Steve held the box in his hands. “Hours of fun!” it promised. The doll grinned up at him from behind its cellophane window.
A scruffy man in a ragged coat sidled up and began shoveling the pink boxes into a shopping cart. He stared at Steve. “You gonna buy that one?” he asked.
Steve edged away. “I was thinking about it for my niece. ‘Hours of fun,’ and all.”
The man laughed humorlessly. “Truth in advertising! A few hours of joy. It doesn’t last. And when it stops…” Tears welled up in his eyes. “It’s worse than anything,” he whispered.
Advent Ghosts 2014: The Stories
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