Beth let out a sigh as the apartment door closed behind her. “If I murdered my boss, do you think a jury would convict?” She shouted as she dropped her bag and started to move into the living room.
“Who’s that?” Replied an unfamiliar and rather silly voice from the living room.
“Beth is home!” Replied Kathleen. “You’ll like Beth!” She added, obviously replying to the unseen guest.
Beth blushed a little bit, hoping that this guest wasn’t someone important. Threatening to murder someone was not a good first impression and her current lethargy wasn’t going to help undo that terrible first statement.
She poked her head around the edge of the door, only to spot that Kathleen wasn’t talking to a person. Instead, Kathleen was talking to a puppet that was sitting on her arm.
Beth laughed and walked into the living room. She wasn’t surprised, this was very much something Kathleen would do. If it was still possible to run off and join the circus, Kathleen would have done so the second she came of age.
“Very cute,” chuckled Beth as she sat down and looked at the doll. It was obviously wooden, but something about it was uncanny. The eyes seemed to stare into her, almost as if the doll knew something she didn’t.
The doll was dressed as a stereotypical princess, with a pink dress that was twice as wide as she was. It was oddly cute, especially when contrasted against Kathleen’s jeans and t-shirt.
“Hello, Ms. Beth!” Replied the doll as it waved its hand.
“Hey Kathleen,” grinned Beth.
“What?” Blinked Kathleen. “I didn’t say hello!”
“You did via the doll.”
“Via the doll?” Replied Kathleen with confusion. “I’m not her mother.”
“I would hope not, giving birth to a doll would hurt.”
“Princess Primrose Pumpernickel is her own woman! I’m not her keeper!” Smiled Kathleen, a hint of firmness in her voice. She nodded towards the still-waving doll and Beth sighed.
“Hello, Princess Primrose Pumpernickel.” Said Beth, realizing she wouldn’t get out of this without addressing the doll.
“Hi, Ms. Beth!” Replied the doll in its overly silly voice. “You look like a sad little shrimp today!”
“I think you need to workshop that,” said Beth as the doll continued to wave its arms.
“I don’t think the Princess goes to workshops,” replied Kathleen. “When you are a Princess you don’t have time for such things.”
“I bet she is busy.” Nodded Beth.
“I am!” Interjected Princess Primrose. “But I still know a sad little shrimp when I see one!”
“Sure,” sighed Beth. “I’m a shrimp. But I need to relax for a while, today has been hell.” She continued as she dropped back onto the couch.
“We can help! We can help!” Shouted Princess Primrose as she flailed her little arms wildly and pulled forward, almost as if she was trying to yank Kathleen out of the seat.
After a few seconds, Primrose stopped moving and slowly turned to face Kathleen. “What’s up?” Asked Kathleen. Despite being the one controlling the doll, she was doing a very good job at acting like she wasn’t, she seemed genuinely surprised by the doll’s gaze.
“Over there!” Shouted Primrose as she pointed towards Beth. “We’re trying to cheer the shrimp up!”
“I am!” Huffed Primrose. “And as my lady in waiting, you’re supposed to help me do what I want!”
“Oh, I missed the memo,” nodded Kathleen as she stood up and walked towards Beth. As they got close, Primrose dashed forward, her face inches away from Beth’s nose.
“Look into my eyes!” Squeaked Primrose, her voice somehow becoming even sillier. Beth burst into laughter as the sheer weirdness of the situation hit her like a tidal wave.
“Really?” She said between laughs.
“Yes really!” Replied Primrose. “Look into my eyes!” She said as she moved closer to Beth’s face.
“Really?” Repeated Beth.
“Yes! We’re going to make you a happy shrimp!” Chuckled Primrose.
“What is it with you and shrimp?” Sighed Beth as Primrose continued to sway in front of her.
“Look into my eyes,” repeated Primrose as Beth found herself staring at the strange doll. She hadn’t realized it at first, but the doll’s eyes were made out of glass.
They sparkled and twinkled as the doll swayed. Something about them held Beth’s attention, they were just fascinating. They seemed far too detailed when compared to the rest of the doll.
“Deep into my eyes,” continued Primrose, her voice somehow getting higher with each word. “Look into my eyes, into my powerful princess eyes. Princesses have perfectly powerful powers and abilities. A princess can poke and prod at the pink of your brain and make you sink.”
Beth nodded gently as she continued to stare into the doll’s glassy eyes. She started to feel a strange tingling in her feet, almost as if her legs were going to sleep. However, rather than being annoying, it felt oddly nice and calming.
“Happy, tired, sleepy!” Giggled Primrose as she continued to sway. Beth was so focused on Primrose that she forgot that Kathleen was there, almost as if Primrose was her own person.
Beth let out a yawn as Primrose’s swaying turned into more of a dance. Her glass eyes were catching the light in so many different ways, causing them to sparkle and flicker like a crystal.
The strange feeling continued to rise up Beth’s body. The tingling moving up her legs like waves lapping at the sand on the beach, almost like it was slowly eroding away her muscle tension.
It felt like someone had pulled a cork out of her and all of her stress, thoughts, and self were slowly trickling out and swirling down the drain, far away from Beth’s body.
“Isn’t it fun?” Giggled Primrose.
“Fun,” gurgled Beth. The odd tingling continued to rise up her body, slowly melting away all of her tension as it did. Her body felt like it was floating as if someone had taken away her limbs and replaced them with balloons full of laughing gas.
“Fun! Makes a sad shrimp into a happy shrimp! Shiny eyes that hypnotize!” Continued Primrose. “You can feel yourself spinning and twisting, floating away. Happy, lovely swimming away!”
Beth let out a low mumble as the wave of tingling washed over her face and into her brain. She sunk into the chair and let Primrose’s voice wash over her. She didn’t care that it was a puppet, right now it was making her feel wonderful and she didn’t want that feeling to end.
As Primrose continued to drone on, Beth felt her eyes fluttering up into her head. The world was swimming and her vision was so blurred, everything was just vague smears of color.
Slowly, the colors became fainter and fainter as Beth felt lighter and lighter. She knew she was about to fall asleep, but she didn’t care. She just wanted to let this feeling embrace her.
Beth twisted and turned as reality started to return. She opened her eyes and let out a loud yawn. “Gosh, I passed out,” mumbled Beth.
“You did!” Chuckled a strange voice. Beth instantly turned her head, keen to work out who was speaking. To her surprise, Beth saw a pair of glass eyes staring back at her.
However, the eyes didn’t belong to Primrose. They belonged to another princess doll. This one had a long black dress and looked more like an evil queen than a happy silly princess.
“What are you looking at?” Replied the princess.
“Kathleen,” started Beth. However, before she could chastise her friend, she realized the doll wasn’t on Kathleen’s arm. It was on hers.
“Kathleen is busy,” interjected the doll. “So you’re gonna do what I say now!”
“Why?” Blinked Beth. “You’re just a doll, I’ll take you off!” She continued as she raised her free arm. However, before she could grip the doll, her arm went limp and fell to her side.
“No one touches Dark Princess Veingoth Bloodfury!” Screamed the doll, her voice growing more frightening.
“But you’re on my hand! I want you off!” Whimpered Beth.
“You’re my maid! You don’t get a say! Now up!” Shouted Bloodfury as she moved forward. As the doll moved, Beth found her body being dragged forward, like the doll was pulling her along.
Beth rose from the chair and started to follow the outstretched doll. She tried to fight it, but she couldn’t do anything to stop herself from moving towards the bedroom.
It was utterly mystifying. Beth could see that the doll was on her hand. Thus it must be controlled by her. But yet, she didn’t feel like she was controlling it and it was pulling her like it was able to propel herself.
As the pair turned into the bedroom, Beth spotted Kathleen and Primrose. It took her a few moments to work out what was going on. Kathleen was naked aside from her panties and was using her free hand to pull clothes out of the wardrobe.
“Ugly!” Shouted Primrose as Kathleen threw a pencil skirt across the room. “Too dull!” She added as a black t-shirt went flying.
“Having fun?” Chuckled Bloodfury.
“Trying to dress my lady in waiting properly!” Huffed Primrose. “But she has no idea how to dress! She only owns rags!”
“I doubt my maid is any better!” Replied Bloodfury. “Look at her!”
“Look at what?! Kathleen, what is going on?” Shouted Beth.
However, Kathleen didn’t respond. She continued to yank clothes out of the wardrobe and throw them around the room with a look of focused determination on her face.
“She won’t listen. She is working.” Said Primrose firmly. “Good girls don’t think while they work.”
“But I’m,” started Beth, only for Bloodfury’s head to spin around and face her.
“Silence!” Screamed Bloodfury. “Primrose is right! You shouldn’t be thinking while you have work to do!”
“Well, I’m going to be thinking!” Replied Beth, doing her best to pull against the puppet.
“Wrong!” Shouted Bloodfury.
“Wrong!” Added Primrose as Kathleen threw a pair of jeans against the wall.
“But! You’re puppets!” Mumbled Beth, mostly trying to convince herself that she didn’t have to listen to this abuse.
“Puppets?! Puppets?!” Screeched Bloodfury. “We’re not puppets!”
“Yes, you are! You are puppets!”
“You’re the puppet!” Growled Bloodfury. “You’re my puppet! A big dumb puppet!”
“I’m not!” Started Beth, furiously racking her brains to try and work out a way to escape this strange situation.
However, before she could think of anything, Bloodfury flew towards her face grabbed it. Beth let out a shout as she tried to pull the doll off with her free hand.
But the doll was on too tight, despite her arms being made out of fabric, she had an inhumanly strong grip. As Beth struggled, the doll’s glassy eyes bore into her soul.
“You are a puppet,” growled Bloodfury. “A puppet, a dolly.”
“A simple little shrimp!” Added Primrose from the other side of the room.
Beth continued to struggle, but the doll refused to budge an inch. A red glow started to emanate from the doll’s glass eyes. As it did, Beth felt a wave of confusion wash over her.
This wasn’t right, this shouldn’t be happening. Beth knew it was a doll, once she should be able to put it down. But at the same time, the reality of the situation was not agreeing with her thoughts.
“Doll.” Said Bloodfury firmly. “You are a dolly.”
Beth felt the red glow in her head. It was like a hot knife, cleaving her thoughts in two. It broke through all of her confusion and replaced it with a simple fact. She was a doll.
Before Beth could even consider fighting off the mental intrusion, the red glow grew brighter and Bloodfury repeated her command. “You are a dolly. You are a doll.”
Every limb in Beth’s both started to seize up as the red words pushing through her brain, forcing out any other thoughts. Beth felt her strings being cut, as her muscles slowly slipped out of her control.
She tried to fight it, but couldn’t seem to resist the strange glow or fight off the crazed doll. Slowly, but surely Beth felt her limbs locking up as she floated inside her body without access to its controls.
“Perfect,” chuckled Bloodfury as she pulled back from Beth’s face. “This is why you should learn mesmerism, Princess. Much more effective on dolly minds.”
“Of course,” chuckled Primrose. “I am fine with my own shrimp catching methods.”
“Sleeping shrimp are easily led,” nodded Bloodfury. “Now what to do?”
Beth stood staring forward. She was unable to move a single limb. All she could do was watch as the two dolls talked about her fate. Kathleen had the same blank look in her eyes, making it obvious that Beth wouldn’t be able to shake her from this state.
“Oh! Oh! Make them kiss! Make them kiss!” Shouted Primrose.
“Yes!” Giggled Bloodfury. “Doll! Kiss Primrose’s doll!”
Beth’s body moved without her consent. She marched stiffly forward towards Kathleen, her lips puckering as she did. Kathleen slowly turned to face Beth, also puckering her lips.
“Kiss shrimps! Kiss shrimp!” Chanted Primrose.
As Beth got close to Kathleen she started to bend forward at the waist. Eventually, Beth’s lips and Kathleen’s lips met and they started to softly kiss each other.
The kiss was robotic and cold. It was like the dolls were making them mash their lips against each other without any idea of how humans actually kissed.
“They look silly!” Giggled Primrose as the girls continued to rub their lips against each other.
“But I need to make my maid look good. Look at her! She is so plain!” Shouted Bloodfury.
“She is! She doesn’t match you at all!” Nodded Primrose. “I was just dressing my lady in waiting!”
“Wardrobe! Now!” Screeched Bloodfury as Beth pulled away from Kathleen and started to robotically walk towards the wardrobe. It was already half-empty due to Kathleen’s furious searching.
Beth felt totally out of control as her arms reached up to the hangers and started to pull random clothes off of the rack. As this happened Bloodfury started to loudly judge the outfits, quickly writing them off as not suitable for her needs.
“Too dull! Not cute! Not fitting of a maid!” Shouted Bloodfury as Beth’s body started to throw the clothes across the room, just like Kathleen had been doing earlier.
After a few minutes of frantic sorting, the wardrobe was mostly empty. Beth felt a wave of hope. Now that the wardrobe was empty, the doll might realize that this was a silly and pointless endeavor.
However, just when Beth thought that the wardrobe was empty. She spotted a box at the bottom of the unit. “What is this?” Giggled Bloodfury as she moved forward and inspected the box.
“Tell us shrimp!” Shouted Primerose as she glared at Kathleen.
“Halloween costumes,” replied Kathleen in a soft monotone.
“Costumes,” chuckled Bloodfury. “Open them fool!”
Beth’s free hand slowly moved and opened the box, revealing a load of costumes from years passed. Beth didn’t recognize all of them, but she hadn’t looked in the box for months and some of the costumes were nearly ten years old, so that didn’t surprise her.
“I see it!” Giggled Primrose. “At the bottom!”
“Wonderful,” purred Bloodfury as Beth spotted what the puppets were talking about. At the bottom of the box was a bright pink princess dress.
Beth couldn’t remember where she brought it from, but it was not her style. Outside of Halloween, she wouldn’t be seen dead wearing it. Even during Halloween, it would take some major cajoling to make her even consider it.
“Put it on!” Shouted Bloodfury.
Beth’s heart dropped as she felt her body started to take her clothes off. She didn’t want to wear a dumb dress, but she couldn’t control her body or argue her case.
“Try and match!” Giggled Primrose as Kathleen started to move towards the box, quickly pulling out another dress.
It took a while for the girls to change their outfits. Having one hand unusable made everything twice as fiddly and complex as it needed to be.
The complexity of Beth’s dress made this even harder. The whole thing was covered in fasteners and zips that were hard enough to do with two hands, let alone one.
However, after several minutes of clumsy movement, Beth was able to get the pink poofy dress on. She caught a glimpse of herself in the mirror and instantly felt a wave of shame washing over her. She looked like an idiot.
“Cute shrimp!” Giggled Primrose.
“It suits her!” Chuckled Bloodfury.
Beth wanted to shout, but she couldn’t get her lips to move. She could see Kathleen staring blankly on the other side of the room. She was wearing a ballet dancer costume, however, it was clearly too small for her.
“What to do with silly shrimps,” said Primrose, obviously already having a plan in mind.
“What do you think?” Nodded Bloodfury.
“Dancing! Dancing!” Screamed Primrose. “Get dancing shrimps!”
Kathleen instantly started to spin around on the spot, doing her best to dance in the obviously unfitting outfit.
“You heard her!” Growled Bloodfury. “Dance!”
Beth’s body instantly started to dance, she skipped towards Kathleen and grabbed the other girl. The two started to spin around like manic spinning tops, bumping into furniture and discarded clothes as they went.
Despite the speed and intensity of their spinning, neither girl felt dizzy. In fact, it was almost as if they could spin all day and all night. They just wanted to do whatever it was their two puppet overlords told them.
“Pattycake!” Screamed Primrose as both girls instantly stopped dead.
Beth’s hand shot up as Kathleen started to slap her free hand against Beth’s outstretched one. “Pattycake pattycake,” she shouted in a dull monotone as the two puppets laughed uproariously at the sight.
“Fools!” Cackled Bloodfury.
“Silly shrimp!” Nodded Primrose.
“But alas, the game is fun but I must feed,” purred Bloodfury. She opened her mouth and lunged for Beth’s neck.
Beth didn’t have time to react. The doll’s mouth clamped onto her neck and Beth felt two sharp points dig into her neck. She wobbled for a few minutes, her mind trying to regain control of her body. However, before she could fight back, she felt herself grow weak as she collapsed to the floor.
Beth let out a groan as she opened her eyes. She saw Primrose and Bloodfury on the table and let out a yelp as she quickly tried to dive backward.
“I,” started Beth, only to realize that the puppets were sat limply on the table as opposed to being on someone’s arm.
“You’re awake,” said Kathleen as she handed Beth a cup of coffee.
“What happened?” Mumbled Beth. “I think I had a weird dream.”
“Oh?” Chuckle Kathleen as she sat down.
“Wait, no, it can’t be a dream as Bloodfury is here.” Groaned Beth as she tried to order her thoughts.
“Huh?” Blinked Beth.
“I didn’t give you that, you came up with it. And the vampire bite.” Explained Kathleen. “It was pretty adorable.”
“Wait, what are you going on about? Is this due to you?”
“You looked like you needed a little fun, so I hypnotized you and gave you a puppet.” Nodded Kathleen.
“So,” started Beth, only for Kathleen to interrupt.
“You were controlling Bloodfury the entire time. You came up with all of that. I gave a little prompting and told you to come to Primrose if you ran out of ideas. But you didn’t really need any help.”
“I didn’t feel like I was controlling the puppet.” Said Beth as she sipped the coffee.
“That is the magic of suggestion!” Grinned Kathleen, obviously very happy with herself.
“Wait, how do you know how to do that?” Blinked Beth.
“Well, I was drinking in a bar in Palermo and got talking to this guy,” started Kathleen, only for Beth to burst into laughter.
“All of your stories start with “I met a weird dude in a bar,” you realize that right?”
“Hey, not my fault!” Chuckled Beth.
“It’s not. Tell me later, I need to recover.” Said Beth as she quickly rose from the chair and turned the dolls around.
“What was that for?” Asked Kathleen.
“They were staring at me,” winked Beth.