Chapter 1: And Annabella's Formula for Raising up the Dead
Could it be? Edgar examined the notes by his mother he had found in the old trunk in the attic, bringing them closer to the window. He wasn’t wrong. According to this, Mom had discovered how to raise up the dead. But that couldn’t be right. If she had, wouldn’t she have shown someone? Wouldn’t she have wanted to share it with the world? But he couldn’t ignore this. It was too big to just put back in the weathered trunk and forget about. He had to at least try, to see if it could be done. But who to test it on? Who did he want back? And as he ruminated, the answer drifted into his mind. Of course, it was so obvious. I’ll bring back Mom.
Annabel woke to a young man staring at her. She seemed to be in her lab, except it looked different than she remembered it.
“Hey Mom! I hope you don’t mind me using your lab, but I found your notes in that trunk in the attic, and, well, I just had to test it out. It seems like it worked so, I’m going to share it with the world, just like you would have wanted, Mom. I love you.”
No. No. NO. She tried to scream out, to stop him, but she couldn’t move, couldn’t talk, had to just stare at his retreating back. But the notes were right there on the other end of the lab. If she could get to them, if she could destroy them. Why hadn’t she destroyed them in the first place? She had never talked to anyone about them again, but the notes were the culmination of years upon years of research and experimentation. They were her life’s work. She supposed she felt that to destroy them would be the same as destroying all those years. But that didn’t matter now. She had to get rid of them so she could at least prevent this from happening to anyone else. But she couldn’t move. But no, she had to be able to move somehow. Jasper had been able to. Oh, god, Jasper. Annabelle thought a silent apology to Jasper for what she had done to him. Lying on the wooden table, Annabel focused with all her might on sitting up, on moving her waist. Exhausted from the mental exertion, Annabella found that she had moved, if not by much. But she couldn’t give up now. Redoubling her efforts, she sat up, bit by bit, and eventually managed to swing her legs over the edge of the table. The sun was low in the sky by this point and unfortunately, before Annabella could stand up, the man who seemed to be Edgar swung open the heavy door and walked in.
“I see you’re getting adjusted to your new body, but it’s time to go to bed now, Mom. I’ll just carry you somewhere more comfy.”
Somehow, inexplicably, her body moved easily under his touch, just like, she thought with a flash of realization, Jasper’s body had moved under hers. As Edgar walked away, Annabel caught a flash of her notes under his arm, taking them to who-knows-where. Sbe had failed. She had failed. All the people who would be trapped because she hadn’t had the good sense to destroy the notes when she had had the chance.
Chapter 2: A Miracle Process You'll Never Believe
Before we start, a big thanks to Issybird for giving me the motivation to keep writing this! Hope you enjoy!
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
She was outside standing next to… her son? He seemed to be on some sort of quickly scrounged up soapbox and a small crowd had formed around him. She had no idea why she was out here, just that he had wheeled her over in a modified perambulator. Turning her head slightly, Annabel looked out across the cobbled streets, still wondering at how everything looked exactly the same and utterly different. Like a twisted mirror image of the city she once knew, a sharp and dark wonderland. Staring at the city, she suddenly felt the pressure of hands on her body, and her son moving her to a different place. As he started talking, she was frozen not only by the stiffness of her body, but in terror. He was telling people about her work, that he would raise up their dead for them. And he would do it. He would and she couldn't stop him. And… wait a minute, was he saying what she thought he was saying? Not only was he going to trap more people in this half life, but he was taking all the credit for himself! Why, the little-
Her thoughts were cut off abruptly by her “son” demonstrating her to the five chosen.
“And see how you can move the Doll into any position you want?”
“Ah, yes, fascinating.”
“And you'll really be able to raise up my father?”
“Of course, darling. Have faith in me. After all, I did create this process.”
No, you did not! That was my life’s work! And for you to just waltz up there and claim it as your own… Just please stop, I'm begging you. You have no idea how horrible it is. You have no idea…
Mom seemed happy to help him model her to the chosen five. He knew that she would approve of this, and it seemed as if he was right. One of the chosen, a woman that appeared to be from the Alchemists’ Guild, was inspecting her with much fascination, moving her to different angles. He knew Mom’s body couldn't make facial expressions, but the more he stared, the more she seemed to be smiling in approval. She was proud to help him, to be the first brought back. Everything was going according to plan. Soon enough, he would be a success, and he would show Fay just how wrong she was.
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