Categories > Original > Horror > Doll

Tea Anyone

by LadyLacrymosa 2 Reviews

A bit of the intro of the characters...

Category: Horror - Rating: PG-13 - Genres: Horror - Characters:  - Published: 2005/11/17 - Updated: 2005/11/18 - 3035 words

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Chapter One
Tea Anyone?

Growing up I have always been told by some adults to never believe anything anyone tells you unless you can see it with your own two eyes. That's all well and good if you want to have a boring life and grow up to be an accountant or something. I on the other hand, have been encouraged to allow my imagination to grow wild and untamed, allowing me to live in my own sort of fantasy world. Some people think that I have my head in the clouds and I don't know reality from imagination. I have always wondered what exactly did separated reality and unreality. I'll leave it to you to decide whether or not you believe what I am going to say. I have been told that I'm a very believable liar, but am I a liar or am I someone who is telling the truth and no one believes me?

I suppose I should start off by telling you who I am. I'm Grayce Robinson; I'm currently eighteen years old and have started my second year of college. I live with two of my best friends and fellow fantasy world residents, Louise and Danielle.

I have to say that it is odd for someone to say they met their best friends in a world that doesn't really exist, but for us three its true. We all are English majors, we all love to read and write stories, and they believe me when I tell this story because they were there with me.

As I said, I live on my own with my two friends. We were lucky enough to find this huge house to rent relatively cheap. Its close to campus, its close to the book store where we all work, and its in a nice neighborhood where there is hardly ever any trouble. The house we rent use to belong to some doctor, I believe the landlady said his name was James Tate. He use to be one of the more wealthy people in the city and had been lucky enough not to have too much financial trouble during the Depression.

From what I had heard the house had remained abandoned for many years before someone bought it and started renting it out, but even then they couldn't keep tenants in it for more that a few months because of strange occurrences. I didn't find this out till later.

It took some time for me to convince Mrs. McDowell to tell me what had happened to the previous tenants, but after annoying her about it each time she came to collect rent she finally gave me a bit of insight into what made the house so hard to rent out.

The former tenants had all had problems sleeping. They would say that there were sounds up in the attic, that they had heard laughter coming from the hallways, and that they never exactly felt safe staying in the house. It had been a thorn in Mrs. McDowell's side but I think that she was relieved when my friends and I rented it. We had never had any problems with such strange occurrences so we didn't think anything of it. As I said before, it was one of those times that we did not believe something because we had not experienced it ourselves.

I, being the social outcast that I am, have always enjoyed things like ghost stories and reading about demons and such. Mrs. McDowell telling me about the strange occurrences only made me want to find out more about the house.

Sadly most of the information about the house had been destroyed when the city library burned down in 1940. The little information that I did find was pretty bland. The doctor was married and had a young daughter who was a spoiled little princess, they had been nice people and had even built a hospital for the poor in the center of town, which is now being used as a homeless shelter. The daughter had fallen ill when she was ten and had been sent to a hospital somewhere up north and had died while in the hospital. It never described what was wrong with her or why they had to send her so far away, and the people that I have talked to that remember the Tate family never wanted to talk about what had happened.

It's sad to say that I could not find any more information on the family or why they had sent their child so far away for medical treatment, but I found it more interesting why they suddenly left the house. Dr. and Mrs. Tate simply left one night around midnight leaving everything in their house; it was said that there was even a chicken still in the oven when police came to investigate why no one would answer the phone or the door. It reminded me of the house in Amityville New York, but I thought it only a coincidence and never bothered to investigate the reason for the Tate's leaving.


It took me a while to find any information at all on the daughter and on the family itself. On something I read, I believe it was a medical document but I can't rightly say now, that there had been a case of sever insanity and the Tate family had to leave because of it, but it never stated who was insane. I had thought it was the father, but I think I'm getting a bit ahead of myself.

I suppose like all good stories, if you can call this a story, I should begin in the beginning, when things were calm and I didn't have the paranoid feelings of someone watching me.

It had been a bleak and stormy day, the dark clouds looked as if they could drop rain at any moment and the sound of distant thunder had been heard all day. Danielle, Louise, and I had walked home from a long day of work at the bookstore, it had been inventory day and if you have ever done inventory on books or indeed anything you know it will wear you out. The walk home had been quiet, we had discussed some of the customers that had come into the story, talked about the assignment in literature, which none of us had done, and argued over which movie we were to watch that night.

We had officially dubbed any day that was stormy a movie night.
The area in which we lived was quiet. The houses were mostly older, historical buildings that had neat little front gardens and plaques telling when they had been built and who they had belonged to. We dodged around a group of children playing soccer in the street and moved up the hill to our house.

The Tate House, as it was called, was large with a long wrap around front porch and a second floor balcony that had a lovely view of the neighborhood. It was painted white and had a faded red tin roof, which made it stand out among the slate colored roofs of the other houses. It also had a neat little front garden planted with various roses and flowers, Mrs. McDowell had a man come and do yard work because she did not trust us to be competent enough to handle it, and he had allowed us to chose what was to be planted along the wrought iron fence that enclosed the front yard.

I had always loved that house, even when I was young it had been a dream of mine to live there. Luckily for me it was cheap enough to rent, as long as Louise and Danielle decided to stay there with me.

We walked up the cobble stone walkway and up onto the porch, there was a general scramble for keys, which we had thrown into our bags and did not have the foresight to get them out before we reached the house, and the eventual sound of triumph as one of us found the key and unlocked the door. When we finally succeeded at entering our own house we were greeted by the all too familiar sight of total chaos that engulfed our living room.

Our living room was cluttered with various laptops and books along with jackets, shirts, shoes, and hairbrushes. We usually tried to clean up when there was company coming or if we knew that one of our parents were going to come and drop by, but unless that happened our house was organized chaos.

I went to throw my bag in my room while one of the other girls checked the voice messages; mostly they were Preston calling for Louise or one of us calling to leave a reminder to go the store or to do an assignment that was due the next day. Danielle was rummaging around in the kitchen, I started to prepare the DVD player and the home entertainment equipment that we had bought for our movie nights, and Louise was set to the task of ordering pizza for all of us.
It took us a while to finally settle down, get the pizza delivered, and to decide on which movie to watch. If I remember correctly we decided on Psycho, one of my personal favorites.

I now feel that the title of the movie that we decided on somehow foreshadowed what would eventually happen. But again, I am getting ahead of myself.

It started out as a normal movie night. We argued over who got what pizza, even though we all ordered our own pizza, Preston came over to watch the movie with us, we curled up, shut off the lights and settled in front of the TV
During the movie there was a slight tugging in the back of my mind, as if something, or someone was staring at my back, which was odd because I was settled on the couch which was positioned against the wall of the living room. A cold chill swept around the room, I however seemed to be the only one who felt the stifling pressure of some foreboding evil. Of course when I mentioned this to my friends they simply thought I was creeping myself out because of the movie. I must confess that I have done that to myself on numerous occasions but this was not one of those times.

I felt a tugging, as if something wanted me to go to the upper level of the house, again when I mentioned this they looked at me as if I were some crazed paranoid person. After a few minuets of annoying them about it they finally gave up and decided to follow my whim and we gathered flashlights (the attic had no lights) and started toward the stairs that led past the second floor landing and up to the attic.

I now know that I was not the only one to feel the overall sensation of doom and hatred as we climbed the stairs. I felt odd as we climbed slowly up the stairs, they were old and weak and being too rough on them would cause a problem, probably one of us falling through to the floor below which would not be a good thing. I had a sensation of great evil as I climbed, I noticed that Louise and Danielle were not as eager to get to the top as they once were, and even Preston seemed very hesitant to continue.

We pressed on, the feeling becoming heavier and heavier. I was out of breath by the time we had reached the door to the attic. My fingers and hands were numb with cold, I could hear the shallow breathing of my friends and looked around to see that their fear was a perfect reflection of mine.

At this point I must comment on one thing. My friends and I are not cowardly people, we have done many explorations of seemingly 'haunted' places and have seen some very disturbing things in our time together. I must also state that we usually try and scare each other when we go out on our little field trips to haunted houses and graveyards, but this, again, was not the case.

As my courage and curiosity overtook the fear and anxiety I felt as we stood outside the door that opened into the attic I felt another sharp breeze of deathly cold air. There was apparently something in the attic that did not want us there and was malevolent.

We had never really used the attic in the year and a half that we had rented the house, we had been up there maybe twice and each time we left feeling something that made us very unsure and paranoid. The few boxes we had stored up there were Christmas decorations and some old cloths.
I placed my hand on the old bronze doorknob and pushed it open, the hinges creaking loudly as we did.

The attic smelled musty and there was a faint underlying odor of decay, as if something had died in the attic. I hated to think of what it could have been. I could feel my friends wanting me to hurry so I entered the attic and shined my light around. I felt Louise, Danielle, and Preston crowd in behind me.

My light fell upon a few wooden crates, an old bronze bed with a dented mattress, a few chests, a dressmaker's dummy, some rather wicked looking tools that looked like something out of a dentist's office, and a portrait of a young girl.
I felt drawn to the portrait and I moved toward it. It had been damaged by the sun that streamed in the vent at the end of the house, but it was still in relatively good condition. I knelt down and looked closely at the picture. Louise and Preston were nosing around on of the crates and Danielle was trying to open a trunk whose hinges were rusted.

The painting was very detailed, it showed a young girl, who was about ten, with long black hair pulled back with ribbon, wearing a lovely little frock and holding a very beautiful doll. The only thing that made me unsure of the painting is that the doll, where most would have a sweet smile, had such a smirk and a gleam in its eyes that it sent a shiver down my spine. While the others explored I started over toward the opposite side of the attic, dodging around the boxes and trunks that were scattered across the small walking space, looking in an open wardrobe, delicately tracing my finger across an ornate chair when a large crash and a sound of smashing china jerked me back to reality.

I noticed that Louise, Danielle, and Preston was looking at me accusingly. "Don't look at me! It was over there," I said defensively as I picked my away toward the origins of the sound.

"I hope it wasn't anything expensive, Mrs. McD might have some things stored up here," said Danielle, the voice of reason.

"I just don't want the woman yelling at us again. She's loud and sounds like a dying cat when she gets mad," said Louise as she lost her balance and caught onto Preston as she fell.

I chuckled and shoved over a box that was in my way. What I saw still shocks me to this day.
In the middle of a small cleared area was a child's play table with three small chairs that looked to have once been a bright blue color was the doll that I saw in the painting. She sat there as if a little girl had positioned her for a tea party, sitting the middle of the table was a small tea set, the small cups and tea pot were chipped but still in fairly good condition.

That, however, was not what had disturbed me.
In a perfect circle, as if someone had painted it with precision, a thin line of what looked like dried blood. I must mention that the smell of decay had grown steadily stronger, and had intensified with each step that we had taken toward the tea party. What was more disturbing was that in the small white teacups and on the spout of the teapot was a red stain, again as if someone had substituted blood for tea. I must say I was very much freaked out.

The feeling of hate also intensified as the others came around me, mutters of disbelief and disgust echoed my own thoughts.

"Gray, please tell me you didn't set this up," said Danielle as she poked her head over my shoulder for a better look.

"Uh... no," I said shortly. I could have never even thought of something so sadistic of this. I felt sick, a wave of nausea overcame me and I moved back toward the door. "This is just wrong. We'll clean it up tomorrow," I said.

Louise and Preston were quick to follow me downstairs and back into the inviting living room. Danielle was slower, she had stopped to pluck the doll from its little party. She came down brushing the dust off of its face, she had always loved dolls, especially antique dolls.

After some argument over whether we should keep it or simply toss it out we did finally agree that Danielle would keep it in her room and we would decide what to do with it later. We finished the movie and Preston left, and we decided to call it a night. It was about one in the morning when we did finally retire to our rooms, the fact that we were all night owls dictated that going to bed any earlier was just wrong.

To this day I still remember lying awake, my mind replaying the scene of the tea party over and over again. I didn't know why I had been so upset about it, but I could not let it go. In retrospect if I had gone with my gut we would have burnt the doll, but of course, hindsight is twenty-twenty.
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