The Woman Who Loved Dolls

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Horror  |  No Houses
Karen Spindler loves dolls and if you lived in the town of Brighton you would too.

Submitted: February 24, 2016

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Submitted: February 24, 2016



It’s been said that everybody needs a hobby and the woman named Karen Spindler was no different. She had a hobby she was quite passionate about. Some might say she was even obsessed.

Karen collected dolls. The cottage she shared with her daughter was filled with them. All sizes, shapes and colors, boy dolls and girl dolls. The dolls had age ranges too. Some were infants, others toddlers and some were teens and there were even adults. 

Karen always had a love for dolls and that love grew after she and her ex-husband Gary lost their baby due to a miscarriage.

Shortly after that unfortunate incident, Karen and Gary divorced. No one is quite sure of the reason but in a small town like Brighton, there was no shortage of speculation. The most widely accepted rumor was that after Karen lost her first baby, the young couple could not agree to attempt for another. The two grew apart, Gary left and never returned. The talk was Gary did all the divorce proceedings by fax, refusing to see Karen even under the most benign circumstances. 

It was like he could not wait to leave Brighton.

This was considered cruel and the townsfolk rallied around Karen. Everyday Mrs. McGee brought over meals for Karen so she would not have to cook so much. Every Saturday, Mr. Blue and his two sons, John and Ben, would come to the house to do all the necessary yard work. The church gave her a percentage of their collections each week and they had monthly bake sales, in part to honor her.

Parkview Elementary hired Karen as an assistant to the school secretary. It was some of the finest display of kindness you will ever see for a single person.

All of the aid given still did not prevent Karen from losing the house. Karen, you must understand, did not always spend her money wisely.

Karen would devote her weekly check to buying dolls. When she bought every type of doll in Brighton, she traveled to the neighboring towns to expand her collection. After the surrounding towns were drained, Karen asked for, and received, a new computer from Acme Electronics. Now she could shop on line.

And shop she did!

It was not long before she had the finest collection of dolls in America.

Now, you may ask, how do I know that? Well, a month before Karen lost the house, the local radio host contacted the national media and she was profiled on TV.

Imagine a little town like Brighton in the spotlight!

Brighton was suddenly a place of interest with tourists coming through all the time. It made Mayor Templeton swell with pride.  So when that mortgage company took the house, the town rallied around Karen again.

Karen was moved to a small but beautiful cottage three blocks from her job. The vacant cottage was owned by the Fulmars, a handsome couple who moved to a bigger house across the lake because they were expecting their third child.

Now you may be wondering about her doll collection and what happened to it.

No need. Brighton takes care of its own.

After Karen filled her cottage with dolls, Arnold Lumber built a dollhouse in the backyard so Karen could have a place for all the dolls that could not fit into her own little house. The dollhouse was an even bigger tourist attraction than Karen’s first house. It was an amazing piece of craftwork. It was a miniature version of a regular house with all the trappings. Karen would not have had it any other way. 

The dollhouse kept Karen busy. When she was not working at the school, she could be seen clothes-shopping for the dolls or cleaning their little house.

When one thinks of the number of dolls owned by Karen, one has to realize it would be a full time job for anyone. That is why Karen was not seen far from her house. Even her trips to the market became less and less frequent. No matter, because Peterson's Market began to deliver Karen’s groceries.

Free of charge, mind you.

Given Karen’s lack of free time and her dedication to her dolls you can understand everybody’s happiness when Karen announced that she was now a mother.

Nobody knows who the father was or even when Karen got pregnant. Karen never showed! She apparently maintained her fine physique throughout her nine months.

One day Karen was pushing the stroller in Remington’s Department Store when Mr. Clark, the store manager, announced the news over the intercom. You should have seen the crowd that gathered around the baby! It was like they had never seen one before.

And the baby? What a fine little girl. Her white skin was like newly fallen snow. She had rosy cheeks with soft pink lips.  Marie is her name.  You would think all the fussing and doting would make baby Marie cry. Not her. Not a sound. She just laid in her stroller and accepted all of the loving.

Marie only opened her eyes when someone picked her up. Even then, she did not make a sound.  Mr. Clark, not to be undone by anyone, showered Karen with baby clothes, free of charge, of course.

Karen is now the happiest woman around. That miscarriage is out of her mind and long behind her now that she has a baby of her own to take care of. Karen still loves her dolls. She continues to buy them whenever she can and she spends as much time with them as she does her child. Sometimes she forgets and leaves baby Marie at home when she goes on one of her buying sprees, but there is always someone around though to tend to the baby’s needs.

Folks say, “Just put Marie up on a shelf and nothing more needs to be done.”

Some people may ask how a town could support a woman who puts dolls on the same level as a child. Some people might call that irresponsible or even obsessive. None of that matters to the folks of Brighton. 

After all, we take care of our own.

© Copyright 2019 Ethan Howard. All rights reserved.

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