So, a few years ago I wrote a short horror story prompted by the photo to the left. It was back when I was really trying to work on this whole “writing thing” and better myself. I was going through some old files on my computer, trying to organize my mess and find some inspiration to continue a new story I am working on, when I ran across this story. I was amused by it at the time, but I am too scared to reread it because, if I do, I am going to want to fix everything that is wrong with it and end up just losing more time. SO… I hope that the story is still as amusing as it was when I originally wrote it and that you enjoy it!
“That dolly speaks to me.”
Sara looked down at her little sister and rolled her eyes. She was a weird child. Sara was convinced that the two of them could not possibly be of any blood relation.
‘It’s just a silly, broken doll, Bethany,” Sara responded irritably. She hated being stuck with her baby sister. This was especially so on a Friday night; especially considering that this was the weekend she had planned to spend with Sam.
“It’s always an emergency at work,” she muttered under her breath, speaking of her mother as she dished out heaps of macaroni and cheese. She had left the macaroni to boil too long, and now it was just a big lumpy gunk of pasta and cheese.
“It is,” Bethany replied coolly. She was always patient with her older sister; after all, it wasn’t her fault that she was an idiot. Sara slammed the plate down on the table and picked the doll up by its head. The hair was dry, coarse and matted. Half of it had shed long ago.
“Why is this even in here?”
That doll gave Sara the creeps, even more so than her creepy little sister. She often wondered if she was that strange at seven. Now a senior in high school, she didn’t care enough to try to remember. Looking down at the doll, she shivered and dropped it back on the chair that her sister had propped it up in. Since Bethany had come home with that thing, Sara had been trying to rid the house of it. Somehow, it always managed to find its way back in.
“I like it,” Bethany responded, pushing a glob of macaroni and cheese around on her plate. Her exchanges with her sister were always short and to the point. No need to complicate things with dialog.
“Why? I mean look at it! Her face is distorted, and peeling. You couldn’t pass a steel comb through her hair and—and, she’s simply ugly! Mother buys you new dolls almost every week and you hardly touch them.” Despite her attempts to cloak her disdain for her sister, there were times that Sara simply could not muster up the energy to do so.
“They don’t speak to me.” Bethany gave a little smile, her eyes shining brightly as they bored into Sara’s.
“Right. When you are done eating, load the dishwasher.”
Sara didn’t have patience for Bethany’s nonsense tonight. She wished that their mother would just put her away in an institution already. Even shipping her off to a boarding school would be a dream come true.
Bethany treasured her time alone, so her sister’s attitude suited her just fine. The more time she spent away from prying eyes, the better. Besides, it wasn’t like any surviving members of her family would ever understand her. It was not what the others wanted.
Bethany watched her jean clad sister leave the breakfast nook and head into the sunken living room; grabbing the cordless phone from the end table, she plopped down upon their overstuffed sofa.
Sara remained ever so predictable, and Bethany knew that she would be out of her hair for the rest of the night.
“Dear Sabella,” an ethereal voice sliced through Bethany’s consciousness. It’s a voice that resonated throughout Bethany’s entire being. The first time she heard its enthralling pull, it had awakened within her something that had lied dormant since birth. Now, as it called to her once more, she knew it was time.
Grabbing the doll, she jumped up from the dinner table and dashed upstairs to her bedroom. Locking the door, she felt her heartbeat quicken along with the vibration of the doll clutched to her chest.
“You’re smothering her!” the voice chastised.
Bethany nodded her head and held the doll out at arm’s length.
“Do you approve of your Spirit Name, Sabella?”
Bethany nodded again, causing blond tendrils to dance on her forehead. She remained quiet; she knew that her voice would fail her in that moment if she chose to speak.
“Of course, you do,” the smoky voice cooed. “Now, set her up!”
Bethany moved quickly to carry out her orders. She was unsteady on her feet, and knobby knees quaked beneath her tiny torso. Falling to the floor, she flung a threadbare, dusty rug aside to reveal a small, glowing oval circle embedded within the hardwood floor. For a fleeting moment, Bethany thought of the small, perfectly oval birthmark branded on her shoulder and touched it. Swallowing hard, and with trembling hands, she positioned the doll within the center of the floorboard.
Bethany’s breath caught in her throat as she slid away on her backside. She could feel the excitement fusing within her soul. Ignoring the moistness that had developed in her eyes, she watched as the dolls own eyes sprung open. Its brilliant azure orbs shone brightly.
“Look into her, Sabella. Gaze deep within and search her soul.”
Bethany couldn’t look away from those mesmerizing orbs, even if she tried. She wanted to be consumed by it. To feel connected to it in ways she had yet to experience.
An ancient realm, lost to time, began to unfold before her tear blurred eyes. What could only be described as enlightenment engulfed the little girl, and she felt full on the ways of the world that few would ever get to experience.
A glistening, translucent projection of an obelisk streamed through the cracks of the floor casting a reddish hue across the yellow walls of Bethany’s bedroom. Coolness and a soft breeze encased her, lifting her golden ringlets from the back of her neck. Gasping, she allowed its power to besiege her.
“Do you understand your tasks, Sabella?” the voice inquired, already knowing the answer.
“I do, Madam,” Bethany said, recapturing her voice. She felt empowered now, but didn’t dare to look away from the doll. Two dead, hollow eyes peered back through her.
It did not seem, to Bethany, that so many hours had passed, but hearing the birds singing outside of her window suddenly linked her with reality. Standing up, she stretched long-limbed legs and crossed the room to the window.
Pushing double French windows open, a blast of frigid morning air poured over Bethany. Gazing downward, the girl noticed that an inch or two of freshly fallen snow blanketed the grounds surrounding their two story brick home. Looking upward, she could see that the sun had peaked above the horizon and the world was awash in deep pastels of gold and purple.
“What a beautiful start to the day, Sabella,” Bethany whispered to herself with glee.
Bethany held her gaze with the sun. She knew that there were other children out there, defiantly peering into the suns harsh glare. Just like her, they were preparing to speak into the earth, straight through to its fiery brimstone, and shimmering magma; straight through to the depths of hell.
“It’s the day that we’ve all been waiting for,” Bethany began in a childish singsong, giddily swaying from side to side. “Today the earth will be no more. Children of endearment and light, will succumb to our death plight.”
As Bethany continued to sing under her breath, she began to ponder what had led her to the day. It had all began just over a year ago while she was visiting her Grandmother.
Bethany had always loved her grandmother’s centuries old antebellum mansion. Its exquisite mahogany molding and spiraling staircase with grand, ornate double banisters were particularly captivating. The multi-tiered chandelier that hung in the foyer never seemed to attract even a speck of dust. It was a marvelous home, and she had meant to own it one day; however, the end was near and she would never see that dream recognized. The sacrifice would be worth it.
It was during that visit that she had found the doll, locked away in an old wooden chest, tucked in a nearly dilapidated shed out back.
Bethany hadn’t been afraid of the spiders that had long ago, weaved their webs, the large water bugs that climbed frantically over her feet, nor the snake that slithered across her path. Something housed within that old chicken coup called out to her with an urgency that enamored her.
Seeing that old doll at the dinner table that night left her grandmother speechless.
“Where,” she croaked out, clutching at her saggy, soft neck, “did you get that, Bethany Marie?” The old woman managed to finally push out through tight lips. Her face had lost its color and a serving spoon full of garlic mashed potatoes hovered forgotten over its serving dish.
Bethany looked up with a blank expression plastered across her face, and asked, “Get what, Grandma?”
Throwing the spoon down in a huff, Bethany’s grandmother stalked around the dining room table and snatched the doll up by its hair, preparing to slam it against the ground.
Bethany’s icy glare halted her grandmother in her tracks, with her heart stopping a beat.
“I wouldn’t do that if I were you,” the girl said calmly, a little smile tugging at the corners of her mouth.
“No, no–Has it–? Oh, no!”
Weakened at the knees, the woman fell to the floor and looked up at her grandchild. “It has already gotten to you,” she whispered. “Oh, God, please, have mercy!” she exclaimed as she clutched the doll to her bosom.
Bethany calmly turned away from her sniveling grandmother and eyed the dishes before her.
“She always cooks too much”, the girl thought to herself as she vowed to never become as hefty as Grandmother, but then realizing she would never have that opportunity. But, that didn’t mean that she would gorge herself, now. Spearing a piece of fried chicken with her fork, Bethany meticulously removed the skin. Ignoring the mashed potatoes, biscuits and gravy, she gave herself a big helping of green bean casserole.
“Pray with me, Grandma,” Bethany requested of the unmoving heap on the floor. Bethany bowed her head and clasped her tiny hands together.
“Dear Lord, bless this food.. and my Grandma too.”
Everyone believed that Bethany’s grandmother had perished on Halloween, but in reality, she had died days before. It was then that the voice first visited Bethany. The spirit called itself Lady Suryia.
“This house was our portal, Sabella. Your grandmother sealed it off to us, nearly two hundred years ago,” Lady Suryia said to Bethany.
“But how is it possible that Grandma sealed it off that long ago? She’s only 80 years old,” Bethany wanted to know. The girl stared up at the giant granite statue of Lady Suryia. It was a statue that portrayed Suryia as she had been in her mortal life.
“The soul never truly dies, dear Sabella,” Lady Suryia said with a hint of amusement clouding her voice. The spirit sounded much angrier when as she added, “Your grandmother lived a nearly immortal existence, but that wasn’t enough for her. Once she discovered her soul, it was more important to her to be self-righteous. She altered the course of our history and she had no right to do so!”
“I will get her out of the way, Madam. I will punish her; and then I will reopen the portal for us all,” Bethany said with determination; and the girl did precisely that.
Fading back into the present, Bethany smiled and looked away from the sun. The world around her looked much clearer now, through red tinted eyes.
“Whose grandmother dies on Halloween, anyway? It’s creepy. Tonight, at the party, I’ll be wondering if her shadow is lurking in every– shadowy corner!” Bethany could hear her sister through the thin wall that separated their rooms. She was a distraction, but since the morning’s commune had already ended, Bethany brushed her annoyance aside.
“There will be no party for you today, dear sister.”
Walking to the dresser mirror, Bethany stared at her reflection as it gazed back through her. Though slightly frizzed, every blond ringlet remained in place. Her smooth porcelain skin was punctuated by her mother’s high cheek bones and her dead fathers piecing, deep green eyes.
Swallowing, she began to chant under her breath as she exited her room. “Darkest day, darkest hour, replace the lightness, give us power.”
Her intonation strengthened with the change of the wind that howled outside of the windows. Her face was streaked with intensity, though her lips wore a hint of a smile. Dark shadows danced on the walls as the sun began to fade away; setting before it had even had a chance to fully rise.
“First, your sister,” Lady Suryia commanded.
Bethany nodded and walked towards Sara’s bedroom door. Placing her hand on the cool door knob, she paused a moment. Not tentative about the task at hand, but the way to best execute it. Flinging open the door, she nearly bumped into her sister.
Bethany grinned, reaching up to grab her sisters arm. Glaring, Sara snatched it away.
“What are you doing now, you freak?” Sara demanded to know as she continued to scowl.
Bethany remained calm and said, “I will grant you this one opportunity to flee,” knowing that her sister would brush her off.
Sara glowered, stalking around her sister’s small form in annoyance; daring to place a hand on her shoulder, she shoved the little girl against the wall. She was headed for the bathroom door, but a new voice now stopped her in her tracks. It was a voice that was cold, ugly, and just vaguely human.
“What time is it, Sara?” the voice asked.
Gold streaked brunette locks swung wildly as Sara spun around to face the direction of the voice, towards her sister; but, they were still the only two people in the hallway.
Bethany walked slowly towards Sara, “I tried to warn you,” she said in otherworldly voice, glaring into her sister’s quizzical, terrified eyes.
Her legs refused to carry Sarah away; the terry cloth robe she wore was wrapped snuggly around her body, but it was her only protection. Could she really run barefoot through the snow, three miles to the nearest home?
“Bethany, wha-what is going on?” Fear induced tears streamed down Sara’s cheeks, and horror had begun to claw its way into her soul.
“I go by Sabella, now,” Bethany replied as she raised a hand skyward. “Souls that have passed through centuries past,” she paused with a dramatic intake of breath. “The Lady awaits you, this breath is your last.”
The incantation slid off of Bethany’s tongue like acid spiked honey. She watched her sister crumble to a broken heap on the floor. Frost laced air swept through the hall as a thin, cloudy vapor flitted from Sara’s lips.
And so, it had begun. People the world over were faced with darkness and an impenetrable gloom. Horror blooming silhouettes lurked down every alley, and around every corner, slithering to and fro, taking hold of unsuspecting passersby.
An unspeakable evil made its home in closets, attics, and basements, and even beneath beds alongside dust bunnies, and long forgotten, dirty socks.
Apparitions danced merrily and openly onto the streets, all free to wander and play, ready to unleash an ominous hell onto its prey.
A jolting scream alerted Bethany to her mother’s presence. The girl smirked as she watched her mom ran to Sara’s side, fall to the floor and touched her cold, purple corpse.
“What happened?” Mom wanted to know.
Bethany locked eyes with the woman who had given birth to her only seven short years ago and felt a rush. Realization struck behind her mother’s eyes, and satisfaction struck Bethany’s.
Slicing her hand through the glacial air, Bethany said coyly, “Please, do not worry, dear Mother. You are next.”