When Dare’s dog discovers an abandoned doll on their doorstep, Dare assumes it’s nothing more than a lost toy… until it begins to talk.
After the doll offers up a string of bad suggestions and unhelpful advice, Dare is left wondering if the isolation of lockdown has finally proved too much. Struggling to get rid of the bad-tempered toy, Dare has no idea that this not-quite-scary fiend will accidentally change everything.
With a dash of humour, this queer cosy-horror short story is a fun, quirky tale – perfect for readers who like the idea of being scared more than the reality of it.
The washing machine beeped just after Starling and I returned from our lunchtime walk. As I opened the washer’s door and pulled the contents out, I could’ve sworn I heard someone whispering the word ‘arsehole’. Glowering at the kitchen window, I removed the doll from the pillowcase and set it on the radiator to dry, then took the rest to my room to hang it up.
On my way back to my desk in the living room, I passed the doll. ‘Don’t you look cute, sitting there,’ I said. ‘I bet it’s a lot warmer and comfier than your spot on the doormat on that frigid walkway.’
From the doll’s position on my radiator, came a clear voice. A child’s voice. ‘You nearly drowned me, you wankstain. I should murder you in your sleep.’
SI CLARKE is a misanthrope who lives in Deptford, sarf ees London. She shares her home with her partner and an assortment of waifs and strays. When not writing convoluted, inefficient stories, she spends her time telling financial services firms to behave more efficiently. When not doing either of those things, she can be found in the pub or shouting at people online – occasionally practising efficiency by doing both at once.
As someone who’s neurodivergent, an immigrant, and the proud owner of an invisible disability, she strives to present a diverse array of characters in her stories.