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And to all a good night . . .

Every Xmas my wife's side of the family have a grab bag gift event. One contributes several gifts, which should not to exceed the amount of $1*, into a pile and from oldest to youngest we take turns picking out presents. I buy grab bag gifts throughout the year rather than spend time shopping during the annoying holiday season. Basically, if I see something that looks interesting and it's cheap it is acquired for the grab bag. At a Goodwill store I discovered a small evil looking doll; all marionette-like with narrow eyes and a devilish 'I just ate your cat' grin.
     So of course I got it for the grab bag.
     Well, I didn't want such an evil presence to actually get any family members, so I wrote up a set of instructions to aid in figuring out what kind evil doll that one might have. I stuck the instructions in the box with the sinister marionette. So far no one has died so I guess everything is okay.
     Or maybe the evil doll just feels at home there.
     Thought I would share those instructions here.

* Everyone doesn't adhere to the rule. A bit difficult to stay within a $1 limit for ten items. Over the years I've put in several $500 gifts in the grab bag. And it's not really a bag but a pile. Guess Grab Pile just doesn't sound right. Oh, Pick Pile! It should be called a Pick Pile!

You are now the new owner of one (1) evil doll. Please read the following information carefully in order to determine what type of evil doll you have. With time, if you survive that long, you will come to know your evil doll as it will terrifyingly come to know you. Please note that every one (1) evil doll has its peculiarities and may not conform to specifics as stated below. HellStorm Industries holds no responsibilities as to the condition, actions, direction, affiliations, inclination, or activities of your one (1) evil doll. HellStorm Industries only holds that your one (1) evil doll, in some respect, has been created or touched by the Dark Powers of Evil and will seek, in some sinister method, to cause harm. If you survive the encounter with your one (1) evil doll we hope that you'll be able to pass on its hideous curse to family, friends (being of course they survive the initial onslaught, see below), or unknown unsuspecting future victims.

If you are curious, please examine your one (1) evil doll for any of the following characteristics to determine what type of evil doll has found its way into your possession. Each characteristic has a numerical value; tallying the values aids in establishing the level of Pure Evil in your doll and what to expect in regards to your fate, be it merely a life changing experience producing future fears of new terrors or something ultimately horrific.

AGE

It is a brand new doll: ONE (1) It is fresh from the factory and still in the box. Probably inexperienced and perhaps containing the soul of a murderer, greedy industrialist, or evil cultist.

It is an older doll: TWO (2) It appears to have been manufactured during the past three (3) to four (4) decades. May have killed before but possibly only waiting until its day of release while slowly building up its vile hate to a proper state before unleashing its horror.

It is of an indeterminable age: THREE (3) It was made before you were born, perhaps in the range of 1790-1940s. More than likely these dolls are experienced terror makers, having undoubtedly killed before and merely waiting for the right opportunity to commit bloodshed.

It is ancient of age: FOUR (4) It was crafted when mankind dwelled in crude huts and chanted strange alien words to Dark Powers. This thing, this foulness in a craven image, has been touched by things monstrously evil that, if given a mere glimpse, would shatter a human's fragile sanity.

SIZE

It is six (6) inches in height or less: ONE (1) It more than likely is part of a collection, say a group of army men or similar action figures. May have a specified goal to accomplish.

It is the size of a small child: TWO (2) It is made to be an eye-to-eye interactive object for some unfortunate. If a ventriloquist dummy, it will make seductive promises of fortune or urge one to commit terrible acts. May be cursed, holding an evil presence, or contain the soul of the former owner.

It is a doll closer to adult height: THREE (3) If it is a larger doll, it will be distressfully creepy just sitting there in the dark. It doesn't have to do anything. If it does move, it will do so in slow crawling spider-like movements just so that memory will be forever scorched in your mind.

It is around a foot in height: FOUR (4) It will be able to hide effectively and seemingly strike out of nowhere.

ACQUISITION

It is purchased by you: ONE(1) Fate has directed you to purchase the doll. You were given a choice whether to buy it or something else, and chose it. Later, you will spend a lot of time wondering why the doll disturbs you. This is normal.

It is bought for you as a gift: TWO (2) The innocent situation in which the doll was given to you (birthday, bar mitzvah, bachelor party) makes you susceptible to its mind games. It will strike subtly before any direct confrontation or just silently watch you mentally disintegrate.

It is discovered in an abandoned residence or in an old attic or basement: THREE (3) More than likely it has killed before and is the reason why the residence is abandoned, or if in an attic/basement had been placed there after finishing previous destructive mayhem. It has been waiting for you.

It has been discovered at a location over a hundred (100) years old: FOUR (4) It has been sleeping, patiently waiting for its unholy strength to be unleashed. The older the place of discovery, the more powerful the doll will be. It can kill you with its mind.

APPEARANCE

It is relatively normal looking in appearance: ONE (1)It is very human looking without distortions. Probably will not engage in mind games and be more physically confrontational.

It is a ventriloquist dummy: TWO (2) More than likely will engage in mind games and focus on an individual. It will slowly work on your oblivion. Its laughter will haunt you.

It appears to be a tribal fetish figure: THREE (3) Its features are disturbingly distorted and twisted, plus something on it (teeth, fingers, elbows, something) will more than likely be all jaggedly sharp. Might come with its own doll sized weapon. You will be terrified just holding the damned thing.

It looks like a clown: FOUR (4) The worst kind, d'uh.

OTHER FACTORS

Bought in a yard sale: ONE (1) Typically, only lower end evil work through yard sales.

You've experienced a life changing event : TWO (2) You've been experiencing problems writing a book, you just finished writing your book, you've inherited an estate, you dying great-grandfather wishes to talk to you before he dies, etc. You will be too distracted to pay attention to the one (1) evil doll that's somehow a part of all this.

Bought in curio or consignment shop: THREE (3) Curio shops and the like are to evil dolls what bars are to single people; it's where one goes to meet who they are going to be spending the night with, however in this case it isn't cab fare left on the table but your neighbor's eyes.

Came with a story or warning: FOUR (4) The seller tells you of the curse/history/purpose associated with the doll and you buy it anyway. It silently mocks you.

Tally your score

1-5 Your situation is survivable. Your encounter may end up being merely a moral lesson, like paying more attention to your kids or some garbage.

6-10 Odds are slightly in your favor unless you are one of those denying type people that try to rationalize everything. "Well, maybe Aunty accidentally decapitated herself with the steak knife after moving the doll into the empty locked bedroom, it's the only logical conclusion."

11-15 Your encounter could go either way. It won't be pretty.

16-20 You're screwed. Frankly, we're surprised you've made it through reading the pamphlet.

If you have any questions or concerns regarding your one (1) HellStorm Industries evil doll, please do not attempt to contact us, as it will prove fruitless and any previous point of contact will, of course, not be there when you return to the location for a second time. This is especially true if you bring a police officer, friend or family member along in order to prove "there was a shop there, honest" or some such.

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what hell
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Eldon Litchfield

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