The Three Dolls


“Maaaammy” “Maaaammy” “Maaaammy”...the woman jolted awake and noticed the sun was going down. Three days before Halloween. The car rumbled on… more and more bone-bare trees appeared as they entered a deep forest landscape. As her little girl slept in the back of the car, Jane Wilson struggled to keep awake, casting the odd glance towards Andrew, her husband, his glasses flashing as he stared ahead, driving the car.

It had been another terrible year. This was a fresh start, a chance to escape the bad fortune which had haunted them. Three of their babies had died. The still-born twins, two beautiful baby girls... Then last year, little Emily, killed by that car…  Jane was tortured every minute by these memories.

Suddenly, out of nowhere, it appeared: the house... the home that was to be their future. Jane’s stomach fluttered...why was she so nervous? “This is it, then,” announced Andrew. Larger than they’d remembered it, the building appeared, bold and dark. The key was under the pot, just as the letter said it would be. Through the rustles and groans of the forest, a distant owl could be heard.

It didn’t take long for the woodstove to warm the house. Everything seemed to light up, and the future was hopeful once again. They began exploring the rooms, one-by-one, the little girl excited to discover new things along every passage. Finally, reaching little Amy’s new bedroom, they switched on the light. “Lovely!” screamed Amy, as the joys of the room revealed themselves: a magical play-rug covering the ancient floorboards in the centre, and the four-poster bed in the corner.

Then she noticed the painted wooden box. Amy scrambled towards it, frantically opening the lid. “Wow...look Mummy, look!” Three identical dolls, facing upwards... curly hair, the same prim white dress, the same innocent smile frozen on each face, three pairs of eyes, dark and deep staring up. “WEIRD...” muttered Jane, quickly closing the box.

During the next couple of days Amy became fascinated by the dolls; at every opportunity she had them out, playing dolly games on the rug. “They’re as good as friends,” observed her dad. “Creepy, if you ask me,” replied Jane. But seeing that her little Amy was settled, Jane was content to let Amy play - against her better judgement. There was just something about those dolls.





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