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Hi, my name is Charlotte
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Story Rating   3.67  with 3 vote(s)
By IPWNJOO Send DollMailVisit Website
Created: 2006-08-31 23:10:48 All stories by IPWNJOO
When my mother was a young girl, she loved to collect porcelain dolls. She still kept them when I was growing up. As a child, I loved to look at them. They varied in sizes and styles, costumes and complexions. Some had springy, curly hair, the hair I longed to have, and some had straight hair like mine. There were all different sorts of dresses that they wore, dresses more beautiful than I could conjure up in my imagination.

My favourite doll was called Charlotte, like me. She had golden wings and golden hair, and a pure white dress with silver beads along the edge. She was simple, but she was also very beautiful. I would spend my afternoons with Charlotte the doll, taking extra care not to break her. We would sit in my room and talk, most of the time. That is, I would talk to her about my life. I would ask her about whether she though James Harrison, a boy in the village, would ever grow up to marry me, and if Mama's cough would ever get better. I pretended Charlotte could tell me things, see into the future and assure me that nothing bad would happen. When I pretended this, Charlotte the doll would say that James would fall madly in love with me and Mama would get better, it was just a passing cough.

Charlotte the doll happened to be wrong about lots of things, including the state of my mother.

When my mama died, we buried her in our back garden. We didn't have a lot of money, so we couldn't put her in the town cemetery, much as my father would have wanted to. He was a devout Christian, so he asked the priest to say prayers for Mama during the Sunday Mass. The tears ran down my cheeks as he asked us all to sing "The Lord is My Shepard." I stood up and wept, mouthing the words with nothing coming out. I had had the cough Mama had had too, but it hadn't harmed me so much. It took me a while to stop, but at least it didn't take my life as it had my mother's. Everybody had said that I was the spitting image of my mother, Anna Wright. Now, my father couldn't look at me anymore without sobbing a little. It made me cry because he couldn't stand to look me in the eye. I felt unloved, unwanted, even though I knew that wasn't the case. My father still loved me, but his actions couldn’t quite say that any more. I just knew that he wanted me to stay here, stay with him, so that he could have some remain of his wife left.

That winter, I developed a different cough. This made my chest ache and my nose ran all the time and it hurt to speak. It was very persistent, always there when I woke up, never leaving me. I tried to battle it, tried my hardest to duel with death, and I was winning somewhat. But one day, my cough hit me with such force that I had to sink back into my bed and close my eyes for longer. 'Sleep, Charlotte,' I thought. 'Sleep will do you good.'

"Charlotte?" I heard a voice call my name. "Charlotte?" There it was again.

"Charlotte, you're awake!" It was my doll, my Charlotte, staring down at me. She looked even better - she moved, she talked, and her wings glimmered more than they had when she was in her doll form. ‘This must be some sort of bizarre dream,’ I thought.

Just then, my doll said, "Charlotte, welcome to the Doll Palace!"

"The... the what?" I stammered.

"The Doll Palace. It's your rightful place."

I looked down. My dress - it was grey and purple and pink, much fancier than anything I'd had before. And on my back were a pair of matching wings! I couldn't believe it; I was a doll!

"I'm a doll!" I exclaimed rather stupidly.

"Of course you are, Charlotte dear," Charlotte said to me, waving her hand about airily. “You’re in the DOLL Palace.”

I couldn’t take it all in. “Why am I here?”

“Come with me, Charlotte,” my favourite doll said to me. “Come with me and you’ll see.”

Charlotte the doll led me down a pink and purple corridor. Satins and silks graced the windows in luscious tones, marvelous magentas and pretty periwinkles. Here, there were more dolls, dolls that looked like the ones my mother had had and some I had never seen before in my life. They all had different clothes. Some were tiny and could easily fit in the palm of my hand, and they wore brightly coloured outfits, rainbows galore. Others had heavy black makeup on their faces and their clothes matched, black and red and reminding me of blood and sorrow and dead roses. As we passed a bathroom, I saw several with scaly tales and long, thick hair cascading down their shoulders – mermaids! I was totally in awe, and tried to ask many times where we were going, but Charlotte kept hushing me until we came upon a big, purple door. It reached to the giant, midnight blue ceiling and down again, and was the biggest thing I had ever seen. “Enter,” said Charlotte, and the door swung open.

There was a massive throne at the back of the room, which was bigger than the market at my village. Sitting upon the throne, dressed in queenly robes and exquisite furs, complete with a pair of wings, was a woman with a pair of wings and straight brown hair, rather like mine. It was like looking into a mirror, but I knew better.

It was my mother.

As I ran up to hug her, I heard my father’s sobs and knew that I could no longer be with him, at least, not until he came to the Doll Palace himself. I finally realized that everything you want may come with some price, and much as I had wanted to see my mother, I realized that it had cost me my life. My father would come himself soon, and then we would all be reunited together.

Reunited in the Doll Palace.

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