Aveva 12 anni Christine, quando trovò quella bambola appoggiata al portone d’ingresso di casa. Viveva coi suoi genitori a Hook, in un piccolo cottage quando la vide lì tra il marciapiede e la porta, nel silenzio di una tiepida mattina di primavera come tante altre.
La bambola era molto graziosa: aveva un vestitino di un rosso gentile in un pizzo ricamato dal sapore antico, un visino angelico composto di due occhi verdi non esageratamente grandi come ci si aspetterebbe in un bambolotto di quegli anni, ma molto espressivi e una bocca rosa delicata. Il viso era incorniciato da dei lunghi boccoli biondi che parevano veri.
Chissà chi l’aveva abbandonata…
A lei Christine affidava i suoi pensieri fino al punto di vedere in quel corpicino paffuto l’amica che non aveva mai avuto e così spesso si intratteneva con la bambola in lunghe ed amorevoli chiacchierate. – Buonanotte –, le dava un bacio e la stringeva al petto; così Christine concludeva tutte le sue giornate.
Si sporse dal letto e l’afferrò: – Oh poverina! Ti sei fatta male? –, chiese Christine stringendo al petto la sua adorata bambola, dimenticandosi del suo livido.
Quest’ultima, lanciata con troppa forza e non curanza cadde inesorabilmente sul freddo marmo del pavimento.
Si udì un tonfo.
William, sconcertato da quell’accadimento surreale, abbracciò la sua Christine e cercò in tutti i modi di convincerla a farsi accompagnare all’ospedale. Purtroppo no, Christine non voleva saperne e di quel dolore reale, terribile, inspiegabile, che aveva provato sembrava non importarle.
Trascorsero dieci giorni ed ancora il dolore era lì, esattamente come prima. Christine continuò a negare e a minimizzare l’accaduto con un sorriso. Simili episodi si verificarono ancora con frequenza nei giorni e nei mesi seguenti, e la ragazza, pur non capendo se tra lei e la bambola ci fosse una sorta di magica connessione mentale o fisica, pareva quasi compiaciuta. Infatti, trascorreva sempre più tempo con lei, prendendosi cura di quell’incantevole artefatto.
In una mattina di primavera, simile a quella in cui da bambina trovò la sua adorata bambola, Christine, rimasta sola in casa, si preparava per recarsi all’Università. Ad un tratto fu interrotta da una strana sensazione: un forte calore interno le pervase il corpo. Poi annusando l’aria intorno, sentì un forte odore insolito che proveniva dal piano inferiore, precisamente dalla cucina. Pochi attimi dopo vide un bagliore, e si rese immediatamente conto che la casa stava andando a fuoco. Mentre le fiamme inesorabili si propagavano ovunque, il pensiero corse alla bambola. Ormai non c’era molto tempo. Corse al piano inferiore: un’alta lingua di fiamma si stagliò di fronte ai suoi occhi e nuvoli di fumo cominciarono ad addensarsi intorno alle finestre. Uomini e donne apparvero sugli adiacenti davanzali; alcuni nella strada presero a correre gettando grida disperate :
Un gran tumulto si formò davanti al portone della casa; la folla gridava: – Soccorso! Chiamate i pompieri! –
Il vicino di casa andò a soccorrere Christine. Prima urlò il suo nome, poi vedendo che lei non voleva proprio saperne ad andargli incontro, salì al piano superiore correndo per quelle scale logorate e traballanti, afferrò il suo braccio, ma lei si sottrasse dalla presa spingendolo a terra: non poteva lasciare lì la bambola!
Christine was 12 years old when she found the doll resting on her front door at home. She lived with her parents in a small cottage in Hook, when she saw her there between the sidewalk and the door, in the silence of a warm spring morning just like any other.
The doll was very pretty: she had a dress of red embroidered antique lace, an angelic face made up of two green eyes not overly large as you would expect in a doll of those years, but very expressive and a delicate pink mouth. Her face was framed by long blond curls that looked almost real.
Her arms and legs were well proportioned to her torso and her hands were already stretched out to her new mom. Yes, that doll resembled really a child of flesh and blood and Christine did not hesitate to take her to her room and place it on a soft cushion. She showed the doll to her parents with trepidation.
Who knows who abandoned her …
The days went by fast. A special relationship was born between Christine and the doll. Over time that bond became ever more close so that she carried her with her wherever she went, even at school, even at the park.
With the doll close to her chest, she did not feel like crying anymore. She had no fear of the strange shadows of the night. She did not shout anymore. Others did not frighten her more.
– Im so glad you’re here with me now! You are such great company! Thank you! I love you –
Christine sees in her little plump doll a friend that she had never had and she was so often entertained with the doll in long and loving chats. – Good night -, she gave her a kiss and held her to her chest; and so that was how Christine concluded all her days.
As Christine grew up, she became a beautiful girl but her love for the doll never changed over time. She worshiped the doll with all of herself; every morning before leaving for High School she greeted her, saying: – Do not worry, I will return soon! –
And then at home, like every day, before going to bed she combed her hair gently, taking care of the smallest details. Her thoughts, despite the commitments of life, returned there, to her sweet doll that distracted her from all worries and all the world’s ills.
Then Christine, now a student at University, met a boy, William, and even when she made love with him, the doll was there with her beautiful green eyes watching the two from the bedside table or the back of the boys car.
The words of friends and relatives who were stunned watching this strange behavior made no difference to her. Moreover Christine was a particular girl who had always liked to draw attention to .
One night, however, a strange thing happened: Christine awoke with a start because of a sharp pain in his right side: with one hand touched his buttock and he noticed a large bruise that caused her severe pain. Then he turned to look for the doll and noticed with dismay that that was lying on its side in the floor.
He leaned out of bed and grabbed her: – Oh, poor thing! Did you get hurt? – Christine asked, clutching his beloved doll, forgetting his bruise.
It was not long since that episode when Christine organized a dinner with some of his friends and closest colleagues in the house she shared with two girls of his faculties. As in all other occasions, the doll was sitting on old leather sofa in the middle of the large living room, when one of the three friends intent to sit comfortably, decided to launch the doll into one of the chairs.
The latter, launched with too much force and not disregard fell relentlessly on the cold marble floor.
There was a thud.
Christine spun around and almost did not have time to look at the doll lying on the ground that a strong pain in my leg and hip made her bend over itself. He got up after a while and worried limping heading towards his beloved doll. Friends had watched with amazement the girl slumped to the ground at the same time that the eyes of all no longer seemed a simple doll.
William, baffled by surreal that event, Christine hugged her and tried in every way to convince her to be accompanied to the hospital. Unfortunately no, Christine did not want and the real pain, terrible, inexplicable, he felt seemed to import them.
Ten days passed and the pain was still there, just as before. Christine continued to deny and minimize the incident with a smile. Similar incidents still occurred frequently in the days and months that follow, and the girl, even if not understanding between her and the doll there was some sort of magical mental or physical connection, it seemed almost smug. In fact, more and more time spent with her, taking care of that charming artifact.
On a spring morning, similar to that in which a little girl found her beloved doll, Christine, was alone in the house, she was preparing to go to the university. She was suddenly interrupted by a strange feeling: a strong internal heat pervaded the body. Then sniffing around, she felt a strong unusual smell coming from the lower level, specifically from the kitchen. A few moments later she saw a glow, and immediately realized that the house was on fire. While the relentless flames were spreading everywhere, the thought ran to the doll. By now there was not much time. Downstairs ran: high tongue of flame loomed in front of her eyes, and clouds of smoke began to thicken around the windows. Men and women appeared on adjacent sills; some in the street started to run throwing desperate cries:
– On fire! On fire! -.
A great tumult was formed at the front door of the house; the crowd shouted: – Help! Call the firemen! –
The neighbor went to rescue Christine. Before screamed his name, then seeing that she really wanted to learn not to meet him, went upstairs running for those worn out and rickety stairs, grabbed her arm, but she escaped from the socket by pushing it to the ground: he could not leave there the doll!
The flames now enveloped the house entirely and the smoke was everywhere but she could not let it burn: he had to find it! The kind neighbor who had tried to help her was forced to run away from that hell. Christine panicked, just moments before collapsing to the ground unconscious, murmured a few words: – The doll –
Little use shouts of rescuers and attempts to stop it. So Christine died without knowing that the neighbor, running away in the desperate rush to save himself, had recovered the doll. Christine, confused and panicked, had not even heard.
And when the house began to collapse in on itself, engulfing the beautiful Christine in the inferno of fire and flames, I rushed me from the doll lying on the grass green and fresh, where the good man had left her while desperately he clutching his head in his hands. Green eyes that artifact so special seemed to cry as her blonde curls caught fire and her clothes began to turn yellow. Finally: even his plastic skin had begun to squagliarsi and here I was stunned, incredulous, only witness touched to see the doll Christine die.
Featured image: Dolls house, UK