When I was little, oh, I’d say about eight or so, I badly wanted a Furby. My parents tried and tried to get their hands on one so I would be greeted by the talkative toy under the Christmas tree, but at the time, they were so popular, getting one at all would’ve been quite the feat. Of course, like many other parents in the release year of Furbies, they had no luck of getting one for me. I was a little disappointed that Christmas, but even though I was just a kid, I was aware of supply and demand.
During Christmas break, a couple of my friends came over and I was envious of both of them. They both had Furbies. I frowned some as I watched the two other girls laugh as their Furbies communicated and played together. Jessica got a spotted gray one with a white stomach and a pink mohawk. Amanda’s was a pure white one with blue eyes, just like I wanted. I pouted, but did my best to be happy for them. After a while, they went back home. My parents clearly could tell how upset I was.
January came and went, and even for my birthday, there was no Furby to be found. I did the usual. I pouted and sulked like the little brat I was and settled for brushing the manes and tails of the My Little Pony dolls I had. I would watch cartoons and fussily flip the channel every time a Furby commercial came on. Eventually my mom got a phone call and ended up crying her eyes out like something awful had happened. Of course, curious and bored with my dolls, I got up to see what was wrong.
“Mommy? What happened?”
She hugged me tight. “Your cousin Jennifer…” She began stammering, only to sob loudly. Jennifer was much older than me. She was sixteen at the time. “She won’t be there when we go see Aunt Becky.”
“She’s in heaven, now, sweetie.”
I knew what that meant. I didn’t know Jennifer so well, but when I did see her, she was always very nice to me, even though I didn’t like the music she listened to very much. The men always seemed angry or sad. My tastes changed as I got older. Simply put, she was really depressed and always wore black. I didn’t know at the time but she was what older people referred to as “goth”. I just knew that my aunt would be very upset. This just meant we had to go see her.
Becky was very distraught when we showed up. My mom didn’t think I should come along, but I begged and pleaded, hoping I could find a way to cheer my aunt up. It would be strange without Jennifer there, but my mother decided that attending her funeral may be a good way to learn about coping with death.
The funeral was open-casket. Jennifer looked almost like she was just peacefully sleeping. I cried, simply because I knew she wouldn’t wake up. She wouldn’t play patty cake with me anymore, she wouldn’t tell me scary stories, and she wouldn’t tell me cool things about spiders anymore… As the casket was finally lowered into the ground, I quietly murmured, “Good night, Jenny.”
After the funeral, I went into her room. The empty pill bottle (there was no label, so I don’t know what it was) was still on the floor. I didn’t know what it meant at the time, but my mom and her sister were discussing what was found during the autopsy, and she overdosed on Valium and consumed alcohol, which killed her. A few things were already taken out of her room. Her journal contained entries about how she wanted to die and how she hated herself. Nobody ever knew she felt that way. I especially didn’t. It made me sad. She always seemed so happy when I’d visit. I heard both Becky and my mother weeping. They came into Jennifer’s room and glanced around. Becky insisted that all of her posters needed to be taken down and whatnot. She wanted to clear the room of all of her old things. My mother explained to me later that sometimes when someone dies, the people who love them don’t want to see what that person had because it would upset them. I just thought Becky REALLY hated Marilyn Manson and Nirvana.
After a while, I ended up collecting a pile of things that Becky wanted to throw out. I had a stack of CDs full of music that terrified most kids my age and a few posters that went with them. Becky fussed at me, wondering why I wanted such “scary things”. My answer was simple.
“Jenny liked them, and I liked Jenny, so I like them, too.”
My mother just shook her head, looking at Becky. She was basically telling her not to even try it, she knew how stubborn I was. But after collecting that stack of things, I stared at the bookshelf across the room. I saw a Furby there. It might not have been the color I wanted, but it was still a Furby. It was pure black, but I would expect something like that from Jenny.
“Aunt Becky, can I have the Furby, too?”
She only nodded, biting her lip to fight off some tears. She took it from the shelf and handed it to me.
It was a long ride back home, but I was playing with Jenny’s old Furby, so I felt fine. It was sitting neatly on top of the manual. Speaking its silly language, I would respond to it in English. My mother seemed relieved that she didn’t have to buy me one, but at the same time, distraught by my cousin’s death. She talked to Becky a lot after that.
I would often read to the Furby and I started listening to the music that Jennifer left behind. My friends didn’t like it, so I didn’t play it when they were around. They brought their Furbies over to meet mine, only to be shocked by what happened. The Furby’s green eyes stared blankly to the blue eyes of Amanda’s white one. Its mechanical voice uttered something that startled us. “Me no like you!”
Amanda looked a little unnerved and scooped her Furby up into her arms and gave me a strange look. “I didn’t teach it that, I swear!” I told them how I got it and Jessica, the most superstitious of us, said it was probably haunted or cursed. I told her not to be silly. We tried to make it interact with hers, but my Furby only closed its eyes and fell asleep, despite the other’s friendly attempts to sing and whatnot.
I sighed and shook my head. “I guess I need to reset it or something.” The other girls nodded. Taking a pen, I pressed the button on the underside of it.
After it opened its eyes, it said something that I didn’t think was normal.
“Me so cold.” I stared into the green eyes. They reminded me of Jennifer’s.
That night, my friends and I had a sleepover. We all had our Furbies, but mine decided to be antisocial and sleep the whole time. We watched movies and talked about things that normal little girls would talk about. We laughed and told scary stories and even picked on Amanda for having a crush on this boy named Kevin. They picked on me for one boy that I REALLY didn’t like, but it was obvious he liked me. I just made gagging motions, resulting in laughter. After we slept, we had breakfast together and they went home.
Afterwards, my Furby woke up. I tried to feed it by depressing its tongue.
“Me no hungry.”
I rubbed its back to mimic petting. It responded with “boo”, which meant no. I was annoyed again.
I prodded its belly in attempt to tickle it. It let out a sound that sounded like a bored sigh. This was also irritating.
I didn’t expect this at all. This wasn’t how my friends’ Furbies acted. It just sat there with its eyes wide open, staring and doing nothing aside from the occasional yawn or sigh. When talking to my mother about it, she explained that’s how Jennifer acted towards Becky during her last days.
It went to sleep after a while. The next day, I woke it up and it responded, “Let me sleep.”
It fell asleep, as usual, but this time, it opened its eyes after it fell asleep, though judging by its silence it wasn’t awake. I told my mom, because it started to creep me out, and she gave me a strange look.
“What’s wrong, mama?”
“Those were Jennifer’s last words.”
After that, we removed the batteries from the Furby. When I was looking around for it to sell on eBay due to the collectors out there, I couldn’t find it. Good riddance, I say. To this day, the thought of its open, lifeless green eyes still disturbs me. It witnessed my cousin’s death, and sometimes, I wonder if her soul is trapped inside.
She had a disturbed side that I never knew, and all of the bad in her could’ve been implanted in the toy that rested so innocently on her book shelf.
Written by Shinigami.Eyes