Canto 15 – Dolls with White Wigs
Dora McMaster had been carefully studying the doll that she thought she had somehow made and forgotten. She seemed especially interested in the white-haired wig the doll wore.
“This wig on the doll… Did you know that it is made with real human hair?” Dora asked Brittany.
“No, I did not. It is the only thing that isn’t like my own daughter. She has black hair.”
“Molly had black hair too before…”
“The news came about her father, and both she and her mother took sick. Apparently high fever, or something like it, turned Molly’s hair ghost white.”
“Yes, and stranger still that I don’t remember ever making a white wig before. But I have been planning to make one for the doll who is supposed to be Molly. To remember her as…”
“…As she was before you lost your chance to save her.”
“Yes. But where did the doll-maker who made this wig get white human hair? And why put it on my creation in Aunt Phillia’s horrible store?”
“Is it dyed, perhaps?”
“No. It contains strands that still have black roots, and the color all seems natural, just like Molly’s own. But it couldn’t be made from Molly’s hair… not after the fire.”
“You will make the Molly doll with white hair?”
“Yes, of course… but where to get white-colored human hair to make such a wig?”
“Mention her own white hair,” said Molly to Brittany in a voice Dora apparently couldn’t also hear.
“You have some white hair on your own head the same color as that,” said Brittany.
“Why, yes… I do. It will take time to grow out enough to use it without making myself bald,” Dora said, giggling to herself.
“Why do you have white hair?” Brittany whispered to the doll.
“Not here. We will talk later in private. I can show you at the witching hour.”
Brittany nodded to herself at the doll’s answer. She didn’t much like how demonic and spooky the doll seemed. But the doll was also so like Hannah, and endearing enough to make it necessary for Brittany to know everything. In a ghost story, it is the unknown thing that scares you the most. And it could only be a good thing to make the unknown a little more known.
Dora had taken out the pieces of a doll’s skull cap and began singing softly to herself as she began to sew and prepare the cap to have human hair added.
“Dora? Would it be all right if I step out in the yard for some air while you do that?” Brittany asked.
“Certainly. And thank you so much for the inspiration.”
Brittany took the doll with her out onto the veranda in the back of the house opposite the flower garden.
“Okay, Molly. I need some answers.”
“Honest answers? Or do you prefer to be lied to?”
“Honest answers, of course!”
“About what, then?”
“Why did you bring me here?”
“You mean to Dora’s house?”
“I mean, this time… this place… this world?”
“I paid the toy man to get my momma back again.”
“What? What does that have to do with me?”
“The toy man said that if I chose you to play with, that could help me get momma back.”
“Play with me? What does that mean?”
“I don’t know all the details… yet. But you are alive… and my momma is not. I need to use you to make her alive again.”
Brittany stared at the smiling porcelain face. The creepy smile chilled her to the bone.