" I've been waiting".
He heard the voice as soon as he entered the dusty attic, yet he was clearly alone here, even his footprints showed up on the dust-covered floor. Shrugging his shoulders, he put it down to over-work and stress, but he still went ahead with a search of the room. As he thought, he was alone. It looked as though it had been used before as a childs nursery or playroom. A few old toys remained where they had been left, in the corner a fine old rocking-horse looking the worse for wear but against the far wall was a magnificent Dolls House, he had never seen one like it....a huge thing, almost as tall as him, a mansion and looked to be in pristine condition, gleaming in spite of the gloom in here, with pretty curtained windows looking out into the attic. Whoever the children that played here were, they were very, very lucky indeed.
" I've been waiting".
He spun round, peering into the gloom....where was that coming from ? Next door maybe, children playing ? Although he couldn't be sure it was a childs voice even, it sounded both old and young but that was just plain crazy. He turned his attention to the Dolls House again, sitting by the side of it was a doll, which was strange as he didn't recall seeing it a few minutes ago but then it was dark in here.He threw open a skylight to let some light in, and went back across to the doll. He picked her up and examined her, the golden-blonde curls seemed free of dust and she was in remarkable condition for being confined here in the dirt and dark. What are you thinking doll, what would you say if you could talk, how have you kept so clean here in this lonely place ? Now this was even crazier than hearing the voice, here he was talking to a doll of all things.
He put her down gently where he had found her and got on with what he was supposed to be doing. He had just bought the house as his getaway from it all and this room would suit him perfectly as somewhere he could paint, write and be alone, be at peace.
" I need someone to play with".
What the..............if this was what overwork and stress did to you then it was going to be a very good move indeed to settle himself here. Playfully he approached the doll.....but surely....he had put her down on the left side of the house, then how could it be she was now on the right. He looked closely at her face, at her smile which seemed wider now somehow, was it you, do you speak after all or do you just look. An idea came to him, perhaps this was an old battery-operated doll which had a few phrases it could repeat and when he had picked her up he had activated it somehow although that could not explain the words he heard when entering the room. He politely said excuse me as he pushed her dress up to check her back for a battery compartment, but there was none. Right, he told himself, time to get downstairs for a stiff drink before I go completely mad.
He took one step towards the door and as he did so, the room began to spin, it seemed to be pressing down on him from angles, the ceiling was moving downwards and the floor was rising up to meet it, instead of the feeling of being crushed, he had one of being at one with the room as though his own dimensions were altering to suit the new dimensions of the room.He was shrinking into himself, getting smaller with each second that went by. He could no longer find the door, his legs refused to work and oddly enough escape itself was no longer desirable or necessary even.
He had no awareness of time passing but passed it had. He opened his eyes. His ears strained for the noise which had awoken him. To his right sat a girl with golden-blonde curls. She put her fingers to her lips " Shh........look"
He looked out through the pretty curtained windows into the attic......he could dimly see a man was there, walking around, taking measurements, muttering to himself " Great house this, can't believe its been empty for so long".
The girl with the golden-blonde curls,his playmate, looked at him. He nodded, understanding.
"Now" she whispered.
" We've been waiting" they said.