Stacy and her daughter Deedee are tired from a long car drive and make a rest stop at a doll museum for some much needed R&R. Inspiration for the story was provided by the 1987 Horror Film 'Dolls' directed by Stuart Gordon.
Chapter Description: Stacy and Deedee are on their way to their new home and make a stop at the museum for a break.
“Dammit!” exclaimed the woman in the driver’s seat. She was exhausted from driving for such a long time. She had been on the road for over 8 hours now without really a break in her driving, having only stopped 2 hours back for a restroom break and grabbing a water and a granola bar from the overpriced vending machines that inhabited the rest stop she stopped at. She was determined to leave it all behind, driving with a determination and an intent to get away from her ex, leaving behind not only a part of herself, but an entire chapter of her life that had turned out to be a mistake, feeling pangs of regret that were not skipping a beat and giving her a fair bit of anxiety.
This was not entirely in vain, however. She did have a destination in mind, but she was under the false assumption that speeding like a bat out of hell would get her there infinitely faster, and spied a state highway patrolman a fair distance back in her rearview mirror and decided that easing off the gas pedal to within a couple miles of the posted speed limit probably wasn’t a bad idea, considering any excuses she could come up with probably wouldn’t justify the 95 miles she was going in the posted 65. Thankfully, the officer was quite a few cars back so there was still a fair amount of time to not draw attention to herself. Although her anxiety DID pick back up when she saw the patrol vehicle speed up a little to 1 car behind her and turn his flashers on, but eased up a bit when the officer pulled into an adjacent lane and sped off to something more pressing than ticketing a middle aged mother of one. She relaxed a bit once this happened, but decided to stay at the current speed and put her car into cruise control to set her mind at ease. She focused on the freeway and the surrounding faceless rock formations while observing the other traffic on the road.
Almost as if on queue, “Mommy, are we there yet?” piped a tiny voice from the seemingly distant backseat.
“No sweetie,” replied the woman, “we’ve still got a little ways to go yet to get to the new house.”
“Will we be there soon?” the little girl’s voice squeaked.
“Yes, baby. Mommy promises we’ll be there very soon. We still have plenty of daylight and I know we’ll be there before dark. Do you need to try to potty again? You know it’s ok if you do. Mommy can stop again if you want. You do have training pants on in case you do oopsies. You know that, right?”
“Yes Mommy. I know. I don’t have to go potty but I just want to get to new home. This car ride is boring.”
“I know baby. Mommy isn’t having much fun either. Perhaps we need a distraction huh?”
It was then that the woman started looking around for billboards or signs for anything that would prove some sort of museum or other roadside attraction to give her and her little girl a much needed break, or at least one that was longer than the meager 15 minutes she allowed herself at the rest stop. She was getting fatigued as well as exhausted and suddenly realized that pushing herself so hard to get away might not be the smartest idea that she ever had. The hard part had already passed, getting away from the ex-husband and the regret of what she perceived to be a wasted life, 10 years down the drain, she was certain the ink on the divorce papers hadn’t even dried yet. More importantly, she worried about Dierdre, or Deedee, as she called her youngest, and worried if the divorce was going to gnaw on the child as much as it was gnawing on her. She wasn’t even sure the next time Deedee would see her father, let alone when she was going to. Visitation would be something they would have to sort out in the coming weeks, but for now, resting was the only thing she was going to be sorting out.
As if on cue, the woman saw a billboard posted for Old Lady Abigail’s Doll Museum, with a giant picture of a room of dolls next to it, and it said it was 5 exits away, at exit 205 in Freesburg. It was now exit 200, and Freesburg outskirts were just a mile away. She had heard of Freesburg before but she had never been. She wondered what kind of a place it was. Hopefully it was a friendly place that was welcoming of unassuming travelers from downstate. She had no fear of small towns, it was more of a awkwardness of being in a new place that bothered her, though she got over it quickly.
“Baby, how does that sound? Would you like to go see the dollies in the Dolly Museum?”
“Wow Mommy! That sounds fun! I’ll bet they have lotsa pretty ones! Maybe I can have one if I am good?” the little girl pleaded.
“Yes, maybe you can baby. You’ve been such a sweet little girl this whole time. I hope they have a gift shop or something we can stop in.”
“Yay! I can’t wait! I wanna dolly!”
“Ok baby, patience. We’ll be there in just a few minutes.”