Harmless

French version : Inoffensive

She had put it back in the closet this morning. Then why was it back on the couch? It was really strange. How did it get there? How ?!


She questioned the cook, who said she hadn’t moved it, or even seen it. But she had been in that room several times during the day, and it wasn’t there. 


She accompanied her into the living room, and to her surprise, it was no longer there. The cook told her that she was working too hard, she was going a little crazy, completing too many papers all day long. It was certainly not good for her health. 


She apologized to the cook, since they were the only ones living here, there was no way anyone else could have moved it in the meantime. She looked back through the living room door and was horrified by what she saw. 
The doll was there, sitting on the couch as it had been before the stove arrived, leaning against a cushion. She screamed. The cook came to see what was going on, and found the lady she was working for frozen in terror, motionless in the living room, hiding her eyes from her hands. 


She asked her what was happening to her, and she pointed to the sofa with a trembling hand. But the cook saw nothing special. She told her, and the lady opened her eyes again, amazed to see that the doll had disappeared. She took a deep breath, thanking the cook for coming, and then she went up to her room. 


She seriously wondered if she had gone mad. This doll had belonged to her mother, she usually kept it in a closet in the attic. But there it had been on the couch when no one seemed to have taken it down. How could that happen? 
She’s thinking on her way up the stairs. She was going to eat, sleep, and tomorrow it would get better. It was Halloween night, her brain must have been playing tricks on her. 


When she went into her room, she was so scared, she dropped her purse. There, on the bed, sat the doll. She was turned towards it, smiling out of her cloth mouth. 


She had to lean against the door so she wouldn’t faint. Then she decided to pull herself together. It was only a doll, after all. She grabbed it, went up the stairs to the attic and put it into the first cupboard she saw, angry. She certainly wasn’t going to be afraid of a toy. 


The meal went quietly, and she invited the cook to eat there, as she often did because they were the only inhabitants of the house. 


When it was time for bed, she wanted the cook to come and sleep with her in her room, because this story had really frightened her. She offered her one side of the bed, because her bed was huge. The cook agreed because she could see that she was terrified. 


They fell asleep side by side, one being more reassured by the presence of the other. Suddenly the cook woke up. She didn’t really know what had brought her out of her sleep, but she heard a scream when she turned to the owner of the house. She realized that it was hers, for she had just seen the lady of the house dead with the doll on her stomach, looking at her with her sewn smile. No one ever saw the lady or the cook again, and the house soon fell into ruins. When someone finally had the courage to go in, he found no trace of the two women, just a doll sitting on the sofa with a tea set next to it…

Other English texts

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