A little girl, named Penny Warren, was given a small doll by her parents. The doll was a gift from an ancient great aunt who had now passed on.
Penny was instantly unnerved by the doll, which had nasty little black eyes that seemed to follow her around the room and a sinister grin on her face. Nevertheless, Penny had to accept the doll, as she was well brought up and didn't want to upset her parents by refusing to take it.
Her parents told her that the doll's name was Arabella, which made Penny even more afraid of it; it seemed to make it more human. Even so, it was just a doll, barely reaching above her knee, so to put her mind at rest, she hid Arabella in the little cupboard under the stairs, under some boxes where her parents wouldn't see her.
It wasn't until a few nights later, when Penny was lying in bed, that she heard a noise... a shuffling sound that went on for about five minutes. Then, a brief dragging noise and finally, a scuttling like light footsteps running very fast. Penny was paralyzed with fear, her knuckles turning white from clutching her blanket. Then, she heard a voice - soft and eerily childlike - quiet enough not to wake her parents.
Penny always slept with the door open and the lamp in the hall on, as she was still a little scared of the dark. Therefore, she could hear more through her open door. Penny heard the voice say, "Penny, I'm on the first step," ...and then a loud scrabbling again, as whatever was speaking turned tail and returned to wherever it had come from. The little girl didn't sleep a wink that night, but laid in fear until the break of dawn when her mother got her up for school and when she tried to explain what had happened, her parents passed it off as "just a dream."
The next night, Penny fought against sleep, but eventually drifted off, only to be woken again by the sinister voice: "Penny, I'm on the fifth step." Penny was crying by now, and again, she didn't sleep that night. The next night, Penny decided to shut her bedroom door and reluctantly slept without the light on. Just as she was about to doze, Penny heard the noise, and then the voice: "Penny, I'm on the top step..." Penny knew that her door was closed, but she was still terribly afraid. Her heart pounding, she slowly got up to investigate; she screamed. Penny's parents found her body at the bottom of the stairs. They guessed she was on her way to the bathroom without switching on the hall light and had fallen down the stairs, breaking her neck. Arabella, the favorite family doll, was found beside her body - smiling.