My grandma was a collector of old/ antique items such as dolls, clothes and small trinkets. She owns a shop where people could come in and sell their items to her or buy something for their collection. She had a glass case behind her where she had rare findings that she liked on display but not for sale. If you asked about them she’s give you a brief history of each item. It was always fascinating to learn about them especially when she got something new added to the case. I would help out at the shop during the summer and weekends during the school year. Grandma would pay me for my work. I got paid eight dollars an hour and she sometimes would let me take something home for free if I did a good enough job. I had a small collection of my own of small trinkets and knick-knacks.
My mom, however, never liked the idea of me working with old things. She believed they held a bad energy. My grandma came from a family that practiced voodoo. She taught me some of the things she knew about voodoo and taught me how to judge the energy of things. I wasn’t as good as her but I was decent when it came to my judging of things. I was helping out during the summer but when school came around my helped decrease as it usually did.
I was working one weekend. My grandma had to run errands and I had convinced her I was ready to run the shop on my own for a while until she came back. She trusted me. I was sweeping the floor and cleaning when someone came through the door. Excited for my first customer I quickly made my why behind the counter and stood on the step stool. There was a tall man browing the shop. I watched as he moved around the shop. He moved so swiftly that it was kinda hard to keep an eye on him. He wore a leather trench coat and a black beanie.
Grandma always told me to watch everyone, even the suspicious looking ones. I looked away for a small moment then back. He was in front of the counter holding a box. It was brown and old looking so I figured whatever he had in there must have been also old.
“You do trades right?” He asked in a low voice.
“Yes, is there something in the box that you would like to trade?” I asked in my best customer service voice with a smile.
He opened the box to reveal a beautiful doll. It had beautiful dark skin, curly baby doll hair with a light pale pink dress with matching shoes and hair ribbons. And it’s eyes were a bright purple. It almost looked like they were glowing. Her eyes were enchanting. The man snapped the box closed.
“Can I trade this?”
“Yes, how-” I was cut off.
“I don’t want any money or anything. I just want to take this off my hands. Will you take it?”
Strange but I agreed to take it excited by the thought of showing grandma my first trade without her. He forcefully shoved the box in my hand but before leaving he said something.
“Be careful.” Then he left.
Be careful? Of what? It’s just a doll. Thirty minutes later grandma came back. I was still looking at the doll’s beauty and didn’t notice her until she spoke to me.
“Ay boy, what do you have there?” She asked setting her purse on the counter.
With a big smile on my face I turned the doll around to show here.
“I made a trade grandma, isn’t it pretty. I think you should add it your rare collections”
Grandma put on her glasses to get a better look at the doll. She took the box out of my hands, closed it then started to examine the box itself. She ran her wrinkled fingers over the box and the engravings. She gasped.
“What is it?” I asked.
“Ay, nothing boy. I’m proud of you.” She said through her thick Jamacan accent. She knew something but didn’t want to tell me.
I worked until 2:00 pm then my mom came to get me. I asked grandma if I could have the doll but she told me no. Thinking she was going to add it to her collection like I suggested I didn’t press the matter. For the next few weeks when I worked at the shop I couldn’t stop staring at the doll. It was just so beautiful. Grandma went to run errands again and left me alone. I was cleaning and when I was done I stood behind the counter waiting for a customer. That’s when I heard knocking. It sounded like wood. Like a tiny hand was knocking on wood.
I tried ignoring it thinking we had rats and to tell grandma when she got back. Then it happened again. It was coming from the glass case behind me. I took the keys from under the counter and opened the class case and took the box containing the doll out. I re-locked the case and put the keys away. Opening the box the doll’s beauty was revealed. I took the doll out of the box and placed her in a sitting position. She stared at me and I stared back.
Grandma came back an hour later to see me playing with the doll.
“What are you doing?” She asked.
“Nothing.” I answered picking the doll up and holding it.
“Why did you take the doll out of the box?”
“She didn’t want to be there.”
Grandma sighed putting her hand on her forehead. She tried to take the doll from me but I protested. I yelled no really loud in a voice that wasn’t mine. Grandma gasped as she stepped back. She claimed my eyes had turned a color, a deep shade of purple. She pointed at the doll and yelled evil. For the next few days all my time was spent with the doll. All the other boys my age made fun of me for playing with a doll. It was for girls. But whenever they made fun of me they’d fall sick and wouldn’t be at school for a week or so. Weird.
My mom said that I had lost a lot of weight since I’d refuse to eat because I want to keep playing with the doll. She said that I looked sick, my eyes were sunken in from the lack of sleep and my voice had changed. It had gotten deeper and darker over time which was strange because I was eleven at the time. She said whenever she tried to separate me from the doll I’d start screaming inhuman sounds until I got the doll back. I don’t remember any of this.
She had called grandma over to ask what to do. Grandma came over and talked to mom. They say I was watching them from afar while talking to the doll. I had ran to my room and locked the door.
“Sweetie it’s grandma, open the door please I want to talk to you.”
“No. go away.”
“Please boy, I just want to help you.”
“No, you’re gonna take Erica away.”
Erica was the doll’s name.
Somehow she convinced me to open the door for her. The doll was sitting on my bed staring at the two of us. I grabbed her and asked grandma what she wanted in a rude tone. I had never spoken to her like that so she knew it wasn’t me speaking.
“Boy that doll is full of evil. It’s rotting you, making you bad. Just give me the doll-”
She reached for the doll but supposedly I bit her. She cursed under her breathe before looking at me now holding the doll. She said my eyes were no longer brown but a deep purple. She left then later came back with a bag. I didn’t know what was going on. Mom held me down as grandma took the doll. I began screaming and thrashing about cursing loudly in a deep voice that again wasn’t mine. Grandma said she pulled out a cross and laid it on my chest she then began chanting something in a language I didn’t know.
She later told me it was something along the lines of :Leave this boy alone you demon, he’s just a boy. Leave him alone. While she held another cross in her hand. Mom was keeping me down even though I kicked her in the face. When she said the last line of the chant I screamed a high pitched scream before blacking out. I had awoken to my mom petting my head. She smiled at me. I asked what had happened but she didn’t answer me and told me to ask my grandma.
I asked grandma when I went into the shop to work one weekend. She told me that the doll housed an evil spirit that was using me, gaining my trust to set it free. I asked where the doll was but she never told me. Years later grandma died when I was eighteen and left the shop to me in the will. I was cleaning out the back of the shop when I noticed a familiar looking box. I picked it up and examined it. I ran my hands against the engravings and dusted it off. I opened it and it was the doll, in all it’s beauty.