Doll, In Shadow
The Abysmal Dollhouse
The two bodies sprawled in the utter dark, unaware of each other even though one groaned (her) or the other mewled (him). Vicky clutched her left side, sticky wet, her body convulsing. Victor was curled up tighter than a fetal position, a position no grown man who wasn’t a contortionist should be able to actualize. Victoria and Victor. It was cute when they met; still cute when they married. Not cute any longer.
It had been a long time since anything about the two of them could be called “cute”
If they weren’t alone in their suffering, mere inches from each other, they might have registered another presence in the darkness. If they hadn’t been so engulfed in their own personal miseries, they might have heard the shuffling footsteps, the scraping of something metal along something like stone, the soft chant of “mine, mine, mine.” If they hadn’t been so wrapped up in their polemic “I’m right; You’re wrong” attitude with each other, they might not be in the so much peril. If. If. If.
“Mine, mine, mine,” swirled around them.
The figure that had clutched them into its space waited. Neither woman or man moved from their spot, made no attempt to run or, even, really to move much at all. This made it sad, for only the briefest of moments. The sadness disappeared as it began to kneel between the two, the Victoria and the Victor, and as it reached out its right hand to touch her, and its left to touch him, an impression of a smile appeared. Neither Victoria nor Victor could see it, of course. The darkness enveloped them completely.
But they felt the hand as it touched down on them. The left settling on the back of Victor’s head; the right hand displacing Victoria’s hand over her sticky wet side.
Then the screaming started.
***** ***** *****
The Shopkeeper had given up waiting by the shadowed corner. There was nothing she could do, this side of shadow except wait. The dollhouses took what they took, and she had no power over that as well. Not all taken suffered. Some found bliss, relief, epiphanies. The wicked found…not what they were expecting, in a shoppe full of dollhouses.
Taking off her gray apron and laying it on the front counter, she rehung her duster in its proper place. She went to pick up her broom, thinking she needed to just do something; the floor really didn’t need sweeping, but…
A ruffling sound came from behind her.
She spun around, holding the broom out diagonally in front of her.
It had come out of the shadows into the shoppe. What wanted to be done had been done; there was no reason, anymore, to dwell in its place. The long, sharp knife was in its hand, but the hand was lowered to its side. The shopkeeper noticed a thin line of red liquid dripping down the blade, smeared along the side of its dress, lightly pooling onto its shoe, then the floor.
Its head was tilted slightly to the left. The coal black button eyes fixed on the Shopkeeper. The sharp black ringlets on its head surrounded the round, white linen head. The gloved hands were clutched, one around the knife, the other in a fist. The leggings that extended below the linen dress showed stitching along its sides. The shoes were like black patent leather, but from no hide that was known.
The Shopkeeper faced the Unfolding Doll.
To Be Continued…
During the month of April, 2018, the challenge requires that we write 26 posts, starting with the letter A on April 1st (yes, it’s not an April Fool’s Day joke) and ending with Z on Monday, April 30th. A week or so later, there will be a reflection post that will wrap up this experience, for me as well as my readers.