Being 8 years old and being told by your mother you were going to get a very very special Christmas present would send any kid into meltdown. Me especially. I had visions of pound puppies, cabbage patch dolls and my little ponies. What I did not expect was a lifetime of nightmares.
Christmas morning I was woken by my mother. “I have something very special for you. She used to be mine. She was in a pretty bad way so she’s been in hospital, doll hospital. But now she’s all better and she’s going to be your doll.”
Now I hadn’t really had any experience with sick people, let alone sick dolls. And what did they do at doll hospital anyway? I kept seeing doll arms and legs all over the place. “She’s got new hair”. Whaaa? Where did her old hair go? “And its real human hair.” Oh no, this was not going to work out at all. I thanked my mother graciously. It was obviously really important to her I loved this doll as much as she did.
So that started my lifetime of unrelenting torment from Sally. She’s a 60-year-old celluloid doll. She makes the creepiest ‘mummah’ noise when you turn her onto her back. And she will walk if you hold her hand.
I’m sure I amused myself with her for the obligatory amount of time and then she went under my desk, covered by all the other stuffed toys. But still her eyes remained watchful. I swear to you, Dear Reader, that on more than one occasion, she would go from closed eyes to open eyes when no one touched her. Or in the middle of the night, I would hear the softest ‘mummah’ from underneath that desk.
Even now, as a 32-year-old modern woman, I can not have her in my house. She lives with my mother. Sitting in a little chair all by herself. When I asked my mum if I could borrow her to take some pictures, she asked me firstly if I loved her. Um, no. And secondly, could I brush her hair for the photos. Um, no.
Right now, she’s in the spare room, at the other end of the house. I won’t lie, tonight will not be an easy sleep for me.
P.S. I did have the worst night sleep of my life last night. I woke up to unfamiliar noises. And was waiting, silently, with little gaspy breaths for her tiny plastic feet to start walking awkwardly up the hallway. I swear she put some creepy Sally voodoo on me in my sleep. Sally – you shall return to mothers house today.