The House Warming Gift

26 Oct

The writer at work


The photo is of my elevn-year-old daughter Lily. She is hard at work on a writing assignment for her 6th grade English class. It’s supposed to be a scary story, but without blood, guts and gore. I hope you agree she did a pretty darn good job.


The House Warming Gift

by Lily Marsden


34-year-old Emiline Waters has just gotten back from her honeymoon with her husband John Waters. She was tall with shoulder length brown hair and brown eyes. Her husband was tall with buzz-cut brown hair and brown eyes. They bought a house in the small town of Pleasantville, New York. Her mother, Suzie Lankin, and her father, Lawrence Lankin, were visiting and staying in a nearby hotel, for a week to help them unpack the new house. Her mother was average sized, had short gray hair, and was 58-years-old. Her father was tall, had short gray hair, and was 60-years-old.


It was a warm, sunny day in Pleasantville, New York. Emiline Waters was with her mother, unpacking a box downstairs when the doorbell rang. It couldn’t be dad or John, they are out she thought to herself. She walked to the tall, white door and opened it. She looked around her big porch and saw that no one was there, but beneath her was a package, covered in white wrapping paper, a big blue bow, with a small note tied to it.
She picked it up, and looked at the note, which read- Congratulations! From, Anonymous.

“Ooh, fancy.”, she said to herself.

She brought it inside and called down for her mother. Her mom came down the steps and examined the package.

“Well, what are you waiting for? Open it up!” said her mother excitedly.

Emiline opened it up and inside was a old, paint-chipped china doll.

“Well, isn’t that nice! But who do you think sent it?” said her mother.

“I have no idea! Oh, but t mom you should go, you’ve done enough.”, said Emiline, looking at the clock.

Her mom started to say something but stopped, gave her a hug, said goodbye and left.

The next day her dad, Lawrence, came to help. As they were both working, Emiline said “Hey, dad. Did mom tell you about the package we got yesterday?”.

When he didn’t answer, she called again. He still didn’t answer so she walked to the living room where he had been working and looked around.

There was no one there.

“Well, I guess he left. That’s weird of him.”, she said to herself.

Then she noticed something. In a chair in the living room sat a bug-eyed, rusted, paint-chipped, creepy china doll that looked exactly like her dad! On the back was a white string. She pulled the sting and the doll said “Lawrence, Lawrence”. She was officially creeped out so she tried to call her dad. The line rang three times and went to voicemail. She tried to calm down, decided it was probably just another trick played on her by her dad. He always liked to trick her, so she just shook off.

Later that day, her mom showed up to help her again. While they were working Emiline casually asked her mother whether she had seen her dad today. Her mother looked at her in the eyes and could tell she was a little worried.

“No, but you know your father. I’m sure he’s just fine.”, she said calmly.

So Emiline closed the subject with “Yea, I guess so,” but still kept it in the back of her head.

After about an hour of working, Emiline went to the kitchen to get her and her mom a drink. When she came back her mom was gone. She looked around and there, in a chair in the living room, was another china doll.
It was old, bug-eyed, rusted, looked just like her mom, and had a white string on the back.
Emiline’s heart started pounding in her chest as she thought to herself, This is not a prank!
She slowly, her body shaking, went and pulled he string. The doll, with a large cracking voice, said “Suzie, Suzie.”

She could not handle this. She wobbly walked to the couch, now with her head throbbing, and got her phone out.

First she dialed her mom. It rang three times and went to voicemail. Her heart started beating faster. Then she dialed her dad. It ran three times and went to voicemail. Her heart beat even faster and she thought it might pop out of her chest. Then she dialed her husband. It rang twice and he answered.

Thank goodness, she thought.

“Hello?” said John.

“It’s me! You need to come home right now!” said Emiline worriedly.

He didn’t have to ask any questions to know something was wrong, so he said “Okay, I’ll be right there,” and he was on his way.

He got there in a couple of minutes, pulled in the drive way and ran inside. Emiline hadn’t moved since she hung up, she was to shocked. John sat down next to her and got her to explain what happened. When she finished Emiline was surprised to hear that he had an answer.

“I heard from your dad this morning. He called me and said he had a cold and told me not to worry. He told me your mom wasn’t feeling well either,” he said.

“Why didn’t he answer his phone when I called him?” she asked.

“Well, he called on a number I didn’t recognize so I called him out on it and he said he dropped his phone and it broke so he had to get a new one,” said John.

“Well, okay. How did he sound?” she added anxiously

“He didn’t sound like himself, really. Oh, and he asked me how I liked the china doll. He seemed oddly interested,” he said

“Thats strange of him to say,” she said, puzzled

“Its probably nothing, I wouldn’t worry about it,” he said reassuringly.

With that the subject was closed and they soon went to sleep.

The next day she woke up to find a note on the bedside table from John saying he had to go to work early. He’d be back by noon, and she should relax and stop worrying about her parents. So she did just that. She got up and dressed, went downstairs, and soon fell asleep watching TV.

She woke up as John walked through the front door. She jumped up, welcomed him home, and hung up his coat.

“I’m going to go upstairs to finish up the bedroom,” said John.

“Great, I’ll make you something to eat,” she said happily.

He went upstairs and she headed into the kitchen. She got out all the ingredients for his B.L.T and put it all together. Then she headed up the stairs with his food in her hand.

She opened the door to the bedroom and immediately dropped the plate on the floor in shock. There in front of her was another china doll. It was bug-eyed, rusted, paint-chipped, with a white string on the back. And like always, it looked exactly like John. This time she didn’t wait to pull the string or try to call him, she just grabbed her phone and dialed 911. When someone answered she told them her name, address, and that her family was missing, then just waited.

Within minutes the police were at the door and within minutes she had told them the whole story. After she told them they gave her a couple guesses on the whole matter, including that they traced the phone that John had been talking to and it didn’t belong to her father. It was a throw away phone that people who don’t want to found use. After they had told her all they could and taken everything they needed they said the best thing she could do was calm down and wait. Then they left.

After they were gone she was ready to collapse in exhaustion. So she turned of all the lights, and wearily climbed the steps. She slowly reached the top of the stairs and opened the door of the pitch black room. In seconds she heard the large cracking voice of another china doll saying, “Emilie, Emiline . . .”


Emiline awoke to the smell of bacon. She got out of bed and went downstairs to be greeted by her husband John making breakfast.

“Good morning! How did you sleep?” he said cheerfully.

“I had the strangest dream,” said Emiline sleepily.

“Oh, I found a housewarming gift on the porch this morning. I didn’t open it, I wanted you to. It’s right there on the counter,” he said.

She walked and picked up a card tied from the white colored gift box and opened it. She read to herself the note- Congratulations! From Anonymous.

The End

Copyright © by Summer L. Marsden, 26 October, 2014


3 Responses to “The House Warming Gift”

  1. InfiniteZip October 26, 2014 at 11:28 am #

    I think you have a budding author in the house 🙂 excellent read….suspenseful and kudos!!!

  2. aballaharmstrong October 26, 2014 at 3:07 pm #

    Reblogged this on Aballaharmstrong's Blog and commented:
    she is a very couragious girl

  3. sharon October 27, 2014 at 10:07 am #

    Excellent story, Lily. You should start a collection so you can look back on it as you grow. Imagine comparing it to your first published story!

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