Introduction to Allegory of the Dolls
Like many people, I’ve always been creeped out by realistic looking dolls. My wife’s mother and grandmother both had collections of the little moppets and I always felt uneasy when entering the rooms they resided in. I could almost feel their unblinking eyes watching me, pleading with me to free them from their glass cases and display stands. They were always watching, always listening to every word and every detail of every conversation. Some of them wore a devilish smile that hinted they knew some secret I didn’t. Some of them wore no expression at all, revealing no clues of their potentially sinister intentions. No matter how lifelike or innocent their faces, they all made me feel thoroughly unsettled.
It came as no surprise that my wife, carrying on the tradition of her mother and grandmother, decided to begin working on a new project, featuring creepy dolls as the subject matter.
While making the rounds at the local antique stores and flea markets, Jackie began taking photos of dolls she would find in amusing, frightening, or thought-provoking positions. Reviewing them afterward, the photos alluded to deeper stories, as if the dolls were screaming out to have their voices heard. Jackie seemed able to channel these voices and put their stories onto paper. Once tuned into their frequency, Jackie returned to the “junk shops” with batteries charged and camera at the ready to capture and convey the stories of these forgotten treasures. Making sure not to disrupt or upset any of the positioning of the dolls Jackie would snap away for hours, much to the chagrin of some of the shop owners. All of the subjects in the photos on the following pages are positioned and presented exactly as they were found in the wild. No staging was done whatsoever.
To my relief, I actually found myself less intimidated by these dolls once their stories were revealed and their mysteries laid-out. Though I had seen the subjects of these photos in their natural habitat and seen the photos themselves countless times, upon first reading their stories I found myself fascinated by the world Jackie created and riveted by their stories. I couldn’t stop until I’d read every last one. Though I still get the willies when entering a room where I’m outnumbered by dolls, this book has opened my eyes to their world. If you share my aversion to creepy dolls, never fear. The following short stories are guaranteed to amuse, delight and thoroughly entertain, with only the slightest possibility of residual nightmares.