The Doll at the Top of the Stairs
So this happened last summer. I had just moved out of my dad's house and into a friends. Actually more like I ran to my friends house in another state and was avoiding my dad. I had my reasons. He was a drunk and had kicked me out for the second time while drunk because I didn't make him a drink. Messed up I know.
Regardless, I moved into this house of all ladies. My friend Sam, her mother and grandmother. I was given the second bedroom at the top of the stairs. Her mother was right across from me. Between us was a small bookshelf. It held some books, a candle holder, a steak knife (don't ask why. They had junk everywhere), and an old Doll.
This baby doll had a soft pink body that made it look nothing like a doll at all. But it had a doll face. There kind where when you put it on its back, the eyes close and open up when it sits up right. I had dolls before, even the creepy China Dolls that just stared at you while you slept. And yeah, as a girl I had one in my room and never once thought them to be scary until I got into the horror movies at age 11 or so.
Side tracked a bit but back on the right track here. Anyway this doll also had no hair. The pink fuzziness of its body reached up to the hair line. It had no hands, no feet, no solid body, and it scared me. It would be on its side and may there with its eyes closed, just waiting.
I joked with my friend and said it was creepy. She agreed and at one point, I had placed the doll face down all the way so I didn't have to see the smile on still face. Problem solved.
Then one day I saw it was sitting up on the bookshelf, staring down the stairs. It freaked me out more. I hated going by it and into my room. I didn't question the fact it was sitting up suddenly. After all, Sam's mother had her room on the opposite side of the small bookshelf. More than likely she sat her doll up because she didn't like seeing it facing down.
But it still creeped !e out and we had it moved to the bottom of the stairs. Again face down.
This times it lasted there for a good long while before once again it was at the top of the stairs staring down at whoever walked up to the two rooms. Only this time, the eyes remainder shut even in the sitting up position.
Again creepy and again I thought the mother moved it. But it still gave me chills every time I looked at it.
For some reason, every time I went past it, I felt compelled to stare at it until I had to turn to go into my room. As if I had to make sure it didn't move. To make it keeps its eyes shut so I can safely enter my room.
Don't ask me why I felt the need to do this every time. Though I will say that I thought I felt the eyes peering into me through the closed eyelids. Weird, but no wait to prove it. I rationized it as me being paranoid and into too many scary movies.
Me and Sam had retreated into my room a few times and she had noticed me making eye contact with the doll the entire way up.
"Why do you stare at it?" she asked one day.
"In case it's eyes open up," I replied as if this was a reasonable answer.
"And what if the eyes do open up?"
I had never thought of that before. If you asked me why I always looked behind the shower curtain, I would say it was to see if there was a killer behind it. If you asked me how what would I do if I actually found one, I would say I would have the element of surprise because the killer obvious didn't expect you to look there like an idiot.
I had no answer for this question. What would I do if I had seen the doll's eye open? Scream? Take the steak knife that was still there and stab it? Hide in my room? Run away? The only thing I could say was "I don't know."
But that didn't stop me from staring at the doll. If I was ready or not, the reaction was going to happen.
Then one day it vanished. Actually that was the day I was relieved. I didn't have to stare at the doll anymore. I didn't have to figure out what my reaction was going to be when it opened its eyes. I was safe to go up and down the stairs. It was the best week of my life there so far.
Until Sam asked me a question.
"My mom would like to know where you put her doll."
I stared at her blankely. Did I just hear that correctly? I was being accused of hiding the pink devil?
"I didn't touch it." I replied. "Are you sure she didn't move it again?"
The door from the upstairs opened up and Sam's mother called down to us. "Did you find out where the doll was?"
I turn my head and look up the stairs and yell back to her. "I never touched your doll. Are you sure you just didn't forget where you moved it?"
The mother gave me a confused look. "I haven't moved it since putting it on the bookshbookshelf before you came to live here."
"That's impossible. You must have moved it to sit up again at some point t. Like two times." I answer back, a bit worried.
She shook her head no. "Well unless you accidentally knocked it off and the dog got dog got to it, it had to be moved by one of you girls. Grandma can't climb the stairs."
I was hoping on either the dog getting it or Sam playing a joke on me. I was really hoping the dog ate it though.
Days passed and I felt uneasy in my room. I looked around in any place a doll could be stored, but it didn't seem like there was a demon creature living in my room.
Months passed and the doll was forgotten about. Me and Sam moved out of her mother's house and we got an apartment together. We packed up what little we had and went to the apartment. It was a nice two bedroom apartment. All the way up at the third floor. A bit of a climb, but we were young enough to do it.
We hardly saw one another as our jobs had us at different shifts. She was a normal day sshift kind of person, and I got out of work at midnight. And it was on a night that I had gotten home late that I finally found out the answer to the question I had been asked.
Sitting at the top of the stairs was the doll. The same pink fuzzy, eyes closed doll. How did it get there? I was beside myself in fear.
"Very funny Sam," I called out as I walked up the stairs to our floor. "Hiding it and placing it here after so many months? Very scary."
And it was.
Once I reached just a few steps below it, I reached out to grab it and pick it up. As I went to pick it up, the eyes shot open.
I screamed and recoiled from it.
It won't take much of an imagination to figure out what happened after that. After I woke up, I was lying in a hospital bed. Sam was sitting there next to me. She started rambling on, saying that she came running out when she heard me scream. She thought so!some had stabbed me or something terrible was happening. When she came out of the apartment, she found me at the bottom of our staircase, knocked out and bleeding from a head wound. She called 911.
"Did you see the doll?" I asked after taking all that in.
"What doll?" Sam asked, very confused.
"Your mom's doll. It was siting at the top of the stairs," I continued.
"There was no doll at the top of the stairs."
I reminded quiet. Be it I was too scared to argue this, or if I was not sure if my memory was correct and I had imagined the whole thing.
I had stayed over night and was released the next day. I spent a total of two days in the hospital (one was me completely asleep. I had a mini heart attack when I realized I lost a whole day). And Sam's mom had come and picked us up.
Sam's mother went on and on about various things. I tried to tune it out until something caught my attention: "Oh also, two nights ago I found my old doll. It was lying at the bottom of the stairs. I think the dog got tired of hiding it. Regardless I put it back at the top of the stairs, on the bookshelf."
I felt numb as we went back to Sam's old home to pick up a few more things. And just as her mother had said, the doll was sitting at the top of the stairs, staring at me with its closed eyes. Mocking me.
Walking up the stairs, I was ready for it this time. It got me good one time, but I was ready for a new attack. As I reached the top, I noticed something else missing. Calling down to Sam and her mother, I asked a simple question "Where did the steak knife go? Did you finally wash it?"
Sam's mother was silent for a moment and then replied back. "I don't know where that went. Maybe I lost it when taking it downstairs. If you happen to see it, will you let me know?"
It was at this time the doll's eyes started to slowly open.
I didn't scream. I didn't back up. Hell, I didn't even studder when I replied back. "I'll let you know if it comes up ma."
I haven't found it, but I'm sure it's a matter of time before I do. I just hope I'm ready for it when it comes.
Reading academic texts on multiple devices
I've been reading academic texts, the kind I wouldn't read from cover to cover if it were a physical printed book. The kind that I would have preferred to flip through a bit, play with the physical book to get a sense of the bigger picture, the presentation style, etc etc, before I go back to the relevant section to read.
I have now settled onto a routine of listening to it with TTS on my iPhone, reading it linearly on my Kobo, and then rapidly flipping through the pages and using the search function on my iPhone and my desk top computer. I count on my iPhone to be able to quickly jump from section to section, my kobo is way too slow for that and I still haven't figured out how to jump back to a specific page, I feel murderously ragey every time I accidentally lose my 'page' and have to slowly flip page by page to get back to where I was before. (as far as I know, there isn't a go to page XYZ function on kobo.)
All that to replace the physical print experience of being able to quickly control and manipulate the physical object and to jump from section to section.
I do enjoy being able to search keywords and quickly glance all the relevant chapters when I try to get the bigger picture, I love that it's always in my pocket and I can listen to/ read it everywhere I go, copy-and-paste is a god-send when it comes to making flowcharts and flashcards, I don't have to drag that huge deadweight around.
So you lose some you gain some.
Do other readers find it challenging to read denser materials on their devices? Do you find you comprehend and study better when you read a physical textbook? Do you use both? Or have you also found other ways to navigate academic materials on devices?
How many dead hookers in a basement does it take to change a light bulb?
Obviously more than four, because it's still dark as fuck in here.
One of the greatest of all time, Zito dies at 82
José Eli de Miranda, also known as Zito, one of the greatest players in football history, died this Sunday with 82 years old. He was a key part of Santos FC' golden age with Pelé and won two World Cups (1958 and 1962). He made a historic duo with Didi.
As a player, Zito played 727 games between 1952-1967, scoring 57 times, all of them defending Santos FC. He played 52 games for Brazil's National Team and scored 3 times.