I remember when I was just a kid, about maybe 11 or so, I was staying at a friend’s house. I spent the night there, and I remember her grandma, who she lived with due to her parents being irresponsible druggies, collected porcelain dolls.
I didn’t used to have a problem with dolls. Sure, I thought they were a little creepy, but I could easily overlook that and deal with it, like I could with a lot of other things. But one doll freaked me out particularly badly.
The doll had to be four feet tall. It had long, luxurious-looking blonde curls down to the center of its back. It was clad in a lacy, expensive looking bride’s dress. The outfit was even complete with a veil and delicate-looking silky shoes and fancy jewelry.
But that’s what not scared me. Her arms were outstretched and her blue eyes were wide open, as if in fright. Her painted lips were also agape, as if they were frozen in a muted scream. I remember staring at it for a while when I went to greet her grandmother, meeting her for the first time. I don’t think she noticed, but my friend did.
“Yeah, I always thought that one was sort of spooky. C’mon, let’s go. You got the new Backstreet Boys CD, right? We should go listen to it, I haven’t heard it yet.” I just nodded in agreement, not wanting to be in the same room as that doll anymore.
We did typical pre-teen girl things. We watched Spice World and listened to some pop CDs, poorly singing along with them. All thoughts of that creepy doll left my mind. Her grandma ordered pizza and we ate and talked about what members of what boy bands we thought were cute, or if we were a Spice Girl, which one we would be. It was always silly stuff like that when I was that age. We got around to telling scary stories after we turned the lights off. I was nowhere close to unnerved, but my friend fell asleep first. She always was quick to doze off. I sat up and stared at the static that she left on the television.
She always needed some white noise to sleep, but frankly, the static bothered me. It always did, but I left the TV on. It was her house, after all. I can’t say I slept well. I wasn’t disturbed by nightmares. I just couldn’t sleep. I think part of it was the occasional creaking of the floor. It was an old house, though, so I just dismissed it as that. Then, for the last damned time, I woke up. It was three in the morning and I had to go to the bathroom. It was kind of cold, so I tossed and turned and kind of hoped I could just hold it, or at least stay warm for a little longer, but eventually I gave in and got out of the bed, placing my bare feet on the floor. At least it was carpeted.
I quietly opened the door so I wouldn’t wake my resting friend. I then stepped out onto the tile in the hallway. I tensed up for two reasons. First, the tile was freezing cold, and the other reason?
I saw that damned doll. Her wide, lifeless glassy eyes staring, her arms outstretched and her dainty fingers reaching towards me, and her lips still parted in that soundless scream. It was a wonder I didn’t wet my pants. ‘Screw this,’ I thought, turning back around to go back into my friend’s room.
“Stephanie!” I shook her, and she stared at me with a blank look of annoyance. It kind of helped to wake her up. She was always bigger and stronger than me and I never had trouble admitting that.
“Mm… What?” She sat up.
“The doll…” I murmured.
“What? Did you have a bad dream?”
“No, it’s in the hallway.”
“What? That’s not funny. Did you move it?”
“No! I wouldn’t want to touch the friggin' thing!”
She chuckled at my reaction.
“But really, I’m serious. Come check if you don’t believe me. Your grandma’s room is on another floor, so can we just put it somewhere else?” She nodded at me.
When I opened the door, Stephanie stared at me like I was crazy. She could tell from the look on my face, even in the dim light of the television static, that I was being completely serious when I said I didn’t touch it. Was it closer than it was a few minutes ago or was it just my imagination?
“Well, here’s the guest room my dad stays in when he visits.” It was just a few feet away from the doll. I nodded and opened the door. It was a rather barren room. All that was in it was a bed, a lamp, and a nightstand.
“I guess we can put it in here until later.” We moved the doll together. I hated touching it. It was cold to the touch, how I’d imagine a dead body to feel. We were careful not to damage it. It had to cost a ton of money, and I didn’t want to be to blame for something so expensive breaking, especially since that would mean I’d never get to visit my friend again.
We both stared at the doll once we put it in the room. I’m pretty sure we were both officially freaked out. We looked at each other for a moment and slammed the door and hurried back to her room. We didn’t go back to sleep that night. We stayed up flipping through channels on the TV. She had cable. I didn’t when I was that age.
When her grandma finally woke up, she came to Stephanie’s room. “Have you girls seen my doll?” She looked really confused, meaning she WASN’T the one who moved it.
“Yes, ma’am,” I said quietly. I tried to be respectful whenever talking to adults.
“Where is it?”
“We put it in the guest room,” Stephanie answered.
“Why is it in there?”
Then I responded, “Well, it was in the hallway.” Stephanie nodded in agreement.
She stared at us both like we were nuts. “Okay, girls, whatever you say.” She chuckled as if to say, ‘Crazy kids and their stories’.
That morning, we had breakfast and Stephanie’s grandpa came down to carry the doll back upstairs. I’m hoping he’s the one who moved it to the hallway in the first place, because if not, there’s no way I can explain what happened.
Written by Shinigami.Eyes