One night I was having trouble sleeping. This isn’t uncommon on a full moon and I was waiting for it to slip out of vision. I could see it outside my window, and I had watched it rise up out of the forest that surrounds my house.
It was 12:30 at that time, and I decided to get out of bed and watch the moon from my window. The room was filled with the sound of deep breathing, that of my girlfriend Tammy who was sleeping soundly. I envied her.
The moon was large and slightly gold in color. I rubbed my eyes and sighed. When I looked back out the window I saw a faint light in the distance. At first I thought it was headlights, maybe one of our neighbors coming home.
As I observed it more closely, it seemed to be stumbling, and moving towards our property, very, very slowly. I was becoming very uneasy but proceeded to watch it for around another five minutes. As it grew nearer I could make out the figure a little better.
At that point I wished I hadn’t. It seemed to be an infant, a toddler wearing a tattered dress from what I could see. There was something weird about its motion though. It swayed violently from side to side, placing its leg out in front as it did so. I decided to wake Tammy up because this was just too strange
“Hey,” I whispered.
“Hmm? What’s wrong, Chris?” Tammy said completely in a haze of half asleep confusion. She rubbed her eyes and inhaled deeply.
“You have to see this…” I took her hand and led her to the window. It was gone.
“Damn it!” I said in frustration.
“What’s going on?”
I stared out the window for a moment longer and saw it reappear from behind a tree. It was making its way left from the road it had been walking down directly onto our fenced property of about four acres all together. It was still quite a distance from our house though.
“What the hell is it? What do you think it wants?” The fear was evident in my girlfriend's voice.
“I... I don’t know.”
The toddler stopped and turned its head towards our window. I quickly dropped to the ground and pulled Tammy down with me, hoping it didn’t see us. I then waited a few moments before I had a look to see what it was doing. It was now walking right in our direction. It was then I realized what it was, though the idea seemed impossible. A doll.
"It’s coming!” I whispered fleetly. Fear tingeing the syllables as they slipped out.
“Why? What do you think it’s going to do?”
“I don’t know, I really don’t, I’ve never liked dolls.”
The room was then filled with the sound of my heartbeat. It was pounding against my chest, trapped by my rib cage. It echoed through my head and I desperately wanted it to stop because if that doll, that thing could hear it, then it would find us for sure.
Neither of us dared to move at that point. We listened for what seemed like hours. But eventually Tammy fell asleep in my arms while I stayed and listened for long after. The only thing sound that reached my ears were slow taps. Tapping. Tapping. Possibly on the window but I couldn't bring myself to look up and find out for sure.
I don't know how but I managed to fall asleep. I know that because I woke to the sun shining brightly in my eyes. The sky was filled with large, scattered clouds. One of which soon covered the sun, blocking its warm rays. It was early afternoon but everything seemed sinister. Tammy was still lying next to me on the floor. I got up, carried her to the bed and then tip-toed out of the room to look for anything that brought sense of clarity to what happened the previous night.
I inspected the hall. Nothing. The bathroom. Nothing. Then the living room. I sighed with relief but then I saw it. Bloodied hand-prints were spattered on the full length windows. A series of tiny hand-prints. All made by a left hand. It was all real. It had happened. Maybe I needed to research the history of this place. I knew that an old lady owned it before I did. She had passed away a few years ago, and the house was put up for sale. I knew there was an old box of books of hers in the basement. I had never went though them because I didn’t think it was right. But then, in that moment, I needed to know what the hell was going on.
“Morning. Are you okay?” Tammy's voice resonated from behind me.
“I guess.” I smiled, trying to reassure her that everything was going to be fine, although I don't think it wasn’t very convincing.
I nodded and pointed to the hand-prints on the windows.
“Whoa! This is really messed up.”
“We have to find out what’s happening. I’m not waiting for it to come back! Lets go through the old lady’s books, maybe we will find something.”
I was glad Tammy had drawn the same conclusion I had. So we proceeded to the basement. It was the old box in the dusty corner, covered by a dirty, old sheet. There were some decrepit books, possibly diaries or old photographs. Tammy picked up the book and discovering it was the latter, started flipping through them.
I picked up another strange book. It was not a diary. Instead it seemed to contain incantations and things of the occult. It was definitely associated with a form of dark magic. My eyes widened as the puzzle pieces clicked in my mind.
“Holy shit. I- I think I found it” I mumbled, quietly yet excitedly. Half trapped in a maze of thought.
“Let me see. I think I found something too!” As I handed her the book I'd found she reached me a musty, old photograph of a little girl with long braided hair. She had dark eyes and was possibly around eight or nine years old The oddest thing about the photo was that she seemed to resemble the doll- the little doll she was holding…
It seemed to be an exact replica of the little girl.
We were on a good start but needed more information; I flipped through the pages of the strange book and found paged marked with a line of dark, crimson blood traced down the right side of the page. Written on the page was an incantation to transfer your soul to an inanimate representation of yourself so that it may grow old instead of you.
“This little girl didn’t know what she was messing with, where would she even find this?” I asked, astonished.
“I don’t know, maybe someone gave it to her? She wouldn’t have known it existed.” Tammy suggested.
There were two other little, dark books in the box. One titled “Marie” and the other “Annie”. One name rang a bell. I knew Annie was the name of the lady who used to live there at the house. I started reading Marie's diary and Tammy read Annie’s.
“They're sisters.” I said. We continued to flip through the tired, yellowed pages.
“Yeah, Annie seems to be very worried about Marie in this entry. She says she's been acting peculiar.” Tammy remarked.
“What’s the date on it?” I asked.
“6th June, 1958.”
I flicked to that page in Annie's book.
“I'm so frustrated with Mama and Papa," I read, "They never listen to me! I'm old enough to know what's best for me! I am old enough! I don't need their permission to leave the house. If I want to go I should just be allowed to go. This is not a prison!” Clearly Annie was dealing with some childhood angst. Nothing too strange there.
I looked through the few pages before that, and she mentioned something about "the ritual" and that it "had been completed" and "that Marie would remain beautiful forever". As I read on I saw that it read "but if her body loses its life, her soul will resurrect the inanimate representation fifty years after her death, so that it may return to her body.
“Marie died a week later, apparently she drowned.” I said, flipping through the pages.
“Ohh….” I said fearfully, letting it all sink in. Tammy reached for the diary to read the entries with her own eyes.
“So the doll is Marie? And it was returning to the body?" Tammy theorized. "So…wait! She must be buried here somewhere.”
“Then- then what happened after she finds the body?” I said as I quickly skimmed through the lines on marked page. I found instructions to the ritual and read them aloud.
“The resurrection charm is to be placed on the bodies chest. Draw blood from a living person unwillingly, let it spill on to paper or wood, engraved with the name, age and death date of the body. It then must be burnt and the ashes sprinkled in a circle around the corpse." I drew in a breath, "Once this has been done, a nail must be driven in to the heart of the representation to allow the soul to escape. The soul is then free to return to the body, but if it gets lost or does not wish to return to the body then it is doomed to wander the earth forever."
"Is that the only way her soul can be connected to her body once more?" Tammy inquired, clearly shaky from the news she'd learned.
"There is another way," I mentioned, "but it's very risky. If you choose to resurrect the body before the soul is back inside it (this option recommended if you have performed the soul exchange and your body has died), the living corpse will most likely destroy you (if it does the body will destroy itself also). To do this, instead of driving a nail through the heart of the representation, you must offer a part of yourself and nail it to a tree with the resurrection charm symbol carved on it. The body will rise and may either take the nail and drive it through the heart of the representation, destroy the representation, or run away and kill everyone in sight.” I read all we needed to know.
I stood up, went up the stairs, and out of the dark, damp basement. Tammy followed behind me.
“I wonder if it has the blood?” I remarked.
“Chris! Your arm!” Tammy cried out in complete shock.
I inspected both of my arms but I couldn't see anything. Then I saw the small blood stains on my shirt. I lifted up my sleeve to find a rather small but deep cut near my shoulder.
“That wasn’t there last night! She was here! She watched us sleep and-…we have to kill it. I want it gone” Tammy exclaimed, her chest rising and falling rapidly. She was clearly close to panic and I wasn't too far behind her.
But the more freaked out I became the more determined I became to kill this thing. To get it out of here. I proceeded into the living room then went to the front door. I found it to be unlocked. That was how she- wait no- it got in. It was not a human and I didn’t want to think of it as having any human qualities. It was a demon. A monster. A plastic doll. Nothing more. I went outside and peered into the woods, taking in every detail. A chilling breeze rushed through the trees and brought with it the smell of burning.
“It's almost finished! We have to stop it!” I ran into the forest against the wind, its cold biting at my face.
I turned around to see where Tammy was. She was running behind me with a knife in hand.
“I brought this. Just in case…” she said, out of breath from the run.
We waited for a while, crouched in the thick forest, listening. An unearthly shriek filled the air and was followed by the sounds of growling. Like a deranged animal making mince meat of its prey. I grabbed Tammy's hand and we paced slowly towards the source of the noise. We got closer and the sound became more distinct. I stepped on a stick and it broke under my foot. I winced. Everything went silent. The noises hushed. But then we heard rustling behind us. A chill prickled up my spine.
My head whipped around but I couldn’t see anything. There it was again! The rustling! Only this time to the side of us. It was obviously moving very fast, whatever it was. Tammy raised her knife, ready to defend if we had to. We moved closer to each other, seeking comfort while feeling completely surrounded.
All of a sudden she was ripped from my side. Tammy screamed and the knife flew out of her hands. I turned to see that a creature with long dark hair and abnormally large eyes ripping into my love. It had extremely pale, grey skin and thin, bony arms and legs. Around its lips were blue. A feature of suffocation, or drowning.
It clawed at Tammy's stomach as she flailed and struggled against its unusual power. I quickly grabbed the knife's handle and drove it into the back of the creature. It had no effect. I winced and pulled with all of might and eventually lugged the creature off Tammy who was now covered in blood, injured badly. The corpse of Marie let out an ear-piercing shriek and clawed viciously at my arms with her bony, decomposed fingers. I pulled out the knife and attempted to decapitate the creature, sawing into its cold, clammy neck. Its claws sunk deep into my flesh causing blood to flow in streams of bright red down my arm.
I finally regained enough strength to drive the knife into all the way into its neck and sever the head. Marie's head dropped on the ground with a thud. The body stopped struggling and went limp, twitching slightly in erratic motion. I released it and watched it fall. I rushed over to Tammy who was growing more and more pale and seemed to be near unconscious. Blood was covering her torso and was still seeping from her deep wounds. She had lost a lot of blood.
“It's over. It's done. We did it! It's not coming back!” I reassured her gently.
She nodded weakly and I inspected her injuries. There were deep scratches on her arms, face and even worse on her stomach. She was lucky not to be disemboweled. I looked back over at the body of Marie and saw it was gone. Vanished. I looked back at Tammy.
She was gone too.
Written by XMechanicalXSpaceghost