Yesterday, my family and I found ourselves smack dab in the middle of Sisters, Oregon.
What does one do when finding oneself in a situation like this? One must go shopping.
Newt requested that we get ourselves to a candy shop toot-suite.
The last time we were in Sisters, there was a fairly large candy store, however, things will change when you are not looking. The location is now a handmade furniture store–considerably less tasty. We were informed that a local antique shop had taken over the role of town candy supplier so we headed up the road and entered the creepiest store on the planet.
Here is just a small sampling of why it deserves that title:
I am both fascinated and terrified by dolls. The way they stare at you with those soulless eyes…
(Note: I actually gave an involuntary shudder when I typed that. Just so you know.)
I have never enjoyed dolls all that much, though I can remember three from my childhood that I played with. The one I liked most
one of those rag dolls that was, um, reversible? a topsy-turvy doll. Anyone remember those? It was a little white-skinned, fair-haired doll on one side, but when you flipped it over and pulled the dress down, it became a little black doll with curly hair. I liked her because she had a secret. I was too young to know about Siamese twins, but if I had, that would have likely been a draw as well.
(I found a picture of a topsy-turvy doll here. I also found this one and am now scarred for life. I dare you to click it.)
When I was eight, all the girls at my school were desperate for Cabbage Patch Dolls. I caved to the peer pressure and begged for one too. My mom hinted that I would get one for my birthday–and I did.
A homemade one.
My mom worked really hard on it and I love her for trying to make her little girl’s dream come true, but readers? That doll was scary. I could feel its painted-on eyes staring at me through the night. I buried it in a pile of stuffed animals and tried not to think about it.
The most memorable doll was the only one I ever really loved. It was a Kewpie Doll given to me by my grandma. Yes, I know Kewpie Dolls are among the creepiest of the creepy (in fact, soul-eater up there is one), but I adored my grandma and didn’t get to see her often. This time she made the 800 mile trip out to visit and brought something just for me. Being near the tail end of a large family, spontaneous gifts didn’t happen very often. I loved my little doll with as much fervor as any three-year-old heart could handle.
That very day we went to the zoo, another unusual occurrence. It was panning out to be the best day of my entire young life. But that was about to change.
I remember cradling my little doll in a blue handkerchief ‘blanket’ my dad loaned to me. I chattered to her about all the animals we were to see. When we went to the giraffe pen, I was thrilled to find that we could get very close to them. In fact, all that separated us was a chain-link fence. One of those incredibly tall creatures ambled right up to us. If I had dared, I could have reached through the links and touched it.
It bent its neck over the fence, lowering its head toward me. I froze. It came closer, then closer still. Without warning, it shot out an amazingly long tongue, wrapped it around little Kewpie’s head, and *pop*–decapitated her. I remember screaming, looking down at my little bundled up doll torso.
My dad, who is short like me, reached as high as he could, barely clearing the fence, and throttled the beast. My mom started whacking it with her giant red vinyl purse. My grandma hurried off to find help. I honestly do not remember any siblings being there, but I’m certain they were, and that they were laughing.
Either the giraffe tired of the abuse or he found the plastic less appealing than it looked. He spit my doll’s head out and it landed with a thunk on the pavement. The last thing I remember about that day was looking down and seeing Kewpie grinning up at me, covered in a shining layer of giraffe spit.
This likely explains why, to this day, I do not like dolls.
Edited to add: In case you are inclined to doubt the veracity of my story, please go here for confirmation.