August 03, 2015 11:56:02 PM





Dolls Aren’t the Scary Ones

The sun rose and everything fell. Including me. On my head. This story is going to require some rewinding. When I signed up for this babysitting gig, I was expecting to just hang out and watch “The Bachelorette” while eating a few slices of cold pizza. Before they left for the night, Mr. and Mrs. Harrison briefly listed off a few notes as follows:
There is food in the refrigerator.
Our numbers are written on the bulletin board.
And the last one was weird. “Never ever say ‘no’.” I started to say something in question, but they just ran out the door. Brushing it off, I turned around and was startled by the presence of the four Harrison daughters. I greeted them and asked for their names: Alexandra, the youngest, immediately grabbed my hand and stood next to me. The next introduced herself as Alexis and proceeded to tell me the longest story I’d ever heard about how she forgot her lunch and almost missed the bus to school this morning. Alexa started talking to me through the body of one of her dolls, also named Alexa. The last and eldest daughter was just staring at me with an unwelcoming glare. I asked her for her name and she said Alex, so I responded by saying my name is Alex, too. With the same dead stare, Alex answered, “No it’s not. You’re name is Alizabeth with an A.”
After our unusual greeting the girls asked me if I wanted to play dolls in a rather rhetorical way so I just followed them to their playroom, which can simply be described as pink. Seeing the bins filled with various dolls ranging from Barbie to Bratz to Trolls to American Girl I started to imagine myself playing with little girls for hours on end so I needed to get out before it was too late. “Girls, I don’t really think I should play dolls right now. Maybe later!” Alexandra tightened her grip on my hand, Alexis stopped short in mid-sentence, Alexa told me to sit down and handed me a doll, and Alex locked the door behind her, and I might have hallucinated, but I think she swallowed the key.
After some doll dress-up and hair braiding, Alexis said, “Now it’s your turn!” Confused, I pointed at the doll whose hair I already braided, until I looked over and saw Alexandra and Alexa walking toward me with an enormous case of face paint, makeup and princess clothes. An obvious look of fear must have washed over my face because I heard Alex, who by the way had been sitting in the corner of the room with a grimace watching my every move, say “don’t worry” as she twisted off the head of her doll.
Following what felt like hours later, I was led to the princess playset where we talked about how beautiful Barbie’s dress was over tea with the dolls which at this point had become my only friends. The tea party is where it gets bad. I’ve seen all the movies. I can’t let these children brainwash me. As I drank from my tea cup that lacked any actual tea I started to plot my sweet escape. I knew Alex was still eagle-eyeing me so I had to make my break when she was distracted. That’s it! A distraction. I asked the girls about where their tea was imported from, how they became friends with the teddy bear to my right, etcetera. They were chattering incoherently so I went over to Alex and made up something about how her sisters said that she sucks at playing dress-up and all of her dolls are ugly. I thought that would piss her off. BUT IT DIDN’T! She just laughed in her cynical, condescending way and hissed “Alizabeth, Alizabeth, Alizabeth. So foolish.”
That scared me. If an eight-year-old talks to you like that then you know you’re up for some scary ride. I laughed along with her just to ease the tension and I said that I was going to get some food. The sisters chimed in and said that I had to finish the tea party, but I had had enough and just answered with a firm “no.” Shoot. Why did I say that? As I remembered the Harrisons’ warning, the hairs on the back of my neck stood up. I was walking up the stairs, hoping the “no” didn’t phase them, but then I felt something hit my head. I turned around to see a fleet of flying dolls careening in my direction. I fell down the stairs and the girls ran toward me and dragged me by the legs back to the princess prison. The brats then tied me upside down like a bat. Alexandra, Alexis, and Alexa followed Alex to the door and Alex said, “There’s only one Alex around here, Alizabeth.” I knew it wouldn’t be long until I crashed to the floor in a pile of dolls, but somehow that seemed better than playing with these tea party tyrants for a minute more. The last thing I saw was Alex standing at the doorway and laughing that awful, villainous laugh. Alex stared at the door handle and slowly turned the knob.