It was always smiling with those shiny black buttoned eyes. Its fuzzy grey head lolled against a row of books lined up on the shelf. How silly he looks with that oversized green bow tie, thought Alex, observing the childish keepsake from across the room. He remembered how the soft fibres tickled his fingertips when he slipped it on in those mind numbing hours of boredom – but, those innocent days were gone. Since then, wearing it had become… dangerous. The fun had gone from that hypnotic face, that little face with the manically smiling eyes and crudely stitched mouth – a home-made monster! It was pointless to try and dispose of it. Alex’s spine trembled with shivers as he recounted how the cat had strutted so proudly across the living room floor, dragging it along between its jaws. The next day the cat was gone. Disappeared. The sock puppet, however, had been returned to its place on the shelf – by whom, there was no explanation – where it continued to smile menacingly, knowingly. Alex hadn’t touched it since.