it goes off is really relatable.
And I like your style, doodling then writing about it? thats awesome.

Posted 13 Years Ago

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2 Reviews
Added on April 1, 2011
Last Updated on April 5, 2011
Tags: jack, box, jack in the box, psychiatrist, psychology, issues, scared, kid, frightened, brosef, doodle



Philadelphia, PA

Creator of brosef.com: a doodle blog. An interesting character. Loves apple fritters. Has an alter ego. Is tall. Welcomes constructive (or rage-fueled) criticism. more..

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A Chapter by AidanTonbridge