The entire thing was weird. The group of Jane Doe’s was found in a seemingly dilapidated house that had been completely remodeled on the inside, making it look like a Barbie Dreamhouse brought to life. And the Jane Does? Were practically dolls themselves, all talking with the same vapid valley girl tone, saying eerily similar things, seemingly not aware that they were currently in custody until someone could figure out what was going on with them.
Sergeant Ron Kelly was (or at least liked to think of himself as) a fairly good-looking young man, in his early thirties, with a girlfriend and what he thought was a good job. It had always been his dream to be a cop. This situation was not something anyone had prepared him for at the academy.
He was in the interview room now, with one of the Jane Does, who was sitting there, smiling at him, big green eyes blinking deer-like. Ron cleared his throat.
“Again, what’s your name? Your full name.”
“Candy,” She said airily.
“Your last name, I need your last name,” Ron said. “Miss…Candy, we’ve been over this.”
“Umm, it’s just Candy. I don’t, like, know what my last name is?” She said, her eyebrows furrowing and her mouth pouting. Kind of adorably. Ron wasn’t going to deny she wasn’t absolutely gorgeous, dressed in nothing but a babydoll cami and short jean cut offs. Honestly, her chest was kind of distracting, the way it bulged out of her shirt. Her hair was auburn, and her skin was obviously intentionally tanned, but tastefully.
Ron sighed, tearing his eyes away from her body, from her eyes that were almost too easy to stare at–all of them were like this. They all had cutesy names and seemingly couldn’t recall their last names, their address, any details that would be helpful to locate. None of them matched any missing person’s cases, either. It was just strange.
Fine. He would take a different approach. Brute force clearly wasn’t working.
“So what do you remember? Why don’t you know your last name?” he asked, probably a bit brusquely. She tilted her head, staring him directly in the eyes–those damn eyes–and he found he couldn’t find a single part of her that didn’t turn him on. Fuck.
“Umm, so like, I don’t really know? Like, me and the girls were just hanging out and having fun, you know? And then you guys came and took us, and that’s like, the last thing I remember, I guess? Other than the, uh, um…practice?” she said, clearly straining to try to remember something.
Ron leaned forward. “Practice?”
“Yeah, like, how before we were totally boring and totally not pretty or cute, and we had to practice being pretty,” she said, and then beamed with pride. “And like, aren’t we pretty, Mr. Kelly? Like, we totally got cuter!”
Ron didn’t know what to say to that. It didn’t make a damn lick of sense. And honestly, he was only halfway paying attention. It seemed like she was specifically trying to get him to look at her eyes or her tits.
“Oookay. And who was the person that made you practice?” he said. Maybe he was getting somewhere.
“Ummm…I don’t remember?” She said. Ron sighed. Getting nowhere, as usual.
Ron got home that night, grabbed a beer, and put on the news; same shit as always. Those damn liberals demonizing people like him for the kind of work he was doing. He couldn’t stand it. He flicked off the TV, ordered some pizza, and decided to play a video game. He saw his girlfriend had texted him, but the lingering guilt of how turned on he had been by Candy that day made him leave the text unread. It wouldn’t be the first time, and it’s not like he was serious. He’d settle down eventually, but this girl was a little too emotional for him.
Finishing his pizza, he headed to bed, catching his reflection in a mirror. He hadn’t shaved in a bit, and suddenly, the state of his skin was bothering him. He shaved, but it still wasn’t enough.
Spying some kind of facial moisturizer his girlfriend had left at some point, he hesitated for a bit before tentatively spreading some on. Eh, fuck it, why not? There was nothing wrong with treating a little bit of dry skin. He felt better as he tucked himself into bed that night, still thinking about Candy and her eyes and her tits, imagining them swinging in front of him while she stumbled through her valley girl, dumb bullshit. God. If only his girlfriend was like her…
“And what’s your name?”
“Baby,” the pale blonde with the big blue eyes said. Just like Candy, Baby’s eyes were just enrapturing, and yet so empty. The more Ron talked to these girls, the more he felt like they weren’t all there. “What’s your name, mister?”
“I already told you, I’m Sergeant Ron Kelly,” he said.
“That’s so many words. Is it okay if I just call you Ronnie?” She said, smiling. “It’s, like, a lot cuter than Sar…sargeant.” She giggled cutely.
Her body was even more shapely than Candy’s, if it was possible. They had given them a change of clothes, but he could still see it through her clothes. The lack of visible tits just left her eyes, which he kept finding himself staring at, just like he did at this moment, not really paying attention to what she had said. “Uh, yeah. Yeah, that’s fine, whatever. So I spoke to your friend Candy the other day. Can you clarify some things that she told me?”
“Sure! I like to help!” She said.
“She said that at some point you had to ‘practice’ being pretty,” he said. “She couldn’t recall who had made you all practice. Do you remember anything about that?”
Baby blinked blankly, before smiling. “Oh my god, yeah! Like, I was tooootally not pretty or cute for a long time, I think. It’s, like, hard to remember? But um, one day I met someone who made me want to be totally pretty!” she said.
“And what were you like before?” He asked.
“Uhhh. It’s hard to remember. Except I was totally stressed out all the time.”
Ron sighed, rubbing his temples. “Fuckin dumb sluts, I swear…”
“Ronnie, that’s not a very nice thing to say to a nice girl,” Baby said. Ron looked up, only to be immediately sucked in by her big blue eyes. “Don’t you think that’s mean, Ronnie?”
“That was mean,” Ron said, almost without thinking about it. But it was, now that he did think about it. Why would he say something so rude? “I’m sorry for saying that, Baby.”
Apparently having thought that settled the matter, her pout turned back into a smile. “Okay, good! Like, thanks so much, Ronnie! You’re such a doll.”
Something in Ron stirred at the compliment, and he smiled back, melting in those big blue eyes of hers. “Yeah,” he agreed dreamily.
“Ron, you good?” one of his coworkers, a Lieutenant named Amy said. She was somewhat chubby with crimped hair done up in a tight, professional bun. She was looking at him suspiciously, which snapped Ron out of his reverie. He had been feeling strange ever since he got out of interrogation with Baby. The whole thing felt fuzzy, and really good.
“Y-yeah, I’m okay,” he said. “Just tired.”
“Mmm, yeah yeah. Be careful going home, okay? I don’t want anyone thinking one of our people was drinking on the job,” she said.
Normally, Ron found Amy’s attitude annoying, and always disliked her because of how she looked. But tonight, he found her concern nice, and smiled genuinely at her. “Thanks, Lieutenant.” She raised her eyebrows, but didn’t say anything else.
His girlfriend called that night, and he found himself picking up, apologizing for not answering her yesterday. He had been dealing with a big case at work. He found himself offering to take her out to eat that weekend, his treat; something he wouldn’t dream of doing unless it was expected of him. She was surprised, but grateful.
He went to sleep that night still lost in the thought of Baby’s eyes, but also feeling, for the first time, warm. He kept replaying it over and over in his mind. “You’re such a doll”. On repeat in his head.
It was so nice.
The next girl was just as pretty as the others. Her hair was red and her eyes a deep, warm brown. Her freckled complexion complimented her face.
Ron didn’t feel right. He had woken up, put on his uniform as usual, but just felt…strange. Maybe it was the fact that he had debated wearing his girlfriend’s spares she had left over. Something about them just felt right. But no, he knew his friends would make fun of him if he did. Or the way his face became alien to him overnight. Too angular. No, no. It wasn’t right. But there wasn’t anything he could do about it.
“So. Uh.” Ron’s head was full of…something. “What’s your name, ma’am?”
“Staci!” she said, bubbly. Ron could feel himself relaxing around her. Relaxing into her eyes. It was minutes before he said anything else.
“Right. Staci. Um. So yesterday, I talked with Baby, and she said…she was different before,” he said, the more he let himself sink into her eyes the more slowly he spoke. It was like they were sucking him in. “Before…um…she became pretty. Can you talk about that?”
“Ummmm…are you okay?” Staci asked. “You seem, like, super distracted.” Honestly, Staci sounded smarter than the others. Or maybe it was just his imagination. He scratched his head.
“I…I dunno. But I gotta ask you the question, so like…” He found his words slurring as he tried to avoid mirroring Staci’s tone. But it was so hard, staring into her eyes, his whole world closing in around that warm, lovely brown. “Umm. Can you, like, answer?”
Staci smiled. “Like, oh my god, of course. So before I was pretty I was kind of like you actually! Like, I didn’t know how good it felt to be pretty and cute.”
How good it felt to be pretty and cute. Right. It felt good to be pretty and cute. But he wasn’t. “Um. I don’t really understand. Could you, like, explain it to me?” Staci was so smart. He didn’t notice his tone going up in pitch to match Staci’s.
“Well, like, it looks like you kind of want to be pretty and cute too, right?” Staci giggled. Ron couldn’t deny it. “So, like, when you leave work today, you should totally get some cute clothes like ours! And some make up and stuff, too.”
Ron found himself nodding and agreeing, nodding and agreeing as Staci told him all the ways he could be pretty and cute. It was pretty and cute to not think. It was pretty and cute to admire girls, and complement them. After all, it was important to respect other people.
“M. My girlfriend,” Ron said, sleepily. “My girlfriend…what if she…doesn’t like me being pretty…”
“It’s, like, totally okay. If she doesn’t like it, you can always break up. But like, make sure you tell her how good she was at being a girlfriend,” Staci said. “Because, like, it would be so sad if she felt bad, you know?”
Ron nodded. It would be, like, so bad.
The rest of the interview passed in a blur, Ron locked onto Staci’s eyes and just listening, absorbing. By the end of the interview and the end of the day, he walked out, knowing that something was going to change. He knew he was buying cute clothes in his size, making the excuse that they were for his girlfriend. He knew as he got home that when he looked in the mirror he didn’t like what he saw. Until he put on the bra, stuffed it full of toilet paper. Tucked just like Staci had told him to. Put on the dress he had bought and made himself look…cute and pretty.
Bonni smiled at her reflection.
When Sergeant Kelly took sick leave, everyone thought it was strange. When a woman claiming to be Sergeant Kelly came in, eyes empty, two weeks later to turn in her gun and badge, no one could believe it.
Bonni did take her girlfriend out to eat that weekend. Of course, she had trouble accepting the changes. In fact, she had been planning to break up with Bonni that very weekend. But the woman that brought her to dinner, treated her like a queen, and looked at her with adoring eyes was far more tolerable than her former authoritarian boyfriend. Bonni didn’t seem to know very much; she hung on to her girlfriend’s every word. She apologized for the way she had treated her in the past, telling her she had had some kind of revelation.
Bonni’s girlfriend didn’t know what had caused her to change, but knew that she glad she had.