Everyone was playing Cards Against Humanity in the basement when the dummy appeared and scared the living fuck out of them.

There was a thump as the attic ladder was lowered to the ground floor, and then these strange, floppy-sounding footprints.

“All right, niggers,” said the dummy as he emerged from the stairwell. “Buddy’s home.”

He was holding a 9 millimeter pistol. No one knew where he’d gotten it.

Davy and Jess had found the dummy in a trunk in the attic earlier that day. The trunk said, “Don’t Open” so naturally they opened it.

There was a ventriloquist dummy crammed inside with his limbs all willy-nilly. He was the size of a child and seemed to be made of the same shit that nerf balls are made of. He wore this musty old pinstripe tuxedo with tails and had black hair.

“The previous owner must’ve left him,” said Davy said later when he was regaling everyone at the housewarming party with the story of the discovery. “Maybe he’ll come to life and strangle us in our sleep.”

“I hate it,” said Jess. “I wanted to burn him in the firepit right there but Davy wants to see if we can sell him.”

“He looks authentic,” said Davy. “I mean, that could be a rent payment, babe, if we’re lucky.”

“Where is he now?” asked Gary.

“Still up in the attic,” said Davy. “We’ll show him to you later.”

They drank Coors Light and Torpedos and played Cards Against Humanity. They were planning on burning some convenience store wood later on the grill they had out on the patio.

The card that everyone was working on when the floppy footsteps came down the stairs was “First Date: Hug, Second Date: Kiss, Third Date: ______” Jess was about to pick Gary’s card, which said “Pussy” when they heard the footsteps.

Two minutes later and Buddy had herded everyone into the workout/wifi room in the southeast corner of the basement. All of Davy’s workout stuff was still piled in one corner, unorganized and unpacked. The wifi router blinked in another corner, the only thing that had been set up in the house so far.

Davy was the closest to the dummy and had tried to grab him but the dummy had fired a round into the wall behind the bar and Davy had ducked and cowered. Everyone screamed until the dummy fired another round into the ceiling and roared for them to shut the fuck up.

Randy and Gary and Davy went into the workout room first and Jess and Kayla and Rob followed, everyone pretty freaked out.

“Come on, come on,” said Buddy, trailing them with the gun smoking and pointed at their butts. “That’s right, get in there while I figure out what I want from you. Next one’s in your dicks or cunts, ya fuckin’ brats.”

They shut themselves inside the workout room and huddled in the corner.

“Why’d he call us niggers?” said Gary. “Not one of us is black.”

No one answered him.

They all sat there, and could hear the dummy walking around upstairs. There was only one window, and none of them could fit through it.

“That’s it,” said Randy after a while had passed and the sounds of the dummy walking around upstairs had ceased. “I’m going out there. Cover me.”

“With what?”

“Your eyes!”

Randy opened the door, slowly. It creaked a bit and everyone cringed, still huddled in the corner. Gary was right behind Randy, covering him with his eyes.

Randy peered out the crack he’d made between the door and the doorframe. The basement looked empty, and there were still no noises from upstairs. Maybe the dummy had left. Randy opened the door a little more, then a little more, then a little more.

He slipped out and heard a voice to his right.

“Surprise,” it said.

Gary and the others in the room were treated to the sight of a bullet punching into Randy’s chest. He collapsed like an empty puppet and everyone screamed again.

Gary reached out and tried to yank the door shut but he just pulled on the knob and let it go and ran back to huddle with the others. The door was really flimsy so it just bounced off the frame and sprang open again and there was Buddy with the smoking gun pointed at them all. He was only about three feet tall.

“What the fuck is the matter with you,” he growled. He pointed the gun at Jess and Kayla. “You two. Get your asses out here.”

Both Rob and Davy vehemently protested but Buddy fired another warning shot into the wifi router and it exploded. Rob and Davy went quiet.

Jess and Kayla went, silently. They were scared and confused.

Buddy motioned for the two girls to follow him up the stairs.

“K, ladies,” said Buddy as they walked. “I saw some pasta and shit up in the fridge. I want dinner, and I want it now. I also saw some nice, revealing dresses in your closets. Put those on before you make dinner. I wanna see legs and I wanna see cleavage. Go.”

Back in the room, Gary and Davy and Rob were assessing their options.

“Randy’s fucking dead, man,” said Davy. “I can’t believe it. Now I gotta find another drummer.”

“Don’t you own any guns?” Gary asked.

“No,” said Davy. “I don’t know where he got the one he has!”

“This is why you always own at least two guns,” said Rob.

Upstairs, Jess and Kayla had put on their dresses. Jess’s was black and Kayla’s was red. Both were spaghetti strap cocktail party dresses. Jess had last worn hers to their aunt’s funeral and Kayla had last worn hers to their other aunt’s wedding.

Buddy surveyed them as they moved about the kitchen, pulling out bowls and pans. He had decided he wanted pasta with meat sauce, but Jess and Davy were vegetarians so they didn’t have anything resembling meat except for some imitation veal in the freezer. Plus, they hadn’t been grocery shopping yet, bringing only what was left from their apartment.

“Fuck both your mothers in their yeasty, pimply cunts,” Buddy snapped when he was told the news. “Fine. Vegetarian pussy-ass pasta it is.”

He followed them around the kitchen with his black, painted eyes as they worked. His voice was low and rough and scratchy, kind of like Moe from the Simpsons, with a hint of Brooklyn accent.

“Yeah, you’re both decent-looking enough,” he muttered, his mouth flapping open and clacking with every word he spoke. “Kinda doughy, especially you,” — he pointed the gun at Kayla, who flinched — “But you’ll do for now.”

Back in the basement, the attempts at making a plan continued.

“Holy fuck,” said Rob.

“What?” said Gary and Davy.

“I just figured it out,” said Rob. “Slappy.”


“Yeah, that’s the Goosebumps dummy that comes to life,” said Rob. “Remember that? Night of the Living Dummy? Goosebumps books? The dummy comes to life at night.”

“No,” said Davy. “Does Buddy look like Slappy or something?”

“Not really,” said Rob. “Not from what I remember. Actually… actually maybe a little.”

“How did they kill it?” Gary said.

“I don’t remember,” said Rob. “I wanna say they shoved it in a trash compactor or something.”

“Google it,” said Davy.

Rob and Gary pulled out their phones and hurriedly typed in “Night of the Living Dummy ending” into Google. Gary was faster so Rob put his phone away.

“K, I got the wiki,” said Gary.

“Hurry,” said Davy.

He could hear Buddy yelling at Jess and Kayla above, threatening to “shove this gun up their twats” if his pasta was overdone.

“Fuck, said Gary. “They get him run over with a steamroller.”

“Goddamn it,” said Davy and Rob at the same time.

Upstairs, the pasta was boiling. Jess removed it and strained it in the colander while Kayla prepared the tomato sauce. It actually smelled pretty good. Both of them were very stressed out. Buddy sat on a tall stool at the breakfast bar, his legs dangling bonelessly. The gun was still out.

“Yeah, make that pasta,” he said. “Make it nice and good…stir it up, aw, yeah, that’s the stuff…”

In the basement, the three surviving guys were still trying to formulate a plan to defeat Buddy.

“Can’t we just, like, set him on fire or something?” said Gary.

“With what?” said Davy.

“I have a lighter,” said Gary. “Do you have any spray cans down here?”

“No, they’re all upstairs in the closet.”

“Man, I just wanna get back to playing Cards Against Humanity,” whined Rob. He’d had a really great card before the dummy interrupted.

Then the door flew open and there was Buddy with the gun.

All three of the guys screamed. Jess and Kayla were behind Buddy, holding a huge bowl of steaming pasta.

“SHUT UP, YOU JIZZMUNCHERS,” Buddy screamed at them.

Buddy arranged everyone in the wifi room and began eating his pasta as he talked.

“So here’s the thing,” he said. He smeared pasta sauce all over his face and half the noodles spilled onto the floor. “I’m going to need a body. So you cockknockers have a choice here.”

Gary was trying to see if the pasta was coming out the hand-hole in the dummy’s back but couldn’t get a good enough look. Davy was with Jess and Rob was with Kayla.

“I already have one lying on the floor there,” he said. “I wanted my pasta before I did anything else. Even if it is this meatless concoction of bullshit. I knew one of you would be bold enough to try and get out, and that’s the body I wanted. So like I said, you fucksticks have a choice. You can either accept the new version of your friend, or I can execute every one of you. But that’d be a hassle for me, and it’d be a hassle for you. So I’d rather just take the body and we can all get on with our lives.”

Everyone shot sideways glances at each other.

“I won’t remember a thing, and neither will he,” Buddy continued. “It’ll be, frankly, as if that voodoo witch back in the 20s had never trapped my soul in the body of this dummy for calling her a bone-nosed nigger.”

Everyone considered it. It did seem like the least complicated way to go.

Buddy finished his pasta and walked over to Randy’s body. He put his hand on the small of Randy’s back, still keeping the gun trained on the wifi room door. The dummy collapsed and Randy stirred. The dummy disappeared into a fine green mist that stank like swamp rot. The gun clattered to the floor.

“Just like in Night of the Living Dummy,” murmured Rob.

Gary ran over and picked the gun up and pocketed it. He would hang onto it for about a week before disposing it in the sewer near his home.

“Man,” Randy said when he sat up. As far as they could tell, there was nothing different about him. “What’s that smell?”

“I farted,” said Davy without hesitating.

“What happened to that dummy?”

“What dummy?” said everyone at once.

“The dummy that came down the…” Randy started to say, but then he looked around the basement and shook his head and rubbed his face. “Never mind… I’m thirsty.”

“Let me get you a PBR,” said Jess, running upstairs. “Or a water, would you rather have a water?”

“Why not both?” said Randy. “Thanks.”

Ten minutes later, they were all playing Cards Against Humanity again around the bar. Buddy had been right. It was like nothing had happened.

The white card was “What did the US Army airdrop to the children of Afghanistan?” Randy won the round by picking, “A thermonuclear detonation.”