The Old Man on The Hill

Once upon a time, there was an old man who lived on a hill outside of a small town. The townspeople knew almost nothing about him, but most seemed to enjoy his presence. He lived alone, isolated from the others. When people visited him he was friendly, if not a bit awkward. He had silver hair and a beard that fell to his collarbone and a face wrinkled by age and use.

Still, there was one thing puzzled the people. Every few days the old man would come out of his little house and place a doll of yarn outside. No two dolls were ever the same as if each were made with a specific idea in mind. Some dolls wore smiles as if happy while others wore frowns seemingly angry or upset. They seemed so alive yet so lifeless at the same time. A small sign stood next to a mailbox that read “one of us has been waiting for you” written in black ink.

One thing was clear: the dolls were not meant for decoration. The old man had Intended for them to be found. He once explained that every person has a doll of his that they are tied to. When asked how he knew which one went to whom, he simply replied in a soft voice, “I don’t, but you will when you see yours.” Ever since then all who go up the little hill have taken a doll and have never let it go. This went on for a long time. More and more people visited the town and the little hill wanting to find their own doll.

All went well until a small group of teenagers paid a visit, they were skeptical at first but the people of the town insisted that the dolls were special. To prove the town wrong, the group went to the hill during the night and burned every doll that had not yet been claimed. The next morning the old man opened his door to look for his children that he had created, yet he found only ashes. The group walked up to the man laughing and boasting about their deed. The old man looked at them and in a cracked voice whispered, “What have you done… I didn’t want them to hurt anyone.” He looked back at the ashes and ran inside, locking his door. The group thought nothing of it and marched down the hill victoriously, but nobody saw them leave the town.

The people thought nothing of it at first until a group of bodies showed up in the basement of an unoccupied house. Most of the dolls had mysteriously disappeared as well. The bodies were burned and badly damaged so much so that they were never identified. No one ever saw the old man again although one more doll appeared outside of his house. This doll was white and had a black fancy suit on it’s a small body. The odd thing was that a single strand of yarn adorned the face under one of the black button eyes as a bloody tear of regret immortalized so all could bear witness to its uncommitted sins. All saw it but no one took it as they all knew that it belonged to the old man on the hill.