Through The Ages

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“I do declare, Betsy, you are the finest one I’ve ever found,” Harriet said, stroking the doll’s porcelain face. “I’ll take her, Henry.”

Harriet carefully set the doll in her lap as she sat in the buggy.

“Betsy,” Harriet said, “I would like to introduce you to the others. This lovely gentleman is Andrew, and the little girl over there in the beautiful green dress is Amanda. I know you’ll all get along together splendidly.

Elmer set the box of dry goods in the kitchen and shook his head. He’s been with Miss Harriet since he was a boy and felt sorry for her. She was at least twenty years older than him and had no family to share her life with.

“Is there anything else, Miss Harriet?”

“No, Elmer. Thank you. Did you meet Betsy yet?”

“Yes’em, I did when I drove you home, Miss Harriet.”

Harriet ignored Elmer and went about introducing Betsy to the rest of her collection throughout the old house. Elmer took it upon himself to call on Dr. Howard on his way home. Her family was always good to him and he felt a sense of obligation to care for her, but he was also worried for her. His suspicions were right, but by the time Dr. Howard arrived at the old Spencer Plantation, Harriet had passed in her bed holding Betsy.


“Excuse me, Sir, how much is that doll?” a woman asked the clerk in the antique shop.

“You have a good eye, ma’am,” the clerk said, smiling. “This beauty is ten dollars, but worth every cent.”

“Ten dollars!”

“It was hand-made in 1886, her dress is original, and –”

“I’ll take her, young man, thank you.”

The woman took the antique doll home and checked in on the cook’s progress toward her daughter’s birthday cake.

“Oh, that is a lovely doll, ma’am,” the cook said, putting the finishing touches on the cake.

The gift was well received, and Jessica hugged her new doll after a long day at school, then a fabulous party complete with a pony, clown, trained monkey, and cook’s giant chocolate cake. When morning came, and no one stirred, neighbors knocked on the door to check in on the family. Screams and tears flowed as all nine people in the house were found deceased in their beds. The newspaper said it was from the gas lights.


“Lot 641,” the auctioneer yelled, “antique porcelain doll. Rumored to be cursed. Its creator died of a heart attack shortly after its completion. The unfortunate first owner died within hours of possessing the doll. An entire family died at the hands of the doll, and there are rumors that the doll was once owned by family of carnival workers who perished in a horrific workplace accident. Shall I start the bidding at five dollars?”

After two minutes, the auctioneer sold it to the highest bidder for one dollar. Its new owner laughed and clapped thinking that he managed to get a cursed doll for such a low price. The others in the group would not believe it. Their response, however, was not what he expected.

“What the hell is that?” Eric said, laughing at the doll.

“You should hear its story,” Brian tried telling him, but he wasn’t going to listen.

Eric grabbed the doll, wrapped a rope around its head and tied it up with the others on the lowest branch of the tree. As the others gathered in the graveyard by the crypts under the full moon for their latest ceremony, the graveyard residents gathered watching the wannabes. Eric began the ceremony with the slaughtering of a chicken, and the local residents took that as their cue to make their presence known. Screams, cries, and begs filled the air as the wannabes learn they really did not want what they were toying with.

When it was all over, and the graveyard was quiet again, Matthew stepped over the bodies taking in the beauty of a particular doll hanging from the tree. Its face was cracked and dirty, the dress torn, but there was something about it that was just perfect. He took it down and walked back to the family crypt as the sun was starting to rise.

“Lily?”

“Yes, Daddy?”

“Come see what I have for you.”

“Oh, Daddy! For me! She’s beautiful! Thank you.” Lily was grinning ear to ear and took her new friend back to her casket with her. Matthew chuckled as he listened to Lily talk to her new friend all day long.


This was inspired by the WATW photo prompt.

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Our Newest Member

Alexander’s family have been the trapeze act for the Franklin Family Circus for nearly a hundred years. Everyone in his family performs in the act. Everyone except Alexander. It wasn’t that he was a talentless lump of skin and bones as his grandfather likes to say. It was just that he was an awkward thirteen-year-old who would rather walk around carnivals, eat funnel cakes, and chat with the people from the freak show than climb a hundred-foot ladder and fling himself from bar to bar hoping that his older brother actually catches him. Usually John’s ego gets the better of him and thinks he can do no wrong up there, so he likes to play tricks on Alexander and drop him just to make him look inepter than he is.

“Good evening, Alexander,” a very tall, and very strange man said one night in front of the Real Mermaid sign.

“Hello. Um, sorry, have we met before?”

The man chuckled. “Not formally, but I’ve been watching you for a while. I’m Mr. Tall and I think we may be of use to each other.”

Alexander was intrigued. He had never been of use to anybody. “What do you mean?”

Mr. Tall put his hand on Alexander’s shoulder and led him down the row of signs for the Franklin Family Freak Show. “You know these,” Mr. Tall said, pointing to the signs, “are all frauds, don’t you?”

Alexander laughed. “Of course, they are. Snake boys, Monkey girls, and Wolf men don’t exist.”

“What if I told you they did?” Mr. Tall asked. “What if I said you could join us?”

“Join you? I’m not –”

“Oh, come now, Alexander. I know your secret. I know the real reason you are so awkward in the sky.”

Alexander stopped dead in his tracks. How? How did this…this Mr. Tall know?

“I wanted to talk to you before Mr. Tiny did. Come with me, Alexander. Join my little family at the Cirque and embrace who you really are. You are not a talentless lump of skin and bones. You are –”

“Okay,” Alexander interrupted. “I’ll join you guys.”

“Perfect. I have a ride waiting for us.”

Without a glance back, Alexander set off with Mr. Tall and started life anew at the Cirque du Freak with Ezra, the Snake Boy, and Darren, the vampire’s apprentice, as his new roommates.


This short was inspired by:
FOWC with Fandango — ego
Word of the Day Challenge — awkward
Three Things Challenge — circus, carnival, freaks

Blogging Mad Libs # 5

I hate to say it, but it appears that most readers are not interested in this series, and it will be cancelled 😦 Sorry. I will be starting a new interactive series tomorrow in this slot.

If you are unfamiliar with Mad Libs, they are short stories with words missing that you, the reader, fill in based on the noted requirement (i.e. noun, name, verb, color, etc.). Step 1 is to read the list of blanks for the mad lib and write down the words you select for that item (i.e. Name 1 = Bill, nouns = stars, etc.).

There are two ways to participate in this new daily adventure:

  1. Copy the story and make a post of your own with the missing pieces filled in
  2. Post your responses in the comments below

List of Blanks for this Mad Lib

Adjective
Plural noun x 4
Noun x 4
Verb x 4
Location
Animal (plural)
Type of drink
Interjection
Type of writing


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Night Life

The world of sunlight is for the humans. They hurry here and there with their adjective lives, never knowing that when Mother Nature turns out the plural noun and they go to their plural noun, another world begins. This world belongs to the night. Cats plot noun schemes to take over the world in location under the moonlight. Racoons and animal (plural) clean up what humans verb away. A perfect balance of using everything that can be used without waste. Every now and then forgotten dogs and discarded cats will find each other and find they are really not alone. Cicadas and fireflies spend the evening verb for noun. Night is filled with noun unseen by the sunlit world. Contrary to many plural noun found in the sunlit world, nothing evil lurks under the moon’s watchful verb. Zombies rise from their plural noun at midnight to say noun to long lost friends. Vampires and witches gather for type of writing readings and paired type of drink samplings. As the moon says interjection, and life’s keys are verb to the sun walkers once again, members of the night life bid each other adieu until the moon’s rise once again.

Worth A Thousand Words #20

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https://pixabay.com/en/users/Desertrose7-752536/

Welcome to Worth A Thousand Words

Use the photo prompt above to find your inner muse and set it free. No limits on word count, genre, rating, etc. Let your imagination run wild.

To participate, simply write a story for your blog and either link back directly to this page or post your link in the comments.

Please use WATW as a tag so that I can find your stories easily if the pingbacks don’t work, or you forget to post a link in the comments.

Remember, no word limit, the longer the better, read what others have written, and most of all, HAVE FUN!