The doll's house in the nursery was an exact replica of the house. The children had never been allowed to play with it, not for generations. It was not a toy. What it was, exactly, nobody had ever been successfully able to explain to a child, but it was certainly not a toy.
It was a classic Victorian house, with pink siding and a white trim. The grey slates were stuck to the roof individually, and each of the balustrades of the fence surrounding the porch were hand-carved. Inside, the furniture was carefully painted and placed to be an exact replica of the house.
When the fire in the study escaped the grate, the carpet of the doll's house was blackened, the ceiling yellowed by the smoke.
When a tree crashed into the roof during a storm, several slates shattered in the doll's tiny bathroom.
When the brutal events of the library occurred, a stain that could never be scrubbed away marred the miniature wooden floor.
Over the years, dolls disappeared, furniture and smaller items broke, and walls changed colours. Perhaps, had the children been allowed to play with the doll's house, they would have noticed something strange. Perhaps they would have discovered the truth in time. Perhaps the tragic events of that night would never have occurred at all.