2000, September 25th
The fire coats the walls as my family screams in terror. All the doors were locked and they were stuck. I was not. The on fire aunt screams for mercy but the fire just eats her up like a snack. I hold the bloody scissors in one hand, watching my family burn. Idiots. Only if they treated me like a human, I would treat them well back. This might just be how the world is punishing you so don’t resist.
In my leather bag sits two freshly sewn dolls, one of a male and the other female. I slowly walk backwards, still keeping my big eyes on the fire. Smoke flees from the fire storm, gasping for air. The air that dad wanted but doesn’t have. Idiots.
2001, September 3rd
“Ready for school Miles!” Gregory smiles, ruffling my hair black hair.
“Yeah. I heard there’s going to be a new kid visiting! He might transfer to here!” I giggle. I hope this kid will be nice like father. My only friend is Larry. He’s kind of an idiot so I hope this new kid is smarter.
“Nice Miles! I hope you can be friends!” Dad nods, holding my hand. His hand is two times bigger than mine so I just grab his finger.
“Welcome children!” Smiles Ms. T. “We have a kid who’s going to be here for today! Please be nice to him. Now, introduce yourself.” Besides her is a black haired kid who has pupils bigger that eyeris. Bags decorate the kid’s under eye, same with his long eyelashes. In his overly white hands were two dolls. His right hand twitches around, wanting to hold something… So why doesn’t he put the other doll in his right hand?
“Pho…” The kid mutters, look off into outer space.
“Hmm?” Ms. T squats down, putting her gloved hand to her ear.
“Your hair is pretty, miss.” The strange kid turns towards our teacher with the same emotionless look. His voice almost sounded robotic.
“Uh? Oh, thanks!” Ms. T oddly smiles. “So with that volume can you say your name?”
“Phoenix… Age… Hm… 9. Nice to see you all. I hope we all can play and have fun.” His eyes wander off again.
“Well, nice to meet you Phoenix! Well his parents died in a fire one year ago and he needs a home.”
“So he’s homeless?” Blurted some rude ginger girl. Phoenix’s eyes shoot daggers at her, piercing her soul.
“No… He lives in an orphanage. He wants some parents so if your parents are interested in him, tell the orphanage. Possibly one of you guys’ parents might go home in a month with a new kid!” Ms. T chuckles to herself. “Now, you can sit in the back. You’ll be sharing a table with Miles. Miles, raise your hand so he can find you.”
My hand springs to the air. I want to meet this new kid! Poor guy, he lost his family… That would suck if that happened to me. Dragging his feet, Phoenix makes his way towards me. Closer he got, more promedent his eyes bags became. His lips were slightly chapped and some of the chunks of skins were gone on said lips.
“Hi!” I smile. He just plops down to my right, putting his dolls on the table. His right hand keeps twitching but his left hand stays still.
“Hello. Nice to meet you.” Phoenix keeps his eyes on the two dolls.
“So, uh, what is the names of the two dolls?”
“Annette and Jose. They were a gift from my mom and dad before they got murdered by the fire.” Murdered? Strange wording… He seems like a kid I would hate to piss off. “Anyways, you seem nice. At lunch do you want to play with me?”
“Play? Sure!” I nod gleefully. This will be way better than playing tag with Larry. Mostly because Larry is faster than me…
“Thank you. I’m in your debt.” Phoenix cracks a small smile before we both turn our attentions to Ms. T.
After getting my cold lunch from the class lunch bin I sit at an empty table. Phoenix walks over with his wobbly lunch tray. It balances on his fingers and his left hand hold Annette and Jose. The two dolls have black button eyes and stitched on smiles. He sets his green plastic tray down and sits on the wooden bench.
“Thank you once again.” He smiles smally, handing me Annette. “Now let’s play together. You can make up her personality. I change their personalities a lot.” Aw… I assume his parents weren’t the best if he didn’t want to base them after their gifters. Or possibly he likes to make them different characters everyday?
“It’s fine!” I clear my throat and attempt to make my voice high. “Hello Jose!” I move the doll’s arms around with my thin fingers.
“Good! How are you?” Phoenix’s face changed completely. His black face was gone and replaced by a chipper child. His eyes had more of a human glow to them and real joy was coming out from his voice.
“Good! So Jose, what are you making for dinner?”
“Soup of course!” Phoenix takes the plastic spoon from his food and places it between the two drag dolls. The spoon was about the size of Jose but not as thick as him.
“Thank you!” I push Annette’s head down with my finger, forcing her to nod.
“You’re welcome! But we need to eat though so let’s stop talking, ok?” Phoenix’s face goes back to normal, drained of all joy. Back to his normal voice he says. “We should. But tomorrow we shall play again.”
“Of course! That was fun!” I smile. “We’ll do that again.” I started to eat in silence, rethinking all that happen. Strange kid… But seems pretty sweet! It seems like he had fun playing dolls so I hope we can play it again. Because, damn…
I love that smile.
Chapter 2: Wooden Willow
“Hey.” I stare into the male’s grey eyes with my own eyeballs. “I have a letter for you.” I slide over a piece of parchment with led markings on it. I spent all last night writing it, using the moonlight as a reading lamp.
“Thank you!” Miles smiles, unfolding the letter. Miles… He’s interesting I must say. He seems very serious but empathic to ones in need for pity. I am one who needs it. Losing my parents changed me a whole ton. I used to smile but now I only smile at my dolls and at Miles. Also he kinda looks like the first doll I made with cotton! It got burnt in the fire though. If it didn’t I would give it to him today.
The piece of paper drops to the floor, revealing Miles’ grey eyes. They are consumed with terror after hearing what I wish I said yesterday.
“Y-You… You… What!? You want ME to be your ‘player’ and you will be the doll?! NO! That’s messed up! You’re a HUMAN! Not a doll!” Miles quickly gets up, leaving his food and lunch box. His footsteps are swift, clearly done with me.
“Miles… You know what happens when you abandon a doll, no?” I whisper to my dolls. “It comes back to haunt you until the only thing you’re aloud to think about IS the doll you abandoned…”
2009 - 8 years later
My best friend, Franzika walk down the streets of Ivylee. Today is my first day at Ivy university. Frankzika already has most of her degree but is there to learn about Japanforina law.
“So, why do you think it’s needed to get a new suit?” I frown, getting dragged along on this shopping trip.
“So you look nice on your first day! Also there's a really nice dress and suit shop around here. The suits and dresses are hand made by the store manager and you can make requests if he likes you. He’s really sweet but spaces off a lot.” Frankzika grip gets tighter around my wrist. We enter the shop, making the yellow bell go ding. A black hair male spins around, wearing a pink apron with tons of pockets. Inside two of the pockets… It can’t be. It can’t be him.
“Hello! How are you-! Today…” His voice dips down when he lays his eyes on me. His semi-happy eyes vanish, getting replace with something I can’t explain. Dullness? Unimpressed? I really don’t know, but I know these eyes well. The ones who haunted my nightmares as a kid.
“Hm? What’s wrong Nick? You don’t seem upbeat as usual.” Franzika lets go of me, making me vulnerable to a ‘broken doll’.
“I know… It’s just I know this person.” He points his shiny scissors at me, with the same soulless look. “He left me on the side of the road. I knew we would meet again. Dolls always find their owners one way or another.” My skin jumps, telling my feet to run. But my feet are too numb to flee and rot in my shoes.
“I’m… I’m sorry. Just, please don’t hurt me.” I try to look down my muscles go cold.
“I won’t. I just miss you. That’s all.” A small smile kills off his frown, making my muscles thaw.
“Oh!” Phoenix comes towards me, lowering his weapon. Franzika moves to the side, confused. Phoenix puts his scissors into one of his pockets, handle sticking out. Next to it was Annette and Jose. He gives me a hug, filled with cold warmth. His hand goes to my heart, tapping it multiple times.
“Ah… You still have a heart. That’s good. And you seem to have your memory too! That’s good. That might help mend my wounds.” Phoenix rubs his head on the side of my neck. His oddly soft but stiff hair plays with my nerves, trying to get me to rub back. “I missed you Miles.”
“Phoenix…” I slowly hug the ‘broken doll’ back, sealing my fate. A flare goes off in his black eyes. The air tenses, giving me the feeling I just stepped into a widow’s web. A ruthless widow that will do anything to keep me in the web.
“Miles~... You don’t know how lonely I was without you. It’s been so hard to smile and not get mad at people without you. Now with you around, I won’t snap on people!” S-Snap on people? What the hell did I miss? I look to the side, finding Franzika gone. I assume she just got weirded out and I was too busy to hear the bell. “Just having you around calms me down. Also… You’re really pretty!” Phoenix grins like a normal human.
I accidently blush, giving him the wrong idea. “Ah! W-Well…” His little blush and smaller pupils butters up my heart. “Er, uh…” Phoenix giggles.
“It’s fine. Just don’t leave me and no one will get hurt. If you do… I guess I’ll haunt you even more!” Phoenix moves his head off my neck and boobs my nose with his frozen fingers. “Be careful. I will ruin your life if you don’t play within the playroom. If you exit the boundaries, I’ll destroy everything you ever cared about…”
“What!?” I jerk back, letting the fucked up doll dangle. He keeps hugging the air for a second then hugs himself.
“Well… I don’t want to hurt anyone. But I will if it keeps you around!” Phoenix keeps the same smile on. “I’m done hurting people. I want to improve. That’s why I need you. But if you go, I will need to put my goals aside to keep you with me. Mostly I want to keep you around for two reasons. One, because I feel calm. Two…”
“Because I love you. Your bones, skin, brain, heart… You’re everything~!”
Chapter 3: Golden Chain
Edge of Glory
“You, what!? You, you…” My mouth hangs wide open as the weird psycho doll giggles. What the hell is wrong with him? I only talked to him for two days. Now he wants to ruin my life AND take over my life with his fucked up love.
“Aww~! Don’t know what to say? I don’t blame you! I’ve been wanting to say this for the past some years. I’ve been writing different scenarios then I talked to Jose and see if it was a good idea. He told me that line would surprise you the most! He he~!” Like a magnet, he clings to me once again.
“What… I o-only talked to you for two days though…” My body shakes, dripping cold sweat.
“Doesn’t matter! You’re the chosen one who will sew me back together and make me not want to murder the shit out of jerks!” Phoenix puts his white ear to my heart. Thinking about it, besides his cheeks he isn’t red at all! Still very white, like a doll. The body heat never changes…
“S-So me being around makes you calmer?”
“Yep! Thinking about you helps too. Over the years I drew so many pictures of you! I have over 5 journals of doodles of you! I missed you a lot, ok?” Phoenix smiles softly, eyes still with the same soulless look.
“Phoenix, that’s creepy.” I frown, trying to play it cool.
“...So? Who cares? I’m crazy! Why should I hide it from the love of my life? But just for you and slightly for myself I’m trying not to hurt people. I thought that would make you proud.”
“Yeah… So if I hang out with you a lot and ‘play’ with you, you will work on not attacking people?” I try not to faint from fear or not scream for help. The doll caught me so there is no use in running. If I do, he’ll make my life even worse. I don’t know what he would do but it would definitely not be legal.
“Yes! So let’s play together!” Phoenix finally lets go of me. He rushes to the back room, assuming I would follow. I instead spin around, examining his shop. The pink and white walls are lined with beautiful dresses made from tons of different materials. Silk, cotton, can’t name that one, velvet, chiffon and tons more.
One the left wall was the suits, made from similar materials. At the counter was tons of measuring materials and a cash register. Behind the counter was a chalkboard. It lists some of the sales he’s doing and how to contact him and custom outfits are available. Overall, the place is very well kept. I’m semi shocked it isn’t a nightmare like his mind.
“Miles… Where are you? If you ran away, I’ll hunt you down~.” Phoenix snickers from the backroom. I enter the room filled with tons of dolls. On the floor was Phoenix, in his bright pink apron. Art books filled with doodles of dresses, suits and me are in a bookshelf. Some of the others book were about demon summoning, sewing, rituals of the dead, curses, history of witchcraft and other weird things.
“Hey Phoenix… Ready?” I sit across from him. Phoenix nods vigorously, handing me Annette. His face was filled with more life than usual and some excitement.
“Yes~! I haven’t played dolls with you for so long! Is this a dream? If it is, I hope I’m in an everlasting coma.” Phoenix giggles to himself, being strange as ever. “Before we start, why are you in this part of town? Besides destiny.”
“Oh? I’m going to Ivy University. I’m going to study law there. The reason I stopped by here was to get a suit but then this happened…” I look down at Annette but she just smiles back at me.
“And then the golden chain reeled you back in to me! See! Even destiny ships us~!” Phoenix grins widely. I can’t call it evil but it’s crazier than his crazy smiles. It looks like it came from the uncanny valley. Like almost all dolls.
“Yeah…” I nod, now wanting to play dolls versus letting his mind consume this room. I clear my throat and try my best ‘sweet’ voice. “Hello Jose! How was work today?”
Phoenix blushes, getting into character. “Good. I just got a raise.”
“A raise? Nice! Who gave it to you?” I raise my pitch, trying to make her sound happy.
“By my dad! He runs the store.” Phoenix, er, Jose chuckles. But before I could respond a bell dings. Phoenix puts Jose into his pocket and rushes out. I stay in the room, looking around. All the dolls stare at me, with their dead eyes. The room smells faintly of blood and rope. Studying the wooden floor I see tiny flakes of rope. Part of me screams ‘he fucking strangled someone’ but another part says ‘he just used it for dresses, don’t be concerned.’
Unlike the main room, the wallpaper is purple and black. Some dolls hang from the ceiling via string nooses. Some are pinned with tacks and nails on the wall. The nails pierce the dolls forehead but they just keep smiling. On the floor was plastic and larger dolls. Their eyelashes are made from horse hair. The dress was cut from cloth, same with the bows. I turn around and exit. When I close the door I swear I feel a cold hand on my shoulder. I spin around but I don’t see anyone… Weird.
I get to the main room, seeing Phoenix helping a woman out. He wore a smile, but a fake one. His real ones are filled with love or insanity. Everything about his shopkeeper persona felt fake compared to the weirdo I know and loves me. I quickly wave to Phoenix, telling him I’m getting the hell outta here. He nods and goes back to the woman. I leave the shop and walk down the street without the suit I came for. Oh well, I can get it later. I go down the streets, noticing I still have Annette in my hand.
I hold her lightly, not knowing how much she will help me out in finding out the truth to Phoenix’s family's death.
Chapter 4: Pretend
Next Day - 1:30 pm
Edge of Glory
“Welcome to Edge of Glory! How can I help you?” I smile, saying the same recycled phrase everyday. Boring. I wished I could mix it up more. That’s why I like dolls. I can change their personalities in a blink. They always make up and never hold grudges… Only if they get left for dead. That’s why I wished humans were dolls. I want to mold them to whoever I want them to be for a tiny bit before giving them a new role.
“Oh, I’m just here to pick up the dress!” Maya smiles her same smile. Does smiling like that ever get boring? That’s why I like to be with Edgeworth. His emotions change if I do certain things. Like commanding a doll to change character.
“Ok. Let me grab it!” I nod, keeping the plastered smile on. I go to the left room, the one without the dolls. I grab the kimono like dress for the spirit medium. It has a floral pattern and it’s orange. Like a tiger lily. I exit the room of cloth, closing the painted door behind me.
“Ah! It’s beautiful! Thank you so much!” Maya smiles bigger. Woo hoo, something new. If I stabbed her I would make her change… No! Edgeworth wouldn’t like that. He would abandon you on the street to be run over again. That would force you to kill him and enjoy it. Disgusting.
“Hmm? Oh, you’re welcome. Now, since I made it cheaper you’re going to channel a spirit for me.”
Maya giggles. “Trying to sound tough, giving me orders… Sometimes you crack me up Nick!” Maya lightly slugs my shoulder. I ‘laugh’ trying to make her shut up.
“Whatever. Now can you channel Marbel Wright for me? We can do it in the left room.”
“Sure! If she’s your mother she won’t hurt you, so it’s fine!” I lead my prey into the room, locking the door behind us. Can’t let my mom run from me again. That’s the reason the fire stole her life. Maya sits on her legs across from me. Same pose every time you channel? Boring. She does some sacred chant, making her boobs grow.
Maya’s eyes turn blue, like my mother’s. Her eyes become thinner and her legs become thicker. “...Nicolas? Is that you?” Water seeps from a dead man’s eyes.
“Yes. Now tell me, why did you beat me?”
I hang onto Annette with my right hand, not letting her slip away. Phoenix’s shop should be open by now. Even his times are slightly random, I know he needs to be around at busy-ish hours. I enter the shop, seeing Phoenix nowhere in sight. The silence stares me, commanding me to get out of here. I disobey, moving to the counter.
Then in the left room I hear an ear piercing scream. Phoenix, what did you do? I quickly rush to the door, trying to open it. Locked… I put my ear against the pink door, trying to here what’s going on. Faintly I here Phoenix, talking to someone.
“You… You tried to kill me! You wanted to kill me! You hated me! You never loved me! You might of gave me everything, it didn’t mean you gave a shit about ME! You created me to be a pawn to interact with rich families! You were sad a possesed doll was born instead so you tried to fucking strangle me! Stop lying to me! You hated me! No one loves me besides myself, my dolls and Miles!” Phoenix yells at someone… Probably a relative. I bang on the door, trying to get him away from the girl.
“Phoenix! It’s me,Miles Let me in!” I hear a huge thud and the door swings right open. Inside was a blue haired women gasping for breath and Phoenix’s hands rose red. Insanity consumed him, turning him into a rage filled creature. The creature jerks me inside and locks the door again. Great.
“Miles…” He stares at me, twitching. “Thank you for saving me.” Phoenix latches onto me again. “I-I was about to kill h-her but sh-she’s just a medium…” Phoenix’s voices shivers in fear of itself. “I almost killed someone again…”
The girl passes out, starting to turn into a different person. No matter. All that matters he didn’t murder the medium. “It’s fine.” I pat him on the head. “No one is hurt.” Phoenix nods. Tears well up in his big black eyes, making him look like a 8 year old who just lost their mother.
“T-Thanks… But that means I’m in debt to you. Now in return I shall protect you from anyone who’s mean. Since you saved me I need to protect you at all costs.” Phoenix regains his grin, for better or worse. “So if anyone is rude to you, tell me. I’ll talk to them nicely and make sure they don’t do it ever again. If you don’t tell me… Well, I can tell when someone is having a bad day. I’ll track them down myself.”
“O-Ok, but you don’t really need to-”
“No, it’s only right. You are the only human I love so I need to protect you. Ok?”
Edge of Glory
“Hey Nick… Sorry that you had a bad time with your mom.” I look down, not wanting to see his face. I don’t know what happens when I’m channeling but when I came back I layed low, trying to see who he really was. What I saw… Was creepy to saw the least.
“It’s fine!” He giggles with a hint of insanity. I never heard it before but now knowing he’s not that stable it shows through. It’s like a typo. If you notice it will bug you forever.
“Alrightly!” I nod. “Just if I channel for you again, please don’t choke me. I still can feel pain.” I slightly frown. I come closer but further than I am normally to him. I drag my head up, meeting his lying eyes.
“Oh.” His mask falls to the floor. “You noticed?” The smile gets replaced by a demonic creature. Nick’s stare goes through me but pierces my eyes at the same time. His eyebrows rest and his skin gets tenscer.
“Y-Yeah…” I step back one step but my demise notices.
“Ok. Just don’t tell a single soul or I’ll slit your throat.” He keeps the same deadpan tone through every single word. “Then I’ll stab you in the heart and take out every part of you. I’ll use your organs as decoration and set your heart in a glass jar.”
Adrenaline jerks me out the door. The little bell giggles as pitters follow me. Without looking back I dash down the street, not trying to put sense into the crazy boy. Unfortunately this will become my downfall.
Class should end in 10 minutes… I tap my foot the beat of the clock, counting down the seconds until I’m forced to meet up with a doll. A special doll I picked up once again and refuses to let go. All I can do is to try to enjoy his company. I mean, if I don’t keep a eye on him he’ll try to kill someone. And I also sold my soul and word to him. I know the second I think about leaving him he’ll hunt me down like a coyote.
Tap, tap, tap. Tick tock tick. 9 more minutes left. Franzika stares at our teacher, blabbing on about himself. I would pay attention but to be honest, he’s kinda boring. I don’t care if you have 3 dogs. I just want to learn or be with a possessed doll who wants to watch the world burn if I don’t comfort him.
His stale words float around me, never making it into my ears. My mind wanders to the deep depth of my sour thoughts, going through scenarios. What if he killed someone? What should we work on today? What if he starts to laugh like a mad man? What if he wants to torture me? What if he wants to kill me for some reason? So many things this strange boy can do, it’s insane.
I pull out some line paper. Gotcha! I jot down a few lines. This… This will be for Phoenix. Maybe he’ll like this! I feel like someone else made him like this but he is still human. He has emotions too. And if he needs some comfort, I guess I will that for him.
(parody of Luvoratory)
Breaking all the right rules, stupid sewing tools
“I like you…or not” do you take me for a fool?
Want dolls? Or fun? They’re all so odd
Ready, locking on you – target practice in view-
Shot a needle through my heart,
guess you caught me off guard
With my glue and my tape,
I’ll finish what you start
Only you can make me die,
so lemme give you your world life
Later That Day
“Hey Phoenix!” I smile, entering his shop. He seemed more glum than normal.
“Oh, hey.” He just nods “How did class go?”
“Good! But I wanted to give you Annette back.” I walk up to him and hands him his mother’s gift. His eyes glow lightly. I can’t tell why, Annette or me?
“Maybe that’s why my day been so bad! You weren’t there and Miles wasn’t there either!” Phoenix hugs me like a spider monkey. Back to his normal strange self. Better than being sad, I guess. “So can we play now?”
“Yeah, but before we play I wanted to do something with you.” I slightly hug back, slipping the doll back into his hand. “Can I help you figure out who killed your parents?” Phoenix goes silent. Once again, all life gets drained out of him.
“...Wouldn’t it be hard?” Phoenix frowns.
“Yes but it will be worth it!” I smile, trying to comfort the doll like human.
“Yes. I think it will help you. Mentally and socially.”
Sorry this took forever to get out! I'm in a play now so I'm a little more busy than normal. Also sorry this is a short chapter...