Peggy J. Shumate lives in a very small southern rural region of the United States of America in the SouthWest state of Missouri. She began her writing career with poetry and children's stories, before moving on to horror - her greatest love. Her work has been published by ShadowKeep, Fantasy -&- Legends, Stoking The Fire, Steel Caves, House-of-Pain, The Murder Hole, E-Novel, Fantasyland 2001, The Writer's Hood, and Wild Child Publishing to mention but a few. She is also employed by DVD Empire to write movie reviews, which she does under the moniker of "Brutal Dreamer". Here is an extract from her story "Living Doll" (the full version can be read in the Shadow Writers anthology).



She turned off the faucet to the tub and left the doll in the frigid water, and walked out of the bathroom. Her long, flowing hair glistened in the dim room; her flaws were camouflaged by the tree branches dancing through the moonlit window, the shadows caressing her naked body. Zach stretched across the bed and dropped some of the roses on his bare chest.

'Come here, gorgeous,' he breathed into the darkness. 

Annie put the glass to her mouth and sipped the water, then handed the glass to Zach. 'Here darling,' she whispered in his ear. 'You will need this, so drink up.'

Zach smiled, gazing in Annie's eyes as he gulped the water and tossed the glass to the floor. He pressed his wet mouth onto Annie's and pulled her on top of him. Annie's leg slid up over his waist as they lay on the bed.

Zach's eyes became glossy and his voice was slow and confused. He forced open his eyes and looked at Annie. He saw a woman that appeared to be fifty years old straddling his waist.

'What the f...' His head rolled to the side of the pillow and his eyes rolled back in his head.

'Zach?' Annie said, smacking his cheek. No response.

Annie ran to the bathroom and brought back a razor. She picked up Zach's pale wrist and sliced it slowly and neatly, watching the blood pour.

'I'm sorry, Honey,' she said, over and over. 'I had to do this. Besides, you didn't really love me. You loved my youth and my beauty, but not me.'

The crimson flow ran down her fingernails and into the glass. She brought her finger to her lips and licked the blood from the tips. The salty taste made her shudder, but only for a moment.

'That's it, baby,' she said, tossing the bleeding wrist to the side and patting Zach on the stomach. 'You served your purpose, my love.'

Annie picked up the glass filled with blood and took it into the bathroom. She sat it carefully on the counter top and lifted the doll from the cold water. Annie opened the medicine cabinet and pulled out the syringe and pumped the blood into the doll's mouth once again.

The thought of Gloria entered her mind and she sneered. 'You two pervies got what you deserved,' she muttered under her breath as she opened the doll's legs and squeezed the few remaining drops of blood from it's stomach.

Blood dribbled down the back of her throat as she swallowed hard, gulping down the horrid taste. She gagged and coughed, but managed to hold down the scarlet liquid.

When all the blood was gone, she looked at herself in the mirror. 'Nothing?' She peered closer in the mirror, tugging at her sunken eyes. 'No changes?' She panicked.

She checked the time on her watch. It was midnight just as the directions said and she had kept the doll in a cold environment, and drained the blood into her own body, just as before.

'Oh no, oh no!' Annie knew she forgotten something, messed up somewhere, but she couldn't fathom what it was until she went back to the bedroom.

The queen-size bed was empty. Zach was nowhere in sight. 

She hurried to shut the bathroom door but something caught it before it slammed. Zach grabbed the corner of the door with his hand while he was stretched out on the floor, still bleeding.

'You fucking bitch,' his voice barely above a whisper. 'Why, what have you done?'

Annie looked down at Zach; she was still holding the doll. 'But it said...' she stopped, then her eyes grew cold and angry. 'You were suppose to die, damn you! You were suppose to die.'



(C) Peggy J. Shumate 2002


© Paul Kane 2003-2018. All rights reserved. Materials (including images) may not be reproduced without express permission from the author.