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Piranha Dolls
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Piranha Dolls

by David Barton

He was an eccentric, and he loved to make dolls. Dolls filled up his house. Any visitor paying a call would be met with the stare of hundreds of pairs of dolls eyes. A bit unsettling if you hadn't visited him before. But the man - as had become apparent to his neighbours and few friends - was gradually losing his mind. At least that's the way it seemed. He would go out on few occasions; he would stay in the house and talk to the dolls. Even when people dropped by he would mutter to them, causing great concern from the onlookers. He'd hold conversations with them, laugh with them, and argue with them.

On one occasion when one of his neighbours was doing their Good Samaritan bit, and paying him a call; one time when his milk had been left on the step for some days and the curtains had remained closed, they were slightly disturbed by the appearance of one of the dolls. The man had fashioned large sharp pointed teeth in the doll's mouth, like the teeth of a piranha fish. When the neighbour looked around, she saw that others had been altered similarly.

'What have you done to the dolls?' she asked him, gazing around at them with a look of disgust on her face.

'What do you mean?' the man said, seeming distant, as if he was lost in thought.

'The dolls - what hav -'

The man peered around at the dolls. 'Something's happening to them,' he said. 'Each morning when I come down, another one or two have grown teeth.'

The man's neighbour looked at him. 'But you've spoiled them, they look hideous,' she told him.

'You don't understand,' he said, 'it's not me, they - '

'How long is it since you ate something?' she said to him, he was looking drawn and undernourished; the woman was concerned. When she'd first called at the house, she'd been met with a smell of meat that had gone off, and found some that the man had left out and hadn't thrown away. She took a look in his fridge. 'Just as I thought, empty,' she said, peering at the empty racks inside.

'They've had it all,' he said.

'Who?' asked the neighbour, shutting the fridge door and returning her attention to her neighbour.

'Them,' he said, nodding towards a row of dolls sitting along the sink unit, all with hideously distorted faces and terrifying looking teeth. 'They like meat the best,' he told her, 'they love their meat.'

The neighbour became immediately concerned.

'I'll get you some food in,' she said, 'I have to go down to the shops so it's no trouble,'

'No,' he said, clutching her arm tightly, so tightly in fact that he dug his overlong nails into her, causing her to cry out and yank her arm away. 'They'll have it,' he said, 'and you can't feed them, I want rid of them, burn the little buggers! That's what they need.'

'Don't be silly, although ...' she took another look around at the weird dolls. 'They do look a sight.' As she peered about her it seemed like more of the dolls had teeth now. She was sure that before, there had been only half a dozen in the kitchen that had teeth, but now there looked to be about a dozen or more with a mouthful of long sharp vicious looking teeth. There were so many dolls though; she reasoned that she was obviously mistaken. After all, what other explanation could there possibly be? Like her neighbour had claimed; that they'd grown them overnight? She didn't think so. That was a possibility that was far too way-out to be conceivably true.

The woman made her way to the shops to get her neighbour some much needed groceries, and while she was there did her own shopping too. She got bagfuls of food for her neighbour, in a hope that she could persuade him to eat something and maybe help him with his delusions. Lack of food was maybe causing him to hallucinate. Perhaps he hadn't eaten for days and he'd gone stir crazy and spoiled the dolls. Yes, that must be the explanation. Well, with her help now she'd soon have him back to his normal self, she'd pop in on the hour if she had to, to make sure he was okay. She'd soon have him as right as rain, and maybe he'd return the dolls to how they were before. If she'd been cooped up in a house full of dolls looking like that she'd probably have nightmares, she thought to herself. Poor man, he really was in a bad way.

She got back to the house some hours later, after dropping off her own shopping at her house two doors down. The man's neighbour knocked; there was no reply. She tried the door; it opened. The smell met her again, but there was another smell now that she couldn't quite place.

She put the carrier bags of food down on the kitchen table, having to move a few dolls in the process to make room. Most of the dolls seemed to have teeth now. As she lifted the groceries out she thought she saw movement from the corner of her eye, she looked but only saw motionless dolls staring back at her, all with those revolting piranha teeth.

Then she heard a noise upstairs, like someone moving around, it must be her neighbour she thought. She'd go up, see if he was all right.

There were more dolls on the stairs, and one seemed to have lipstick smeared around its mouth, as if the man had been trying to make it up. It resembled blood. and It made the doll appear even more grotesque. As she climbed the stairs and waded through the dolls, she noticed that more and more of them had smears of red around their mouths. Some of them even had it on their hands. When she reached the landing, she knocked at the door of what she took to be her neighbour's bedroom. 'Hello?'

She pushed the door open and made her way inside and saw more of the bloodied dolls sitting around, and her neighbour lying on the floor, or at least what was left of him. He looked like he'd been eaten by a pack of hungry, wild animals. His body had been savaged by something, ripped open, and - from the look of things - devoured. She felt bile rise, the smell she'd been aware of when she'd entered the house was that of meat again, this time human meat, accompanied by the copper odour of blood.

She backed away, and as she did so she saw one of the dolls turn its head towards her.

Copyright David Barton 2004

David Barton is the editor of Lost Souls Magazine, for more info visit the homepage: http://chainsawhell.tripod.com/homepage 

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