The Living Doll

While shopping downtown one day, you find an antiques store that has a rare, old doll. You buy it for your daughter. A few days later she tells you her new toy can talk. You don’t believe her, until one afternoon you find yourself alone in the house, and it starts talking to you. Write this scene.

Post your response (500 words or fewer) in the comments below.

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417 thoughts on “The Living Doll

  1. othome22

    I strolled through the antiques market, 25 dollars in my hand, I intended to buy something for my daughter Isabelle, but nothing seemed just right. The only thing close enough was a lamp with some flowers on it. I was about to give up when I saw a stand with antique dolls on it. Only one stood out, and that was a Raggedy Anne with brown hair and blue button eyes. It looked like Isabelle, only more…. like a doll, so I payed for it and wrapped it in silver paper. Come Isabelle’s 6th birthday, I handed her the wrapped present. She opened it and to my surprise, she threw all the other expensive and fancy toys to the side and began to play with her. “Her name is Louisiana Gray.” Isabelle pointed out.

    “Where did you come up with that name?” I asked.

    “Oh no daddy. I can’t take the credit. Louisiana’s mother Dakota Gray named her.”

    I shook my head with a grin on my face. Children and their imagination. Of course, as I would soon find out, her imagination actually didn’t deserve the credit. One afternoon as I was walking through the halls, picking up every crumb and glob Isabelle dropped on her way out, I heard a thump from her room. I figured it was nothing, but I stepped in just to find out what it was. What can I say? I was curious! But once I stepped in her room, I saw Louisiana Gray pushing books off Isabelle’s desk. I stared in shock, until Louisiana looked at me and fell like a non-living doll. I picked her up and sat her on Isabelle’s bed, thinking I was seeing things. But as I was walking out the door to head and grab Isabelle from school, I heard another thump. Thump. Thump.

    I head into Isabelle’s room and what do I see? Only Louisiana pushing books off the desk! I ran toward her and picked her up staring her in the eyes. “All right little miss ‘Doll’ what in the world are you doing?!”

    She stared me in the eye before saying, “The books are in my way. I need to push them off so I can do my business…. if you know what I mean.”

    I threw her in the attic and locked it before she could continue. And when I told Isabelle, all she said was, “I don’t mind. She was plotting to kill me anyway.

    And that’s how we got in a car crash.

  2. elahisdgva

    I used to think that dolls were nothing, except perfect little pieces of plastic. They never meant anything to me, but soon enough… every look, every word, every sound slowly started ruining my life.
    It was a seemingly perfect day, not a cloud in the sky, not a single argument with my troublesome little brother Hunter, and most important, not a doll in sight. But all this happiness was going to fade away very fast. I had woken up from my afternoon rest to the sound of my mother entering the house.
    “Come downstairs honey, I have a surprise for you.”
    I was curious what she got, so I quickly ran down the steps into our living room. My jaws instantly dropped with absolute disgust. Gripped in my mother’s hands was an old, ugly doll.
    “You like it sweetie?” She said with a smile.
    I didn’t understand why she would get me a doll. Just the sight of it made me nauseous. She gave me a look of concern and sat the doll on the kitchen counter, then said
    ” Well when you come back to your senses, you can thank me later.” and left the room.
    I thought about the last doll that I had and what I did with it, thinking about that day I slowly walked across the room and grabbing the doll slightly, quietly placed it in the trash can.
    ” Hello.”
    I felt the hairs in the back of my neck stand up. I quickly turned around with a sense of caution, as if I knew what was going on.
    ” Be careful of how you get rid of me. I may come back to haunt you.”
    My whole body started to shiver.
    ” Who is saying that, who are you?”
    I heard heavy breathing and one simple word :
    ” Goodbye. “

  3. elahisdgva

    I remember when I use to think dolls were nothing, except little perfect pieces of plastic. But I never knew what they were capable of. Every movement, every word, every sound slowly started ruining my life.
    It all started on a seemingly perfect day. Not a cloud in the sky, not a single argument with my troublesome little brother, Hunter, and best of all, not a doll in sight. But all this happiness ended very fast. After getting my afternoon zzz’s for the summer I hear my mom enter the house.
    ” Come downstairs, Mayah. I have something for you.”
    Her voice sounded more excited than usual, so I quickly run down the steps. Once I am in the living room my jaw drops with disgust. Gripped in my mom’s arms is a repulsive, old doll.
    ( To Be Continued ).

  4. Luvinia

    “Lexy, come downstairs for supper, baby!”

    Kendra scooped a ladle full of her daughters favorite food on a plate and smiled as she added a trio of broccoli flourettes, preparing her side of the argument she knew would come from it. She placed both plates on the dinner table and called one last time, “Lex-!”

    An adorable blonde girl stood behind Kendra, interrupting her, “I’m right here, Mommy.” The pre-schooler took note of the number of place settings and threw an accusatory look at her mother, “You forgot Bianca’s plate!” Lexy carefully placed a small porcelain doll on the chair next to her and climbed up into her booster seat.

    Kendra steeled herself and placated her daughter by making sure to place a miniature plate in front of the chair that belonged to her daughter’s favorite toy. “Oh yes, I’m sorry,” she said as she took her seat, “How could I forget Bianca?”.

    One glance at the green color on her plate brought forth an expected whine, “Mooommmmyyyy, you gave me yucky stuff.”

    Kendra didn’t miss a beat, “Yes, and you have to eat it for Mommy because I made your favorite!”

    “But Mommy, my favorite isn’t spaghetti anymore.”

    “Not your favorite anymore?” She didn’t expect that response, “Then what is your favorite now?”

    Lexy picked at the broccoli, moving them to the edge of her plate. “Bianca says her favorite is brushetta, so that’s my favorite now too,” she stuck her tongue out in disgust, “not yucky broccoli.”

    “Why am I not surprised?” Kendra mumbled. Ever since she had picked up the little porcelain doll from the antique store two weeks ago, her daughter had certainly thrown a few curve balls her way. She knew when she saw the doll during her trip to Paris that Lexy would adore it. The doll was almost a perfect twin of her daughter; the curly blonde hair, rosy cheeks, thin lips, and even the color of their eyes made them a perfect match. As soon as Lexy saw it, she squealed with delight and wouldn’t stop thanking her mother until she passed out in her bed with her dolly tucked safely under her arm.

    The following night brought the first curve ball when Lexy had said the doll told her that her name was Bianca. Kendra couldn’t for the life of her figure out where Lexy had ever heard that name before. She blamed herself for letting her daughter watch too much TV and didn’t think much else about it. Shortly after that, Lexy insisted that Bianca refused to do anything without her. They slept together, ate together, and even bathed together (although Kendra was able to convince her daughter that water wasn’t good for porcelain, so Bianca would wind up sitting on the counter watching Lexy splash in the bubbles.) A week went by before Lexy started asking her mother about her trip to Paris, and Kendra had a few more curve balls thrown at her when her never-even-left-the-city-in-which-they-lived daughter would describe with accurate detail the places in Paris that even Kendra hadn’t known about until she researched it online. Kendra convinced herself that her 4 year old daughter had simply caught an episode about France on the Travel Channel. Knowing that Bianca was a gift from Paris, why wouldn’t an episode on the beautiful city interest her curious baby girl?

    Kendra spun the spaghetti around her fork and watched her daughter frown at her yucky green vegetables. She figured Lexy must have sat through an episode about Italian dishes on the Food Network as well. How else would she know about brushetta? Kendra vowed to start spending more time playing with her daughter instead of letting the television become a babysitter as Lexy leaned into her doll and pretended to listen intently. With a mouth full of spaghetti Lexy turned to her mother and proudly stated, “Bianca said I don’t have to eat my vegetables if I don’t want to.”

    “I think what Bianca meant to say is ‘vegetables are healthy for you and you should eat them’.”

    “Liar.”

    Choking on her spaghetti, Kendra gave her daughter a look of outrage, “What did you just call me, young lady?”

    Lexy’s eyes went wide with surprise, “I didn’t call you anything Mommy!” She recoiled and furiously pointed at her doll, “It was Bianca!”

    Kendra opened her mouth to protest when she heard the voice again, “I said,” this voice was not coming from her daughter, “you’re a liar.”

    Kendra shot an incredulous look at Bianca just in time to watch the doll slowly rotate it’s head towards her. It’s once innocent eyes transformed to those of pure hatred, and the smile on the rosy porcelain face was replaced with a frown. Kendra froze as the doll opened her mouth and hissed, “Lexy is mine.”

  5. LadyDickens

    Of course i ran afoul of the the word limit. Please forgive me, i got carried away. I just wanted to try my hand at fiction…here goes:

    “I’ve been waiting to get you alone,” a small voice said. I looked up in a cold panic. I must be hearing things; I thought to myself and quickly dismissed the icy chill that had made its way down my spine and settled in my toes. I had been alone in the house for hours, deeply absorbed in a novel I purchased years ago and had never found the time to read. It had been months since I had this much time alone to myself, since I had allowed myself to detach so completely from my ever-compelling to-do list of motherly and wifely duties. I settled greedily back into my novel.
    The voice came again. “I’ve been waiting to get you by yourself,” it said. I turned quickly in the direction from where it came, in the direction of an over-sized chair that my six year old daughter hoarded all to herself when she was in the house. The only thing there was that antique doll that I had bought her for Christmas last year. The doll sat there in her Victorian-era dress of Robin’s Egg blue, her slightly turned. I had bought the doll more for myself than for my daughter. You see, I’ve always hated dolls, I’ve always been terrified of this very thing happening. As a child, I had convinced myself that Dolls and stuffed animals would come alive at night and carry out their own little toy lives, unbeknownst to their hapless humans. I had spent my adult life avoiding all dolls and stuffed animals out of that same fear. I had avoided ever buying a stuffed animal for my child for six long years, though her bedroom was now full of them – most of them gifts from her father, who always laughed at my “irrational fears”, as he called them. “You’re afraid of everything”, he said to me every time I would tell him about another one of my many phobias.
    I had seen the doll in the corner antique shop each time I passed by. Something about it had caught my notice, as it sat in the store-front glass window. I think it was the dress. It could only have been the dress. The dress reminded me of the cover art of a favourite Jane Austen novel, and being a classic literature lover, I wanted to inspect the costume closer. The next time I passed by the Antique store, I made myself go in, and asked if I could see the doll up close. The owner said that the doll had been made in the late 1800’s, but was in excellent condition considering its age. “Do you have kids?” he asked. “A daughter, but she’s only five,” I replied. “I’m sure she would love it,” he said. “It’s been sitting in the back for years, and no one has ever made an attempt to buy it, or even asked to look at it, ‘till today.” As I looked over the doll’s intricately made dress, I thought to myself, “You’re a grown woman, don’t you think it’s time you get over this stupid fear of dolls?” It really was time to get over that fear, so as a challenge to myself, I had bought the doll and taken it home, where it was quickly tucked away in a box on the highest shelf in my closet. “I’ll give it to her at Christmas,” I said to myself. It remained in that box until December came around, when it was neatly gift wrapped and handed to my daughter on Christmas morning. She had kept the doll with her every day since; she ate with it; slept with it, talked to it, and placed it in her favourite chair each time she left the house. The first time I saw her without the doll a few days later, I asked “What did you do with Shelby?” “She said she was tired, Mummy, so I put her to sleep in the bed,” she replied in her six-year old way. “She told you she was tired?” I asked. “Yes, Mummy, she talks to me all the time.” I had dismissed that “She talks to me all the time,” as another one of my daughter’s eccentricities – she had many, and I was sure she had gotten them all from me. “Children talk to their dolls all the time, but the doll can’t talk back; you’re over-reacting as usual,” that’s what my husband had said when I told him about her doll talking back to her. I dismissed it as yet another one of my “irrational fears.”
    “You didn’t believe that I could talk, did you?” She looked directly in my face now as she turned her head slightly to meet my gaze. “I wanted to talk to you since you took me from the store, but you hid me in that dark box for so long. I have so much to tell you” I stared at it in disbelief. I must be losing my mind this time for sure. As much as I always feared a doll talking to me, I never actually expected it to happen. Yet, here I was, staring directly at a doll, who was telling me that she had been waiting to talk to me for months. I lay on the couch, where I had been reading, totally paralysed by dread. I couldn’t feel my legs; all I could feel was the terrible pounding of my heart in my chest. I was speechless, confounded. This had to be a dream! This had to be a figment of my over-active imagination. “I was in the store waiting for you to come and get me; I’ve been waiting for a long time,” she said, her face and eyes lit up as she spoke and took on a perfectly life-like appearance. Her voice was small, calm, and perfectly steady, and she spoke in a very familiar way, as though we were old friends catching up after a long absence. “Who are you?” I asked, my voice cracking as I finally found the strength to speak. I saw her mouth open to begin her reply, and her face assumed its life-like appearance again. Just as she was about to utter whatever her reply would be, I heard my husband’s voice as he entered the living room where I was looked up as he entered the room, and quickly glanced back at the doll, hoping to resume this morbid conversation in the presence of another human being, buy her face had taken back it’s unanimated doll-like features, her eyes no longer alight.
    “You fell asleep reading?” my husband asked, as he looked over to the couch where I lay and saw the open book that had fallen to the floor. “I’ve been trying to reach you on the phone for the past hour and a half, but now I see why you didn’t pick up.” I stared up at him, still stupefied. I glanced from him to the doll and back to him, my mouth slightly open. I knew I hadn’t been sleeping; I wanted to tell him why I had that stupid look on my face; I wanted to tell him about the doll. He would never believe me, of course. He was a practical man. I was the dreamer in this relationship. I was the one who always “over-analysed” everything he said. I knew that I hadn’t fallen asleep; I knew that I didn’t imaging that conversation with this doll, who now sat motionless, and perfectly benign in my daughter’s chair. I would wait until my daughter came home, I was sure she would get this doll to talk again.

  6. kimtblades

    The Living Doll

    She was beautiful, there was no denying that. Soft blonde mohair wig adorned with an ivory ruffled bonnet,

    a dimpled chin accentuating the creamy, lifelike skin. But most of all the large, thickly lashed, cornflower blue

    eyes staring at me with what I can only describe as an expression of fearful anticipation.

    ‘She’s just a doll for heaven’s sake. A pretty, antique French doll.’

    I shook my head with irritation but was unable to take my eyes off her face. Why was I talking to myself?

    ‘My name’s Marie Joubert and I’m from Melun, a village not far from here.’

    I continued to stare at her but now I was gaping. Had she just spoken? My daughter, Lucy, had told me that

    her antique doll could talk but I had dismissed her insistence as childish imagination and wishful thinking.

    ‘Please, you must help me. My father owes a lot of money to M’sier Rouvier. But he does not have nearly

    enough to pay it back, so M’sier Rouvier has demanded that I agree to become his wife and go with him to the

    new colonies in Indo-China.’

    I realised suddenly that I was straining to hear her soft, imploring voice above the loud noises coming from

    outside. I was no longer sitting in the quiet living-room of my house in the sleepy suburb of Redridge.

    Instead I had inexplicably been transported to an elaborate and somewhat over furnished lounge with the noisy

    clattering of cart and carriage wheels, raised French speaking voices and stamping, snorting horses; easily

    penetrating the dusty windows of this street level apartment. An apartment in late eighteenth century

    Paris, for dominating the view across the busy, cobbled street was the sign –

    ‘Madame du Bois, Seamstress, 5675 Rue Lamont, Paris’

    I tore my eyes from the extraordinary street scene and looked straight into the startling blue eyes of the now

    life-size, young French woman standing before me. Like the people in the street outside, she was also

    speaking in French and I understood every word.

    How could this be happening? I was American, living in a rural town in 21st century United States, possessing

    no knowledge of the French language and only a rudimentary knowledge of French history. The exquisite

    antique French doll had been my only child’s twelfth birthday present. Lucy was the student of French

    culture and history.

    Marie placed a warm, shapely hand on my arm. ‘It was Lucy who told me to come to you. She said you

    would understand my predicament and help me. Please, I beg you, I cannot marry M’sier Rouvier. He is fat

    and odious and smells of onions and sour wine and is older, I think, than my father. You must help me.

    I have no one else to turn to!’

  7. kimtblades

    The Living Doll

    She was beautiful, there was no denying that. Soft blonde mohair wig adorned with an ivory ruffled bonnet, dimpled chin accentuating the creamy lifelike skin. But most of all the large, cornflower blue eyes, thickly lashed, staring at me with what I can only describe as an expression of fearful amazement. Her gaze was penetrating, compelling. ‘She’s just a doll for goodness sake. A pretty, late nineteenth century French bisque bebe doll.’ I shook my head with irritation, but was unable to tear my eyes away from her. Why was I talking to myself?

    ‘My name’s Marie Joubert and I’m from Paris.’ I continued to stare at her but now I was gaping. Had she just spoken? My daughter, Lucy, had told me that her antique doll could talk but I had dismissed her insistence as childish imagination and wishful thinking.
    ‘Please, you must help me. My father owes a lot of money to M’sier Rouvier and because he does not have nearly enough to pay it back, M’sier Rouvier has demanded that I agree to become his wife and go with him to the new colonies in Indo China.’
    I realised suddenly that I was straining to hear her soft, imploring voice. I was no longer sitting in my quiet living-room in the sleepy suburb of Redridge. Instead I had inexpicably been transported to an elaborate and somewhat over furnished lounge with the noisy clattering of cart and carriage wheels, raised French speaking voices and stamping and snorting horses, easily penetrating the dusty windows of this street level apartment. An apartment in Paris, for dominating the view across the busy cobbled street was the sign – ‘Madame du Bois, Seamstress Extroidinaire, 5675 Rue Lamont, Paris.’
    I tore my eyes from the extraordinary street scene and looked straight into the startling blue eyes of the now life-size, young French lady, standing before me. She was also speaking in French and I understood every word.
    How could this be happening? I was American, living in a rural country town deep in the South with virtually no knowledge of the French language and only a rudimentary knowledge of French history. The exquisite French antique doll had been my only daughter’s twelfth birthday present. Lucy was the ardent student of French culture and history.
    Marie placed a warm, shapely hand on my arm. ‘It was Lucy who told me to come to you. She said you would understand my predicament and would help me. Please, I beg you, I cannot marry M’sier Rouvier. He is fat and odious and smells of garlic and sour wine and is older, I think, than my father. You must help me. I have no one else to turn to!’ (451 words)

  8. kimtblades

    The Living Doll

    She was beautiful, there was no denying that. Soft blonde mohair wig adorned with an ivory ruffled bonnet, dimpled chin accentuating the creamy lifelike skin. But most of all the large, cornflower blue eyes, thickly lashed, staring at me

    with what I can only describe as an expression of fearful amazement. Her gaze was penetrating, compelling. ‘She’s just a doll for goodness sake. A pretty, late nineteenth century French bisque bebe doll.’ I shook my head with

    irritation, but was unable to tear my eyes away from her. Why was I talking to myself?

    ‘My name’s Marie Joubert and I’m from Paris.’ I continued to stare at her but now I was gaping. Had she just spoken? My daughter, Lucy, had told me that her antique doll could talk but I had dismissed her insistence as childish imagination

    and wishful thinking.

    ‘Please, you must help me. My father owes a lot of money to M’sier Rouvier and because he does not have nearly enough to pay it back, M’sier Rouvier has demanded that I agree to become his wife and go with him to the new colonies in Indo China.’

    I realised suddenly that I was straining to hear her soft, imploring voice. I was no longer sitting in my quiet living-room in the sleepy suburb of Redridge. Instead I had inexpicably been transported to an elaborate and somewhat over

    furnished lounge with the noisy clattering of cart and carriage wheels, raised French speaking voices and stamping and snorting horses, easily penetrating the dusty windows of this street level apartment. An apartment in Paris, for

    dominating the view across the busy cobbled street was the sign – ‘Madame du Bois, Seamstress Extroidinaire, 5675 Rue Lamont, Paris.’

    I tore my eyes from the extraordinary street scene and looked straight into the startling blue eyes of the now life-size, young French lady, standing before me. She was also speaking in French and I understood every word.

    How could this be happening? I was American, living in a rural country town deep in the South with virtually no knowledge of the French language and only a rudimentary knowledge of French history. The exquisite French antique doll

    had been my only daughter’s twelfth birthday present. Lucy was the ardent student of French culture and history.

    Marie placed a warm, shapely hand on my arm. ‘It was Lucy who told me to come to you. She said you would understand my predicament and would help me. Please, I beg you, I cannot marry M’sier Rouvier. He is fat and odious and

    smells of garlic and sour wine and is older, I think, than my father. You must help me. I have no one else to turn to!’ (451 words) Kim

  9. LadyPondofTardis

    (It’s way over the limit but I can’t seem to whittle this one down. Sorry.)

    Elspeth collected rare dolls. It was her one real guilty pleasure. The prize of her collection was a Bebe Phonographe. It was a vaguely hideous thing that had a garish smile on it’s pale bisque face. When she told me how all her dolls talked to her, especially the Bebe Phonographe, I laughed. Dolls don’t talk unbidden. If they do talk at all, it’s a set series of phrases and only if the trigger mechanism is activated. How very wrong I was.

    “You should kill yourself.” The whisper seemed to come from nowhere. The thought too easily resting comfortably with a depression that I’d been fighting for ages. The latest medication that my doctor had me trying did have the side effect of hallucinations but surely that wasn’t what this was. “Come on… you know you want to.” I whipped my head around, searching for the source of the voice. “There’s a bottle of booze in the cabinet. It’s below freezing outside. It won’t hurt a bit. It’ll be just like going to sleep.” Shaking my head, I kept looking for the source. To my surprise, it was from the ugly Bebe Phonographe perched in the place of honor in Elspeth’s display case.

    Surely this was a cruel joke. Someone had found a way to make phonograph cylinders with these horrible things on them and set them to play. The only problem was I was alone in the house. Elspeth had gone to another estate auction to track down a lead on another doll for her already massive collection. Gingerly, I picked up the doll and carefully examined it for any sort of remote sound equipment that might be responsible for what it was telling me. It’s sweet voice was insistent on how very simple it would be to get blindingly drunk and just freeze in the snow. Returning the doll to it’s stand, I backed away from the case and out of the room. This was madness. Someone was playing a very cruel trick and I was having none of it. Closing the door behind me, I went to my office and sought refuge in slaughtering pixels for several hours until Elspeth got home.

    No sooner did she get through the door, I confronted her. “There is something wrong with that damn doll of yours.”

    “What doll?” She asked, confused at my agitated state. “What are you talking about?”

    “The new one. The Baby Phonograph.”

    “You mean the Bebe Phonographe?! What happened? Did it break? Did you break it?” Her voice grew shriller with each question.

    “No. I didn’t break the damn thing but there is something very wrong with it. It was telling me to kill myself. I swear it.”

    Elspeth chuffed a laugh. “Bullshit. You’re hearing things.” Her face turned serious. “Wait, did you call the doctor? He said if you start experiencing hallucinations, you need to call him immediately.”

    It took everything I had not to shake her. “I am not hallucinating. Your damn doll told me to kill myself. It’s lips were even moving.”

    “Bullshit,” she repeated. “If you won’t call the doctor, I will. This is serious.”

    “El! Please! You have to believe me!” It was too late. She was already on the phone, ringing the psychiatrist’s office, speaking to them in hushed tones. She was wrong. I would prove it to her.

    That night, I set up a video camera in the collection room, keeping it trained directly on the damned thing. It changed tactics, demanding I get the switchblade I kept on the bedside table for self defense and deploy the blade right into my heart. “Shut up! I am not suicidal. I am definitely not going to obey some ceramic doll. You know what, keep talking. It’s all on tape. El will believe me when she sees this.” Feeling very satisfied, I shut the door behind me and found my bed.

    The next morning, I begged El to come watch the tape with me. I suspect she was only humoring me when she agreed but at least it was a start. The only problem was when I went to start the file, it was nothing but garbage. The angry look on her face was painful to see. She’d always had the patience of a saint when it came to my illness but somehow, this was a step too far.

    “When I get home, I expect you gone. Blaming my dolls for your problems is a new low, even for you.” The closed look on her face was more painful then the doll’s suggestions for engineering my own demise.

    The house was so quiet that day with her gone. I had one last play. In my reading many years ago, I had come across the concept of dolls being possessed by malicious spirits. If I could exorcise the doll, on tape, Elspeth would have to believe me and let me stay. A few hours of Googling showed me a ritual and it only took me another hour or so of preparation.

    “Exorcizamus te, omnis immundus spiritus, omnis satanica potestas, omnis incursio infernalis adversarii, omnis legio, omnis congregatio et secta diabolica.” I repeated the words twice more as the ritual I found directed. However, it didn’t exactly have the effect I thought it would. Laughter erupted from the doll.

    “Fool! Did you really think that was going to work?” I blinked. What in the sodding hell? Wasn’t this supposed to cast out the nastiness? I glanced at the words. Maybe I mispronounced them. I took another stab at it. As I did, I realized that my limbs were starting to stiffen. My legs, they didn’t feel like they were could hold my weight. As a wave of dizziness passed over me, threatening to drag me under. I put my hand to my forehead to try to steady myself when I heard a ‘clink.’

    For the second time in as many minutes, the thought of “what the sodding hell” crossed my mind. As I looked at my hand, a scream started to claw it’s way out of my throat. My hand, it was… My God, it was china… How? Nothing was obeying the commands that my brain was furiously sending. My limbs had ceased functioning as yet more Latin spilled it’s way out of my now stiff lips and I collapsed to the floor. No! Dear God, this had to be a nightmare. Please, God help me.

    “Are you praying? That’s so sweet.” The Bebe Phonographe had come into my field of vision. My body was beyond my control, mishmash of glass, bisque, and fabric where there was once flesh and bone. “You’re not the first, you know. Haven’t you noticed how many of Elspeth’s dolls look like people you’ve known? People you’ve met before? That’s because I get lonely. It’s hard being the only intelligent doll in a room full of empty headed beauties. I had to make my own company, a family just for me. You’re the newest member. Don’t cross me and I’ll give you control of your body back. Fight me… Well, you saw what happened to that American Girl doll last year.”

    Elspeth came home that night to a strange sight; her Bebe Phonographe on the floor outside broken circle of salt and a second doll, this one a male with modern clothes and an antique body lying right next to her with a video camera aimed at them. This had to be one last awful cry for help from her troubled boyfriend. She almost fancied she could hear screaming as she set her precious Bebe back in it’s place of honor and placed the new male doll in with the others in her collection. Later, when she tried to watch the footage on the camera, all she saw and heard was static but if she strained her ears just a bit and listened closely, she might have heard a small voice weeping, begging for help that would never come.

  10. NoBlock

    Kris had just got back home after dropping Louisa off at school, now the work began. She had to clean up after the breakfast mess, do a load of laundry and vacuum the house in preparation for the dinner party her husband and she were throwing this evening.

    As she is wiping off the spilled milk from the table where Louisa had eaten this morning, she heard a voice coming from the living room. Must have left the TV on again before I took Louisa to school, she thought. However upon entry to the suite, she realized the television screen was black.

    Kris cocked her sideways in confusion as she started to walk around the house in search of a radio or another television that maybe her husband had left on before going to work this morning. She got halfway down the hallway to the bedroom, when she heard.”Can you please tie my shoe?”, that had definitely come from the living room, Kris noted as goose bumps formed on her arms.

    She dashed to the living room and stopped, no one was here, no television was on, only Louisa’s doll on the couch. “Can you please tie my shoe?”

    “Whoa!” Shouted Kris as she stumbled backward at the realization that the little doll could talk. ” I am losing my mind” she said out loud.

    When her husband returned from work, Kris could not help but tell him about the doll, even knowing the look she would get. “No really, watch!” Begged Kris. “Okay, say something.” She told the doll. No response.

    Her husband really began to grow concerned as Kris started to shake the doll violently and screamed, “Talk damnit, I know you can talk!” As a tear streaked down her face and she continued pleading with the doll, her husband picked up the phone and made a call.

    Half an hour later some doctors in white coats showed up at the house and proceeded to drag Kris out of the house. With her daughter and husband looking on, she screamed and cried, “It can talk, I swear it!”

    The little doll was sitting on the couch watching all of this unfold and said to itself, “No one calls me an ugly little doll.”

  11. Evelynn Blakely

    I walk down the street, hanging my head so that the long strands of brown hair cover my eyes as they flit from window to window, looking. SHE can’t see. If SHE sees, SHE’LL say, “Hurry up, Susan, don’t dawdle Susan…Susan, move along!”
    We are almost to the end of the street when we pass an old book store. Books don’t interest me much, they are too much like a puzzle I can’t solve and give me a headache, but in the corner of the display, almost like it was forgotten, a little doll is resting, arms askew. The doll is looking down the road, behind me, but I know that she has been waiting for me, and I stop and knock on the window and wait until SHE realizes I have fallen behind and comes to my side impatiently. Before SHE can say anything, I point at the doll.
    “I must have it for Katherine.”
    I see the flicker of doubt as SHE listens, but I decided to ignore it and marched into the store because I know, I just know, that my daughter will love to have the doll. Katherine can braid the yellow yarns of hair and tie it up with ribbons and I’ll even make new dresses with some fabric from the shop. Just thinking about it makes me excited, and I find the clerk by a musty pile of ancient manuscripts and tap his shoulder.
    “I would like the doll in the window,” I tell him.
    He just shrugs at me, but obviously he doesn’t know how happy Katherine will be. He wraps it quickly and hands it to me while SHE makes faces behind my head, but I don’t care. I cannot wait to get back and give the little toy to Katherine.
    I practically run home, sighing audibly until the gate is opened and I can hurry down the walk and into the house. I don’t even greet Nancy as she opens the door, like I usually do, but hurry up the stairs and to my room. I open the package and place the doll on the bed. I arrange her dress and straighten her little shoes and as I smooth her hair, the doll’s eyes drift to my face and her tiny stitched mouth parts.
    “We’ll be best friends,” she says. “Me and Katherine.”
    My shocks lasts a moment and then I am thrilled. “You must keep her company and play with her,” I tell the doll.
    The doll’s eyes gleam. “I will.”
    SHE comes in just as I am stepping back, and SHE folds her arms across her chest. “Susan…”
    “She will be the perfect friend for Katherine. She told me so herself.”
    SHE opens her mouth like SHE is going to speak, and glances at the small photograph of a baby and tiny jar beside it on the dresser. Instead, SHE walks over to the window and closes the curtains over the bars and says, “Of course she will, dear. Now rest up.”

  12. lailakuz

    I don’t know about this piece. It’s a little over the world limit. Just experimenting with some new thoughts and styles. I thought it up, incidentally, on a rainy night, waiting in a turning lane.
    ————————————————————————————————————————————————————

    House of the Rising Sun
    House of the Rising Sun. The writer in you finds it to be an interesting name, even poetic. Their ‘Come in, We’re Open’ sign, grimed over with filth, sways a little as you turned the doorknob. You think the doll in the window is somewhere between the nastiest or creepiest-looking piece of voodoo filth in New Orleans, but your daughter thinks it’s pretty. And so, like any good mom, you let herself be guided by her sweaty palms into the dingy little shop.
    “Hello?” you call out. A tiny lady, older than the antiques in the shop, answers.
    “Ah! The doll. An interesting choice, my dear,” she tells you, in a quivering voice as spidery hands wrap it up.
    A few hours later, you sit there with your daughter gone off to a friend’s house, facing the tiny typewriter (an antique item you’d bought in hopes of inspiring your writing) but the page remained dry. Nothing. What you imagined would be a time of furious productiveness with the gothic romances flying out faster than you can type just isn’t happening. Your thoughts ran dry as the necklace of little bones you keep around your neck (another bit of antiques you’d bought to “get in the mood”). Finally, exhausted from futile thinking, you resort to a desperate method. The middle-of-nowhere drive. And so you grab your jacket and storm out to the car, thinking of what roads will create the best atmosphere for creativity.
    It’s raining outside and the bright red stoplights pulse instead in a quiet, muted color and the car hums along, movement slicked by the rain and the rain itself patters lightly on your windshield and you stop, your left turn light blinking. You turn on some music and, lo and behold, on comes House of the Rising Sun. And so you turn it down a little, afraid to break the poetic atmosphere you suddenly find yourself surrounded in and, as you listen to the undulating music, begin to hum along. And you lean your head back lightly and stare out of the window and suddenly they’re there. The words have returned. You can see your character, breathtakingly beautiful of course, wan face lit up by candlelight and hear the rustle of her hair and listen to the intrigues pursued in whispers within the dark, looming walls of the gothic castle. And she is singing a high note, a haunting cry torn from the soul, yes, that was it- no, wait, wasn’t that from the movie you’d seen a few days ago?- anyways, and you beg to be at your typewriter now, pounding out the words that smoldered away in your mind.
    “Quite the pretty voice you’ve got there”
    You jump and scream “Who’s there!” but the mocking, girlish voice –quite like you’d imagine one of your gothic ladies’ voices to be- came back again.
    “Look here, on the floor, passenger seat, almost there, aaaalmost there, there you are.” And you find yourself facing your daughter’s stupid voodoo doll.
    “W-what?”
    “Your voice, I think it’s pretty” and, like the fool you are, you continue conversation with a doll.
    “Really?”
    “Of course not,” a mocking giggle. “But you would think that, wouldn’t you?”
    “Whaa-“
    “Dabbling for so long in music. Trying to impress with your screeching harpy-voice. And then your artwork, ha! As though your hyper-conceptualized, eye-achingly colorful designs could have allured anyone.”
    “Shut up! Shut up!” you cry because, deep down, you know it’s all true.
    “And then came the writing. You really think you’re something, don’t you? Quite the artist, eh? With your poetic air and thoughtful glances and writer’s mooments.” She especially stretched those last few words.
    “And you really think you’re going somewhere, that you’re going to write the book of the century everyone’s dying to read. And you think you’re gonna do that with your borrowed plot lines and wanna-be style?”
    “Why you little” and you grab the doll, preparing to bash it into the dashboard only, in the spur of the moment, your foot somehow leaves the break and you roll out into the intersection. And you hear the final, drawled out “And Gooooooooood, I know I’m one.”of the song as the airbag blooms before you and darkness follows.

  13. agnesjack

    A little trifle that I whipped up while waiting for the next prompt. –Nancy
    ____________

    She was laughing hysterically — stomping her little, perfectly-shaped legs with the permanently-arched high-heeled feet, and bending over at her tiny little waist to try to catch her breath.

    “Stop it, Barbie!” I yelled. “It’s not funny.” I had just split open the back seam of my new jeans while trying to pick up the eight thousand Cheerios that had flown all over the kitchen when I attempted to pull apart the super-glued inner bag that decided to explode instead.

    “You should have seen your face,” Barbie said when she finally settled down.

    “Yeah, well, MY face changes, O.K.? Yours just stays the same with your perfect little mouth and cute little nose and dainty little chin.”

    “I can’t help that,” she said.

    “No. And you don’t age or gain weight, either, which I know you can’t help, but it’s annoying.”

    Just as I said this, I turned on the automatic coffee-grinder and coffee began spewing all over the kitchen because I had forgotten to reinsert the removable plastic container. There’s no off switch, so I panicked until I realized I could just pull the plug.

    “Don’t you dare,” I said with venom when I heard her snort.

    “I got a little coffee on me,” she said.

    “Too bad,” I said as I began sweeping up the coffee.

    “But I can’t bend my arms to wipe it off,” she said.

    “Ha ha,” I said.

    When I finally finished cleaning up the mess and sat down at the table with my coffee and a banana, Barbie got up and walked over.

    “I’m sorry I laughed,” she said.

    “That’s all right,” I said. “It probably was pretty funny.” I looked at her and saw the dusting of coffee particles all over her. She looked kind of pathetic.

    “Here,” I said, and grabbed a sponge to wipe it off.

    “Thank you,” she said.

    “You’re welcome,” I said, and started going through the Sunday paper. “You want to start with the funnies, as usual?”

    “Yup,” she said. Then she added, wryly, “O.K. if I laugh?”

    “Sure,” I said.

    1. Kerry Charlton

      Something I’ve been dying to ask, Agnes. Why do girls keep Barbies around with a 40″ bustline, 19″ waist and a perfect derrier?
      Seem like it would be depressing. I enjoyed you little rant in the kitchen. Kerry

  14. rainiemills

    My first writing prompt ever and a little late… please go easy :)

    “Poison burns your insides” Marabelle said staring down at her plate.

    “Where did you hear that?” my heart raced, on full alert. What on earth would make a four year old say a thing like that?

    Glancing uneasily at me, her voice quivered, “Jessica told me.”

    Who the hell is Jessica and what is she doing talking to my daughter about such things? My mind raced through all the people that has had contact with my daughter. Voice steady, gaze strong I bite “Who is Jessica sweetie?”

    “You know mommy, the doll you gave me.” A chill ran down my spine. How can my daughter come up with such a frightening thought.

    “Oh Marabelle, dolls don’t talk, you know that.” My voice a little more stern than intended. Her brows furrowed and the tears started to flow. Are you Jessica? I ask playfully grabbing the doll from the pile of toys littering the floor. “See, if this doll could talk it would tell me its name. Come on, dry your eyes and let’s get ready for bed.”

    I lay awake fiddling with the doll pondering how my four year old could have possibly concocted that story. “She wasn’t kidding, poison really does burn your insides.” What the hell was that. Where did that voice come from. Am I imagining things? I stare at the doll, its black eyes gleaming back at me with. Then I saw it, the lips moved and a voice escaped that frail cloth body and said something to me that saved my life. “Listen to me, you are being poisoned.”

    1. Kerry Charlton

      Welcome to the forum, rainiemills.

      Aha! Skull-duggery is afoot. A mystery about whon is poisoning who?.[Or is it the other way atround?] A nice, tight story you have here. Leaves all sort of questions for your reader to solve. I like that. A really good opening for a deeper tale. You have a few words left you didn’t use. The story stands on it’s own, however, if you choose to leave as is. Nice job on your first post. Looking forward to your next one.

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