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The Monster She Wrote Podcast

Dec 29, 2020

Coppelius’s Toyshop is one of the busiest stores in New York during the Christmas season. With life-sized toy soldiers on either side of the entrance and characters straight out of fairy tales roaming the aisles filled with toys, it’s a paradise for kids of all ages. It’s not a paradise, however, for Connie Willis’s narrator, who is late for a Knicks game and just learned his new girlfriend has a kid that needs to be watched until her friend can pick him up from the toy store. To make matters worse, the narrator hates kids, and he hates the toy store. Unfortunately, when the little boy has to use the restroom in the store, the narrator will see all of Coppelius’s wares as he tries unsuccessfully to find the boy, make the handoff, and get to his basketball game. All the while, he hears the store’s music on repeat and the comforting refrain, “Come to Dr. Coppelius’s/ Where all is bright and warm,/ And there’s no fear/ For I am here/ To keep you safe from harm.”      

RECOMMENDED READING: Connie Willis's short story collection A Lot Like Christmas

Please rate and review us, or better yet, tell a friend. Our social media is @MonsterWrote on Twitter and Instagram. Our email is This episode was produced and researched by Lisa and Mel. Theme music is “Misconception” by Nicolas Gasparini, used with permission.