Here’s a brief excerpt from THE ONE-EYED DOLL (Scary Tales #5, October). Artwork by Iacopo Bruno, of course.
Do you think she’s trouble?
Malik grabbed the axe and felt it’s heft in his hands. “Better step back,” he warned. He raised the axe high and let it fall.
The box was well built, but no match for a sharp axe. Bits of wood splintered loose and one corner of the box split open.
The cat, Midnight, rubbed against Malik’s legs. It hissed and spat at the box, back raised in an arch.
“Shhh, Midnight,” Malik hushed. He smoothed the cat’s raised fur. “What’s gotten into you?”
Soda Pop stepped forward. “What’s inside it?”
“Hold on a minute,” Malik hushed. “Gimmie that hammer, Tee.”
Working carefully, Malik pried apart the box.
“Is that all there is?” Soda Pop asked. “A crummy old doll?”
And in truth, that’s all there was. Just an ordinary doll –- and not a very nice one, either. The doll had curly black hair with a red ribbon in it, a dirty blue-and-white checked dress, and one of its eyes was missing entirely. The doll’s painted face was badly cracked and worn.
“I don’t get it.” Soda Pop scratched his head, befuddled.
Malik pushed the doll aside. He searched through the scraps of wood. “There was nothing else in it,” he said, disappointment in his voice.
Tiana picked up the doll and pressed it close to her chest. “I love it,” she said. “I love it lots.”