My whole life I’ve lived like this, hung by strings attached to my fingertips, arms, legs, toes, and head.
My whole life I’ve lived like this, hung by strings attached to my fingertips, arms, legs, toes, and head. During the day I hang freely, and swing with the gentle sea breezes that pass by. To my left and right are the other dolls, just like me. We are painted exquisitely, with smiles that stretch from ear to ear and sparkling eyes of all colors, mine is purple. Our synthetic hair is groomed to perfection and our gowns are made from the finest silkworms in Japan. I’m made of porcelain with black hair that flows down to my hips in tight curls with a silver crown that sits atop my head. My purple eyes are complemented with a blue eyeshadow that matches my princess dress. Next to me are clowns, princes, princesses, goddesses, and animals.
We are all hanging by strings in a window that faces a village. Children run up to the window to get a glimpse of us, begging their mothers and fathers to buy us, but we are not for sale, we are part of a show, an iniquitous show that lures children in through innocent manipulation. The woman who owns this shop appears young and beautiful, she looks like Cinderella, past her looks she is an ordinary witch who feeds off of children. Every Sabbath day she invites the children into her shop at 3:00PM for a marionette show, she does all the work herself, she sings, makes jokes, moves us, everything. We are alive and we are real, we draw these children in, asking them subliminally to come back at 12:00AM to play with us.
It’s 3:00PM and the stage is set. I hear her voice thanking all the audience members for coming to the show. She pulls back the blue curtain to reveal the story of Rapunzel. I hear the children laugh and yell out as the show commences. The witch has placed a spell on us and the children, we can talk to those who wish to hear us. We prey upon the children with big imaginations, the children whose hearts dream of the unordinary, they hope and wish we are alive.
They hear us say, “Do you want to play with me again? Come back tonight at 12:00AM, don’t tell a soul.”
They nod their heads and go home, excited to return to see their dreams come true, a real-life toy that can sing and dance and talk to you. I see the witch smile as everyone leaves and she hangs us back in the window. The children press their faces in the window smiling at us, some waving and some saying the dreadful words I hear too much of. “See you later tonight!”
It’s 12:00AM and I see three children filing inside, smiles extended across their cheeks. I see the witch lurking in the corner, smiling. Even Narcissus didn’t smile this affectionately at his reflection.
“Welcome, children! Take off your shoes and coats and follow me into the next room,” she says, as she turns to open another door revealing a room full of marionette dolls.
Their faces light up and they kick off their shoes and abandon their coats, running into the room. The door is closed and I wish I couldn’t hear anymore. Screaming children is a sound I will never get used to. She tells them to 'close their eyes and the dolls will come out.' They do as she says and the dolls come out and tie them up with their strings. Her true form comes out. She is dead white. Her eyes are hallowed out. No lips, just a hole with teeth. Her ears stretched up into a point. You could hardly call it a body, but her body was merely bones. Fingers with long-honed like nails to cut the tender flesh of a child. She whispers words that I can never hear, a spell no doubt, and the children are silent. The only sounds you hear are the resonant noises of flesh being ripped apart. I know she rips off the heads first and sucks out the veins and brains, after that she pulls apart the front side from the back, soaking herself in the innards of the liver and stomach and intestines. I see her pick out the spine and lick it clean, sucking on the long bone taking in every bite of muscle and skin and cartilage. Her nails sift through the stomach, picking up every last piece. The arms and legs she eats like corn on the cob, saving the bones to make more dolls. She gurgles and spits up the bones her body cannot seem to digest. She lays down on her back and reveals a wicked smile showing off the bits and pieces of guts stuck in between her teeth.
I don’t think any of the other dolls feel the way I feel, I feel more cursed than the children that are eaten here. Every day and every night, I hear their screams, I see them being devoured. I do not wish for this consciousness anymore.