“Dolls turn malignant late at night. They stare at you with those glassy eyes. I won’t say they are plotting, but I can’t say they aren’t.” – Stephen King
Jessica rolled over and stared at the curtains, but that didn’t help, now she couldn’t see where they were looking or what they were doing. Giving up she turned back over. Had they moved again? She wasn’t sure, but she thought they might have. Her sister was in the next room, she could go wake her, but that would involve another discussion of how 16-year-olds should not be afraid of dolls, a discussion she would rather not have again. Jessica had suggested to her mother that they get rid of them and her mother had been horrified, the dolls had been a gift from her grandma, how could she want rid of them?
Giving up Jessica got up, turned the light on and headed straight to the dolls picking them up. Turning them over in her hands she couldn’t deny that they were beautiful. The Eskimo with her little spear and the Indian with her tomahawk, both prized possessions of the world that her grandma had passed onto her. Yet, the pale skin, glassy eyes and petite mouth seemed to mock her. Especially when the light was limited.
It had started a month after her grandma had passed, she had awoken from empty dreams to what she was sure was whispering. When she rolled over in the direction of the dolls it had stopped. Putting it down to lack of sleep or a leftover dream she dismissed it and went back to sleep. Yet, it happened again the next night. Jessica searched her memory and was sure she had not been dreaming, but she couldn’t explain it and in her tired state sleep came once again. This happened every night for a few weeks, then at the height of her exhaustion stopped. Or so Jess had thought.
After a weekend of blissful sleep, Jessica began to put it behind her, laughing at herself as the sound of the whispering replayed itself occasionally in her memory. Finally, Jessica was convinced it must have been a dream.
But dreams do not move things. That had started a few nights ago. The first night Jessica had been woken up by a smashing sound, her heart pounding she had scanned the room to see her jewellery box laid smashed on the floor. She couldn’t be sure but the dolls behind seemed to have moved forward. That was the first time Jessica mentioned moving the dolls from her room, the reaction wasn’t good. A weak shelf had been blamed and the dolls moved to a higher shelf. The dolls hadn’t liked that.
Amongst Jessica’s old bears from her childhood, the dolls had looked small and fragile. Finally relaxed Jessica could once again drift back off to sleep. That night no noise had woken had and in the morning, she groggily sat up in bed with the smug satisfaction of a full nights sleep. Until she saw it. Tiny flecks of fluff littered the floor below her bedroom. As Jessica stood up she felt something touch her foot, glancing down she gulped down a scream, as the head of what was once a small Koala teddy lay touching her foot. The rest of the bear seemed to be scattered around the room. Jessica glanced up at the shelves, she couldn’t be sure but she sensed the dolls were smiling.
Now it was back to nighttime again. Jessica couldn’t help the nervous glances towards the shelves that kept her from sleeping. She was sure the dolls were moving again. Giving up, she threw the blankets off the bed and lifted the two dolls off the shelf. Should she divide them? No, she decided putting them outside her bedroom door. Closing the door quietly, she went back to bed pulled the blankets back around her and finally fell asleep.
At breakfast she was quiet. Her mum and sister chatted away as normal but Jessica just listened, nodding occasionally. She had devised a plan. Her dad was coming to get her in an hour, she would take the dolls to his house, then bury them under the big ash tree in the garden. It had to work.
Her dad arrived to get her as he did each Sunday and Jessica climbed into the car dumping the backpack with the dolls and trowel into the footwell.
“We going on a hike or something?” Her dad said jokingly.
“Got studying I need to do for a test tomorrow,” Jessica replied then glanced out the window. Her dad seemed to accept this and moved off. It was quite a drive out to his house. As soon as the car was in the drive Jessica was pulling her back from the car and launching herself towards the tree.
“Wait” her dad called. “Can’t we have lunch first?”
Jessica glanced longingly at the tree. Then nodded and made her way towards the house. Her stepmom, stepbrother Danny, and Sam the dog were all excited to see her The smell of food filled the house, it appeared a full lunch had been prepared. Danny chatted eagerly at Jessica, she tried to join in but her head kept returning to her backpack in the porch with the dolls in it.
After helping clear up, she used the studying excuse and made her way from the house. Setting out the blanket she began to dig below it. The trowel was small and she wasn’t getting anywhere fast but after an hour or so the hole was finally big enough to drop them in. Her stomach clenched as she piled the dirt back onto the little dolls but eventually it was done and after stamping down the ground she lifted her backpack and blanket and made her way back indoors. She found Danny with his books on the floor, Sam close behind him. She couldn’t believe Danny was at Pre-school already, he still seemed so little to her. After a few hours playing hide and seek with her Danny and Sam, Jessica and her dad set back off for home. Smiling all the way Jessica couldn’t wait to get to bed that night.
The next day coming home from school Jessica’s mobile rang. Her dad wanted to know how her test had gone. After a few blank seconds, Jessica remembered it was the excuse she had given him for the backpack. “Yup fine”. She responded non-committedly. She could hear her little brother making noise in the background.
“What’s up with Danny?” she asked.
“Oh nothing, Sam dug up some old dolls in the garden. So Danny and I are cleaning them up so they can go in his room”.
Oh no, Jess gulped and dropped the phone. Danny.
My quote for this week comes from novelist Stephen King who Tweeted:
“Dolls turn malignant late at night. They stare at you with those glassy eyes. I won’t say they are plotting, but I can’t say they aren’t.”
Probably a slightly darker turn for my Writers Quote Wednesday this week, but you can always rely on Stephen King to give a bit of inspiration. After a few weeks of feeling unproductive, these prompts have given me the boost (or kick up the xxx) I needed, which is certainly helping me feel more positive. The range others post each week is so positive and creative. So, check out Colleen @ Silverthreading and Ronovan’s BEWOW for more inspirational quotes to keep you writing.