Wednesday, October 15, 2014


Generally, dusty attics just make me sneeze and itch. However, dark attics featuring crazy old ladies your parents refuse to talk about are super duper creepy. We seem to have left our hero Ben in that very situation.  So without any further ado, I present:

Creepy Old Ladies & Dolls
Part Two

              “Excuse me,” Ben tried again, but the old woman either couldn’t hear him or wasn’t paying attention.  Taking a couple of steps closer, he spoke the words again, this time more loudly.
                With a flash of sparse teeth and black eyes, she turned on him.  “What is it you want, Benjamin?” 
                Startled, he took a step back.
                “Would you like to kiss the baby?” she asked, thrusting the bundle clutched in her claw-like fingers up at him.  The thing, which had at one point been a porcelain doll, goggled up at him with one unblinking eye, the other socket standing empty.  The grimy doll, dressed in a tattered gown, had lost all of its hair except for a patch on the right side, which was tied with a ragged bow.
                “Isn’t she beautiful?” the woman asked, her voice gruff, but with an edge of tenderness. Not waiting for him to agree, she pressed the doll back to her sunken bosom and recommenced rocking and cooing.
                Gathering his wits, Ben voiced the question that was bothering him most. “Who are you?”
                Keeping her gaze on the doll, the old woman’s wrinkled mouth cracked into a wry yellow-toothed grin. “Don’t you remember anything, Benjamin?”
​               He searched his memory for a hint of who she might be, some shred of lost memory, but nothing came to mind.
​               “I suppose you were too small,” her eyes narrowed, glinting like black glass in the light, before she returned her attention to the doll. “But one doesn’t forget a child she has held to her breast.”
                Ben was taken aback.  He was repulsed by the notion but at the same time he struggled to grasp her meaning. She left him little time to ponder.
               “No! No! No!” she punctuated each ‘No’ by banging the doll's head on the arm of the rocker. Then she shook a gnarled finger in the doll's mangled face. “No biting!” she finished, before pushing it back against her chest with more force than necessary.
                It was clear that she thought of the doll as real child, and if that was so, Ben didn't want to know if he had been acquainted with her in his childhood. He contemplated hurrying downstairs and blocking the attic access so she couldn't get out, but she had already turned her attention back to him, pinning him in place with her sharp eyes.
            “That's right, my boy, you too were comforted by these hands and cradled in these arms.” It was the same tender tone she'd used on the doll before she’d tried to bash its head in.
              Escape was sounding better and better. She could thump away to her heart's content, as long as he didn't have to spend another second in her presence.
            “You've forgotten your old nanny, haven't you?”  The softness drained from her tone.  “I'm nothing but a stranger to you, now.” The wrinkled mouth pulled into a cruel sneer before she continued. “After all I did for this family, all I sacrificed for you and your mother, they left me here to rot with only Dolly for company.”  She turned her cold gaze on the dilapidated toy in her arms. “It's not enough anymore!” She screamed, pitching the doll directly at Ben's head. He dodged just in time, the doll careening past him to crash head first through the nearest window. Glass tinkled to the floor while Dolly spun through the air to land in a twisted heap on the ground. Paralyzed, Ben could only stare down at the toy, stunned by the old woman's rage.
            Ragged nails digging into his arm brought him to his senses. Her surprisingly strong hand tightened around his bicep. "Now that my own child is returned to me, what need have I for a half-blind doll?" She yanked at him, trying to tow him back to the rocking chair. Ben didn't care if he was six foot two and almost out of his teens, he admitted that he was well and truly frightened of this woman.  With a panicked yank, he pulled his arm from her grasp, the nails raking his skin as the momentum flung her small form across the room as easily as a ragdoll. Ben watched in horror as her head struck a nearby upended trunk with a dull crack.
                “What have you done?” she screamed, lurching drunkenly to her feet, a trickle of blood starting at her temple. “Wicked, wicked boy!” 
                Ben didn't wait to see what damage had been done, but hurried to the stairs.
                “I knew you'd come to no good!” she shrieked, scooping up the lantern and holding it aloft.  The dim light flickered over her face, revealing the mad expression painted there.  With a roar, she threw it to the ground. The glass shattered, the oil puddling at her feet and bursting into flame. Horrified, Ben watched the fire lap eagerly at the ragged hem of the woman's dress. 
            Screaming in fury, she launched herself at Ben. He staggered backward, half tumbling down the stairs and landing on his backside at the bottom. His foot caught on the last step, and fighting to free it, he inadvertently kicked the stairs upward.  The door shutting between them, he caught his last glimpse of the old woman, her face twisted in rage and her mouth forming a bloodcurdling scream as the flames engulfed her.

                Fear propelled him out of the house. Reaching the front lawn, he turned to see flickering flames in the upstairs windows.  He tried to catch his breath and reclaim his common sense, and after a moment, his mind clicked into action.  No matter how mad the woman was, he couldn’t let her die.  Sprinting for the closest neighbor, his toe caught on something. Tripping, he sprawling onto the ground striking his head on the concrete walkway when he fell.  As his vision closed to black, the woman's screams ringing in his ears, he saw what had caused him to fall.  Dolly, something like a sneer spread across her cracked face, stared at him out of her one good eye.
* * *

I really hate dolls. Especially old dolls with that creepy old doll smell. Ick. But you might have guessed that already. Tune in next week for the thrilling conclusion! (I've always wanted to say that!) Here it is: Part Three of COLD. And feel free to revisit Part One of COLD. Thanks for stopping by!


  1. Love your picture. Am intrigued by your tale. Am glad our "attic" places are in the corners of the roof, with no room for weird occupants. And your dollies are up there . . . in a box.

    1. Thanks for reading, mom! Just think, maybe all those dollies have gotten out...and all this time pyromaniac sentiments have been growing in their little empty heads. Something to consider when you go to bed in the attic room. :)

  2. Like it Sarah - creepy old nanny and one-eyed baby doll. Yikes!

    1. Thanks, Greg! I've always has issues with old people & their old people smell & their weirdnesses. But as I draw nearer to the big 40 I sort of get it! Still, I'd run from Nanny & her battered companion without a second thought.