“Well I was a very troubled kid and my parents, God rest them, tried everything.” He proceeded to get out of his chair and pointed towards the basement. I followed him in that direction as he continued to speak.
“When Sprinkles wouldn’t stop hissing at me, I grabbed him by the neck and twisted it. I felt bad about it, but then I realized that it was just the doll, Mr. Checks, that my Mom keeps in her room. He killed our cat, not me.” My heart sank. As he continued to speak his eyes became animated once again. They surveyed the stairway as we descended, all while taking furtive glances in my direction.
He chuckled to himself. “I didn’t really believe it you see, but my parents were all too eager to play along. They told me that if Mr. Checks was locked away the bad thing wouldn’t happen again. They were in such denial.” The basement felt cold. The concrete of the floor echoed our footsteps throughout the vast emptiness.
“The next week, Lady, began to bark at me. She just wouldn’t stop. Before I knew it, I had stomped her head into the concrete of the basement floor. Jack!!! I still have the SNES hooked up. We should play some Turtles later!” The horror within continued to grow. I stopped in my tracks. He noticed that I was no longer following him. He turned and motioned towards me. While I debated my next move, his icy hand clasped onto my forearm and pulled me in the direction of the closet.
“You must think I’m some kind of monster. After Mom locked up Mrs. Checks, I never killed another animal again.”
I breathed a slight sigh of relief. He opened the closet door and darkness greeted us both. He reached for the switch. Nothing in the world could prepare me for what the light revealed.
The closet was now littered with dolls. I estimated at least 40 in varying states of decay and grime. All chained up. All turned in my direction. My knees buckled and I nearly fell to the floor as my mind revealed the implications of this.
“Well, as you can see I’ve been very busy over the years and who am I to eschew tradition? It’s my way of honoring my mother, God rest her. It’s the least I could do after what I did to her. She’s right over there. She’s smiling now, but she won’t be later. Why don’t you say ‘hi’ Jack before she gets all ornery?”