Rag Doll

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Horror  |  House: Noir Creations
When Lily and her friends enter the abandoned cabin up the road, they come across a strange, life-size doll that's a little more than ordinary...
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*I DO NOT OWN THE CHARACTER FEATURED IN THIS SHORT STORY. ALL RIGHTS TO THE CHARACTER, GOLDMAY BELONG TO MY FRIEND, SAVANNAH SUAREZ. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED TO OWNER*

Submitted: January 02, 2019

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Submitted: January 02, 2019

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"Are you sure about this?" my friend, Hannah wondered with uncertainty. I looked back at her, shining my flashlight in her direction so I could see her face better in the dark.

"Yes, I'm sure. Now quit being a scaredy-cat," I responded jokingly, and I was answered by a few chuckles from the others: Jeremiah, Alex, and Iris. Confident with our mission, I held my chest high as we walked along the dirt path, using my flashlight to illuminate the way through the tall, dry grass. Cicadas sang all around us and the moon faintly lit the area we explored. The trees stood still in the distance and the mountains that would normally be seen when the sun was up, were now obscured by the quiet night. All we could see were the open grass fields, the distant trees, and the path ahead of us.

"Lily, we've been walking for ages, are you sure you know how to get there?" Jeremiah wondered quietly so no one else but me would hear his concern.

"Yeah, I'm sure. I studied that dang map all day!" I answered surely. Jeremiah stared back at me sceptically. 

"Did you think to bring it just in case?" he asked. My pace slowed as I thought about it; we were all pretty excited for this and, therefore, we were all pushing each other to hurry up so we could leave already... I'm not even sure what I grabbed.

"I'm not... I don't know," I responded honestly. Jeremiah sighed and rolled his eyes, attracting the attention of Iris, who had otherwise been in her own train of thoughts the whole walk.

"Is something wrong?" she inquired, a flash of fear crossing her eyes as she spoke. She got spooked easily, which was why I originally preferred if she hadn't gone with us (no telling what she would do if a spiderweb fell on her shoulder). Alas, Hannah convinced me that Iris could come along so now, I'm praying that nothing particularly life-threatening happens.

"Lily forgot the dang map!" Jeremiah answered her and I sighed in disappointment.

"I didn't forget it! I just don't know if I have  it!" I corrected. From behind me, I began to hear the fearfully whining of Iris and I couldn't help but turn to Alex tiredly and give him a look of exhaustion. He returned my look, sharing my feelings about Iris's cowardice.

"Great! Now we're gonna get lost out here and no one will be able to find us! And we're gonna die out-"

"Hey! Shush! Iris, it's gonna be fine, just... calm the hell down," Hannah urged, putting a hand on her friend's shoulder comfortingly to soothe her. Iris, thankfully, listened to Hannah and continued to remain silent and paranoid as she's been doing for the past hour or so. Hannah smiled before jogging up to my side so she could say something.

"Are you absolutely sure that you know where we're going?" she asked. I nodded confidently. Of course I was sure; as I had said earlier, I had studied the map all day. I made sure to take note of each landmark and turn... but damn it if only I could look back at those notes because I was starting to worry if I actually did know where I was going. My friends' doubts were starting to make me question my own certainty and I didn't like it.

"If we end up walking for another dang hour, I'm turning around and going home! This whole idea was stupid anyway!" Alex announced, kicking at a small stone in his path and watching it tumble in the dirt.

"You'll just have to walk another hour back, though," Jeremiah pointed out.

"It's better than continuing to walk forward, not knowing where you're going! I'll at least know the way back!" Alex argued, and thus started a painfully annoying and loud debate about what was better: walking forward or walking back. Jeremiah and Alex seemed to be awfully fond of fighting; as much as they liked to laugh and crack weird jokes, they also liked to wrestle and argue and it got on everyone else's nerves. I looked back at Iris and Hannah and saw them quietly gazing at the two boys, silently judging them with annoyance and presumably wanting to slap them both until they knocked out cold.

"Guys, please! Something might hear us!" Iris pleaded tiredly. The two ignored her, too busy trying to win the argument by gradually raising their voices.

"Boys!" I called sternly, glaring back at them in an attempt to win their attention. It didn't work.

"BOYS!!" I yelled again, this time making it clear in my tone of voice that I wasn't messing around. The two instantly shut up and looked at me with wide eyes.

"Yes, ma'am, sorry, ma'am," Jeremiah apologised. Alex hung his head shamefully and I nodded, satisfied.

"That's right... now shut up and let's go," I decided before turning around and continuing on down the path. My friends followed in awkward silence, unsure how to break it and continue speaking to pass the time. I simply kept my eyes and flashlight forward, hoping- no- praying-  that our destination would come around the bend.

More time passed and eventually, the path led us into a thin grove of trees. The canopy of leaves above us obscured the moonlight and the only source of light for anyone was the flashlights in our hands. The cicadas were no longer singing the further we strolled through the trees and instead, the sound of our shoes crunching against the dead leaves on the path echoed around the quiet forest. The nightlife was dead silent and we all shone our lights around us at the different, mangled trees and branches. If we weren't freaked out before... we certainly were feeling it now.

"Lily, I'm not sure this is a good idea anymore," Jeremiah mumbled next to me, holding his flashlight close to him as he gazed around cautiously. "This place creeps me out."

"Hold on! I think it's just around the corner!" I answered him, completely dismissing his statement because of my own adrenaline-fueled curiosity. My pace quickened and my friends followed suit in order to keep up with me.

"Lily, can we please turn around? I don't like this," Iris stated from behind me. She had buried herself in the middle of the group in order to keep herself safe; a thing she always did, even if she were at school. I heard Hannah agree with her and Alex put his hand on my arm to slow me down.

"Lily, come on, we've been walking long enough," he insisted. I finally stopped, shining my flashlight ahead at the path and giving it a suspicious stare. We had been walking for longer than any of us anticipated... why hadn't we found it yet?

"Okay, fine. I guess this plan was stupid," I agreed, turning around and reluctantly beginning to head back. My friends followed close beside me, once again keeping an eye out at the trees in case something unholy jumped out at us. I felt pretty bummed that my plan hadn't worked out after all. I had suggested this last week and everyone seemed pumped about it because we had always heard stories about the creepy house in the woods but we had never had the time to go here. It was my idea and now, because of it, we were all creeped out because of some eerie trees and tired of walking.

Just then, completely out of the blue, Hannah yelled out from behind us, "Wait, what the hell is that!?" We all stopped and shined our flashlights in the direction she was staring and there, between the mutilated tree trunks... was what looked like a cabin porch.

A smile crossed my face as my excitement returned, happy that this trip hadn't been all for not after all.

"Guys, come on, we found it!" I announced, bounding off the path and towards the darkened porch. My friends hesitated.

"Lily, wait... I'm not so sure about this anymore," Hannah stated honestly, giving the cabin an unsure expression. Iris nodded rapidly and clung to Hannah, clearly refusing to take one step off the path. 

"Yeah, I mean... how do you know that's actually the cabin? For all we know, some weird, old creep could live there and he could hide us all in his basement for who knows how long, doing who knows what!" Alex pointed out, which was odd for him because he was usually on my side when it came to adventures and down to do anything really. 

Jeremiah shook his head, an expression of discomfort lining his features as he pointed his flashlight in the direction of the ominous cabin that stood behind me.

"Come on! We walked all this way and now you guys don't even want to explore it?! We planned this for a week!" I said in disbelief, hoping to coerce them into joining me so I didn't have to go in there alone.

"Yeah, but that place honestly looks like you would never come back out of it," Jeremiah stated nonchalantly. Iris nodded along with him.

I sighed, "Alright, fine! Be that way. You guys can stay out here if you want while I go in and look around. I won't be long and if anything happens, I'll just scream. Deal?" I decided, secretly not wanting to go in the cabin alone but at the same time not wanting to abandon my curiosity to explore.

My friends hesitated, glancing at each other for some sort of answer. They eventually all nodded softly and looked back at me.

"Okay. I promise I won't be long, but please don't leave that spot," I said, gesturing with my light to the path where they stood. They all nodded again and I reluctantly left them, approaching the shabby old cabin. The cabin was only one floor, but it appeared to be wide and spacious the closer I got to it. The porch was shrouded in shadow and littered with years of dead leaves and dust. An old, broken rocking chair sat in a corner and above, hanging from a rusted nail, were windchimes that were covered in old, dusty cobwebs and hanging from a tattered string that looked so old and worn that I was afraid to touch it, lest it snap and send the chimes falling to the floor.

The glass in every window was dirtied with mildew and dust and a few panels were shattered or missing. The doorway was crooked from the floorboards bowing under the house's own weight and the porch steps creaked and bent under my weight as I carefully stepped up to the house and the floorboards of the porch were no different. The air that escaped from the inside of the cabin was musty and dank and something reeked of decay inside. I hesitated at the crooked doorway, contemplating whether or not to go in simply judging by the smell and the appearance of this place.

I was tempted to turn back, but something inside me told me to keep going. My instincts were telling me to run back and leave this place; however, my limbs were acting on their own accord as if I were being manipulated by a puppet master and the strings on my limbs were leading me inside. I shined my flashlight around the barren household, staring in awe at the years of disrepair and taking in the disgusting sight.

Despite most abandoned buildings that I had heard about or seen in person, this place had not a single graffiti tag or picture anywhere. It was clean of any paint job or clue that people have temporarily taken up residence in here. All I saw was the peeling plaster walls and the rotted hardwood floor that bowed under my weight when I walked and threatened to snap.

All noise was silent and all I could hear was the blood rushing in my ears and my own heartbeat pounding in my chest. Even my own breath seemed to be swallowed up by the lack of noise and it made me uncomfortable. My stomach was doing awkward flips as I slowly made my way down the impossibly dark hall and every instinct in my body was screaming at me to leave. I wanted to leave... but no matter how hard I tried, I couldn't find the power in myself to turn around.

I passed by what I presumed was a bathroom, quickly taking in the stained, broken tiles and the absolutely vile bathtub. I noticed there was no toilet or sink; although, given the current state of the bathtub, it was probably for the better. I moved on, shining my flashlight on the walls for any sign of history on this place, but it was useless. This place was completely barren.

Until I came to the only bedroom in the house. I pushed open the old, creaky door, listening to the pitiful groan that it emanated while simultaneously shining my light inside the room. I expected the room to be empty like everywhere else in the house; however, to my utter shock, I was greeted to the sight of furniture.

Albeit, everything was dusty and covered in webs or plastic sheets, but I could still see that the room contained an old bed, a wardrobe, a toy box, and a large dollhouse. I stepped inside to get a closer look and as soon as I did so, my eye caught sight of a set of shells against the wall... surrounded and filled to the brim with different types of dolls.

Dolls... nothing but dolls. Each one was unique; with different hair, clothes and button eyes, however, they were all crudely made and they all smelled putrid. They were all mutilated beyond recognition and stained with God knows what and topped with a layer of dust. A majority of the collection looked almost gangrene, with a sickly grey-ish colour and there were a few flies buzzing to-and-fro around them. A chill went up my spine and I took a huge step back, gasping in surprise as I laid my eyes on the horrendous sight.

The sight was beyond disturbing and I would've sprinted out of there at that moment. Yet, my legs still felt as heavy as lead and I couldn't drag myself out of the room even if I tried. My arm panned the flashlight around the room, illuminating the age-old, abandoned relics and dusty plastic sheets until the light landed on the bed.

I froze in horror when I saw what was sitting on it...

In the corner, previously hidden by the darkness, was a frighteningly realistic rag doll. Hell, if it weren't for the crude stitches along the doll's legs and arms, I would've thought it was an actual human body. The doll was slouched over, limply hanging its head as any normal doll would. Despite not wanting to move any closer to the god-awful thing, I cautiously stepped closer to the bed and carefully poked the doll's lifeless arm.

It was cold to the touch and felt rough and leathery like dried skin. I instantly reeled my hand away in fear. What the hell is this thing made of!? I wondered to myself as another chill went up my spine and spread goosebumps down my arms and legs. I held my breath and stared at the freaky doll in fear, trying to resist the urge to touch it again.

I eventually gave in, and I carefully lifted the doll's head to see its face. Its tangled brown locks fell in its face and I quickly brushed the stringy hairs aside and as soon as I caught one glimpse of that doll's face, I recoiled in horror and cried out in fear. I stumbled back, tripping on my own feet and eventually falling to the dusty floor with a loud crack. I screamed in pain as the floorboards beneath me snapped, sending my arm into a deep chasm below and holding it in place with viciously sharp edges and lord knows how many splinters.

The doll's face was horrid; a lifeless, stitched smile, greyed skin, and two empty sockets for eyes. I was startled not by the lack of eyes... but rather... because those empty sockets were still staring at me with two little dots of white reflecting in the light from my flashlight.

Tears streamed down my cheek as I desperately tried to pull my arm free from the hole, wanting- no- needing to escape as quickly as possible. I could feel the blood streaming down my arm as the broken floorboards dug into my skin. Still, I continued to pull, frantic to get out.

I looked up at the rag doll, and through my blurred vision, I saw that damn face staring back at me, those white pupils in those empty sockets reflecting in the light given off by my flashlight that I had dropped. I cried out in fear again, hoping that my friends would hear me and come help me, hoping that I could get my arm out of this hole so that I could run. Hoping but to no avail.

I gave my arm one more aggressive pull, screaming in agony as the rotted wood cut into my skin, leaving long trails of red in its wake. Tears blurred my vision and my heart deafened me but I continued to pull, even if the searing pain jolted up my arm, I continued.

The doll's head twitched in the corner of my eye and I glanced up in fear. She was still staring at me; however, now I could just barely make out the steady rise and fall of her stitched chest. I panicked, hurriedly trying to yank my arm out of the hole as quickly as possible so I could run for my safety.

The rag doll's stitched smile abruptly stretched across her face, peeling back her lips to unnatural proportions and revealing needle-sharp teeth. I watched in horror as the doll slowly pulled herself to her ragged knees and crawled to the edge of the bed, glaring at me with hunger in her empty eyes.

I screamed until my vocal cords hurt, tears pouring down my cheeks. I was rooted to the spot and all I could do was scream and cry and try desperately without success to free my arm.

Finally, in the distance, I heard shoes pounding against the old wooden floor and voices calling my name. Apparently, the doll heard the noise too and she quickly fell against the bed, once again, becoming a lifeless rag doll.

"Help!" I cried desperately, and my friends entered the room with worried expressions on their faces. I don't think I ever felt more relief in my life and I hurriedly urged them to free me and get me out of that house.

"P-please! hurry! The d-doll! Please! It's alive! Get me out! Get me out! Get me out!" I urged desperately as Jeremiah and Alex struggled to lift the broken floorboards while Hannah and Iris pulled me out. I hugged them once I was free and broke down into tears, relieved to finally be safe.

"Lily! Calm down, what the hell happened!?" Jeremiah wondered, holding my shoulders still as I babbled and stammered to speak. I was frantically trying to urge them to leave, but they wouldn't listen, they were insistent that I tell them what was wrong.

"Th-the d-doll! It's alive! Please! we need to leave! Please! Get out! Get me out of here!" I begged.

"Lily, what doll?" Hannah wondered with concern. I pointed over to the bed; however, when I looked, myself, I saw, to my utter surprise, that the doll had disappeared... it was gone. I looked all around the room, terrified. I was certain that I wasn't seeing things! I'm not crazy! There was a doll on that bed! I touched it! It was cold and leathery!

I was hyperventilating from panic as I circled around the room, desperate to find anything but I was unable to.

"No, no, no, no! The doll! She was right there! She was on the bed! And she had sharp teeth a-and empty eye sockets and she looked human!" I stammered in disbelief, unsure of what I was seeing anymore. Hannah held my shoulders again and looked me in the eye.

"Lily! Calm down! It's all over, now. You just fell down and hit your head... it was all in your head. Come on, you're safe now," Hannah assured sweetly, breathing deeply so I could calm my own erratic breaths. I synced up my breathing with hers for a while to calm down, convinving myself that she was right and it was all in my head. I had hallucinated it all... that seemed plausible... more plausible than a living doll, that's for sure.

"We should get going now so Lily can get that checked out. It looks grizzly," Alex commented and everyone hummed in agreement. However... just before we could turn and leave this place for good, we heard the bedroom door slam shut. Everyone froze and turned to look at the cause of the disturbance.

The ragdoll stood there, staring at us with those empty eyes and that stitched mouth as if she were the most innocent thing in the world. Nobody said a word but the doll didn't need a response as her smile stretched to an impossible degree, her lips curling back to reveal needle-sharp teeth... 


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