[PW] Request for short-short story ID: a "gift" with a string coming out of a mysterious box...which, when pulled, eventually pulls back...

Todd Mason foxbrick at yahoo.com
Tue Jan 2 17:37:15 PST 2018


The fellow searching for this (his description below), I suspect, first read it in the Xerox classroom magazine of the 1970s, READ, but it might've been another magazine...all the Scholastic magazines READ competed with were in 8.5X11" format, as I recall...(and the school districts were charged the Earth for those, even if they were distributed to some of the students for free...we were supposed to turn ours back in, in my New Hampshire classrooms, so other students could use them in later sessions). 
Thanks fo any pointers! 
Todd Masonhttp://socialistjazz.blogspot.com/2017/12/decembers-underappreciated-music.html
http://socialistjazz.blogspot.com/2017/12/ffb-scott-foresman-invitation-to.html


Somewhere back in the '70s (between 1970-and 1977, and probably closest to 1974-1975 +/-2 years) I read a short-short SF/Horror story in one of the little free magazines that we sometimes received in school from Scholastic and possibly other sources.

One day a friend showed me a story in their copy of one of these little magazines (it was more or less digest sized) that I had missed because I was out sick (so this was probably in the winter? it explains why I never had my own copy though). The narrator of the story is a child attending another child's birthday party in the future (at least in the future as perceived from the mid-'70s), and bringing a special gift made in the lab in which his/her father worked (I can't remember with any certainty the gender of either the narrator or the recipient of the gift, though I think the recipient might have been a girl).

The gift is a little box, and a string or cord extends out of a hole on one side of the box. When the recipient of the gift pulls on the string, the string pulls back. A delightful tug-of-war ensues, until suddenly whatever is on the other side of the string pulls so hard the birthday girl(?) is drawn into the hole and disappears inside the box. Possibly followed by screams and/or crunching/eating sounds...

The final line of the story was something close to "I forgot the monster on the other side of the nowhere-hole could pull back."

I also distinctly remember a rather spoilery illustration of a monster accompanying the story. The image (which appears in blue ink in my memory) was a frontal depiction of a ragged and vicious-looking humanoid monster with a fibrous cord extending from the tip of one of its claws.


I have searched in vain for this story for 40 years, and will be genuinely indebted to anyone who can ID it and/or help me locate a copy.





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