"Good Night, Dennis"

The summer was coming to a close. We fell asleep watching Night of the Living Dead in Timmy's living room. Some creaking noise jolted me up. I rolled over, the room blurring in my vision as I scoured the walls for the clock. 4:17 am. My eyes were open now.

I stared wide-eyed at the armoire, probably his mother's, that displayed rows upon rows of dolls with various styles of hair - straight, curly, brown, black, blond. All girls. All staring. All with white plastic eyes of reality wanting to look left and right. I shuddered. Maybe the room had just gotten colder, but I shivered and thought I saw a sort of fog rise from the potted plants around the room.

Timmy groaned in his sleep.

My eyes stretched further open. Fear crawled up my back as I stared at the dolls. One of them moved its eyes. I would have bet my next summer vacation on it. I tried to convince myself otherwise, but deep down I knew. I blinked, and one of the little girls started to move. She stretched her arms above her head and creaked her neck left and right. Cracking. I needed to sleep, now more than ever. She stepped forward and waved her hand in front of the other dolls. They all turned their eyes toward her, together. She pointed at me, and immediately dozens of animated dolls scaled their way down the front of the pine armoire.

“Good night, Dennis. Go to sleep. Good night, Dennis. Go to sleep.”

I retreated down into my sleeping bag but left a space to peek out through the opening. The girls began marching circles around my bag and whispering in still soft voices, “Good night, Dennis. Go to sleep. Good night, Dennis. Go to sleep.” I wanted to sleep. I really did. I tried. I counted sheep, but they turned into dolls in my mind. I opened my eyes again and peered out the opening. I could still hear the chanting whispers -“Good night, Dennis. Go to sleep.” And the soft shuffling of feet.

In the opening of my sleeping bag, one of their faces appeared, eyes staring, mouth moving with the others around my bag. “Good night, Dennis. Go to sleep.”

I pinched closed the opening and pretended, tried, hoped to fall into sleep. The room fell silent for a moment. My heart slowed a beat.

But the chanting resumed with a different whisper. “Wake up, Timmy. It is time. Wake up, Timmy. It is time.”

I could only guess as to the terror invading the room. I needed to sleep. I closed my eyes and breathed deeply. I tried counting sheep again.

One. Two. Three. Four.

But the sheep didn't look quite right.

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