For the Week 11 prompt I received the following from Cedar Sanderson: You have a new camera. When you look at the photos you took that day, you see the lens captured more than you intended. My prompt went to nother Mike. It’s been a seriously busy week as the university is transitioning to online teaching and that means I have to get everything into a digital format, uploaded and ready to go. Along with making sure all the technology is working (alas no virtual Zoom backgrounds for me…guess I’ll have to clean up the office behind my desk). This is short, but adds to my cursed doll universe which is still deciding where it wants to go and what it wants to be when it grows up.
Jack sighed and looked down at the latest dog with a doll sitting outside his office door. His office was in his home but had its own entrance at the side of the house. As a freelance curse-breaker, he was grateful for the ability to work from home. Beyond the 10 second commute, it allowed his clients some privacy when they visited as they didn’t have to walk through any offices or other public areas to see him.
Lately though, a string of dogs bringing in dolls which turned out to be cursed magic-workers had him on edge. The initial pattern was the same every time. A small tapping or knocking at either the front door or the office door, a dog, and a doll with a note. The last doll was the first one to identify who had cursed her and that had shockingly ended her life. Her German Shepherd, Captain, had come to live with Jack and his wife Monica after that tragedy and Jack was now fully committed to discovering just what the hell was going on.
This time, it was a Corgi standing behind an oversized troll doll. Captain trotted up behind Jack and sniffed noses with the Corgi. Both tails wagged briefly before the Corgi looked back up at Jack and whined. Jack sighed again, gently picked up the doll and stepped back to let the Corgi into the office. An idea struck him, and he grabbed his camera off his desk. He had just purchased it a few days ago intending to expand on his gardening photography. I should take before and after photos of the dolls and dogs and see if there’s a pattern there.
He set the doll down on the floor next to the Corgi. “I’m going to take a picture so that there’s a record of your arrival. You’re the fourth one in about two weeks, and I want to see if I can figure out the pattern, OK?” He didn’t expect an answer from the doll, but the dog gave a small yip which he took as permission.
“OK, boy. Sit. Excellent. Good boy!” The Corgi lay down next to the doll and Jack got down on the floor to take his shot.
Climbing back to his feet, he checked the digital screen for the picture. His jaw dropped, and he thumbed the zoom feature to get a closer look.
“Holy crap!” He stared at the now enlarged photo. The outline of a man could be seen encased inside the troll doll. It looked almost like an x-ray. What the…??
He turned the camera over again and stared at it. It looked like an ordinary digital camera. What the hell was going on?