Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Doll's House

“Dolls with no little girls around to mind them 
were sort of creepy under any conditions.”
― Stephen King, Desperation

Doll’s House

The doll has found
a child.

It took many years
patient in the dark
behind the furnace
blue eye unblinking, little smile
cut like a curved salmon tail
on her faded plastic face.

No one comes
but spiders.

The girl has found
a doll.

Bored with rainy days
exploring in the dark
behind the furnace
where the whispering was
she looked, blue eye unblinking
little smile, where she shouldn't.

No one comes
but flies.

The doll and child together 
find forever
in the basement
behind the furnace
with the buzzing


till in the dark
they make themselves
darker still,
dark enough to

No one comes.

October 2011

which, in the spirit of this my favorite season, was to take a quote from Stephen King and write a poem with an emphasis on psychological terror. I think I may have strayed a bit into the supernatural, but I've  tried to remain true to my chosen quote.

Image Creepy Doll, by ~Sleeping Samurai on deviantArt


  1. Ooh, a surprise ending! Perfect for the time of year.

    Kay, Alberta, Canada
    An Unfittie’s Guide to Adventurous Travel

  2. I love how you've contrasted three different excerpts concerning the doll which are well written. I enjoyed the foreshadowing from the Stephen King quote at the beginning where I knew I was in for something great! And in this line I found my favorite: "behind the furnace
    blue eye unblinking, little smile
    cut like a curved salmon tail
    on her faded plastic face"
    Thanks for an eventful read! :)

  3. ok...that was creepy such a good way...haha...dolls are creepy enough as it is...the flies is a nice creepy touch...hmm...i might have to play this one...

  4. Creepy Hedge, indeed! I will never go near the furnace again.

  5. You've been creepin' me out all month! Good work.

    I imagine the furnace to be one of those monsterous things left over from the coal burning days that were still around when I was a kid. That's where the whispers came from and that's when I ran upstairs.

  6. @tug--yep. a huge, rusty looking monstrosity is what we had to heat the big apartment building we lived in. I wouldn't get too close to it because it made many weird noises--used to play in the coalbins on my brave days and get filthy,though and we even had a really creepy janitor (Otto) who shoveled the coal and mumbled curses in german--never hung with him though--too scary.

  7. Hate dolls. Mom's got a collection of the dang thing and they freak me out.

    Nice twist at the end. I knew there was something sinister planned because....well it's that time of year :D, but you left the end open to interpretation. Personally, I'm going with they were left alone in this world and went somewhere better.

    Great poem as usual, Joy. I swear to god if you make me start liking all kinds of poems I'm never going to forgive you :P

    Oh and forgot to mention, you need a few rats in your stories :D

  8. Wonderful door into the dark, warded by an abandoned doll, offering escape and comfort to an abandoned child. Doll and girl together become a maternal embrace in abstentia, cold and creepy and crawling but a womb nonetheless. We had a coal bin for the furnace in the basement of our house in Evanston that we kids were sure a skeleton was buried beneath. It was absolutely the creepiest room in that creepy basement: nightmare's playground. Sylvia Plath's demon Daddy was named Otto. Oddly, it was also the name of Theodore Roethke's drunken greenhouse dad. - Brendan

  9. I have found that dolls are the object for affection for many little girls. Sometimes women are embarrassed by this. I thought your dark tale was kinda sweet in a way....

  10. And down the dark stairs of childhood we go; dank, dusty corners await where fears speak our name, and the door between reality and fantasy is never closed.

    I never doubted you would rip this prompt apart at the throat. So cool!!

  11. Wow.......a little girl, spiders and flies, oh my! I must go check out the prompt! Loved it.

  12. Oh! I don't know whether to cry or run! LOL!

    I can relate to this poem so Betsy-Wetsy....I found after 50 years, in the basement...sans eyes....and she was given to me by my dear (and dead) father when I was two. I had her eyes put in...and they don't blink.

    Dolls are so full of 'stuff'...and this poem brings so much to the surface, Hedge.

    Creepy and scary enough, but poignant, too.

    And I would stay away from Otto.....


    Lady Nyo

  13. Thanks all. This was fun, in what we all can agree was a creepy kind of way.

    @skav: Force you to like poetry? Only if you get close enough for me to brew you a will-sapping, mind-altering word potion, ratling. And I now have the idea of rats chewing away at the edges of my subconscious. We shall see what happens.

    @B: All the true horrors come up to us from childhood, I think. From some of Stephen King's most terrifying, to Poe's dead mother. Those basements in Chicago will get you every time. The South has its own ha'nts, but at least no basements.(I actually read that Daddy poem the other day--and Lady Lazarus--talk about horrors.)

    @Kerry: I loved this prompt--and your own response is what got me interested--loved the madwoman theme coupled with that lovely Welsh form (which I also must try someday.) Thanks for the help in the muse factory.

    @Sherry: Thanks for reading. It's a great prompt.

    @annel, Lady Nyo: Always so nice when you two come by. I was never a doll person--I played with plastic cowboys, indians and horses, and always thought dolls were weird. But yes, they are objects of affection for many little girls. And no, Jane--I stayed well away from Otto.(!)It was really dark down there.

  14. oh my...this was creepy indeed...first i of them found what they needed but then you made this 180 degree turn and left me speechless..

  15. Love this, creepy, original...the ending a surprise...I too wrote on this quote...Amazing poem!

  16. lonely and dim. they disappear, but together they remain. sure, it's dark but something uniting about it all found in the dark place behind the furnace.


"We make out of the quarrel with others, rhetoric, out of the quarrel with ourselves, poetry." ~William Butler Yeats

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