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It was late by the time I got home. Really late. I hesitated and sent a silent half-prayer to a god I wasn't even sure existed before opening the front door. As expected, my mom and her new husband, Rob, stood in the livingroom, blocking the path of a quick getaway to my room. The quickly launched into the infamous "Where-the-hell-were-you-Don't-you-have-any-idea-what-time-it-is-We-don't-want-you-being-with-that-boy!" speech I had heard about a zillion times before.
That "boy" was Cliff, the single good thing that had happened to me since the move three months earlier. My mother and Rob did not approve for one reason- the way he looked. He had gorgeous long-ish dark hair, dark clothes, eyeliner, and snakebites. Basically, the way I dressed. Three years ago, before my mom had met Rob, she had been fine with my style- and she wouldn't have judged Cliff so much. But now she was brainwashed by Rob's super-religious ways. He hated me because he thought I worshipped Satan or something.
After awhile they released me and I escaped to my room. I turned on the light and nearly jumped ten feet. Isabella was perched in the center of my bed. She was just about the oldest, creepiest doll I had ever seen; shining deep green eyes that always seemed to follow you, capturing your every movement; long, brown curls, all neatly in place; bright red lips that, for some reason, always reminged me of the poisoned apple from the old Snow White movie. My little sister, Sarah, had carried her everywhere ever since Mom had found her in the attic the day we moved in.
"What the hell is it doing in here?" Sarah was not alloud in my room and she knew it.
I picked Isabella up and put her in my closet before crawling beneath the covers.
My dream was utter confusion. Images flashed in my vision so quickly I barely had time to make one out before it changed to another. A scream in the dark. Mom's? No, younger....Sarah's? Footsteps...someone was running towards me. The footsteps got lounder and faster every second. The color green. Then I heard my name. "Chloe......."
I woke in a pool of sweat and an intanglement of sheets. I looked at my clock- it was just after five in the morning. I layed in bed for another half hour or so before realizing sleep wouldn't find me again and I got up. I threw on some clean clothes and headed into the kitchen to make myself some breakfast.
Sarah was sitting at the table picking at a bowl of cereal. She looked like hell, dark bags rested under her eyes, proof that she hadn't slept the night before.
"Hey Sarah," I greeted her.
"Hey Chloe," her voice was distant.
"Why were you in my room yesterday?"
Hmm. "Well I know you were. You left Isabella on my bed."
Her head shot up. "What?"
"I got home last night and your doll was on my bed."
"I didn't put her in your room!" she sounded really distressed.
"Well someone did."
"I swear I didn't! I threw her away yesterday!"
Wait...what? "You threw her away?" I frowned. "Why?"
"I...I just don't like her anymore." she slumped her head down again and resumed picking at her breakfast.
Ok, this was kind of weird. But I decided against trying to decifer the brain of a six-year-old and let it drop.
The following days passed in a blur. I had lots of nightmares during the nights and I was completely exhausted during the days. The nightmares would be so fast and so completely out-of-it I would wake up barely remembering them. Everyday when I would get home from school or a date with Cliff Isabella would be sitting on my bed. I yelled at Sarah, who would insist that she didn't put her there and even break out in tears.
"I'm home!" I called as I opened the door, tossing my backpack on the ground beside me in the way that made Rob completely mad.
The house was silent. "Mom? Sarah?" They should be here..."You home?" I walked up stairs, still calling their names. Soon I had searched the whole house top to bottom. They were nowhere to be found. "Ok, they must have gone to the store or something." But Mom always leaves a note when she isn't here. She- Wait.
I stopped moving and listened. There it was again! I could just make out a small pattering noise comming from...the attic? What would they be doing in the attic?
I ran up the stairs two at a time and pulled the little sting that brought down the steps to the attic. I looked up and saw darkness. They surely wouldn't- There it was again. That sound. Only louder. I grabbed a flashlight and slowly walked up the steps, each creaking under my weight.
The attic floor was covered in a thin layer of dust. I shined my flashlight around. Nothing. It was completely empty except for a few boxes shoved in the corner. I was about to go back down when I stopped. I slowly walked to the beam of light made by my flashlight. There were footprints. Very, very tiny footprints, but footprints all the same.
And thats when I heard it. "Chloe...." I whurled around. Isabella was standing at the top of the stairs, smiling. Her red lips and green eyes seemed to cast an errie glow.
"What the-" she took a step towards me and my scream cut off my words. She was moving? She was alive? This isn't real! This couldn't be!
No, no, no, no!!! She was a doll! A doll! An inanimate object! Yet she was moving towards me. "Stop!" I cried. "What are you?"
She stopped and looked at me, her head cocked to one side. "I just want to play with you, Chloe." She started towards me again. I found myself being backed up against the wall. "Your sister was so much fun." she continued.
Sarah? "Where is she? What did you do to her?" My voice was barely reconizeable; I was on the verge of hysterics. As she neared me her face started to contort into something horrible, something inhuman. Her eyes became bloodshot, her mouth widened and reveiled small pointed teeth.
"I just want to play."
My screams rose but no one would hear. No one would ever hear.