The Doll House

The Doll House

1 chapter / 1716 words

Approximately 9 minutes to read


A short horror story that won publication a few years back.


Images (1)

9 days ago Mallory Carbutt said:

Very interesting! I enjoyed the read! Thanks for the swap!!


4 months ago Aennli Sky said:

I love the idea of this story--a man who charms girls he likes then somehow makes them immortal and collects them almost like dolls. I would like to know how exactly he does this though--since it's a short story, we won't find out later, and I feel like that could be a major point to the horror of what he's doing to them.

I really like your description of Mona in the beginning. However, there was a slight contradiction to her descriptions of being soft, kind, and tranquil when you say she "stormed out". This phrase connotes a more angry, a more livid person.

Suggestion for the time part--perhaps make each time as a separate paragraph to help make it feel like it's dragging by quite slowly.

I believe it was somewhere in the middle, but you have the phrase, "She seemed afraid of me" when the man was reflecting back on Mona. She did not seem in the least bit afraid of him in the beginning though. Perhaps add/change some of the descriptions so that we can get the feeling that she was afraid.

I noticed that you described Mona's hair as auburn and one of the girl's eyes also as auburn. I wondered if there was a reason to this repetition (perhaps he liked girls with auburn features?) but his other girls held no auburn descriptions. I would advise either adding in the auburn color to the other girls as a purposeful symbol, or change one of the earlier descriptions because it attracts unwanted attention and poses no purpose to the story.

This is a bit trivial, but I noticed that there were multiple comma/punctuation issues. While commas can sometimes depend on the author's preference, there were many spots where they were grammatically needed or affected your sentence fluency. If you're not sure on where you need those commas, let me know and I'd be happy to point them out for you.

Finally, (and most importantly) there was little to no horror or suspense. I believe this is because you don't give it time to develop. The ideas are there and there's most definitely potential and some of the paragraphs, but, from what I see at least, you start writing a really great scene and really zoom in on the descriptions and such, then suddenly cut it off with a time lapse or new scene before the horror and suspense has really had time to grow. Along with this, all the time lapses and sudden jumps to new scenes makes it feel like you're trying to cram a novel into a short story. Again, the ideas are there. I'd suggest picking one place, one scene, and really focusing in on it. Perhaps that last bit where he's at his house and Mona comes over? Or maybe you could do a new scene after the "months passed" part where Mona has already become like the others.

These are only suggestions. You are the author, so you choose what best suits you. Overall the ideas are there. Keep writing!

Candy corn

4 months ago Christine Hungerford said:

I think your story is really unique. There were punctuation errors (whenever you write the characters' names, put a , before them). You also use commas in the wrong places. Separate the sentences that have ,'s in them because this is called a comma splice. Make the sentences (esp. the sentence where Zane says I know you do or something like that) two independent clauses.



4 months ago Sophia Edwards said:

To start off, I just want to see these are my opinions, thoughts, ideas. You don’t have to listen to anything I write. These are just the things that pop into my head as I read them. (And if something seems nitpicky...again, its my opinion. I just write anything that makes my mind stutter or stop –could be good or bad thing)

I write in the order I read, so my notes will keep pace with what you write.

[ ] → means something to add

If you have any questions, feel free to ask and I’ll clarify anything that may seem confusing.

My notes:

So, Already I’m super intrigued by the door and who the “she” in this piece is. But I’m also left slightly confused as to what is going on and forcing me to try to figure out who and where everyone is. I get that it’s horror, so I’m imagining a person trapped in a room. Then, I’m thinking about couples arguing and moved on to a child and parent. I think the confusion works great and you have an amazing hand at description, but it also makes my mind wander as I try to figure out what is happening.

So…Zane and Mona..were a thing… that now aren’t?? I’m definitely interested in this relationship and wanting to know more about it.

And the fact that Zane went to her. Also super interesting. But I’m still not sure how the door plays into it. Is he in a room? Are they outside? I’m confused about the visual space and how to picture the scene before me.

Alright Zane! Take a step back mister. She isn’t yours and she doesn’t like you…back off man! I feel some way about Zane and I already don’t like him (which is amazing that you’ve already made me form an opinion about a character in less than a few hundred words).

“I waited all night,…just like all the others” → so this paragraph confused me a bit. I get his obsession, but I’m just confused. (I think it has to do with not knowing the visual space again). Like where did this rocking chair come from.

^^At the same time, this paragraph also introduced some very interesting information. Why was he worried he’d make her angry while she’s also afraid of him? Make her immortal??? “Others”?? Super duper curious now!

JESSICA??? WHO IS THIS GUY?????? As a woman, every nerve in my body is telling me to run and help these girls. He’s like a predator. No way. NO EFFING WAY!!

**but I can’t stop reading**

“flesh” → I love how you used that word. It, for me, took away any romantic-ness of him touching her. It seems to primal and animalistic using flesh. Beautiful use of the word **this is where I hearted the piece**

“ I’m here [,] my love”

This guy is a creep. I’m so scared for these women. I truly truly am.

THIS GUY!!!!! → this is the freak out from calling Mai Ling his little china doll. I’m seriously losing my mind. I want to stop, but can’t stop reading. I hate this man soooooo much


He is so…demeaning. I can tell how he sees women. Like objects. Like dolls. And it’s so disgusting and annoying and enraging!

He’s so charming and it’s disgusting

** you can’t hear me but I’m literally begging Mona to leave. My dog ran into my room thinking something was wrong. I’m so pissed and sad and stressed and worried.--> you’ve done an amazing job making me attached to these characters so quickly**


Overall opinion: All I can say is this is great. If you were looking for grammar or plot reviews, I’m sorry but I couldn’t give it. Typically, that’s what I do and leave the emotional review on the bottom. But I was too emotionally invested in your story and only wrote my thoughts and emotions as I read…Amazing job!

Candy corn

4 months ago Christine Hungerford said:

I got a little lost when I was reading. Was Zane a doll as well? Or was he a normal human being? All his lovers were dolls, right? I think this is true gathering from the fact that Zane always said that they couldn't love Zane back.

Also, I didn't know where the immortal part took place. Were Zane's other lovers dead? How can dolls die? Did they just get taken apart or broken to pieces?

I really like the use of 'dour' (going along with the review below)! It shows you're reaching out to new words instead of just the usual.

All in all, I think the story could be explained a little more with the immortality and whether Zane is a doll. Why didn't the dolls love Zane back? If they were real dolls, couldn't they have feelings if they communicated with Zane?