Lilli Beth’s mother called, and called, and called.
“What could be the trouble? Go look in on her, Allison, and see if she’s well.”
Me, the servant, had to go see if her child was well, with her standing right next to me.
Still, I did like the child. At least, I used to.
I started walking up the stairs, thinking perhaps she really didn’t hear her mother; as I got closer to the top, I called out too.
“Lilli Beth! Lilli Beth! Come downstairs, please. Your mother wants to speak to you!”
She wasn’t one to nap, but she made no noises playing with her dolls and tea set and such either; the more I thought about it, I guess I liked her because she was quiet, and simply didn’t do much. She wasn’t sullen, but seemed like she was going through the motions, distracted, and looking up at things that weren’t there.
The more I thought about it, the weirder it got, and I felt a small pang in my gut.
I reached the top, looked down the hall, but all the bedroom doors were closed.
I walked toward her bedroom, put my ear to the door, and heard her talking.
“I want a new mommy.”
“Why?” Another voice, but no one had come over, certainly not to visit her.
“Mommy doesn’t care. Allison takes care of me. I like Allison. She’s better than mommy.”
“Are you sure, Lilli Beth? Are you sure you want me to do this?”
“Yes. I’m sure. Mommy doesn’t care, and I want Allison to be my mommy.”
“Alright. Get ready.”
I was about to call her when I heard a thump.
Pushing open the door, I saw Lilli Beth’s body on the floor, an ivory mist covering her, moving, roiling in on itself, hovering for a long moment, then seeping into her as if she were a sponge.
The room was freezing, and what I was watching was so surreal that I didn’t even scream.
“ALLISON! Is she up there?”
Lilli Beth turned to look at me, and I began backing out of the room.
She got up, but something had taken her soul; she was pale and her dress was filthy, as if she’d come out of a grave.
“Will you be my new mommy, Allison?”
Her smile made every hair on my neck and arms stand on edge, and the red in her eyes was a manifestation of damnation.
I found I just wanted to live. “Y-yes, yes, darling! Wh-whatever you want.”
Lilli Beth walked past me, still smiling, and walked down the hall toward the staircase, hefting the cleaver for a better grip.
“Don’t yell, mommy. I was sleeping, and Allison woke me up.
“I’m coming downstairs now.”
She turned the corner, and as she went down, I heard her old mommy start to scream.