The doll watched Margaret unpack her bags. The young girl and her family brought so many possessions with them when they moved into the old house that the doll was certain that they'd never finish. Three daylights later, they appeared to be nearly done.
It was late and the sun spilled a blood orange glow over the bedroom. The child folded and stored her belongings into one of the fancy wooden boxes that man was so fond of using.
... dresser, the doll thought. That's the word.
Words were a creation of man, a foolish illusion of ownership. There was a word for everything and everything had a name.
The thing watching from behind the doll's glass eyes had no name. It was born into the darkness among others and lived as one and many, legion and union. They were drawn to the creatures of the sun out of boredom, a casual and unfeeling sadism.
It was with this dangerous apathy that the thing watched Margaret, deciding how it would slay her and her family.
Suddenly, Margaret looked at the doll. Their gaze locked in silence for a few long moments and, just when the girl was about to look away, the doll tilted its head.
Very little movement was needed. Why waste energy when a tiny gesture would open the floodgates of a child's pure, rich terror?
She was young, the doll thought scornfully. Perhaps too young to know to be afraid.
The thing behind the doll's glass eyes was young, too, although it didn't know how young. Numbers were another creation of man, a way to count the things they thought they possessed.
Man knew nothing of possession.
Margaret picked the doll up in her arms and held it there, pressing it to her body. She then lay the doll on the dresser next to some clothes and a glass of water.
The doll sat upright.
"No, no, Jessica," Margaret scolded as she straightened the doll out again. "Be a good girl."
Stunned into uncertainty, the doll remained still. It felt the care and concentration in the girl's hands as she dipped a piece of dry cloth in the glass of water and then dragged the now wet cloth over the doll's body. First was the front, then the back.
Finally, the girl washed its face and eyes.
The child, now sagging with exhaustion, took the doll to her bed. She held it above her and looked deep into its shining glass eyes.
"Good night, Jessica," the girl said, hugging it tightly.
Jessica, the doll repeated silently. The word had soft and hard noises that made it almost sound like a curse if said the right way. Jessssss-i-KA!
It accepted the name. If it decided to let the girl live, which it did just this very moment, then it had better get used to this creature calling it a name.
The child tucked the doll beneath her arm. Her breathing slowed and she began to slip away.
Jessica, for that was the doll's name now, closed its false eyelids and pretended to sleep next to its new possession.