You and your wife Sarah are happily eating dinner. You look at her and say cheerfully, “Just one more month.” She replies “I know! I can’t believe it’s been 8 months already.” You have been trying to have a baby for two long years with no luck, but now the special day is only a month away. You remind her of the baby shower tomorrow night. “Ah yes. I’ve been so busy I completely forgot. You’re okay with hanging out at Eric’s for that long?” she asks with a sincere tone. “Oh don’t worry about me. I will be just fine at his place and besides him and I haven’t hung out in a while so it should be fun!” You say reassuringly. You both head to bed happily and await the following night to come.
It’s 7 o’clock the next night. You are already at Eric’s. Your wife is having a splendid time with all of her friends and enjoying all the gifts she is getting. One gift in particular stands out. “What’s this?” says Sarah. “It’s a baby doll that does everything a real baby does! I thought it would be a good gift since your baby is only a month away. It should help you and your husband set a routine for when the real challenge approaches,” replies Pamela, a lifelong friend of your wife. “Oh wow! That’s awesome!” Sarah says ecstatically. Everyone continues to celebrate as the night goes on. You look at the clock and see that it’s nearly time to head home. You say goodbye to Eric and head on your way.
You arrive back at the house and walk in to your wife cleaning up after the guests. “How did it go?” you ask. “It was great! I had a lot of fun and check this out!” she says while handing you the doll she received from Pamela. “Well this is certainly interesting,” you say while reading the features of the doll on the back. “Yeah, I was thinking we could start using it tonight to help us get in the routine of having a real baby,” replies Sarah while she picks up the rest of the wrapping paper. “Sounds good to me,” you say to her as you give her a kiss on the cheek. You unbox the lifelike doll and put in batteries. The doll is silent for about 30 minutes before making a slight fussing noise. You ask your wife what to do next. “You have to rock it to make it stop,” she shouts from the bathroom. You start to rock the baby and the fussing only gets louder. You continue to rock it for the next 20 minutes with no luck of calming the doll. Finally your wife takes it and is able to almost immediately calm the doll. “Thank God!” you say in an irritated tone. “This is what’s going to be happening for the next year mind you,” Sarah remarks. “I know, I know,” you say as you get into bed. “I just hope it goes by quickly.” You both say goodnight and fall asleep.
You wake up suddenly at 2am. You hear crying from the other room. In fear of it waking your wife, you decide to go and try and stop the crying. You grab the doll out of the crib and start rocking. 30 minutes pass and the doll is still crying. An hour passes and you are still rocking back and forth, but the baby continues to whine and fuss. “Need some help?” your wife says softly while standing in the doorway. “Please,” you beg. She takes the doll and you head to bed. You lay in bed trying to go back to sleep when you notice the crying has stopped. “Did you turn it off?” you ask Sarah. “No it stopped on its own,” she whispers back. “I don’t get how you do that,” you say, confused as how she is able to calm the doll so quickly. “It’s just a coincidence. Now let’s get some sleep,” this happens most nights for the following month.
The day has finally come. Sarah has given birth to a healthy and beautiful baby girl. Her name is Charlotte. The three of you head home to get settled in. While arranging all of the babies belongings, you accidentally knock the doll off the dresser. It smacks the ground with a loud thud! The doll starts to cry, but abruptly stops. It appears to be broken. You ask Sarah if you should just throw it away. “No. I would feel bad if we threw it away. It was very expensive,” she says as she takes the doll. “I’ll just turn it off,” Sarah flips the switch and places the doll back on the dresser.
It’s now night. The baby is crying. You get up to tend to your daughter only to find her asleep. The doll is the one crying. You check its switch. It is switched to “Off”. You tinker with the switch, but the crying won’t stop. You smack it on the head. The doll goes silent. You put the doll back and head to bed. 5 minutes later the crying reoccurs. The doll, once again, is crying. Now infuriated with the doll you smack it even harder to silence it. You return to your bedroom, but before you reach the bed you hear more crying. Exhausted and angry you storm into the Charlotte’s room, but this time it is actually her. This calms you, but you are still extremely tired. You and the baby falls asleep in the chair.
In the morning you tell your wife about the incident with the doll. Concerned about the possibility that it could wake the baby she takes its batteries out. And hands the doll back to the Charlotte. “She loves playing with it,” Sarah says smiling at her. “Well, I guess we can’t get rid of it now,” you say to your wife. Sarah brings to your attention that your eyes are severely bloodshot. “I think it’s because of the lack of sleep I’ve been getting. Don’t worry, I’ll be ok,” you say to her reassuringly. Nightfall comes. Sarah places Charlotte in her crib with the doll. You lay in bed waiting for her to come in. She gets in bed and falls asleep quickly. On the other hand, you are having trouble. You start to hear Charlotte cry. You head to her room, but as soon as you open the door the crying stops. This concerns you. You check on her just to be safe. All is well. You head back to the bedroom, but hear her crying again. Once you get back to her crib you see she is still sound asleep. You start to wonder if it’s the doll. “It can’t be though. I saw Sarah take the batteries out,” you say trying to concern yourself that you are just hearing things. You pick up the doll and hear nothing. You head back to bed. Again, the crying starts. You try to ignore it, but it keeps getting louder and louder. The crying won’t stop. You storm back into Charlotte’s room. This time the crying hasn’t stopped. Charlotte lays there silently. “It is the doll,” you think to yourself. You yank it out of the crib and carry it outside. You grab a shovel from the garage. You throw it on the ground and start digging. You dig a deep enough hole and through the doll in it as hard as you can. You cover the doll with dirt to suffocate its crying. Satisfied, you put the shovel back and go to bed. It’s finally quiet. For the first night in a month you can finally get some sleep.
You get up the next morning. You feel full of energy and life. You check on Charlotte and see that she’s still asleep. You give her a kiss on her head and head to the kitchen to make breakfast. Sarah comes and decides to join you. She grabs her coffee and asks if Charlotte was up. “No she’s still in the crib, but she might be up now if you want to check on her,” you suggest. Sarah walks over to Charlotte’s room. You hear her say, “The only one in the crib is the doll.”