Haunting Doll

A monologue from the point of view of Pete, a young kid who finds a creepy clown doll in his attic. But when the doll starts following him around, things get messy.

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1. Horror

 I remember most of it, not all. I guess as I’ve grown up I’ve had to block most of it out, just to be able to function as society wants me too.

 

I was nine years old, I know that much. I wasn’t exactly great at making friends, so when we moved away into this little abandoned house, I didn’t complain. I had never really felt like I belonged where I was; it was as if some invisible force was constantly poking and prodding me, trying to get me away. My mum eventually lost her job, so moving was the only option for us. The house was old; it looked like one of those houses from a 1950’s American TV show, with a well swept porch and a creaky rocking chair, surrounded by dry, brittle grass so high I could barely see over it. We walked up the steps, me carrying a box of toys I refused to get rid of, my mum carrying a box filled with odds and ends in one arm and holding keys in the other. The smell of mildew hung in the air like an overripe plum. My shoes left footprints behind on the dust covered porch as I walked across the wooden boards. The windows, those that were visible from the front of the house, all needed to be replaced; they rattled in the gentlest of breezes, as though shivering in their metal frames.

 

“Come on, Pete. Go put those boxes in your room and help me unload the rest.” Mum talked over her shoulder as she walked into the kitchen, putting down the box and her keys on the clean table. Inside, the house was spotless. There were a few pieces of plain, simple furniture and a faded floral sofa in the living room which had been stuffed recently and sewn up well. I went up the stairs, each one seemed to creak, so loudly it seemed like every board would fold under my weight. As I got to the top of the stairs, I noticed two things. The first was that every single door on the floor was closed, except for the one directly opposite me, the one that was supposed to be my room. It was open ever so slightly, as if someone had shut it behind them and it had bounced off the door frame. The second thing I noticed was that the attic door, right in the middle of the hallway, in the middle of the ceiling, was open. I put my box down at the top of the landing, in front of the stairs, and moved slowly closer. A string was hanging from the hole, a little plastic ring at the end of it. The hole was dark; an empty void that seemed to drag all of my emotions out of me. I hooked my finger through the plastic ring, my minuscule hand forming a fist around the string, and I yanked downwards as tightly as I could as, dragging an old, wooden ladder down, which hit the floor with an almighty bang.

 

“Pete, what are you doing up there?” Mum called from downstairs.
“Nothing, just putting my stuff away!”

I looked up towards the attic. I could have sworn back then that an actual mist had started to leak out into the hallway, but right then all I was interested in was making it into the attic. I stepped onto the ladder, and to my surprise it was sturdy. It barely creaked as I placed each foot on the wooden rungs and made my way up. Soon, my head entered the attic, and the rest of my body followed suit. It was like a wave of frost as I climbed over the edge of the hatch. My breath came out as a mist and I started to shiver almost immediately. I looked around until I found a light switch, and pulled it.

 

Light radiated from a bulb above my head, and shadows were cast across the walls. The last people to have lived here hadn’t emptied this place when they’d left. Damp boxes, old chairs and yellowing paper was littered everywhere. Right ahead of me, sitting a circle of empty, bare floor, was a doll. It sat up in its own small chair, as if somebody had placed it there intentionally. Immediately, goosebumps rippled up and down my arms. Looking at this thing terrified me, more than it should have. It was dressed as a clown, with the colourful striped clothing and the jester hat with silver bells on the end. Its face was painted white, with bright green eyes and a red smile that stole the breath from my lungs. It stared at me, right into my eyes. I moved closer, wanting to touch it, pick it up, then rip it apart piece by piece until nothing was left. I extended my arm, reaching forward, so close to touching it…

 

A loud bang erupted from downstairs. I heard my mother cry out in pain, and then I heard her scream my name.
“Pete!” My breath caught in my throat.

‘Why did you leave this box here, are you up in the attic?” I sighed and felt the breath escape me like a balloon releasing air. I came down the ladder and closed the door.
 

 

***.

 

 

 

A few weeks had passed. The house now seemed cosy, and I genuinely enjoyed living here. Mum worked most days, so I was at home a lot on my own, and although my mind had sometimes wondered back to that first day, I hadn’t gone up into the attic since. Today, I had to go with my mum to the local shop. Usually, this didn’t bother me, but today, it was exceedingly hot and all I wanted to do was to sit in the back garden with a glass of flat lemonade. We walked around the shop, my mum picking up items – cans of tomato soup, washing powder - looking at them, inspecting them carefully and then either putting them back or adding them to the trolley, I decided to venture off on my own and have a little tour. I walked, the aisles towering above me, monolithic pillars of products I had no interest in. Soon I got to the end of the aisle, right by the checkouts. I stopped, staring in horror above me. On one of the shelves, tucked neatly between two boxes of non-descript cereal, was the doll.

 

I spun round, so fast everything in my peripheral vision blurred, and backed up into a trolley. An old lady smiled at me behind thick rimmed glasses.

“Sorry.” I mumbled, looking back behind me. The doll had disappeared, just leaving a gap in the shelf.

“No worries, dear.” The old woman moved on, peering intently at shelves of canned beans.

 

I went back to my mum, who had barely moved since I left her. When I told her what had happened, she frowned and said I was just a child with a vivid imagination. I had learned over the years that when my mum spoke like this, it meant that I should stop talking, and so I did. We went through the checkout and to the car. The next part happened in seconds.

 

A white car swerved madly from our right and crashed into the driver’s side door. Crunching metal and shattering glass reverberated loudly in my ears. The world spun around me for what felt like hours, glass flew past my face, shards so small they could be mistaken for snow, until parts hit your face, and a pain reverberated into your brain and another spray of blood burst forth, and then it stopped. I was sitting in the car, my seatbelt wrapped tightly around me. It seemed that I wasn’t hurt, apart for a long, neat cut in my arm where a piece of glass had flown past me, kissing my skin on the way and leaving a smear of red lipstick. My mother sat in front of me. I called out for her, but she didn’t move. People were rushing in, opening my door and pulling me out. At this point, I blacked out.

 

When I awoke, I was sitting in an ambulance. My mother had been taken to hospital, with what they described as a head injury. The old woman whose trolley I had backed into had lost control of her car and smashed into ours. Eventually, I was taken back to my house to collect a few things. I had no idea where I was being taken; all I knew was that my mum wasn’t going to be okay for a while. Tears streamed down my face as dark thoughts over took me, causing my brain to melt into a steaming stream of depression. As I pulled up outside my house, I saw only one thing. In one of the windows, the doll stared out at the car. Its vicious red grin had turned into a terrifying grimace, as if it hated the fact I just pulled up. It was rage and anger in the form of this tiny clown. It despised me.

 

A few months had passed, and my mum still hadn’t woken up. I was still living with a neighbour who had been watching over me while my mum wasn’t well. I had slowly started to accept the fact I would be without a mother for a while, but I refused to think about the fact she may never wake up again. I was going to school now, and I had made a few friends. My best friend, David, had helped me a lot. He was something solid I knew I couldn’t lose so easily.

 

I was with him when it happened. I was at his house, over for tea on a school night. We were sat at the table, eating something I didn’t know the name of but tasted delicious. David was telling a story about a piece of art he’d done that our teachers were very proud of, and his parents sat, listening to every word. I stayed quiet, letting David have a moment of real recognition. Eventually, the meal was finished and David’s dad walked me home. I lived only fifteen minutes away from him, but his dad refused to let me go alone. Halfway down the road, he tried to engage me in conversation.

 

“So, Peter, how is school for you?”
“School is okay. I’m not good at art though.” I replied, my voice as monotone as always.
“Well, what are you good at? Everyone has a talent, and from what I hear, you write wondrously.” Hearing this, praise from someone else, made me blush considerably.
“I guess I write okay.” I said, too quietly.

“Now you’re just being modest, Peter.” I did not reply to this, and the conversation fell into momentary silence.
“So, why aren’t you staying with your dad?” He asked.

I thought for a moment.

“I don’t know, I never really knew him.” I replied. David’s dad asked me a new question, but I had stopped listening. My blood ran like ice through my veins, and tears started to well up inside my eyes. There, up ahead, against a lamppost, was the doll. The evil little grin he wore was back, and this time, he looked dirty. I screamed, and ran behind David’s dad.


“Peter, what’s wrong? I’m sorry if I asked a personal question.”
“Not that, please, keep it away from me.” I cried, shoving my face into his back.
“Keep what away from you? Peter? Peter, please listen to me.” He tried to turn, but I refused to let go of his coat. Slowly, I peaked out from behind him. The doll was gone. It had just disappeared. We kept on walking, David’s dad took my hand this time, and didn’t try speaking to me again. A car came racing up next to us, and as it stopped, I flinched. Sebastian stepped out of the car, his face as hard as stone. He smiled at me, a sad smile that told me he wasn’t here just to pick me up. He pulled David’s dad away, and started whispering with him. He gasped, clapping his hand to his mouth, and looked at me.


“Come on, Peter. Time to go home.” Sebastian said to me. I got in the car with him, strapped my seatbelt in, and waited for the news.
“Peter. I’m sorry to tell you, but your mum… she died a few hours ago. I’m so sorry.” He looked at me, waiting. I was expecting the news, dreading it, preparing myself. Even then, the tears came, and I broke down.

 

After my mum died, Sebastian adopted me. I never saw the paper work or the social workers, but I just stayed with him. I went to university and did my degree in English; eventually I got a job at a journalist’s office. I met the love of my life, and I had a daughter. This brings us up to date, me, a child with no parents. Life goes on I suppose. I never really got over my mother’s death, but in reality, I was able to cope with it.


“Dad.” My daughter calls from upstairs. “I can’t sleep.” I go upstairs and I read her a bed time story about a crow becoming friends with an alligator, just something silly she’d brought home from school, until finally her eyes close and she falls into a deep slumber. I look at her, and I promise I will never leave her, no matter what happens. As I walk down the stairs, I hear a noise in my back garden. Figuring it’s just a cat, I walk into the kitchen and turn the porch light on, looking out into the garden.


“No… no.” My mouth hangs open. There, in the grass, I see something I thought I would never see again. The doll. That evil clown that haunts me in my dreams every time I sleep, has finally materialised into reality once again. The doll’s head moves, staring at me, and its red grin devolves into the grimace of pure hatred.

 

From upstairs, I hear my daughter scream.

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