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Good Night, Dennis

by TheGodfather 

Posted: 03 November 2004
Word Count: 473

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T H E summer was coming to a close. We had fallen asleep watching Night of the Living Dead in Timmy’s living room. Some creaking noise woke me up. I rolled over, the room blurring in my vision as I tried to find the clock on the wall. 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. They had 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 got colder, but I shivered and thought I was seeing a sort of fog rise from the potted plants around the room.

Timmy was asleep.

I was awake, and 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 took a step 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 made their way down the front of the pine armoire.

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

I pulled my head down into my sleeping bag but left room to peek out 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 to sleep. I tried counting 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.

There in the opening of my sleeping bag was the face of one of the girls, 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. I was slightly relieved. 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 in terror about what was happening. I had to sleep. I closed my eyes and breathed deeply, trying to imagine and keep sleep in my mind.

One, Two, Three, Four…

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Comments by other Members

Becca at 07:33 on 04 November 2004  Report this post
Hi God,
this is intriguing, - a fine little horror, I thought it needed a fraction more clarity about what was intended for Timmy, or do you have to know the reference to 'Night of the Living Dead?'
This story is quite different from other work you've posted. It was very straightforward, and I enjoyed it. There is nothing more sinister than dolls, Aickman wrote about them a lot, although he often pretended that he was writing about humans, although only just pretended.

bjlangley at 13:16 on 04 November 2004  Report this post
Hi Godfather, I enjoyed this, but was left a little confused by the end. The build up works well, with him first looking at the dolls, then the movement of them starting. Many dolls are creepy, horrible things.

I noticed that you have a repetition of "eyes" in the last line on the first paragraph and the first of the second in wide-eyed, and I thought this affected the flow of it a little.

All the best,


darkstar at 12:56 on 05 November 2004  Report this post
Hi there,

This was good. I have an absolute horror of dolls, which probably coloured my reaction. :) I haven't seen Night of the Living Dead so didn't the references in the story to it. I assume they are there otherwise I don't think you would have mentioned the film by name.

I like the way there is a degree of amibuity over whether this is just a nightmare or whether Dennis is really awake.



TheGodfather at 16:07 on 06 November 2004  Report this post

You're right on the difference in style. I was branching out. Someone a while ago, I think MikeC, suggested that I try something that "isn't me." I'm sure I will go further with it in the future as far as what happens with Timmy. However, I enjoy the horror of the unknown.


I'll take a look at the 2 eyes and see if it needs tinkering. Thanks for pointing it out for me.


There are a couple references to the movie, although slight ones. It was included mostly just to add to the tone.

Thanks all for reading. I welcome more reads and comments please.


alex_d at 16:46 on 21 November 2004  Report this post
Well, if you can believe it I've never seen Night of the Living Dead, despite being a big fan of Horror! So any references were lost on me. Still, it was creepy and I enjoyed it! My imagination is supplying plenty of horrible endings for Dennis...anything involving dolls is pretty grim, nasty things!

Are Timmy and Dennis supposed to be adults? (just as a matter of interest)


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