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Grade
7

Beep. Beep. Beep. That stupid alarm clock. Why is always it this loud? Emily opened her eyes, waking up to the light of the sun shining in her face. She looked around the room, seeing her trashy apartment that was the only thing she could afford, right now. Emily snapped out of her thoughts and realized that she still hadn’t turned her alarm off. I hope I didn’t wake her up. She looked over confused at her door, hearing loud fast thumps coming from its direction. Slamming the door open, came Emily’s friend, Chloe, who looked like she just ran a marathon. “I’m so sorry! I meant to turn off your alarm, but I got so caught up in cleaning up the place after the party.” What party? I don’t remember that. Emily looked down on her floor, only to see trash and empty red, plastic cups scattered around the room. “Oh, it’s fine. I know how rowdy your friends can be,” she responded, her voice sounding a bit sarcastic in the beginning, which she didn’t mean. Chloe gave her a surprised look and almost screamed. “No, it’s not fine! I knew you were going to start your new part-job today, but I still threw the party. I bet we were so loud through these crappy thin walls.” Chloe frantically started picking up everything and throwing it in the trash bag that she had in her hand. “Anyway,..” Chloe said, still cleaning up the room. “I’ve been meaning to talk to you about your new job. I know that you hate it. You’re just doing it so we can get more money for college and taxes. We’re not really liquid right now.” Emily sighed and said to Chloe. “I know I may seem like I’m going to hate this job, and we really need the money, but if I can’t become a photographer, then designing dolls will be my second option and I’m happy about that.” I’m terrible at lying! “Why do you think I’m lying?” Chloe looked over at her. “I know you’ve been wanting to become a photographer.” She put her hand on Emily’s shoulder. “And I know you have been working your butt off. You’re so amazing, smart, and you deserve more.” Chloe was always there for her and she really brought the best in her. She was the only person she really cared about. Chloe had this glimmer in her eye that gave her… Shoot. I wasn’t listening to what she was saying. “Oh, sorry.” Chloe let go of her grip. “I hope you have a great day.” Emily smiled and looked at her watch. 9:30, Shoot!

She began to start running to Dolls Inc. when she noticed a bulletin board was filled with five with missing posters. They all were little girls in the same age group and their names were listed at the bottom of each piece of paper. Bella, Sofie, Scarlett, Ellie, and Grace. I hope the police station finds them. She started running again to start her new job as being a doll designer.

“Man, this building is so altitudinous,” She said, looking out from the elevator window. She was pleased to see that she reached her floor number and was surprised at the sight to see that Dolls Inc. looked nothing similar to the open space office areas that a design squad would be working in. She looked around the empty hallways, only to no prevail to see anyone in the area. Where is everybody?! She screamed when she turned the corner to see her boss. “Sorry. Did I scare you?” Heck yeah you did, you jerk! “No!” Emily almost choked on her words. “Just took me by surprise. I’m sorry Mr. Kennedy!” He smiled and said, “Don’t be. Also, call me Robbert. I would not like you to think of me as your boss, but your coworker. I presume you are Emily Thomas. Correct?” She nodded. “You got motivation, I admire that. I get my motivation from my daughter. How do you get yours?” Emily smiled and immediately thought of Chloe. “I get mine from someone, too.”  “Real quick before you get started, here’s what I’ve been working on.” Robbert Kennedy walked her to a metal door that had three locks on it, unlocking each one with a key. The door slide open, and Emily saw what looked to be like a little girl inside with coal black hair, and skin the color of snow. “This is the doll I’ve been working on. I haven’t quite given her a name yet, but I’m certain you have many ideas.” Wait, this little girl is a doll?! She looks so life-like, I couldn’t see the woodwork in her body parts. “I can’t believe your team of designers made this doll! It looks just like a little girl. You even got the height right, too!” He turned his head, confused, and said, “What ‘team of designers’? I made this doll myself.” Emily’s head jolted back. “You mean to tell me that all the dolls that are made in Dolls Inc. are created by just you?!”

He nodded proudly and spoke with pride, saying, “No design squad would understand my ideas. My mission is to make the perfect doll.” He smiled even more than he already did. “And you're going to help me.” His tone started in a sweet way but turned off rotten as malic in the end. “I’m going to give you this doll to take home with you. You’ll be able to look off her and see what improvements she needs. All of this workspace is accessed to you, but not that door.” Mr. Kennedy pointed to a color-full door that laid just across from where they were standing. It had 5 locks on it. “You are forbidden from going beyond that door, do you copy?” Emily couldn’t look at her boss in the eyes without sweating, but managed to say, “I-I understand, s-sir!” He smiled and patted her on the back. “Good girl. Anyway, I have to go to the police department. They want me for…….questioning.” His tone made him sound a bit anxious. He’s hiding something. As he walked toward the exit, she called out to him in panic. “Robbert, wait!” He turned around and gave her a concerned look. “Is something wrong, Miss Thomas?” She walked a bit closer to him, inching her hand toward his keys. “I just wanted to say that I’m grateful for getting this job.” Just a little closer! Emily was so close that she could feel him breathing. “I’m very proud to be working alongside you.” He gave a fake smile and spoke in a soft voice, “You really are something, huh?” He gave a little wave and left the room, leaving her alone in the dark. She smiled as she gave a little jingle with the keys in her hand. What is he hiding from me that he’s so worried about? She headed for the door but got sidetracked by the doll sitting in a wooden chair. Her black hair was so soft to the touch that it was surprisingly realistic. Her eyes had a beautiful tint of blue that looked as if they had been human. The doll looked so perfect that it could be alive, which made Emily feel disturbed.

She looked through the set of keys and quickly unlocked each lock before her boss could notice they were gone. Her stomach sank when she opened the door to find what appeared to be a set of stairs that led to the dark abyss. She started to hear weird gasping sounds and heavy breathing coming from the darkness below. “Hello?” The sound suddenly stopped, making so that a whisper could be heard. What if somebody down there is hurt! She grabbed her lighter and stepped down the creaky stairs into the dark room. Emily’s lighter wasn’t really helping the situation, so she tried another approach by feeling her way around. In the corner of her eye, she saw it. A figure hidden in the dark, their body parts in a jagged and twisted angle. *Gasp* She dashed to the light-switch and saw that figure had only been a doll. Emily sighed in relief, but then looked at the doll again. She saw that it was the same size as her, having metal wires stick from it’s back. She brought the lighter to her….it’s face and saw red paint trickle off its jaw. Makeup? The doll had a bright pink blush that matched it’s rosy, but still, wet, lips. She touched the wood that the doll was made of. “This wood has been eaten away by termites,” she whispered, feeling the wood dust in her hand.

Wait, I forgot about the person down here! Emily started to look around the dusty-aired area. She stopped in her tracks, hearing the tap of wood behind her. Slowly, she turned around and saw the doll’s head had turned to face her. The dolls jaw gently began to move downward until its mouth a partially open and breathed. She screamed. “Oh my god!” She tiptoed to the doll, and whispered, “Are you…..alive?” The doll stood silent, then the metal wires attaching the doll to the ceiling started to crank. The lifeless wooden arm moved upward and pointed toward her. “He believes that everyone is perfect. When really….” The doll startled her by moving its head closer to her. “Everyone is disgusting.” Emily looked at it in the eyes and asked, “Do you mean Robbert Kennedy?” The doll picked it’s head up and started to groan, growling words that she couldn’t make out. “Can you please tell me what happened.” I can’t believe I’m talking to a living doll. The creature laid back and cocked its head to the side. “He thought those girls were special.” The doll had such a raspy voice that it was hard for Emily to hear. She gave a confused gaze and saw that the wooden puppet was pointing to the sides of the room. Oh no. Oh god, I’m going to be sick! Alongside the room, were glass containers, each having one of the missing girls that she saw earlier. Engraved in metal, below each container were their names. Bella, Sofie, Scarlett, Ellie, and Grace. She gagged as each girl had their jaws carved off. In the jaws place, was a piece of wood, matching their skin color. Emily smelled the metallic quality of the dried blood the little girls had on their doll-like dresses. She turned to the white-painted puppet, covering her mouth and shedding tears. “H-he did t-this?!” she yelled, demanding an answer on what the hell was going on. The doll didn’t answer her question but responded in a low whisper, saying, “He thinks you’re perfect, too.” The metal wires stopped moving, and the human-size doll went limp. There was a loud metal thud behind her and turning, she saw her boss, Robbert Kennedy.

His lantern was shining brightly in his face, showing dried tears down his cheek. He had enclosed her in the room with a metallic gate. She slammed her hand into the gate, screaming, “Why are you doing this?!” He gave a low giggle, tears running down his face. “All I want is to make the perfect doll.” He got out a remote and pushed down on a button, signaling something behind her. The metal wire came loose and the humanoid doll dropped down to its feet. The doll's arms and legs twitched upward and succeeded in making the body stand. Emily stared in fear as the doll’s wooden jaw gave a twisted smile, showing metal, jagged teeth. She didn’t even turn around when she heard her boss exit the room, leaving Emily and the monster alone in the dark…...together.

The creature on all fours pounced at her. Emily quickly dodged it, slamming herself into the wall. She looked over. Oh no, this is bad. The doll had slammed itself into one of the pipes, opening and exposing a gas leak. I have to get out of here fast. She looked over at the gate covering her way out. If the gate can get slammed, it should break open. She lured the creature across the room from the gate. The doll jumped on top of her, biting her shoulder with its metal fangs. “Aaahhhhh!” she managed to scream. Emily pushed it off of her and head for the door. She stopped in her tracks and turned around, looking the monster in its dead, black eyes. If I screw this up, I’m dead. I have to jump out of the way at the right timing. The doll lunged at her, and instead hit the metal gate, knocking it down. Emily jumped over it and up the stairs, leading into the design room. She ran with all her might as she heard the doll catch-up to her. She clicked the elevator door open and ran inside. The doll charged right for her. Emily quickly ducked out of the way, the creature crashing through the elevator window and dropping all the way down from the gargantuan building. She gasped for air as she tried to regain her breath. Emily slid to the floor and waited until the elevator reached the bottom floor.

Emily saw that the fire department and ambulance had arrived, along with a hoard of people gathering around the building. She heard gasps as they saw her come out of the building, all bloody. “Emily!” She squinted and saw Chloe in the crowd. Chloe’s blond hair bounced in the wind as she crossed over the police tape and ran to her side. Chloe sprinted forward to Emily and jumped into her arms. “Are you ok?!” she asked, giving Emily a big hug. “I-I’m fine. Just a bit bruised, that’s all.” Emily said, trying to sound casual. She could feel Chloe’s tears running down her neck and quickly looked at her. “I thought you were hurt or even worse…,” Chloe said, trying to suck in tears. Emily tried to stop her crying and said, “Hey, you never worried about me like this before.” Chloe hugged her and whispered, “I just…” Chloe leaned in and whispered something in her ear. Emily smiled…..and whispered it back.

State
OH
Zip Code
45429