The Movie House: A Tale of the Abysmal Dollhouse


Tales from The Abysmal Dollhouse:

The Unfolding Doll

The Shopkeeper

The Movie House (the third reel)

The marquee of The Movie House changed often, rarely repeating. The Abysmal Dollhouse shopkeeper glanced often, amused at some of the titles that flashed, dreading days when double features were shows. She kept a  stone in front of the theater to prevent it from opening when she was near. The movies played endlessly, and she only had so much patience with bad, horrible movies.

The teenage girl entered, the bell on the door announcing her arrival. This was her fourth time in The Abysmal Dollhouse in as many days. Wandering around the dollhouses, none called to her, so the shopkeeper left her alone. Today, the youth made it past The Halloween House, The Bottom House, The Borley Rectory, and the many others. She stopped at The Wall of Heads House, but moved on. The shopkeeper was glad. That was not for one like the teen.

Bending over in front of The Movie House, the girl pushed back her long brunette hair and pushed her glasses up her nose. She read out loud “The Unbearable Lightness of Being? I hated that one.” The wall of the theater tried to open, but it was blocked. The girl noticed the movement and started to reach for the rock.

“Wait,” the shopkeeper moved over to her side, moving the girl’s hand away. “I wouldn’t, Beth.”

Looking at the shopkeeper, really noticing her for the first time, the teenager, all awkward angles and full of growth spurts, went from curious to attitude. “How did you know my name? Why shouldn’t I? It’s just a stupid  dollhouse.”

The clamor from the other dollhouses took even the shopkeeper by surprise. “MINE!” rang out around the store.

Distracted, she did not notice Beth grab the colored stone and pick it up. It was Beth’s gasp that captured her attention. The front of the house opened up, showing first an ornate lobby of gilded gold furnishings and red velvet draperies. This was swept away to show the inside of the theater. It was too late for Beth, and the shopkeeper sidled over, returning to her place behind the counter. She placed her hand on her hourglass and stared out the front window.

Beth was unaware that the marquee had changed before the wall opened. The Haunting (1999) shared top billing with Spice World (1997).  Her eyes were drawn to the screen as image after image played. The tiny figures in the seats were writhing, mouths open, but any sound they made was obscured by the sound from the screen. Beth found herself in one of the chairs, unable to move, unable to do anything but watch the very bad movie. The Unfolding Doll, dressed as an usher, moved spasmodically up the aisle with a bag of burnt popcorn in its hand.  Beth tried to scream.

The Movie House wall slid shut. The shopkeeper walked over and replaced the stone, noticing three new titles on the Marquee: Tim Burton’s Planet of the Apes, Spiderman 3 and Batman and Robin.

She shuddered.


Alex J. Cavanaugh runs a blog that just hit over 900 followers, so he must be doing something right, or write. Well beloved, Alex ran this one day blogfest, and it’s been fun looking at some of the lists of movies people rate as their worst.

For me, I just included movies I’ve really disliked, that stand out as movies I wish I had walked out on, but didn’t or couldn’t. Spice World: well, how could I walk out on my pre-teen daughter? Posh was good looking, so that was a plus. Lena Olin was the only thing that saved Unbearable Lightness…my date thought I liked the movie. I thought she did. We had a good laugh when we shared how much we hated that movie.

I am a movie fan, and there are many more on my list of “ugh” movies. My using my The Abysmal Dollhouse series as a way of putting them out there really just felt right for me. I could go on about movies I’ve thought were horrible. Take a look at the blogs joining in on Alex’s blogfest. You’ll find plenty.

33 responses »

  1. Nice approach to the blogfest. Loved the story. I would have never watched Spiceworld if I hadn’t had daughters who were nuts about the Spice Girls. I bought the video for them at Christmas, along with a Hanson video. Since it was about music neither of the videos really annoyed me and it was fun watching them with my girls.

    Tossing It Out


    • Thank you Lee. I took Jessica to see it in the movies. Couldn’t walk out on it. In the house, she could have watched to her heart’s content. I think the movie sealed the deal: she didn’t listen to them after that.

      Hanson? You are a strong person!! 😉


    • A…I really love the whole Planet of the Apes world, but I detested what Tim Burton did. That was one movie I just wished I had the time and money back for. The new one, Rise of…was good. I enjoyed it.

      Thanks and glad you liked the post.


  2. It WAS the way to go – a unique way to work the blogfest into the storytelling arena. As you may have guessed, I haven’t seen a single one of the movies you mentioned 🙂 Waiting for the Dollhouse Tale about the Wall Of Heads…


    • Thanks Li. You won’t want to see these movies. There are so many other moview worth seeing.
      The original The Haunting was a very scary movie. Nothing is seen. No gore. No cgi crap. Just suspense and things that go bump in the night. A truly creepy movie.

      The Wall of Death/Heads will be coming soon,.


    • Thank you Sonia. I love The Abysmal Dollhouse, right next to Birdsongs and Kitsune-Mochi. I just need three sets of arms to make this all work.

      Glad you liked it. Rock, eh? The one that holds the walls of the Dollhouses closed? 🙂


  3. Pingback: The Wall of Heads: A Tale of The Abysmal Dollhouse « Tale Spinning

  4. Pingback: Candy Stripe Ward: A Tale of The Abysmal Dollhouse « Tale Spinning

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