The forest was oddly quiet for the afternoon, as if it was in mourning, the only sounds being able to get through being the sound of somebody running at a fast pace. Their shouts sounded out occasionally as well; it appeared as if they were very determined in whatever their goal had been.
"Oh, please, don't run kitty!" A young woman with short black hair called out as she ran through the brambles, taking extra care to make sure that the blue dress she wore did not get ruined. Several feet in front of her was a jet black cat with vibrant colored eyes, just keeping out of her reach; it was almost like it was taunting her in fact. The cat would run and stop, waiting for the girl to get closer and just as she did it would dash off once more. The behaviour caused the woman to let out a sigh, but she didn't mind it one bit; ever since her pet rabbit, Snowball, passed away she had missed having an animal to play with. That's why she was so determined to catch it and make her new pet! She just hoped Maria wouldn't mind it.
This young woman was Aya Drevis and had been having a lovely little picnic all to herself since business at the clinic had been slow as of late. It was then that the little cat had shown itself to her and she couldn't help but to feel a strange calling coming from it, almost as if had wanted her to follow it. The young woman assumed that the cat probably just wanted a friend to play with and didn't even stop to consider once that it may have been leading her away to someplace else. Aya huffed out in aggravation as her favorite blue dress got caught on the thorns of a rose bush; she quickly yanked it out, carefully though, as to not rip it. Once she was freed, she walked out into a rather large clearing that the cat had lead her into.
As she walked, Aya found herself coming to an abrupt stop with a gasp escaping as well; in front of her was a rather large and decrypted-looking house. Though house may have been an understatement, it had to have been a mansion; Aya felt a slight pang in her chest as it reminded her of the house that she lived in with her mother and father. Almost as if she was in a trance, Aya walked up the steps of the house and to its front door; grabbing the handle, she was relatively disappointed to find that it was locked. As the house let out a sound that could only be described as a pained moan, Aya decided that it was probably for the best that she didn't go inside; it was probably very dangerous. The black-haired girl trotted back down the steps and recalled a vague memory or something that had happened when she was about the age of twelve or so; Maria had warned her about a house in the woods that wasn't too far from their clinic. This couldn't possibly be it could it?
Aya hadn't really believed what Maria said, she just assumed that her nurse had told her that because she was worried about the young girl wandering off into the forest to end up getting lost or hurt. Aya now turned back around to look at the now menacing-looking house with a fearful expression appearing on her face. Maria had told her that a monster had lived in the house (or was it a witch? Aya couldn't remember....), so if the house story had been true then did some hideous monster really live here as well? Aya took a few more steps away from the building and decided that it would probably be best to get going, Maria would start to worry if she didn't get home soon anyway.
Just as the thought had popped into her mind, Aya heard the cat's oddly low meow; it took her by surprise and she whirled around quickly, with her dress flying out in all directions. Just in time, she managed to see a black tail vanishing on what appeared to be a trail leading away from the house. Aya bit her lip as she contemplated on what to do next; she supposed that it would be alright if she followed after the cat since it was leading her away from the house anyway. She just hoped that she wouldn't get lost; who would take care of all of her future patients then? With a sure nod, Aya continued to chase after the cat while at the same time unknowing passing by a bloodied tree stump with a lonely unread letter sitting upon it. As Aya passed by the tree stump, the trail seemed to get even longer and she wasn't even sure if the cat was still up ahead of her or not. The thought made her frown as she didn't want to lose track of the thing that had been her goal for the last twenty minutes or so.
Aya had been so wrapped up in her folly that she had not noticed the horror that she was about to walk upon, until she was only a few feet away. The young woman let out a terrified gasp as she jumped back a bit; a long trail of dark crimson blood led to a rather small body that lay off to the side of the trail. With all thoughts of cats and monsters leaving her mind, Aya's doctor senses kicked in and she jumped into action.
"Excuse me, are you alright?" She called out, reaching the person's side, though Aya could tell that it would be no good and there was nothing she could have done. This person was already gone and probably had been for a few hours; Aya knelt down and pulled the mangled corpse out of the bushes that it was lying in. The young woman frowned as the rigor mortis was already setting in; it was such a shame, really, the girl (she could only assume that it was a girl, from the tattered clothes that the corpse was wearing) couldn't have been more than the age of ten if not younger than that. Aya took the body in her sights as she held the young girl within her arms; her legs were missing at the knees, cut messily off using some kind of blade. The girl's eyes were also missing and she had two bullet holes lodged within her skull, someone had definitely wanted this child dead and they wanted her to feel every inch of pain that she could. The mear thought of it brought tears to Aya's eyes.
"You poor thing." She cooed to the corpse, though she knew that the young girl could no longer hear her, Aya always thought it as a nice thing to do just in case the spirit of the person was listening. Aya looked down at the girl in her arms and brushed her hand gently on her swollen and blood-stained cheek. "I bet you'd be the prettiest of dolls. It's such a shame that you're in such a horrid condition...."
As the words left Aya's mouth, she was suddenly brought back to her reality to realize that she was still in the forest at what was probably a murder scene. Aya felt a sudden jolt of panic as she realized that she could have been in the woods at that very moment with a crazed serial killer of some kind. The young woman had to bring her hand up to cover her mouth that threatened to release a scream; she had to calm herself, she had honestly gone up against worse. Aya knew that now was the time to go home and quickly stood up with the girl's body still held gently within her arms.
"Don't worry, I'll take good care of you, promise!" Aya said in an excited whisper as she began to long trek back home, forgetting about the cat with her new doll in tow.
Needless to say, Maria was pretty worried when Aya got back to the clinic; the black-haired girl was suppose to be home much earlier than that. It didn't necessarily help out when Maria caught sight of what Aya had brought home with her either; it nearly gave the older woman a panic attack! After calming, slightly, Maria was about to spring into action, but was then told by Aya that it would do no good. Even now, as Maria watched her young mistress examining the corpse closely, she didn't quite know what she had been planning for the pitiful little thing that now lay on the operating table. Aya couldn't possibly hope to salvage anything from this corpse that was obviously too far gone to do anything with, could she?
"Mistress, if I may be frank, I do not know what you are planning with.... her." Maria said as she glanced down at the dead girl, while at the same time keeping her distance. It had been many years since Maria had seen such carnage and she hadn't expected that she would have to again.
"She's very pretty and mysterious." Aya said without looking up from her examinations. "I think she died sometime last night and I can't help but wonder what she had gone through. Poor thing...."
"That doesn't really answer my question, Mistress." Maria said with a small sigh as she knew it would be rather difficult to get Aya to explain how her mind was working as she was working.
"Honestly, I really want to make her into a doll." Aya said with a sad smile as she glanced up at her nurse; Maria simply nodded as she should have known just as much. After all, Aya was just like her father.
"That's fine if you want to do that, Mistress, but it could be a little risky." Maria said. "Since we don't know much about this girl, she could have family somewhere looking for her." At this Aya frowned and took a step back, looking back up at Maria with sorrowful eyes.
"Oh yea, I guess you're right." Aya said with a sad sigh. "I guess we'll have to wait and see until we hear the town's latest news from Eve. I'm sure she'll tell us if there's a missing person; she's coming in a few days, right?"
Maria nodded and Aya turned back to examining the mysterious girl, mumbling something about putting her back in the bushes if it did turn out that she had people who were looking for her; she hoped that they would find her if that were the case. Maria took a few steps back and let out a sigh, it was going to be a rather long couple of days and not to mention unnerving. Eve was the local florist in town and she often would make deliveries way out to the clinic since both Aya and Maria loved to decorate their little home with flowers. Since the duo lived so far away from the others, Eve would often tell them about local news to which they were quite thankful; so if there was in fact someone missing this mangled girl, then Eve would know about it.
Maria looked back at her Mistress as the young girl continued to fondle over the little corpse on her table. The sight of it caused a visible frown to appear on the older woman's face, something about the whole situation caused her to feel uneasy. Maria knew that she would not sleep well tonight.
Needless to say, it turned out that they did not have to wait very long; that night, as the clock struck midnight, Aya was awoken to the sounds of a girl sobbing. The sudden sound has startled her quite a bit as she realized that it definitely was not Maria; taking a deep breath to gather up her courage, she pulled herself out of bed. Aya carefully, and as quietly as she could, reached under her bed to grab her little old chainsaw; it had rusted slightly through the years, but was still useable. The young woman had taken up the habit of sleeping with it under her bed after that incident all those years ago, it gave her comfort much like a security blanket.
Aya then slowly tip-toed out of her room and towards the room down the hall where she kept all of the operation tables; the echoing cries seemed to be coming from there. As she reached the door and slowly peeked inside, she had caught sight of the very source of the wails; much to her surprise it was a spectre. Aya admits that she seemed to be more in tune with the supernatural ever since her childhood home was touched by the curse, but this was the first time that one had appeared to her since that night. Aya tilted her head to the side as she watched the little spirit, looking to be about the age of thirteen, as she leaned over the legless girl's body and cried.
"Um, excuse me." Aya said timidly, her voice just barely above a whisper as she swallowed her fear and rounded the corner. The young ghost girl looked up from behind her dishevelled bangs, revealing to Aya her striking green eyes; Aya gulped and held up her chainsaw, in hopes that the spirit meant her no harm. However, as she did a double take into those sorrowful green eyes, she could tell that the ghost would not hurt her intentionally. With that in her mind, Aya promptly lowered her chainsaw and took a few steps towards the girl.
"Do you need help with anything?" Aya asked, offering the spirit a friendly smile that seemed to cause the ghost to give a faint reflection of it, but only for a brief second. The spectre then grimaced and looked back down at the legless girl's body before looking back up at Aya, tears falling from her eyes.
'I'm worried about my father.' The sorrowful spirit moaned, the building around the two seeming to give an eerie creak as if to empathize. Aya found herself flinching at the ghost girl's words, with her past coming to mind; Aya missed her own father very much. It was then that Aya began to feel a strange kinship with the girl along with the strong desire to help her, though they had just met.
"Hey, don't cry!" Aya exclaimed, a little too loudly than what she would have liked; after-all, Maria was still sleeping in the other room. Aya walked over to a small table on the other side of the room to grab a couple tissues from their box before making her way back and offering them to the spirit; though she didn't quite know if they'd do any good. The girl hesitated as she looked up at Aya, but reluctantly she took the tissues to wipe the phantom tears from her green eyes; Aya watched her with intent. This girl, quite frankly, reminded her of that eyeless girl that she helped out so long ago; they had a similar look to them, as least.
"Hey, what's your name?" Aya asked in an attempt to know more about the mysterious girl in front of her.
"Oh, that's pretty; my name is Aya. So, why did you come here, if you don't mind my asking?" Aya couldn't help, but to ask as the ghost girl finished drying her eyes. "Were you sent here for help or-"
'You brought me here.' The ghost girl said, cutting Aya off; her voice now sounded much more calmer than it had been, since she had now had the time to settle down.
"I did?" Aya asked, tilting her head to the side in confusion. Viola simply nodded as an answer, then looking back down to the mangled corpse that Aya had nearly forgotten about. The ghost girl brushed her hand against the body's forehead, moving the violet-colored bangs out of the girl's face.
'I was in here....' Viola said, her voice fading away into silence, causing Aya to strain her ears forwards to get a better sound.
"Oh, so you were the legless girl?" Aya asked, her slighted confusion showing through her voice. "You don't really look like her so I didn't know."
'Yea....' Viola murmured, her gaze locked on the body in front of her. 'S-She was my friend, b-but then she....'
"What did she do?" Aya asked as she walked away once more to grab a stool and bring it closer to the ghost; the girl had long since sat down her chainsaw completely. Viola looked back up at Aya as the black-haired woman sat down in her stool and a silence fell upon them for what felt like several long minutes.
Then the ghost of Viola started to speak.
"Oh what a cruel thing to do to a person." Aya grumbled as she made her way through the pitch-black forest for the second time that evening. However, this time things seemed to be much more sinister in the dead of night. "That's simply horrendous."
Viola had told Aya her story and what a horrible tale it was; one of love and betrayal, respectively, but the whole thing made Aya feel sick. It made her feel.... angry. It did in deed take a lot to make Aya angry, but when she did, she started to do things without thinking them through most of the time. Maria claimed that this was a trait that Aya had gotten from father, but the young woman couldn't exactly recall such a time that father had been like that. Though there had been that instant, where he chased her down with a chainsaw; however, Aya didn't like to think about that night and it all was a bit of blur. Yet at the same time, it all seemed to be so vivid.
Aya pushed the thoughts out of her mind as she emerged from the trees and trotted out into the small little town that sat a couple miles down from their mountain home. The black-haired woman knew that she should have been tired, especially since she hadn't gotten that much sleep this night, but with the amount of adrenaline that coursed through her she didn't feel the need to rest. Aya crossed the street without hesitation, thanking the stars that everything in this town had already closed down many hours before. Though she had to admit that it did cause everything to become incredibly creepy, however, it was nothing that Aya couldn't handle.
As Aya passed by Eve's flower shop, she gave it only a side glance before continuing on her way, slipping between it and another building. Once she came out on the other side, she came face to face with a row of houses; Aya pointed at each one in turn and counted them.
"One....two.... three.... four...." She said, pausing with her finger pointing at the fifth house. "It's that one then?"
'I-I don't think this is a very good idea....' Viola's voice sounded off from inside of Aya’s head. 'I appreciate you helping me, but I wouldn't want you to get hurt....'
"Don't worry, I came prepared." Aya said out loud, her voice in a whisper, just in case there was one lone soul that happened to be awake at this hour. As she said it, Aya clutched the black bag that was strapped around her shoulder tightly; her heart was pounding as she had never done something quite like this. She just hoped that Maria wouldn't find out, Aya would get in a lot of trouble if she did.
'Yes, that's the house where I live.... lived with father.' Viola's voice said, sounding both incredibly sad and unsure. Aya nodded to the invisible spirit and continued on her way, slipping through all of the shadows that she could find as to not be noticed by any living thing.
'My room is....' Viola mumbled, trailing off.
"You know, you don't have to help me." Aya said as she reached Viola's home and crouched down in a bush that was located on the side of the house.
'I know, but.... I want to help you, since you're helping me help my father.' Viola said, her voice giving off what sounded like a sigh. 'It's the least I could do, but I'm just.... Afraid.'
"Don't be, I'll make sure nothing happens to you-" Aya said before getting cut off by Viola.
'I'm already dead, Aya.' The young girl said, her voice sounding uncharacteristically harsher than usual. 'I'm worried for you....'
"Well, don't be." Aya said, in an attempt to reassure the both of them. "I know what I'm doing.... Plus, this plan is fool-proof!" With that Aya stood up and slowly walked around the bush.
'It's in the back.' Viola simply stated as Aya nodded and crept around the small little building. 'I remember when we first moved here, I didn't really like my room being in the back because the forest scared me at night.' A sour laugh and another sigh sounded out within Aya's head, making her slightly uncomfortable as she went along. Though she wouldn't let Viola know that, the girl was nice enough that if she knew that Aya was uncomfortable with her inside of her head then she would have ended up leaving. Aya didn't exactly want to be alone right now, so she would much rather deal with the discomfort.
"Is that it?" Aya asked, pointing towards one of the windows at the back of the house; she could almost feel Viola nodding inside of her head. Holding back a shutter, Aya crouched down and sat her bag down; she was prepared, she kept trying to remind herself. Pocketing a syringe from her bag, Aya glanced back up at the pitch black room beyond the window glass; it reminded her of the lair of a monster and it might of well have been.
Biting her lip out of nervousness, Aya crept forwards, grabbing a pinecone that was laying on the ground a few inches away from her. The woman hid just below the window and roughly tossed up the pinecone; the thing smacking softly against the window's glass. Both Aya and even Viola appeared to be holding their breath in the minutes after the initial impact; nothing had happened. Aya gave out a small huff as she picked up the pinecone once again and repeated the process; it turned out that she had to do this several times before a light was turned on within the room. The duo panicked as Aya pressed her back tightly against the house; it was now too late to back out even she had wanted too and Viola knew this.
'I'm so sorry....' The girl whispered, to which Aya could only nod in fear that she would be heard otherwise. The black-haired girl forced herself to look back up, seeing that the light inside had been turned back off; she grimaced as she wondered if she would have to toss more another pinecone. Suddenly, the sound of quick footsteps on the grass brought Aya to attention; it was all the young woman could do to not let out a scared squeal.
Aya's hand flew into her pocket and grasped a hold of the syringe, pulling it out and holding it tightly against her chest. Viola had fallen silent and Aya would have almost thought that the spirit had left, if she hadn't been able to still feel her presence. As Aya laid in wait, the footsteps became closer and soon a girl that resembled Viola trotted into view which caused Aya's breath to catch in her throat. While this girl did indeed look like the ghost girl that Aya had just met that night, the black-haired girl could tell that something was not quite right about her. She had a very dangerous air about her and she held herself as an untrusting feral animal would; even now, her green eyes were flicking back and forth as if to find whatever had caused the rapping on her chamber door.
"I know somebody is there." The girl said, her voice sounding exactly like Viola's, only it appeared to be much harsher. With narrowed eyes, glinting yellow in the vague light, the girl was beginning to turn around.
'She'll see you, do it now!' Viola suddenly shouted, making Aya jump.
"Viola?!" The girl in Viola's body exclaimed with a great horror and surprise showing on her face. Without giving her the time to do anything else, Aya leaped forwards and jabbed the needle right into the girl's neck; the fluid was quickly injected.
"Why you-" The girl screeched, grabbing a hold of Aya by the neck; she was surprising strong for a thirteen-year-old. However, it was lucky for Aya that the serum was fast acting; the girl's grip loosened up before she fell back, completely out-cold. Aya then let out the breath that she hadn't known that she was holding in; the scariest part was over with, now was the rather difficult part of her little mission. Viola seemed to curl back inside of her head as if agreeing with her.
When Ellen came to, the use-to-be witch felt as though it were morning, but the world around her still seemed to be so black.
"-at where you thinking?!" An older woman's angered voice reached her ears; so she was not alone. Ellen sneered as she attempted to move from her current position, however, it appeared as if she was restrained to a table; either that or her limbs were just too heavy to move, she couldn't tell, but her body definitely felt like the latter.
"I-I'm sorry, Maria." Another woman's voice met her ears, though this one sounded a tad bit younger. "I had to do it to help Viola...."
"Vi....o....la?" Ellen attempted to say, discovering that even her lips felt as though they were filled with led. At the sound of the girl's voice, the entire room seemed to fall silent, which Ellen didn't care too much for as she still couldn't see anything; she wondered why, perhaps her eyelids were sealed shut as well?
"Oh, good morning, are you feeling well?" Aya asked as she looked down at Ellen within Viola's old body. The girl struggled to turn her head towards Aya with a grimace upon her face.
"Where's.... Vio....la? She's.... here?" The girl asked, her voice sounding incredibly confused and it did tug at Aya's heart-strings for a moment. However, Aya reminded herself of what this girl had done and had to push down her humanity.
"She's gone, Ellen." Aya responded calmly as she let out a sigh, thinking about the ghost girl that she felt she had befriended despite just having met her last night. "Viola felt well enough to finally pass on."
"Oh-" Was all Ellen was able to say before Aya cheekily cut her off.
"Honestly, it was probably because I have insured her father's safety." Aya said with a sorrowful sigh that sounding like she definitely did regret what she had to do. "The surgery was a success, at least."
"What are you talking abou-" Ellen stopped right in her tracks and then it appeared as if she instantly remembered how to use her stolen body. Her hands quickly flew up to her face, grasping at a neatly wrapped bandage around her face. "My eyes! Where are my eyes?!"
"Viola's eyes-" Aya correctly sweetly, while Maria seemed to flinch at the sound of Ellen's screaming. "-Will be put to good use. She does have the prettiest green eyes after-all, it'd be a shame to let them stay within such an evil head. You know they say that the eyes are the window to the soul, but you're not her soul. So why should you keep her eyes?"
Ellen's screaming soon enough turned into violent screeching, which caused the fear that Aya felt earlier to return.
"Put them back or you'll be sorry!" Ellen hissed out at Aya; the black-haired girl forced herself to swallow her fear as she looked down at the girl laying on the operation table.
"No, I cannot do that, sorry-" Aya was saying, before Ellen cut her off harshly.
"Do it, or I'll kill Viola's dad and it will all be for naught!"
"H-How did you know that's why....?" Aya asked, her voice stuttering.
"Because, I know Viola." Ellen responded, gritting her teeth together. "I am her now, after-all, I have all her memories. This kind of stupid plan is something that she would have come up with; let me guess, she told you not to kill me? Well that won't stop me from killing her father."
"Oh, but it will, Ellen." Aya said with a sad smile. "If you kill Viola's dad then who would take care of you? You don't have you're magic in that body and Viola said that it died with her, so it's not like you can just conjure up a new set of eyes. If it weren't for Viola's father then you'd be all alone and defenceless and that can be pretty scary.... I don't know why you'd want to be alone...."
Ellen's lips drew back into a snarl and she truly looked as if she had wanted to say something, but couldn't find the right words. So instead she grabbed handfuls of Viola's golden hair and let out an angered wail with teeth clenched. Aya let out a sad sigh as she turned and grabbed a syringe that was laying on a metal tray next to where the bed was positioned.
"I do hope you enjoy you're new life, Ellen." Aya said with a friendly smile, even though she knew that Ellen would not be able to see it. "If you don't then Viola would have died for nothing and that would be so unpleasant. Though I must warn you that if you do still decide to harm Viola's father, or tell anyone who did this to you, then I'll come and take your legs away as well."
Aya slid the syringe into a vein on one of Ellen's arms and the girl seemed to gradually ease up before falling into a deep slumber once again. Afterwards, Aya turned back towards Maria who was silently standing by with an unsure expression plastered onto her face.
"Are you sure that this is a good idea?" Maria finally asked after a few long seconds ticked by.
"No, but I owe it to Viola to do this." Aya responded, setting the syringe back down with a solemn sigh. "I think that Ellen will listen to what I say, if she doesn't then she'll have to survive by herself, being blind."
"I suppose you are right, Mistress." Maria said, though still sounding unsure about the situation; Aya noticed this and ran over to her to give the older woman a quick hug.
"Don't worry, it'll be fine." She said with a small smile that Maria found to be contagious.
"If you say so, Mistress." Maria responded as Aya let her go and walked over to look down at where Ellen's old body still lay.
"I still think that she would make such a pretty doll." Aya said with a small, sure nod. "I can't wait for Viola's eyes to be finished crystalizing; they'll be so pretty together. Besides, Viola's soul left from this body so it would make sense to give it her eyes. Though, it is a shame that the other parts of this body will need a lot more work on it. My beautiful legless doll...."
"So what do we do about this one?" Maria asked, motioning towards Ellen who was now sleeping quite soundly.
"Oh, we'll take her to town tomorrow night. I'm sure someone will notice her and take her home." Aya said with a sure nod as she walked over to where she had left her chainsaw. "You finish up here, Maria, I'm going to put this thing away."
"Yes, Mistress." Maria responded as Aya walked away; the nurse then let out a sigh as she left the room as well. She didn't want to be in there with either of those two; both Ellen and Viola made Maria feel rather uneasy.
As the woman walked into the living-room, she jumped when she heard a sound at the door. Surely, no one had seen Aya take that girl last night? As Maria felt a sense of dread rising up within her, she was walked to the door to open it up rather hesitantly. Instead of an angry mob of people waiting out there, it was only a single black cat that ran inside as soon as she opened the door. Maria balked and took a few steps back as the animal dashed past her with a hardy 'meow'.
"Oh, dear, it appears to be yet another thing that we have to worry about." Maria mumbled to herself as she shut the door behind her. "I'm sure that the young Mistress will want to keep the poor thing; she does seem to always be bringing home the things that she finds. Though I suppose it appears as if this one has found us...."
Maria let out a chuckle as she thought about her young Mistress, whom so much took after her father and yet hasn't even really changed at all since she were ten-years-old. With that thought still in her mind, Maria walked off to go find the stray some food all the while humming a little tune.
Meanwhile, the black cat had found its way into Aya's operation room and was curiously pacing around the small room with a look of interest in its eyes as it looked around. The cat then laid eyes on Ellen and was incredibly quick to jump up onto the operation table to lie next to her. It looked over at Ellen's new face, seeing the bandages, which caused its eyes to sparkle mischievously. After a few seconds went by, the black cat then spoke to the girl who would not have heard it.
'Oh my, dear Ellen, is this what they call karma?'