"Why, hello there! Come come, gather 'round, and I'll tell you a story. It's a story of vengeance, a story of death. You're already tied up, so don't waste your breath. No talking, no taunting, or the flames will burn hotter, as I tell you the tale called: Doll For A Daughter!"
A little more than 100 years ago, the world was as busy as ever. Steam was becoming more useful, more advances in technology kept surfacing, and the economy was doing fairly well, for the most part. Of course, the events that were occurring in the early 1900's were more based on the urbanized areas of the world. While America had its focus on monetary and foreign affairs, there was little to no knowledge of what was happening in poorer parts of the country. This eventually led some of the poverty-stricken towns to take on strange, if not disturbing, traditions.
One town in particular was established in North Dakota. Verendrye, was a small and close-knit community, there had to be no more than 15 households. As you could imagine, it was also very backwards and isolated. There was a town square, a church, a tavern, and a town hall. It was once surrounded by forest, yet the town had a grim, dark ambiance about it. The trees in the forest were all dead, and void of leaves year-round. The people of Verendrye had little money, so little that not even the mayor was in complete control of it. Oddly enough, the real power was held by the town's doll maker, and there's a reason why.
Considering that the town was so small and impoverished, it was common for fatal illnesses to plague the families that resided within Verendrye. With so many casualties, it was eventually pointless to care about how old someone was or the dates of their births. As more people would get sick, it became harder for all of the families to afford proper burials, and burning ceremonies were reserved for the elderly to conserve oil. While that went on, there was also the petty issue of the children within these families, who not only suffered the loss of siblings and parents, but also had no toys or other means of escape. This would eventually lead to these children growing up with severe mental problems, which would only put more of a burden on Verendrye's citizens.
The doll maker had solved these problems. When a loved one would die, the family could sell their deceased to the doll maker for her materials. She would then embalm, stuff, and stitch the corpses. Then, when a family wanted to get a doll for their child, they could buy their newly-stuffed relative for a fair price. This would keep the economy flowing, as long as people kept dying. It was a flawless cycle,until greed had set in. Husbands and wives would "accidentally" poison one another and parents would suffocate their children. Soon, the killings became a normal and accepted occurrence.
The doll maker's name was Missy Robinson, and she was very devoted to her work. She had brown hair, that was tied messily into a bun. A tool belt was always buckled around her waist. She liked to kept her knives, needles, and threads with her at all times. She would spend days stitching away at the skin of the dead, and rarely would leave the house. Not a day would pass where her hands were not covered with their blood and bile. Some would say that she even became obsessed.
Missy was the mother of two sisters. The eldest daughter was Gi, a modest and friendly woman. Her hair was dark blonde in color, and it barely touched her lower back. She was also tall and liked to dance, play games, and read stories. Her favorite stories were scary ones, especially the ones about possession. She was disliked by many citizens for this reason, hence why very few would sit and listen. Any reading that wasn't from the Bible, was highly frowned upon. She also liked to make masks for her sister and her other friends in town, which didn't help Gi's reputation.
Willow was the younger sister, she was more arrogant about her mother's status in Verendrye. She was short with red hair, and was the favored one of the siblings. She didn't much care for Gi's stories either, they made her uncomfortable. Sometimes, her sister's hobbies scared her more than their mother's obsession with her dolls. Willow did whatever was asked of her, and never once questioned how things were.
Yet, despite their differences, the sisters loved each other, and always walked through town together. Aside from the daily deaths, the lives of the townsfolk were almost perfect. When the plague had finally taken hold of Gi, it was a shock to everyone, yet most of the town was secretly glad. Verendrye could continue its existence without fear of her tainting the minds of its younger citizens.
On her deathbed, she whispered to her weeping sister, "Don't grieve over me, I will always be right behind you." This worried Willow, but Missy shooed her out of the room before she could ask what her sister meant. Their mother closed the door, and knelt down by her eldest's bed. "Please my daughter, forgive me." said Missy, as she looked at Gi's empty drinking glass. "I couldn't let you age anymore. We don't want you getting too old, do we?" she said, in a cynical voice. Her words caused Gi to feel a sudden pang of anger and fear, as she slipped in and out of consciousnesses.
She died the morning after, and everything was silent. Nobody was awake except for for her mother, who was already at work. She was going to make her eldest into the perfect doll for Willow. Missy was so excited, the thought of mourning her dead child had completely slipped her mind. To ease Willow's pain of seeing Gi's belongings, Missy had them all burned. Everything from her clothes and sheets, to her beloved books and masks, were now nothing but ash.
It was the night two days later, when Missy had finished her masterpiece. It was her best work yet, and she could never have been more proud of her dead daughter. Gi's eyes were replaced with blue glass and her mouth was sewn shut, to stop bugs from infesting her. Missy couldn't wait to give her to Willow, so she went to wake her up.
Willow was delighted by the site of her sister. She was seated on her mother's workbench and appeared as though she were still alive. Her eyes were temporarily closed, so the adhesive behind the glass could set in. Willow hugged the corpse and danced around while holding it's cold hands. She wanted to spend more time with the doll, but was too tired. She made her way back to bed, and fell asleep instantly.
The following morning, Gi's corpse was displayed in Missy's largest window. She was fitted with a white gown that hid her feet. All of the town's citizens wanted to come see and play with Willow's new doll. The children played with her hands, her friends would braid her hair, and the drunken men from the tavern would barge in and fondle the corpse for their own thrills. Missy didn't mind though, she was actually flattered that everyone in town enjoyed being around her daughter, for once.
A few weeks later, Gi had been taken off of the display, and replaced with a male doll named Damien. He had black hair, and wore a brown vest with a white button-up shirt, along with a pair of dark slacks. His death was an "accident", as claimed by his newly widowed wife. His wife didn't want to buy him back though, so he was simply displayed instead. The town liked his corpse more, so they all stopped playing with Gi. Even Willow was sick of her sister.
When Missy took Gi out of the window, she put her on a table in the basement, which is where mounds of discarded dolls resided. She then locked the basement door, and left her dead daughter there. The moisture of the basement started to make the skin around her eyes rot. It only took twenty-four hours for her eyes to become nothing but rotted, distorted holes in her face. The adhesive wasn't even enough to keep the glass from falling out.
It was sometime after midnight, when Willow had abruptly awaken from her slumber. For some reason her heart was pounding and she was in a cold sweat. She figured that she must have had a bad dream. She looked out the window on the wall beside her, and tried to remember the dream. Suddenly she became cold again, as Gi's last words appeared in her head. "I will always be behind you."..."I will always be behind you." her voice echoed repeatedly. The echos started to become louder and louder, it became loud enough that she felt as though the voice wasn't just in her head.
Everything suddenly fell silent, and Willow slowly turned her head away from the window. She turned her gaze to the other side of the room, and saw that her door was open. Shaking herself of her fear, she walked to the door and peeked into the hallway. It was dark, but she could see into the parlor, which was also her mother's workshop. She could see the handsome male doll, still in the window. Her eyes made out the door to the basement, and noticed something peculiar. The basement door, that was previously locked, was now open. "Mother must be cleaning down there." she thought.
Still uneasy, Willow thought she'd seek out mother for comfort. Slowly, she tiptoed out of her bedroom, and made her way to the parlor. As she walked, she passed by her sister's room. A chill ran down her spine, she could have sworn that she heard something move from inside. Without putting much thought into it, she moved a little quicker. She was finally in the parlor, and stood at the top of the basement stairs.
Willow saw that there was a light flickering off the basement walls. She called to mother, but there was no response other than a faint shuffling sound that came from below. She thought, maybe if she went down the stairs, her mother would hear her. Carefully placing her foot on each wooden plank and holding the railing, Willow stepped down into the flickering light. She picked up the candle that was in its holder on the bottom step. She picked up and moved the candle, so she could see in front of her. The basement was completely empty, there wasn't anything there except for a few boxes and tables.
The little sister's heart sank when she found the table where Gi was placed. She saw that her sibling had fallen over, and was laying across the table. Her mother was probably too busy to worry about it. Willow moved towards the table to prop her sister's corpse back into it's sitting position. As she got closer, the light revealed something horrifying. The body laying across the table was mother, and she wasn't breathing. Gi wasn't on the table, in fact, she was nowhere to be seen.
Trembling with fear after she placed the candle on the table, she rolled mother onto her back and screamed with terror. Her mother's face had been peeled from the nose-up and her tools were taken. What monster could have killed her mother, and stolen her sister's corpse? After violently vomiting on the floor, Gi's voice echoed through her ear again. "I will always be behind you...I will always be behind you."
Horrified, Willow ran towards the basement stairs. As she ran up the steps, she slipped on what appeared to be blood, and held onto the wooden railing for balance. As she breathed heavily, she heard her sister's haunting laughter. This gave Willow the fear-driven adrenaline she needed in order dart up the rest of the stairs, and return to the parlor. She closed and locked the basement door, hoping the doll that murdered her mother couldn't escape.
As she stood in the parlor, she looked out the large display window. The moon was full, and everything seemed calm for the moment. Feeling relieved, Willow's first instinct was to leave the house, and get help. She went over to the front door and stopped when she saw a dark figure that was blocking the exit. Helpless, she ran towards her room, as quickly as she could. While approaching her room, she watched behind her. Willow didn't want that thing at the front door to be following her.
She entered her bedroom, and quickly shut the door. She would be safe now, so she thought, until she heard the voice again. "I will always be behind you." it said as usual, only there was no echo this time. This time, it was right behind her. Willow froze at the door, and slowly turned around to face the source of this horrific nightmare. She sank to the floor as she saw her doll; sitting on the edge of her bed, holding mother's knife.
Willow then noticed the slab of mother's face that was peeled off, now covered Gi's rotting eyes. Blood seeped down her face, as Gi tilted her head to one side. She was trying to smile, but the thread that pierced her lips, prevented her from doing so. Irritated, Gi took the knife in her hands and began to crudely cut away at the thread. When that barely worked, she decided to take the top and bottom part of her reddened lips and pulled at them until they were free. Blood spurted from her mouth and dripped down to her chin. The once white gown, was now tattered and bloodstained.
The younger sister tried not to gag and covered her eyes. When everything went silent, Willow opened her eyes to see that her sister wasn't on her bed anymore. She was about to let out another sigh of relief, and then her door opened. She fell back and then was caught as Gi grabbed her by the hair. "You're not gonna get bored of me this time!" Gi shouted as she dragged her to the workbench in the parlor.
Gi then sliced Willow's throat with the knife she carried. She threw her younger sibling onto the bench, still holding her by the hair. Willow struggled as she choked on her own blood, and stared her big sister in the eye. Gi then opened her torn and bloody mouth to speak. "I could't let you age anymore. We don't want you getting too old, do we?"
While Willow continued to bleed out, the Gi doll began to cut open her stomach and remove her innards. She would cut and pull at her entrails, and drop them all into a pile on the floor. The dropping of the organs made a satisfying "splat" as they landed. The younger sister didn't last an hour.
Considering how small she was, it was quite easy to remove all of the organs and muscle from Willow's dead body. After her sister was reduced to nothing but a sack of bone, she grabbed mother's bag of cotton and began to stuff her. After evening it all out, she finally sewed the skin shut. Before finishing up, she stitched two very long strings to her hands, two to her feet, and one to the back of her head. She then tied the strings to a wooden "x" that she crafted, and hung it from the ceiling.
There was a difference between Gi and her mother's creations. Willow wasn't turned into a doll, she was made into a marionette. Gi adored how her sister looked, and wanted to make more. Although decades have passed, she is said to still walk among forests, in search of flesh that can be added to her audience of marionettes, which she continues to entertain to this day.
"Revenge is sweet, isn't it? I remember that night, for it was the start of a wonderful hobby. Though, the oddest part about that night, was that there were no other discarded dolls in the basement, and no townsfolk came to investigate. I'd like to think that those other dolls were like me, and had their own agendas for revenge. Until next time, stay stitched."