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What A Doll
Twelve year old Donnalee scattered out of the living room and ran up the winding staircase as her raging father chased her around, grasping a paddle to beat her with, in their beautiful Victorian styled home. The door slammed in his face and he was shaking and beating at the door trying to force it open. It swung open right as she found her doll that she made to look like her father. The house gave her power she never would have had if they were anywhere else. She ripped the dolls head off wishing it was her father, and soon enough, the neck of her father snapped right in front of her and he crashed to the ground as she cried and screamed. She was relieved but so very scared. Her mother was cold hearted and never listened to her or showed her any affection. She just did what her husband told her to with no expression or reply.
Donnalee lit the fireplace, wrapped in a blanket, and waited for her mother to get home, holding the doll in front of her; the one that looked like her mother. Her thoughts drowned her with anxiety. Donnalee’s mother walked in the door shortly after, without any greeting or even a quick glance. She hung her bag and coat on the hooks by the front door and she walked upstairs, calling for her husband, to ask him what he’d like for dinner. She walked past Donnalee’s room and slowly stepped back for a double take. She was silent and slowly walked to him with a tear in her eye. As she screamed, Donnalee snapped the neck of the doll she made of her mother, and grabbed a hold of the doll sitting on the ground beside her. This doll was her. She grabbed a small knife from the kitchen drawer, and stabbed the doll three times in the chest and she fell to the ground. Her heart stopped beating instantly.
Nine year old Sally stepped out of her parent’s car with a small cardboard box filled with her Family Classics dolls. They’re almost like American Girl, but you can design your own to match your family. Today she wore her white and maroon floral dress and shiny black Mary-Jane shoes, and walked up to the big evergreen door and twisted the smooth bronze doorknob. The door slid open. She took a long glance at the winding staircase of her big, new house through the doorway before she decided to sprint upstairs to pick out her new bedroom. She chose the smallest room; not only because it has pastel pink walls and white lace curtains, but because there sat the largest dollhouse she had ever saw in the far left corner of the room. She decided to dump her dolls out of the cardboard box right away onto the floor next to the gorgeous four story dollhouse. It looked quite old and worn down but she didn’t care, she fell in love with it. She suddenly got a feeling of bother, not having a clue why. She shrugged it off and placed the dolls into the dollhouse. Sudden relief and power shot through her and she fell backwards.
She got back up on her feet. There was a faded voice coming from downstairs so she swung her bedroom door open and found her dad calling her to the kitchen. She trotted downstairs into the kitchen as her father, Jackson, was unpacking the last few things into the cupboards. She took a seat onto a stool by the breakfast bar as he began to cook one of her favorite breakfast platters. He placed the strawberry and cottage cheese crapes onto the breakfast bar where Sally was seated. She seemed frazzled and slowly lifted the fork to her mouth and took a bite. Jackson felt uneasy, because it wasn’t normal for her to appear that way about one of her favorite meals. “I mean that is her favorite, isn’t it? Well of course, what am I thinking? She’s probably just tired from the car ride.” He thought as he stepped back to lean on the counter across from Sally. As she took her first bite she began to smirk, and the smirk quickly switched to a look of disgust. “What the hell is this?! It tastes like you put ash into my food! Are you trying to poison me? This is the worst thing I’ve ever tasted!” He had no idea why she was yelling or why she began to swear. She’s never acted like this before; she was crying and screaming for a good five minutes before she stomped loudly to her room and slammed the door so hard the house shook. Jackson just stayed there sitting in awe. He waited for Sally to cool down before he went upstairs to see what was wrong with her and ate what was left of her meal to pass the time. It tasted fine to him. She had been playing with her dolls when he walked up to her room and he noticed one of the dolls left leg seemed to have been twisted clean off of the dolls body. That doll was Pat, her aunt who lives down the road from them in a ranch house that they had designed a few years back. He brushed it off, assuming she had thrown the doll out of anger. He began to apologize, “I’m not sure what was wrong with the food, but I’m sorry you didn’t like it, Sally. Are you feeling okay?” Jackson asked with hesitation. She just stared blankly at him for a moment, nodded slowly, and went back to playing with her dolls. Jackson was worried, but decided to forget about it and went downstairs to help his wife, Tess, unpack the living area and dinette and told her nothing about what had happened.
That afternoon Jackson went over to Pat’s house to notify her and her 8 year old daughter, Grace, on their successful move to the town and invited them over for dinner. He knocked on Pat’s ranch house side door but got no reply. She knew he was coming over around the time he did, so it wouldn’t make sense for her to have left to run errands. Grace was with her nanny that day as well so he knew she wouldn’t be there either. He tried calling Pat’s cell phone and heard it ring inside the house. He peered in and saw it sitting on the kitchen counter. After 10 minutes of waiting and walking around the house knocking on all of the doors he became concerned. He paced back to the original door he knocked on to peer back inside. He tried looking for something to give him a hint to where she could be. His eyes went past the phone onto the wall towards the kitchen hallway onto the floor. There lied a head of hair. “Pat!?” he yelled in terror. He tried to open the door, shaking and pounding, even though he knew it was locked. Jackson kicked it open and rushed to her. She was still breathing, but totally unconscious. He looked around to find what could’ve caused this and saw her leg completely twisted backwards, broken at the hip, and dislocated in at least two different places. Jackson pulled his phone out of his pocket, dialing 911 as he tried to sit her up for more comfort. The ambulance arrived there and she was rushed off to the hospital with Jackson beside her. After they medicated, surgically relocated her leg, and casted her, she lay there, in her hospital bed, completely drugged. Jackson frantically asked her questions, “What were you doing?! Was there something you tripped on or a break in or what? How could that have possibly happened?” Pat claimed “I was walking down the hallway fine one minute, and my leg twisted almost clean off the next and I just passed out totally losing consciousness. I was in so much pain; I can’t feel it anymore though. I’m confused I don’t know what happened, I… I don’t know...” She seemed loopy so he didn’t want to ask any more questions. After that long evening at the hospital, Jackson went home. He checked in on Sally’s slumber around midnight, right when he got home, to kiss her forehead. He noticed that the only thing not put in its place was the doll she was upset with earlier, the one with the twisted leg. A shiver crawled down his spine as he slowly stepped backwards out of the room. When he walked into his half-unpacked bedroom he saw his wife Tess lying there awake. “Where the hell were you? I tried calling your cell phone several times and there was no one at Pat’s. Why didn’t you call me back?” Tess asked with a snarky tone from being so frustrated with him.
“I went to your sisters, as you knew, to try and tell her we were settled in and that I was going to make dinner tonight but when I went to her house no one was answering and she knew I was coming over because I text messaged her on the way to our new house early this morning. So, I walked to all the doors and there wasn’t a reply, when I saw her lying on the ground. I flipped out, I had no idea what the hell to do so I broke in and found her passed out and her leg was really messed up and couldn’t get her conscious again so I called 911. She had a dislocated hip and her leg was broken in several places and nobody knows how it happened, not even Pat. So I stayed there with her until they fixed her up and tried to talk to her but she was so drugged I just left. I must’ve left my phone at her house, so I’ll get it whenever we can take her back home, that’s why I never called.” He spoke so fast in reply, Tess couldn’t even break into his story.
“Oh. Wow. Is she going to be okay!?” she asked worrying for Pat.
“Yeah, she just needs a few more days in the hospital for recovery.” Jackson said with sympathy.
“Well, at least you had a very eventful evening. Mine was a little stressful because Sally was acting up again for literally no reason at all. But I just shrugged it off; I just didn’t feel like dealing with her tonight.”
“Why? What happened now?” He asked.
“Nothing, I just asked her what she wanted for a snack because I thought we’d watch a movie or something but she didn’t seem to want to do that at all and just stomped up to her room. I don’t quite get it. But oh well.”
“I don’t either, but we can deal with it later if she gets any worse.”
“Maybe. Let’s talk in the morning, I’m sure you’re totally beat.” She said, ending the conversation.
After a few days, Pat was sent back home in a wheelchair to be reunited with her daughter Grace. While they got situated at home with a few adjustments to her being handicapped, they gave Jackson and Tess a call to tell them about Pat’s homecoming. Pat asked Tess if Sally wanted to say hi to Grace and Sally replied with anger “no she’s so whiny and boring, it’s just annoying!” Pat over heard, glad that Grace wasn’t listening in.
“I don’t know what’s up with her lately, I’m very sorry. She’s probably just cranky from being so tired from the move. Would you like to come over for dinner still?” Tess said to Pat while she had Jackson ask Sally what’s wrong with her.
Pat said, “Oh, of course! It’s alright; I’m just glad Grace didn’t hear anything she said. As long as Sally’s cooled down by 5:30, we should be fine. Dinner’s at 6 right?”
“Yup! You are correct. See you then?” Tess asked.
“See you then!” Patty replied with a hint of annoyance in her voice which Tess didn’t quite catch.
At around quarter to six they decided to head over. Grace pushed Pat in her wheelchair on the way there. Once they arrived Pat went straight to the kitchen and dinette area and Grace ran upstairs to find Sally. Sally sort of just rolled her eyes when she entered the room and continued playing with her dolls. “Can I play?!” she said grabbing the doll before Sally had the chance to answer. “DON’T TOUCH MY DOLLS!” Sally went frantic. She dropped them with force and picked a doll up and broke the arms and twisted the neck. Suddenly, Grace’s arms had an excruciating pain shooting through them and she couldn’t hold onto the dolls any longer. As they fell to the ground, her neck cracked the wrong way and she fell to the ground, crying and screaming for her mother Pat. “MOOOOOOOM!” Jackson and Tess then rushed upstairs wondering why there was so much yelling between two young girls, while Pat sat in her wheel chair at the bottom of the stairs flustered and curious. They saw Grace lying there and Sally just staring blankly, straight-faced. They all reached for their phones as Tess ran to her, hoping and praying that Grace would be okay. “What happened?!” she yelled at Sally as she stared blankly back and shrugged. Nobody understood what was going on, nor did anyone pay much attention to the process of figuring it out because getting her help was much more important at the time. They rushed her to the emergency room in Jackson’s car and got her medicated right when she got in the door so the pain would stop. She got both of her arms casted and surgery was performed on her neck and spine to fix what almost killed her.
Jackson, Tess, and Sally went home as Pat stayed with Grace at the hospital. It was late when they reached the driveway, so Tess carried Sally up to her bed because she was asleep most of the ride home. Sitting in the living room, Jackson gets anxious and thinks aloud to Tess, “All of these things keep happening to our family and Sally keeps acting out and is getting just plain mean, she hasn’t even hit middle school or puberty yet, this is nothing like her. Something is wrong, ever since we moved here I can’t stop thinking that something worse is going to happen to someone else. The dolls that look just like Pat and Grace were broken in the same spots they were injured… It’s frightening!”
“Oh shush, she’s obviously upset about the move, that’s why she keeps getting all these temper tantrums. And no, that’s nonsense. That must be a coincidence. That stuff isn’t real. Voodoo is just a myth; don’t let it get to your head.” Tess said, upset about the assumptions he’s making, even though she was starting to believe them herself.
The next morning, Tess woke up to go make coffee around quarter to seven. Jackson and Sally stay asleep as she walked down into the kitchen. As she put the ground coffee into the coffee maker, Sally started to awaken. Her upper body slowly rose and she climbed out of bed as if she were sleep-walking. She went to her doll house, and chucked a doll straight at the wall, head first. Jackson heard the thump and walked into her room half asleep. It appeared as if she was sleeping on the floor and he saw a doll is laying a few feet away. He notices that doll looked like his wife. He couldn’t remember if he saw her lying in bed or not when he woke up from the thump, so he rushed back to their bedroom and saw she wasn’t there. He walked fast-paced down the staircase into the kitchen to see that she was knocked out on the ground. Bludgeoned. He ran to her to check her pulse. Nothing. He breathed heavily and tears ran down his face. He knew that this voodoo thing was getting out of hand a long time ago but had no idea what to do. It’s as if his daughter were possessed. He ran back upstairs to see if there was any trace of Sally left in this 9 year olds body. “Sally, are you awake?” he asked hoping this was all a dream. He walked to her to turn her body to face him and she started yelling in an unusually low-pitched tone and her eyes rolled back. Jackson’s eyes widened. She screamed and jumped on him. Attempting to get her off of him he grabs a pillow next to him and smothered her face with it. She stopped screaming and he removed the pillow. She appeared to be dead. He checked her pulse and ran downstairs to dig a hole in the backyard that he can throw the dolls into. He shoved them in a box and ran to grab his keys. After he buried them, he ran straight to his car to scram out of the neighborhood. He stopped at Pat’s house and ran in to grab Grace and Pat. “We have to leave now she killed her and there was a pillow and I just shoved it in her face and the dolls were why you both almost died, we need to get out of here!” they leave without question because of the frantic demands he was yelling at them. “We need to get out of state and change our names and just get far, far away. Whatever possessed Sally was not happy with us being there or something I’m not sure we just need to go!” They sped down the interstate toward the city, exiting the middle of nowhere town they were living in.
Sally slowly rose off the ground and walked slowly, almost zombie-like, down the staircase into the back yard. She crawled to the buried dolls and dug the box out with her hands dirtying her fingernails. She carried them inside of the house into the living room and lit the fireplace. She threw them into it, melting them all to nothing.