Mr. Mopp’s Twisted Toys

Episode 18

FUN and Games

By comparison, the next building was huge. It was brightly lit and had a line of costumed kids outside listening to an organ grinder and his monkey. First, she thought this was strange, and then realized that, of course, this was Halloween and what kid would not try to trick or treat the local toy store known here as Mr. Mopps Twisted Toys. Mr. Mopps was old and crippled and fearful of lots of young wizards and witches in the store at once. He let only a few in at a time and the rest stayed in line and waited patiently for this store was filled with incredible toys and visual delights for kids. On this Halloween night, the line of costumed children included a Cousin Itt (from the Addams family), a clown, a pumpkin, a bird woman, a vampire, a space monster and a little boy, fairy, with his red wagon.

Since she was not really a “kid” anymore, Mr. Mopps let Sonja in without making her wait. As her eyes swept around the store, she wished she was a kid again, for these toys were nothing short of fantastic.

Sonja didn’t know which direction to head to first. The thrill at seeing all these fantastic toys made her realize that we never really totally grow up. There is a child that remains inside each of us forever. Sonja’s inside kid was having a ball. In front of her eyes were two witches playing with marionettes. One had a lady vampire while the other had a pair of marionettes resembling Frankenstein and his Bride! There was even a witch practicing ventriloquism with a witch doll. What a change from Charlie McCarthy, who had been the rage of days gone by.

Next, she noticed a large shelf system with toys for real little witches and wizards, such as a ghost train, a ring toss with snake rings and even a one- eyed, one-horned flying purple people eater. To challenge the child in all of them, there were many box games, from Mystic Skull and Ghost Castle to the Munsters and Jumanji. There were even coloring books and paper dolls.

Mr. Mopps also sold furniture that any child would love to have in their room. There were friendly monsters and large dragons made into chairs and one chair even shaped as a hand with the fingers as the back of the chair. There was a tiny black garden set with bone arms on the chairs. Located near them was a cat ring toss game and a table holding a Chinese checkers board. Cute pictures of little witches adorned the walls along with unusual clocks. For little witches there was even a training broom and junior witch kit in the corner.

The store had another floor, and as Sonja turned to look for the stairs, she noticed some great kites hanging from the upstairs railing. As her eyes scanned the remainder of the first floor, she noticed a ping pong table, stuffed toys of all kinds and even a table filled with a variety of the Jack-in-the-Boxes. One of the boxed toys was a Devil. Maybe that was what Igor was looking for. So, she told Mr. Mopps she would pay for it after she looked around the upstairs.

As she made her way to the stairs, she passed an old witch carrying a red teddy bear dressed as a vampire, complete with black cape. It was so cute. Many more stuffed animals lined the stairs to the second floor. There were bears, turtles and even a hedgehog!

The first area of the second floor was the Science Center. Here a young wizard was practicing some spells, but not doing to well. His mistakes seemed to line the floor. Most striking was the cat with the pumpkin head, and then there was the spider and bird with witch’s heads on each. Sonja whispered as she passed him, “Practice makes perfect!”

Next, she came to several puppet theaters with many hand puppets and a fabulous wizard marionette hanging on a stand. The sign for the play to be presented was the Frog Prince. Sonja was having such a good time looking at the toys that she nearly forgot that she was on a mission to find the items on Igor’s list so he would help her get home.

Realizing that she had spent far to much time at Mr. Mopps, Sonja returned downstairs, paid for the “Devil in the Box” and left to continue the search for the last two items on the list. She still had to find a dragon egg but hoped that this toy would be good enough for the head of the Devil.

Lucky for Sonja that, as she left Mr. Mopps twisted toys, she came upon Igor walking down the street. Waving wildly to flag him down, Sonja showed him the Devil in the Box and asked “Does this satisfy for the head of the devil on your list?”

Igor was evil personified. He just looked at her and laughed hysterically. “Of course, it doesn’t.” he spat the words toward her. “I don’t want some stupid toy. When you find the right thing you will know it is right. Of course, if you give me your necklace, I’ll send you home right now.”

“Listen to me, you evil thing. You’ll have to kill me to get this necklace. I don’t know why you want it so badly, but I do know that I will never give it away willingly.”

“Don’t put it past me, young lady,” hissed Igor. “Get the items on the list or spend the rest of your days here in Spirit Hill. When you get all the items on the list, I’ll tell you who and what you are.”

Sonja looked at him quizzically. How would he know who she was, for she had never seen him before landing here in this shopping mall? What could he know that she did not? It made the hair standup on her arms and shivers run up and down her spine.

Her four protective witches were watching these events through their crystal ball. Spellanie spoke first. “Girls, I am afraid that he is going to tell her that she is the sister of his dead wife and let the cat out of the bag.”
Honora, Brujita, Hexanna nodded their heads in unison. Brujita exclaimed “We must protect the secret at all cost. When Sonja learns the truth of her identity is a decision to be made by her real parents. But most important of all, we must protect Sonja from the evil spewing out of Igor. I am afraid that he has something really bad planned for her. It doesn’t show in my ball, but I feel it deep inside my bones.”

The four witches vowed again amongst each other to uphold the promise of protection they had sworn over the little dark-haired infant in the cradle so many years ago. Honora exclaimed, “Maybe we should work in shifts? If only we could produce the items on Igor’s list for her. But he chose items he knew we couldn’t conjure up.” The witches agreed to watch Sonja’s travels in the crystal ball in shifts with Hexanna volunteering for the first one. They all felt the imminent danger strongly.