Birthday card

My parents-in-law sent me a birthday card (thanks you guys–no seriously, it was perfect!) which appears to be haunted.

I arrived at the mail box place yesterday and found a note to come pick up something from the office, so I went there. And was handed a square white envelope, slightly bulged in the middle. “Please take this away,” the man said.

“It’s a birthday card,” I said. “Today’s my birthday.”

“Happy Birthday! But please take it away before you open it. It was making noise all the time I was sorting the mail. It’s very loud.”

Surprised, I pick up the card. It remains silent.

I shake the card. Nothing. I squeeze the card…

And hear a sort of electronic coughing noise that resolves into the first six notes of “Bad To The Bone”–frantic hyper band version. “Oh,” I say and carry the card away.

All the way home it makes a spastic ticking noise and when at last I get home and open the card–which sports a subtle background of transparent orange flames on a yellow field behind a few scary skulls wearing party hats–it does, indeed, burst forth with a high-speed version of “Bad To the Bone.” Inside, the words “Be bad on your birthday–very bad!” I’m amused.

The song plays to its pre-recorded conclusion and stops. I put the card aside and it is well behaved for the rest of the evening (I assume, since I didn’t come back from dinner with my hubby to find it trashing the place or playing with itself.) All is good. The card is good.

I sit down and go back to work. Hubby goes to bed.

Gentle snores are just issuing from the forepeak when I hear a strange, spastic ticking sound. It’s coming from my left. On the counter.

I look over and there is the card. Ticking.

As I stare, it bursts into full volume replay of “Bad To The Bone.” The snores pause.

I leap up and grab the card, trying to bend it or squeeze it so the trigger will be slackened and the music will stop.  But it does not. Instead it restarts as loud as ever. “Dah Da-da-da DAH, Bad To The Bone.” I almost take it outside, but realize that will wake my neighbors too.

The snores have stopped as I dive for the utensil drawer, scrabbling for a pair of scissors! I try to rend the card. It plays on, louder than ever. “Bad to the Bone!” I tuck the scissors into it’s guts, tearing and cutting.

The card mocks me by playing on. “B-B-B-Bad! Bad To The Bone!!”

I rip the card apart as it continues to torment me, finally I grab the tiny speaker and card assembly and attempt to pry out the battery. Still it plays on!


I wrench the battery from its slot. “BAD TO THE–!”


And the snores resume.

I go back to work, but I spare a glance at the skulls periodically, which snicker back at me from beneath their party hats “bad to the bone…hehehe.”


About Kat Richardson

Writer, editor, eccentric pain in the tail, bestselling author of the Greywalker novels.
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4 Responses to Birthday card

  1. Jenni :-) says:

    *giggles helplessly*

  2. my work here is done.

  3. Sandy Carpenter says:

    I wove my spell well, didn’t I? I love it that it tormented the post office staff, lends a new slant on the phrase “go postal” doesn’t it? It did start it’s “independent” actions when I brought it home and I sent it on with great hopes which have been surpassed!! A testament to it’s strength is the fact that it could disturb the sleep of a Richardson male!! A satisfying success. Sandy

  4. Oh indubitably. It was evil. Thanks!

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