Isobel smiled. Adorned in a pink frilly dress, with bouncing blonde ringlets tied in a bow, she looked identical to the doll in Ellie’s new bedroom. Isobel had made her promise not to tell anyone she was there, which Ellie had agreed felt like the most fun secret, and the two had soon become the very best of friends. No one else had wanted to be friends with the girl who’d moved into “Scary House”, so she felt very thankful to find another child in her home.
“If we cut some of your hair,” Isobel suggested one day, “we can make a doll for you too – then we can play together forever!”
Ellie’s mother had thought it an odd request – her daughter had been so against cutting her waist length locks before. But she had insisted, and pleaded to have a doll made in her image, with a hairstyle the same as her own.
The girls played every day, having dolls tea parties in the garden, playing hide and seek. They were inseparable.
“Would you like to ride my broomstick, Isobel? Since you don’t have a Halloween costume of your own?”
“Can I? Oh fun, let’s go out on the balcony!” She exclaimed, grabbing the broomstick and darting off.
“Hey, wait! I’m not supposed to go out there!” Ellie yelled, running after her.
Reaching the balcony, she found Isobel atop the broom treading carefully along the low wall.
“Come on, your turn!” She said, jumping down gracefully and handing over the broomstick.
“I’m not sure, it’s very high…” She wavered. Isobel frowned, annoyed, hands on hips. She didn’t want to make her friend angry…
She climbed up, broomstick beneath her, and walked slowly, trembling slightly, “Isobel, I don’t think I-“
“BOO!” Isobel cried, suddenly right in front of her.
“Why can’t she see me anymore?” Ellie asked, watching her mother weep, clutching the doll with the two dark plaits tightly to her heaving chest.
“People couldn’t see me after I fell, either… Until you. I was sad for a while, but now I’ll never be alone again. Tea party?”