Mr Bobby The Red Balloon : Scary Stories – Short Horror Story

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I always loved fairs.

Today I brought my daughter along with me. But as the day dragged on she grew more weary, and eventually her face puckered up and she broke into tears.

I panicked. I tried to calm her down, but nothing really worked. Eventually I saw a clown selling balloons. He gave me one for free, mainly because he saw how desperate I was.

Zoey stopped crying immediately.

“I’m going to call you… Mr Bobby.”

That was how Mr Bobby the Red Balloon came into our life. She brought it home, and from then onwards it never left her side. Zoey brought it everywhere she went. To daycare, to the supermarket, dragging it behind her all the time. She even doodled a face on it, which she would talk and laugh to.

It was cute when she was younger, but as the years passed, it was getting obsessive. Most people grow out of this in their early teenage years. Zoey never did. Against my objections she even brought it to school.

I was getting worried at this point. I feared that she would get bullied. That she was never going to get out of this phrase and it would haunt her for the rest of her life.

I tried persuading her to give up the balloon and make some real friends, but she adamantly refused. Therefore, desperately I decided to get rid of that stupid balloon once and for all.

When she was sleeping I pried it from her hand and tried to float it outside, but it came back. I tried to pop it with a needle, but the rubber was like hard steel. I did get a couple of dents in though. I hoped Zoey wouldn’t notice.

I tried and tried to destroy, pop the balloon over the next few days, but all my efforts proved futile. The balloon grew more resistant too, bending and twisting away from me. Once as I tried to pop it with a sharper tool, I heard a high-pitched girly scream. I froze, praying Zoey wouldn’t notice, but fortunately she slept like a rock.

One morning, as I was clinging on to the edges of desperation on how to separate the balloon from my daughter, I felt a tap on my shoulder as I was eating breakfast.

“Good morning, Dad.”

The voice was deep and gravelly. I turned around to see a teenage boy grinning at me. His face was heavily bruised.

I didn’t have a son.

That was when my eyes inevitably darted to the face on the red balloon he was holding.

It wasn’t a child’s scribble on rubber, a goofy eyes, nose, mouth. No, it was inherently realistic, expertly drawn.

Zoey’s face grinned back at me. She was laughing in joy.

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