Eyes set in porcelain stared at Charlene Valentine from the shelves that lined her bed room. She had collected the dolls since her father gave her, her favorite on her tenth birthday. Hair jet black, eyes painted green, and a pretty red dress with black lace, no doll could ever replace Eleanor. Charlene stared up at her on the shelf above her fireplace "Tonight you will be complete my dear." she told Eleanor as she pulled her silk gloves up past her wrists. Turning to her desk Charlene double checked that all of her supplies were inside of the bag that sat on top of it. Once she was sure, she snapped it closed and pulled the bag onto her arm "I will be back soon." she told the dolls as she straightened her new hat, and walked out of the door.
The cobblestone streets were quiet this late at night, and a thick fog had rolled in from the harbor. The light from the street posts cut through just enough to make the world visible. Charlene had spotted the girl minutes after leaving her home, and had been following her ever since. It was the girl's hair that had drawn her in, hair as black as Eleanor's. Sticking to the shadows hid her well, the fog adding an extra layer protection from prying eyes. When the girl turned down the alley Charlene followed, pulling a white cloth and half empty brown bottle from her bag. She poured some of the liquid onto the cloth, and tucked the bottle back inside. It was quick, Charlene approached the girl from the left, threw her hand holding the cloth across her nose and mouth, and waited for her to stop struggling. Before the body could hit the ground, Charlene tucked her arm around the girl who was barely conscious, and told her "Come along, let us get you home."
As Charlene walked, the girl stumbled along beside her, sometimes dragging her feet. She was sure it would be easy getting her back without being noticed, but that was not the case. They were about three houses down from Charlene's when a man approached them. Freezing in place, Charlene pulled the girl tight against her. "Are you both alright?" he asked.
"Yes." said Charlene, and gestured to the girl "My friend is a little ill, and I am taking her home to rest."
"Do you need any help with that?" the way the man spoke made Charlene nervous, and she surveyed the area as he leaned in closer; they were alone.
Shaking her head Charlene told him "No, it is just a little ways up the road." and turned to start walking again.
"Oh come on sweet heart." the man reached out and grabbed the girls arm, attempting to pull her out of Charlene's grip, "Everyone can use a little help every now and then."
Charlene nodded "You know what, you are right. I could use some help." she moved and pulled the girl over to sit on one of the benches that sat along the side walk, then turned back to the man, grabbing his tie and pulling his face close to her's "You are such a gentleman." pressing her lips against his, Charlene pulled the man into a narrow alley. Leaning into the man's body, his breath stinking of liquor, she slowly slid her hand down into her bag. Like a flash the razor sliced through the air, and then through his skin. Blood sprayed Charlene's face, warm and tasting of salt as she licked it off of her lips. Closing her eyes, she relished in ecstasy as the man's grip slipped from around her and his head cracked onto the stones beneath him. She sighed, removed a kerchief from the man's pocket and wiped his blood from her face and blade, then threw it back down on him "Trash." she said, spitting on the man, and then turned back to where she had left the girl "Come along dear, our friends are waiting." Charlene hefted her back to her feet, and continued their walk.
Pulling the door closed behind her, Charlene led the girl into her home, then locked it up tight. "Right through here." she told the girl and took her through the kitchen, and then down through the basement door. The young woman had started coming around a bit, and tried pulling herself away "Now, now, if you don't settle down I am going to have to hurt you, and I do not want to do that." Charlene's boots thumped on each stair as they made their way down. The gas lights lit her path into the room, and to the table that sat in the middle of it. Placing the girl on top of the table, she began to scream, and with a quick swipe of her hand Charlene slapped her across the face "I told you to settle down!" she screamed at the girl, and then smoothed out her dress "I'm sorry, but you need to behave yourself." Charlene smiled down at the girl, then pulled the straps attached to the table around her "Everything is going to be fine. We're going to fix you right up Eleanor."
"My, my name is Katherine." the girl said weakly.
"No, we already have a Katherine." Charlene stroked the girl's black hair "You are my Eleanor, finally, I found you." the girls bright green eyes welled up with tears "However, the body just isn't right. Your body would be a better fit for Georgia, maybe we will keep your hands." she ran her fingers across the back of the girl's right hand "So soft." Then she sat her bag down on the space next to the girl, and turned to the shelves behind her grabbing the saw that sat there "Yes, I think we will start with the hands, but do not worry." Charlene leaned down and whispered in the girl's ear "Soon you will be whole Eleanor and we can talk, and have tea. It will be so much fun." Giggling, Charlene held the saw against Katherine's wrist and began to pull it back and forth carving into her. The girl screamed again, and Charlene struck her again, harder this time, hard enough to draw blood from the girl's now busted lip "Look at what you made me do!" she grabbed the girls face in her hand and squeezed "Can you not see that I am just trying to fix you? To put you right." Charlene leaned down and whispered in her ear "It will all be okay. You will see." snatching a cloth that sat on the table, she balled it up and shoved it into the girl's mouth, muffling her screams. Then she began to saw again, watching as the blood flowed from the stumps that were left when the job was done, and the girl passed out.
It took a while for the girl to come back around, maybe an hour or two, but Charlene wanted to wait, to see the look on Eleanor's face when the she removed her head from the girl's body. Eleanor would be very happy when her head and hands were back on her own body. When the girl's eyes opened Charlene removed the cloth "Please, let me go." Katherine cried weakly "Please. I do not know why you are doing this but please, just let me go."
Charlene put her hand over the girl's mouth "Shhhh." she leaned down and kissed her on the forehead "Soon Eleanor. It will all be over soon, and you will be mine." Picking up the saw once more, Charlene did not hesitate. She ran the blade across the girl's throat, barely giving her enough time to even squeak out a scream. It was sharp, and cut quickly, blood springing forth like a geyser, showering down over Charlene "Soon, soon, soon." Eleanor's head was quickly freed of her false body, as with a final crack, Charlene sliced through the girl's spine and remaining flesh. She sighed and stretched her arms, she was sore, but there was still more work to be done, much more work if she wished to complete Eleanor by the end of the night. She walked to the side of the room, where a door was located, opened it and walked through.
Inside she surveyed the room eyeing the completed pieces of her collection, Katherine, Margaret, and Francine sat at a table in the back of the room, their tea cups unused. Georgia's head sat upon a shelf above them, along with her legs, and arms. Eleanor though was strapped to a table much like the one the girl was strapped to, only it was on wheels, making it capable of being rolled from one room into the other. All of the equipment, at one time, had been her father's, and she had felt it only right to use it to bring her friends to life, seeing as he had been the one to bless her with them. Charlene grabbed the end of the table and pulled Eleanor's body into the other room, shutting the door behind her. She rolled the table next to the other, and then fetched her needle and thread from the shelve turned and grabbed Eleanor's left hand from beside the girl. Placing the hand against Eleanor's wrist, Charlene took the already threaded needle in her grasp, and began to slide it in and out of the flesh. Soon the hand was completely attached, and so she began her work on the right one.
Once both hands were finished, Charlene stretched again, her back cracking "Her we go Eleanor." she reached over and grasped the head by her hair "One last task, and we will finally get to have some tea together." she placed her down, aligning the pieces just right "Yes, just one more." Sweeping the hair back, Charlene once again began to sew.
Charlene pulled the red dress with black lace, up the body, of the now completed Eleanor. It was an exact match to the doll's and was very fitting for tonight's tea party. She finished dressing Eleanor, then put her supplies away, and wheeled the table back into the room with the rest of her friends. Three empty chairs sat at the same table as Francine, Katherine, and Margaret. Charlene unstrapped Eleanor and tugged her to her feet "Thank you." Eleanor told Charlene as she placed her friend in the chair.
"You are very welcome. I am just so very glad you are with us now." Charlene told her as she began pouring tea for each of the girls "Remind me dear, do you take your tea with cream and sugar?" she asked Eleanor.
Eleanor smiled "Sugar, no cream."
Laughing at her own forgetfulness Charlene said "Right." and scooped a bit of sugar, from a small bowl sitting on the table, into Eleanor's cup.
"Charlene?" One of the other girls asked.
"Yes Margaret?" she asked turning to her red headed friend.
Margaret had been the first of her dolls who she had given human form to, and the most childish "When will Georgia be joining us?" she asked impatiently.
"I have all of her pieces ready, but tonight I am too tired." Charlene explained "Perhaps in a few days we will see about finishing her up." she looked around at all of the friends she had finished piecing back together "But for now we really should appreciate who we have together at the moment." She looked Margaret directly in the eye "It is very selfish of you to look past all I have done."
Looking down at the table Margaret said "I'm sorry." and peaked back up at Charlene with an apologetic smile.
"Oh sweet girl, you are forgiven." Charlene said as she lifted her cup "To my beautiful friends, and to those yet to come." the others all lifted their cups, and took a drink "I love you all." Charlene heard each one of them, including the still dismembered Georgia, repeat her sentiments back to her, sharing their love. She would complete Georgia, just like she told Margaret she would, and then continue her work, perhaps even find a few nice gentlemen to come courting. Any man would be lucky to meet them, and if they did not appreciate her friends, then she would deal with them the same way she dealt with the scoundrel from earlier that night. They would all be so happy together; one day.
If someone had walked in on Charlene's tea party at that moment, they would see that in fact no one other than the hostess was actually speaking. The smell alone would alert them when they opened the door to the basement, yet when they entered the room, they would see for certain that no other living thing, save for a few flies and worms now feasting on dead flesh, were with Charlene. Madness had taken her long ago, as it had taken her father, and the voices were the first to appear. Her friends whispering to her, begging her to find them bodies, to make them whole. She would forever be alone, knowing no love, save for that of the voices of her beloved dolls.