Elizabeth just stared at the doll that her mother gave her. “Thank you mommy,” she said, her voice expressionless as her hand passed over its face. Her mother smiled. “Enjoy you doll, sweetheart.” “I will mommy,” Elizabeth replied. She slowly walked into her room as her mother looked on.

Sighing, Elizabeth’s mother returned to the kitchen to finish making dinner. The water in the pot on the stove had just begun to boil. She broke the spaghetti noodles in half before placing them in the violently churning water, her ear picking up the brief sound of a person chanting. Turning quickly around, she saw no one there, and decided to check on Elizabeth.

Walking down the hall, up the stairs to her room, she noticed the door was ajar and peeked through. She saw Elizabeth sitting at her little table, her new doll in a chair beside it. Placed in front of the doll was a little teacup. “Yes, I would like more tea,” Elizabeth said in her best sophisticated woman voice, gently nodding the head of her new doll as she spoke. “Okay, I’ll get you some more,” Elizabeth said, her voice returning to normal.

Her mother smiled as she turned away and returned to the kitchen to stir the noodles. She added a little salt to the spaghetti, seasoning it a bit, and once again heard the soft chanting. Turning quickly around, she still saw nothing. She frowned slightly and stirred the noodles one more time. A moment later, she heard a commotion coming from upstairs. Elizabeth was crying and screaming as if in pain.

Her mother rushed down the hall, up the stairs, and threw open the door just to see Elizabeth and her doll sitting at the table, reading a book as they drank their “tea.” “Honey, are you all right?” her mother asked. “I’m fine, mommy,” Elizabeth said, her voice again expressionless. “What was that noise sweetie? It sounded like you were hurt.” “I’m fine, mommy,” Elizabeth again answered. Stooping to kiss her on her forehead, she wrapped her arms around her daughter in a quick hug, then started back downstairs to finish dinner.

Halfway down the stairs she heard Elizabeth screaming again. She rushed back up the stairs and opened Elizabeth’s door just to see Elizabeth standing on her bed, holding her doll by the feet, and slamming its head on her bookshelf, as hard as her seven-year old muscles could handle. “I LOVE YOU! I LOVE YOU!” Elizabeth was screaming to her doll at each hit. “I LOVE YOU!” she yelled again as the head of the doll began to indent more and more each time it made contact with the hard wood. “Elizabeth! Play nice with the doll or I’m going to have to take it away.” Deafened ears did not hear her mother’s words as she threw the doll onto the bed and began to stomp on it. “SEE HOW MUCH I LOVE YOU!” Elizabeth screamed at it.

Her mother hurried in and picked up the battered doll and said “Elizabeth, I told you to play nice or I would have to take the doll away. Now you can not play with it any more tonight.” “But mommy,” sobbed Elizabeth, “it’s not my fault. I didn’t do anything wrong.” “Tomorrow, sweetheart. Now get washed up for dinner.”

Elizabeth’s mother left the room, the doll tucked under her arm, and headed to her own room. She put the doll in the top drawer of her dresser and went back downstairs, the faint sound of chanting brushing her ears as she left the room. Walking back into the kitchen, she turned the stove off. She screamed uncontrolably as she stared down at the spaghetti. In the pot, boiling atop the noodles, was the head of the doll. Her vision went black as she collapsed to the floor. Two minutes later, Elizabeth walked into the kitchen, the doll intact and cradled lovingly in her arms. “Mommy, is dinner almost ready?”

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One thought on “The Doll

  1. You definitely have a gift for horror. I was running through so many different possibilities about what was wrong with this little girl, did she get abused, is she mentally unstable, or is the doll somehow just possessed? You’ve left me wanting to know more, my imagination running wild about what comes after the last line, the hallmark of any good short story! Great job!

    Like

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