Michaela was the sweetest girl Whitney Richardson had ever known. She was so sweet, in fact, that it made Whitey’s teeth ache just to looked at her. At barely five feet tall, Michaela wore her blonde hair short with bubblegum pink highlights and had a high-pitched voice that only Whitney seemed to find grating. But the worst thing about Michaela Smith was the she wasn’t ditzy or even dumb, but was instead mastering two AP courses while also starring in several school plays. Somehow, no one ever told Michaela that she was poor trash, and that she shouldn’t be as popular as she was, nor as successful. Nor should someone like her have been able to date someone like Jake Murchis.
Whitney watched Michaela and Jake flirt from her post behind the counter at the Build-A-Toy Workshop where both girls worked and ground her teeth. How could Jake possibly fall for that . . . peasant girl over her? She was almost everything Michaela wasn’t. Standing just under six feet tall, Whitney wore her long hair back to reveal her strong chin and cheeks as well as her deep hazel eyes. She was student class president and head cheerleader for a squad that had won state three times straight. And most of all, she lived in Forest Valley, the richest neighborhood in Brentwood.
The only thing Michaela Smith had in common with Whitney was that both worked in the same brightly colored Build-A-Toy Workshop, the walls of which were covered with a hundred rag toys in various states of completion, and the center of the store showcased a whole line-up of doll fashion. Michaela worked here because she and her family needed the money. Whitney worked here because she had a plan for Michaela.
She kept her eye on Michaela, who was now pulling the chain link doors in place to close the shop off from the rest of the mall. At long last, all the pieces were in place, and Whitney knew tonight would be the night. Once the doors were closed, Michaela picked up a broom and like Cinderella began to sweep the store clean. Whitney stopped pretending to count cash and took a long look outside to make sure no one could see inside the store. It was plain to Whitney that no one was left in the mall, so she pulled a compact from her purse and walked toward Michaela. The peasant girl was facing the door when Whitney came to her, and had no clue she was so close now. As she approached Michaela, Whitney opened her compact and revealed pink dust inside, dust formulated by a wiccan friend; it was to be the first of many such objects Michaela would experience tonight.
“Hey, Michaela?” Whitney said, and the girl turned around. As soon as she had, Whitney blew a cloud of pink dust into her face. Michaela coughed and jumped back in shock, and then she fell limp to the floor. Whitney knelt next to her and saw that her eyes were open and the irises had turned pink. She smiled; the poor sweet wench was still conscious, but paralyzed for the next half hour. That would be more than enough time for Whitney.
The brunette pulled Michaela toward the back; away from the door and right next to the stuffing machine. She stripped the girl of all her clothes and pulled out a nylon and cotton cat suit, which Whitney began to pull over the paralyzed girl from the feet on up. Once she pulled the suit over Michaela’s body, Whitney began to laugh at the poor girl. She didn’t have fingers anymore, just mitten hands, and her breasts had melted away into a single oblong mass. She already looked so much like the rag dolls that were made here day after day.
With Michaela dressed, Whitney pulled a brush from her bag. She sat down behind the half-dolled and began to brush her hair. With each brushstroke, blonde and pink hair turned into thick yellow yarn. After that, Whitney applied a powder to Michaela’s face and neck. As the powder touched her skin, it transformed to into the same kind of cloth as the suit. In not ten minutes had Michaela gone from breathing human to a doll. But Whitney’s work was not yet complete, and she next applied apple-red lipstick To Michaela’s mouth, then she pulled a pair of appliqués from her purse and put one over each of the doll’s eyes. The fabric stitched itself into Michaela’s cloth face, leaving the toy with bright blue cloth eyes. After that, Whitney put a dab of pink blush on her doll’s nose and each cheek followed by exaggerated eye lashes and red eye shadow to pull out the bright blue of Michaela’s cloth eyes.
Time was running short, and so Whitney was quick to lay her doll on her stomach and pull the nozzle from the stuffing machine. There was a small hole in the suit Michaela wore, about two inches across, right along the seam in her back. Whitney could still see that her doll still had skin beneath the suit, which simply wouldn’t do. She put the nozzle in the hole and switched the stuffing machine on. The vacuum began to pull cotton stuffing from the machine into Michaela’s back. At first, the doll’s skin puffed out from the extra mass, but it quickly went away as the suit worked its magic and dissolved Michaela’s skin, muscles, and bones with plush stuffing.
The machine switched off magically, and Whitney checked to make sure her doll was fully stuffed. She even reached her hand into Michaela’s back to make sure there was not a trace of human left. Satisfied, Whitney pulled a tag from her bag, which she sewed into her doll’s back. Once done, she sewed up the tan cloth and sealed Michaela’s fate. Whitney took a look at the tag and once laughed:
This Michaela Doll is
Property of Whitney Richardson
With Michaela fully transformed, Whitney came to the most difficult part of her plan: choosing a costume. Of course, her doll could wear whatever Whitney wanted her to, but the first costume was important. So she thought about her doll and the human she had been, and came to realize what she should be. Whitney quickly went around the store and picked out costume pieces and then returned to her doll. She moved Michaela’s cloth hand and touched it to each piece of clothing, and they grew to her size. Whitney then dressed her doll in pure white tights, a yellow skirt and white apron, and green dirndl dress with puffy sleeves. She strapped black slipper shoes on her cloth feet, and then stepped back to consider her rag toy. It was funny, really: even though Michaela was a doll now, she was still a peasant wench, just as she always had been.
There was still one last part to complete the spell and to make Michaela a doll forever: a kiss of life. “And I don’t mean a peck on the cheek,” Whitney remembered her wiccan friend saying, “A Kiss of Life is something deep and powerful. It is drawn from your very soul and flows through into the one you kiss. It is the kiss Prince Charming gave to Snow White. It goes beyond any sort of physical touching and should be almost divine.”
Whitney shook out her body and took a deep breath. She gently caressed her doll’s soft yarn hair and looked into bright blue eyes. Whitney paused for a moment, with her and Michaela’s lips inches apart, and then she touched her own lips to her dolls. She breathed her soul into the rag doll, but it didn’t seem the spell was taking effect. Whitney grumbled as set her doll back to the ground, and tried to fret out what she did wrong. She wanted so desperately for Michaela to be alive, so she could control her. Command her. Own her. But then, Whitney realized, she also wanted her doll to love her in return. With renewed vigor, Whitney pulled her toy from the ground and sat her on a table. She took her hand and touched it to Michaela’s soft leg. She rubbed her hand along her white lights and lush body, then brought her fingers dancing upward passed her toys plush hips and pillowy breasts.
Whitney began to kiss her doll on the neck, and traveled up once again, following a track along a seam in her toy’s fabric. Each kiss invigorated Whitney, and deepened her desire to bring her lovely, soft doll to life. She touched her toys pink cheek, and then paused with her eyes closed and lips less than a hair’s width from her dolls. She breathed warmly and kissed Michaela once again. And this time she felt a spark flow from her body into her toys.
Michaela suddenly gasped and jumped backward. Whitney covered her lovely smile with a hand, but her joy poured through her moistening eyes. Her toy looked down at her cloth body; her mitten hands; her peasant costume.
“What did you do to me? What am I?”
“You’re a doll, Michaela. You’re my doll.” Whitney smiled as she stroked her toy’s hair. “You look so beautiful.”
“No. No, no, no. This is a dream. It can’t be.” Micheala scooted back onto the table, pushing aside other dolls of cloth and stuffing just like her. “I’m not your toy.”
“Ooooh, sweetie. Come here.” Whitney took her toy’s arm and pulled her back. She wrapped the soft doll up in a full embrace, cooing her doll to comfort. Her hands pressed deep into Michaela’s plush back. The doll struggled, but could not match her owner’s strength, and her body bent against Whitney’s.
“Can’t you see it, Michaela Doll? You’ll live with me in a giant mansion, in my room. You’ll not have to worry about boys, or grades, or money. You can simply be there to please me. Every night as I get ready for bed, you can pull out a storybook and begin to read to me. I’ll crawl into bed, and you can tuck me in. Then I’ll pull you up beside me, and wrap my arms around you to keep you safe and warm. Can’t you just see it?”
Michaela closed her eyes. She could see her future of being a toy. And she wanted no part of it. “Please turn me back.” She whispered into her owner’s ear. “I want to be human.”
“Noo, sweetheart.” Whitney looked into her doll’s eyes. “I understand that you’re confused right now.” But look at yourself. You’re adorable. Why would you ever want to be a boring old human again?” Whitney’s lips seemed parched, but she ignored them. Michaela was looking at her strangely; a mixture of fear and love were mixed up in her cloth face. Whitney looked at her doll, and imagined how soft she was. She remembered something her wiccan friend had warned her about, but the exact words escaped Whitney. Something about a temporary side effect.
“Whitney, what are you doing?”
“Your lips are so soft.” She said, pulling her toy’s lips close to hers. Her doll didn’t struggle. Whitney looked into Michaela’s crystal blue eyes. Her cloth eyes were so inviting.
“I think . . . I think I love you.” Whitney said.
“What?” Michaela said, trying to jump back. But Whitney held on and stroked her doll’s hair. She leaned in and kissed her cloth mouth. The doll struggled at first, but soon surrendered. With no way to fight Whitney, the doll decided to simply give in. Michaela stood herself on her tip toes and gripped her owner for support. She kissed back, and that’s when something strange happened. Whitney’s mouth fell into a warm numbness. In shock, she pulled away and felt her lips and came to the horrifying realization that they were made of cloth.
“What?” Whitney said before she collapsed, her pupils turning pink. And then she remembered her wiccan friend’s warning:
Whitney lay on the ground, helpless as her body turned to cloth and cotton and her hair to yarn. She could still see her doll, and saw that she was becoming human once again . . .
Michaela didn’t know what to do. She watched for a time while Whitney turned into a doll, but remembered that she still had to close the store. She did a quick job, putting the money away and not even sweeping. By the time she picked up her clothes, she was entirely human again, though still dressed in the humiliating peasant costume. Michaela headed for the door and took one last look at the Build-A-Toy Workshop. She saw Whitney fallen on the floor: a five-foot, ten-inch rag doll with brunette hair. There was something utterly sad about a lonely toy with no owner, and even though Michaela knew someone would come tomorrow and take her to a good home, she couldn’t leave Whitney all alone.
Michaela went around the store and picked out a perfect costume for Whitney just as she had done for her. She came back to the doll and stripped her of her clothes. She noticed the tag on her back:
This Whitney Doll is
Property of Michaela Smith
“Whitney, I promise that I’ll try and make you human again. In the meantime . . . Well, you dressed me up, so I’ll just return the favor.” Michaela dressed the doll in black fishnets and boots, and a short red saloon girl dress. She even found feathers to decorate her hair. Once dressed up, Michaela hopped her doll on her back and closed down the store. She would never return.
After everything, Michaela was a kind and caring owner for Whitney. She took her promise seriously and tried for months to find ways of turning Whitney back. But the search proved futile. Still, Whitney, strangely, didn’t mind. She was . . . happy, perhaps for the first time in her life. She didn’t worry about cheerleading, or school, or being popular. She was just a doll now and all she had to do was be there for her owner.
It was a strange thing that over time, Whitney talked more and more to her doll. She talked to her and told her secrets, random thoughts, and even, sometimes, she read stories to Whitney. But Michaela, over the course of five months, never mentioned Jake and her relationship with him. But Michaela became more and more despondent and distant over time, and Whitney knew Jake was the cause of that grief without ever having been told.
But one morning Michaela jumped from bed, seemingly having cast off her depression, and began the day as any normal day. That night, she lay in bed, resting upon her doll, reading a storybook. At one point, she looked up, into Whitney’s cloth eyes.
“You’ve been stuck far too long, Whitney.” She said. For the barest, briefest of moments, the doll swore a tinge of sadness touched her face. But she forgot about that as Michaela leaned in to give her doll the Kiss of Life.