Carefully pleated, intricately folded, all the creases sharp and her work precise before she displayed them on the shelf. Mistakes wouldn’t do. Things went wrong from mistakes with strange consequences.
She looked up and smiled. Six dolls sat on the shelf presently, no seven. She always forgot Annabelle; such an unassuming thing, cream-coloured, not bright hues like the others. A breeze from the window rattled their delicate substance, but none fell off their perch. They remained, in their exacting row.
She smiled. She knew what the dolls were thinking, so she reached out her hand, her thin fingers tracing the edge of the shelf. If they could have moved the dolls would have trembled. On the shelf they were safe. Once removed, well… a deal with a devil is non-negotiable. Some had been there long enough to see the fate of several past dolls.
Not pleasant memories.
She withdrew her hand. “Not today, my lovelies. I don’t need any of you in my spells today.”
But one day she would. One day they would all leave the shelf. After all, they should have read the fine print in the contract…
Fifteen years of happiness will be granted, whereas at the end of the contracted wish you will forfeit your body and soul to the witch as final payment. You will be transmogrified and housed within a paper doll until used as raw ingredients.~ A. F. Stewart
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