Until I became one of them.
I certainly hadn’t thought that being trapped inside a doll was a death that I needed to dread. My greatest fear had been suffocation. Suffocation by the very dolls that sat on the shelves in my bedroom and threatened me each night. I could feel them watching me. Even with the covers over my eyes, I knew that they could sense my terror. My parents told me that they were just dolls. Toys pieced together in a factory made of nothing more than cloth and stitches. I only wish I could tell my parents how very wrong they were.
It happened three months ago. After arguing with my mother about leaving a night light on, she’d finally left me in the dark with Edna perched on my bed. Edna was a new birthday gift from my aunt. Her perfectly curly blonde hair and pink cheeks matched the pale blue lacy dress and bonnet that wrapped across the top of her head. She had a permanent smile plastered on her face that contradicted the message in those sinister beady eyes.
I quickly moved her next to my feet and jumped back under the covers. I knew that the others would be mad, so I didn’t dare leave the safety of my bed. Once, I had tried to sleep with just one of the dolls and the next morning I woke up with all of them in my bed. They had surrounded my head and chest and seemed to be smothering me with their bodies. Needless to say, it scared me beyond anything else so I never again chose only one. Now, they all stayed up on the shelves.
It was just after midnight when I heard the first voice. The sound was a whisper and someone was calling my name.
“Sabrina,” the tiny voice said. “Sabrina, open your eyes.”
And when I did, my heart nearly jumped out of my chest. Two small eyes were staring back at me, only instead of the dark orbs that I was used to, these were glowing red. I knew right away that they belonged to Betty, the oldest doll of the group.
“That’s right Sabrina,” she cooed. “It’s time.”
I sat straight up in bed to see that every doll I owned was staring back at me. Betty was on my lap while the rest encircled my body. All thirty of them stood there with bright red eyes and a smirk on their face. Betty made a noise and my attention was drawn back to her. I gasped when I saw what she was holding.
“Yes, my dear girl. She is in need of a soul.” Betty dangled her left hand that was clasped firmly around Edna’s blonde curls. Edna didn’t move like the others and my stomach plummeted when I put it all together.
“What are you going to do?” I squeaked, afraid that I already knew the answer.
“Don’t worry. This won’t hurt,” Betty said just as she sliced my wrist with the steak knife clutched in her tiny fingers. The pain was dreadful until Betty placed her plastic hand over the wound and started to chant. Suddenly, my world began fade in a swirl of fog and fear. The cacophony of doll chanting filled my senses until everything went black.
I didn’t know how long I’d been out until I opened my eyes and looked up at Betty. She seemed to smile, although her lips never moved.
“Now you can be with us forever.” Her voice pierced through my mind, pushing the doors to my subconscious wide open. I could hear all of their thoughts, their words, and their intentions. Every doll in my room had stolen a soul from a child. Some were new while others were centuries old. They didn’t think of themselves as trapped. They thought that they were immortal.
“I don’t want this,” I thought in my head when I realized that my mouth wouldn’t move. But the dolls just sighed and told me through a chorus of confidence that I would learn to love this life.
For weeks, I sat on my bed and watched as my family mourned me. The doctor’s told my parents that I’d died peacefully in my sleep, but only I knew the truth. My life had been stolen, and every night I cowered in the corner of the room while the rest of the dolls celebrated my human death.
It wasn’t until I was away from them that I realized how much I needed to hear their voices in my head. I’d been given to another young girl, whose parents didn’t realize that I was made out of evil. I yearned to be with another but I had been her first doll. I waited a month before Heather showed up at Christmas time.
So tonight was Heather’s awakening. I would turn her into another like me for the sake of not being alone anymore. Sure, I would grieve for the sleeping girl who’d been so excited to receive a second doll. But now it was time for me to have a companion and that was all that mattered anymore.