The Doll

My grandparents were very religious and very poor people. In the 1960's, they were living on the top floor of an old brownstone on Chicago's northside. My grandma had a friend, Dotty, who was said to be psychic. Of course, being a religious fanatic, my step-grandfather said it was "hocus-pocus" and not to believe a thing that Dotty said. One summer Sunday while at church, Dotty came up to my grandmother and told her that she had to warn her of something. "Merle," she said, "the devil is going to visit your home this week. Do not let anyone who comes to your home touch Gina or Doris" (they are my aunts, ages 3 & 20, respectively).

Grandma was polite to Dotty and said she would keep that in mind but thought nothing of the incident because Dotty was always ranting about something!

The following week, Grandma was home cooking dinner when someone knocked on the door. She opened it to find a little old lady (cane, rounded shoulders, the whole nine yards) selling dolls. Her daughter Gina was hiding behind her mother's skirts looking out at the stranger. She was a curious little girl and you could tell by the look in her eyes that she really wanted one of the lady's dolls. My grandparents were very poor and could not afford the luxury of a doll at that time. Grandma thanked the lady but told her no thank you. The woman reached toward Gina and told her that she could have a doll if the old lady could just touch her pretty hair. At that same moment, the telephone rang! Remembering Dotty's warning and fearful of the lady's strange watery red eyes, she closed the door on the lady and ran to answer the call. It was none other that Dotty telling her that the Devil was just at her house. My grandma threw down the telephone and raced down the stairs. Several neighbors were sitting outside (remember it is summer) and yet none of these people saw the little old lady with a cane who was selling dolls. Was this an evil spirit or just a coincidence? You decide!.......................

Submitted by Jenni, Tennessee, USA