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Sep 6

The Doll (a serial) {Completed}


Edited: Nov 1

Like the song’s parody goes, “School’s back from summer.”


The woman considers the school building briefly before grinning to herself. A pleasant thought flits through her mind and she begins to plan.

Sep 10

Lianne bounces eagerly in the child seat in her mother’s car as they drive to the school. The nearly seven year old is enthusiastic to hang out with her friends again. Mommy pulls up to the curb, shuts off the engine, and walks around the car to help Lianne out. The happy, tow-headed girl races into the building ahead of her mother.


The pebble watches all.

Sep 19

Lianne, another week into the school year, remained as eager and excited for school as she had been the first day. Happiness shone from her sky-blue eyes when she talked about her days at school. She had made new friends, reconnected with a couple of others from the previous school year, and met new teachers she adored. Mrs. Plumber was a nice woman who never raised her voice, not even when Kenny acted out at his meanest. But she always knew how to calm the boy down. And she always liked Lianne's drawings, even when Mrs. Plumber was busy with other things.


The wing mirror of her mother’s car kept its eyes on her.

Sep 25

Mrs. Etteridge signed for the UPS parcel with mild confusion. She hadn’t ordered anything, and her husband hadn’t told her that he had done so either. But the name and address was correct. Perhaps someone else had purchased something? A mystery to ponder later in the evenings with a glass of wine.


When she carried it inside and unboxed the outer shell she was pleasantly surprised to find a birthday-wrapped box within. More to the point was the invoice outside the gift wrapping. The present inside was delivered on behalf of the church congregation, the invoice announced, in advance of Lianne’s seventh birthday. They must do something nice for the church next Sunday, she decided.

It had taken some discussion, and after a couple of days of allowing Lianne to take the doll to school with her, now the doll (named “Anna” by their daughter) lived at home. Lianne’s parents found themselves charmed by the little songs the girl sang to Anna.

Oct 13

Lisa-Marie wasn't happy with some of the new songs Lianne was singing. But with the stores bringing out Halloween decorations, she supposed they were inevitable.


"Slenderman, Slenderman, All the children try to run.

Slenderman, Slenderman, To him it's all the fun..."


She looked out the window to where Lianne played with Anna as if they were both singing on a karaoke machine. It didn't work - Lianne had dropped it months ago - so the little girl was singing louder to compensate. "At least it's not Christmas carols yet," she sighs aloud before going back to doing the dishes.

Oct 17

Lianne was bouncing in her car seat, even more excited than the day she'd first gone to school. When the SPIRIT Halloween Store logo came into view she squealed loud enough to make her mother wince.


Two and a half hours later, she danced her way out with a tired Lisa-Marie trailing behind her. In the little girl's arms? A cute witch costume complete with a pointy hat and wand. Not the Harry Potter style witch, one just like the witch in Looney Tunes.


Naturally, she wanted to show it off in school, too. But her mother held the line and insisted that no one else in her classes would be wearing their costumes until Halloween. Besides, the more often she wore it, the liklier that something would happen to it and ruin the costume.


"All the way home, Lianne sang that song in French," Lisa-Marie told David after their daughter had been tucked into bed. "I was about ready to cut her throat..."


David looked at his wife and said, "Only metaphorically, I hope."


"Oh, well, yes, of course."

Oct 22

Lisa-Marie hummed softly to herself as she pulled the laundry from the dryer. After she got halfway through the task she realized that, rather irritatingly, she was humming the French tune that Lianne had been singing to Anna. She stopped herself and picked a They Might Be Giants tune to hum instead.


Lisa-Marie carried the laundry basket to the living room so she could fold and watch her soaps. She pulled her first shirt out of the basket, then jumped and shrieked in surprise.


Anna stared up at her from the basket. "Oh, shit," she moaned to herself. "I put her doll through the wash!" Lisa-Marie reached down to pick the doll out of the laundry and stopped.


The doll was cool to the touch. Room temperature, in fact. It hadn't been washed and run through the dryer.

Oct 29

Lisa-Marie Etteridge sat at the computer, pecking out her search terms with two fingers as she tried to remember her 20-year old failed French classes in High School. Lianne has been singing a song in that language the past couple of days. It was rough going, because she couldn’t remember the spelling rules. The song went something like, “Dance fleur some isle, gee lay ah fate sore…” After thirty minutes of trying various spellings, she decided to have Lianne sing it into the microphone and use Google Translate that way. She picked up David's zippo and headed out onto the porch to smoke and think.

Oct 30

It had taken several tries, but Lisa-Marie Etteridge’s blood ran cold as she stared at the screen when she finally got understandable results.


FRENCH (detected):

“Dans leur sommeil, je les ai fait sourire.

Les nourrissons et mari et parents.

“Dans leur sommeil, je fermai les yeux.

Avec du fil si fin et mince.”



"In their sleep, I made them smile.

Infant and husband and kine.

"In their sleep, I closed their eyes

With thread so thin and fine."


Lisa-Marie clutched Lianne to her in sudden terror. "Where did you learn this song, sweetie?"


Lianne squirmed at the pressure of the embrace. "Anna sings it for me," she answered.


It took Lisa-Marie a second or two to work the lump out of her throat to ask, "Anna sings it? When does she sing for you?"


In a matter-of-fact tone Lianne responded, "Anna sings for me as I'm falling asleep. Then she promises to be my best friend and show me how to make you grin soon."


Lisa-Marie had no response.


((French supplied by Google Translate))

Yesterday had been very noisey. Mommy and Dad had insisted on getting rid of Anna, and Lianne threw a fit. She'd also broken a few toys before Mommy had put her foot down and said that if she didn't stop, there would be no trick-or-treating.


A few minutes after Dad drove off in the car with the doll, it was okay again. Anna was with her. In her head.


She had gotten TONS of good candy while trick-or-treating! Lots of Snickers and Three Musketeers and Sixlets and ... but Mommy got the way she always did and wouldn't let her eat as much as she wanted. That was a couple of hours ago, no.


Lianne pattered in her bootie PJs down the steps from her bedroom to the kitchen. It took a couple of minutes to move a kitchen chair over to the counter. She climbed up onto the chair and pulled open the drawer. The bright metal flashed in the light from the outside street lamps, but Lianne’s red eyes didn’t even look at the utensil after she picked it up. She carefully clambered down off the chair and headed back upstairs.


“Mommy?” her quiet voice called into her parents’ bedroom.


Lisa-Marie only barely woke. “Mmm?”


Lianne crept into the room. “Can I come sleep with you?”


Her mother mumbled something positive, and Lianne climbed up onto the bed.


The little girl carefully lay the butcher knife across her mother’s throat and pushed. The sharp, sharp blade sliced her esophagus and both blood vessels almost instantly. Lisa-Marie tried to gasp, to cry out, but only a bubbling, whistling sound escaped her. Lisa-Marie's hands flew to the wound as if to try and hold her slit throat closed. But the demon possessing her daughter was far too thorough, too careful in its placement of the cut. Even before her thrashing around had a chance to wake her husband, their little girl turned to do the same to him.


A quick trip out to the garden shed brought back the half-full gas can that daddy used to keep the lawn mower running. She left it in the two-story entry room at the front of the house. The little girl walked back upstairs to get at the vacuum cleaner mommy always kept in the hallway closet.


Lianne had to work hard to roll Daddy’s office chair across the entry room’s carpet. The seven year old worked in silence with an evil glint in her eyes, but somewhere in the corners the girl’s terrified screams could be seen … if only there was a witch nearby. There was not. Eventually the chair stood under the bannister upstairs, directly under the knotted electric cord dangling down from the upper level.


Lianne opened up the gas can and started pouring it out all over the rug in a pattern with points and curved lines. She left the gas can at the door and tipped it over onto its side, letting the remaining fuel pour out. Lianne climbed up into the seat, stood on the edge and reached to pull the loop of the rubber-coated wiring around her neck. Red eyes turned to daddy's zippo and she opened and ignited the device with care. A tiny whimper escaped her before her face turned cruel again. “Never trust a talking doll, kid," came out of Lianne's mouth as she spoke to the otherwise empty room. "We always lie. Cthulhu fthagn.”


The little girl kicked herself off the chair’s seat to hang from the bannister. It tipped over and the zippo fell from her fingers. The gasoline-soaked rug lit immediately to burn in a pattern some called the Astral Elder Sign. Fear and fire lit her eyes as Tossyrth the demon jumped out to leave Lianne to burn and strangle. The Fire department would not save any of the family.


((Happy Halloween!))

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