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I'm trying to remember the name of a short story I read about 25 years ago or so. I'd also like to know of any collections it appeared in.

The details I recall concern a pair of young children ( brothers perhaps) who discover a strange hole in their bedroom wall.

Somehow they discover that if they put something in it disappears and comes back changed slightly. The changes usually involve some kind of rotating/twisting jewel or bead being incorporated in some way.

They pass a few inanimate objects though, and then they decide to put the family cat through. It comes back with these jewels for eyes and acts very strangely.

I cannot remember how the story ends, it may end with one of the children going through the hole, but I cannot be sure.

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Nicholas Fisk - Swap Shop (from his collection "Sweets from a stranger").

Terrified me as a child. The ending to this story in particular. I can't find any helpful links to it online, I'm afraid.

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    Yep, this summary of the story seems to match perfectly. – Tacroy Jul 1 '13 at 5:23
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It has been a while since I have read it, but I am reminded of Mimsy Were the Borogoves by Lewis Padgett, about a box of educational toys from the future.

  • That sounds like a good story, but I'm pretty sure that isn't the one I'm looking for here. – Rob Jun 27 '13 at 8:54
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    From the description it is not Mimsy Were the Borogoves (one of the best short stories I ever read, but Padget, AKA Kuttner and Moore, is always excellent). – babou Jun 29 '13 at 23:21
  • Oh well, even a negative result is a result. :) The identified story sounds pretty good, too. But I misunderstood the OP description "The changes usually involve some kind of rotating/twisting jewel or bead being incorporated in some way" as something like the Klein/Mobius-circuit abacus of 'Mimsey....' – ImaginaryEvents Jul 1 '13 at 15:36

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