A Sweet Gift – Part 2
John arrived shortly after 7.00 p.m. It was the couple’s habit to have a glass of wine before dinner, and as they sat on the couch sipping the nice Merlot wine, Mary recounted the incident about the doll to John. She thought the steam from the stew knocked the doll off.
Helen was starting to eat her supper. John was only half listening as he was still a bit stressed from that difficult client meeting he had just had, and brushed aside Mary’s concerns by telling her,
“Look, Mary. It sounds strange, but your explanation seems to make sense.”
Although, deep down, in the recesses of his mind he knew it did not make sense.
The Thornton property was a semi-rural detached house. It had two floors, ground and first level. There were four bedrooms on the first floor. The master bedroom was next to Helen’s bedroom so her parents could quickly come to her room to console her when she had nightmares.
They both tucked Helen in bed at 8.30 p.m. As they proceeded down the stairs, they heard a shriek. It sounded inhuman almost animal like, a wolf! As they ran towards the living room, where they thought the sound came from, they saw the toy doll on the floor face down.
“John, this is getting very weird.”
John was also very surprised and when he lifted the doll from the floor, he could almost detect a half smile on her face, and those eyes looked alive. He placed the doll on the mantelpiece and was now thinking very hard about the donor of this strange gift, this “JF."
He would ask Tim one of the law clerks at his law office to do a search of all the client files, both defendants and victims, to see if he could find out who this J.F was. John did not tell Mary about the odd expression on the doll’s face as he did not want to frighten her.
While in bed, John was reading a Grisham thriller while Mary was enjoying a romantic novel. It started to snow outside, and there were ice pellets hitting their window that made a rhythmic thudding sound. The reading and that sound soon sent them to sleep as they embraced each other warmly in love and deep sleep.
Then, suddenly, midst that quite thudding sound they heard that familiar wolfish shriek. It woke both of them up instantly. Eyes glaring and with her body trembling, Mary cried out,
“What s that sound, it’s the same one we heard earlier.”
John told her that they would go downstairs to investigate as that strange sound was again coming from the living room area. When they looked in the room, their sight was fixed on the mantelpiece and the doll. It was not there, and it was not on the floor!
Terror struck them in that moment. Their hearts were racing; their mind was in disarray and in confusion.
John shouted out,
“What the hell Mary, what’s going on?”
“Let’s go check on Helen.”
They quickly ran up the stairs, and as they entered her room, she was in deep sleep breathing regularly. She had a pleasant half smile on her face, her arms wrapped around her teddy bear.
They went back to the living room and to their intense surprise the doll was on the mantelpiece looking as it looked when it was taken out of the box that morning.
Mary half laughed and said,
“John I think our imagination is running wild, the doll was there all the time.”
John had a very serious look and frown on his face,
“No, my love, that doll was not there when we came downstairs earlier, we both saw that!”
Mary felt tired and wanted to go back to sleep. John could not sleep as he felt nervous. Mary went back to bed while John slept on the living room couch so he could keep vigil on that strange doll. His thoughts were dominated by the identity of this J.F.
The next morning was uneventful except for one thing. Helen was lethargic and tired. She was not her usual bright sparkly self. Mary could not understand it and would take Helen to a walk-in clinic that afternoon. John agreed it was a good idea but could not stop his mind associating Helen’s condition to the strange events that took place last night.
END OF PART 2