“Miss, why do we have to have a home in the city?” The wolf doll whined, poking at its food with dissatisfaction. “It’s too loud here! There’s so many better places out there for us, in the wilderness.”
The irritated lycan witch poked at his meal with equal dissatisfaction, though for other reasons. Three months since he’d gone on the run, losing everything along the way. He couldn’t go back to work, lost his apartment, had his phone cut off. It was, generally, a bad time.
He looked to his doll, wondering if he could just break it today and put them both out of their misery. The thing hadn’t left his side once since it turned him, to the point where it slept curled up around him, keeping him from slipping away in the night without it knowing.
Meanwhile, the doll’s venom had done its work on his body, leaving him unrecognizable to anyone who’d once known him. To any onlookers, he looked like the picturesque woods witch. Tall and lithe, long black hair, pointed ears sticking far above, and a tail that kept him from sitting comfortably anywhere. It was almost enough to make him forget that whatever witch designed this venom also didn’t intend for men to have it, because of course they didn’t.
“Is Miss even listening to this one?” The doll reached out, flicking an ear and getting a growl in response. “We can’t live in the city!”
“You’re my doll, right?”
“Yes, all yours~!”
“That means you follow my orders, yeah?”
“Anything you ask Miss!”
“We’re staying here.”
The doll pouted more, leaving him to continue to stare off into space and think about how his life was functionally over. He had no idea how magic or witches or anything else worked. He delivered packages. He rode bikes. He watched bad import tv series.
Something in the back of his mind brought him to alert, his body instinctual honing in on where the threat was: the clerk was talking to an older woman, draped in the traditional warding robes witches wore within cities. The two were looking at him, and his doll.
He rested his hands on the table, getting used to the alien sensation of having retractable claws, looking around at what options they had. His doll picked up on the same threat, baring its teeth as it looked menacingly at the new witch.
The witch strode over, looking the two of them over with a dismissive expression, until settling on him.
“Passing through?” She asked, pulling up a seat to the table. “I don’t recognize you, nor are you wearing any seals.”
“Must have left them back at home.” He smiled forcefully. “Just getting a bite to eat with the doll here, we’ll be out of your hair before long.”
“What coven supervises you?”
“You’re very obviously a student. What coven is in charge of your teaching?”
“Miss isn’t a student!” His doll objected, offense in its voice. “Miss is a lunar witch! He already knows everything!”
The investigatory witch blink, his heart sinking just a bit. It was just a little bit endearing how much faith the doll had in him… but also.
“I think what, uh, my doll means to say is, I’m not from around here. Not even from the country, actually. From another branch of witches. Probably not one you’ve ever heard of.” Well. Not like he had a better idea.
“Hmm. Do you have travel papers to be in our territory?”
It was at this point he decided that the situation wasn’t salvageable. The young witch looked at his doll and in unison they flipped the table, making an unceremonious exit as they fled down adjorning stairs to the food court plaza. This had almost worked in their favor, until the two rounded the corner to find the witch standing there, looking at once irritated and amused by the attempt.
“I think someone found the wrong cursed artifact.” The witch shrugged. “Please don’t resist.”
The witch leaned in to touch his shoulder, beginning an incantation of some sort that left the world spinning, but not before his doll snarled a growl he hadn’t yet heard, followed promptly by an ear splitting scream, then… darkness.
When he came back to, he was propped up against a building wall down a side street, his doll sniffing and whimpering over him as it held him tight. He groaned loudly, trying to push it off and failing as his arms went weak again.
“Miss!” The doll exclaimed, giving him an excited lick. “This one was so worried! That evil witch put some sort of hex on you, but this one ripped it off of you. Is Miss feeling better?”
“My head hurts. A lot.” He gave a weak push to the doll again, standing up as it freed him.
He looked over to their side, making a face as he panned over the corpse of the witch. Her expression was still saved, despite the chunk that had been ripped out of her throat, and the completely dislocated arm laying off to the side.
“Wh-what did you do?!” He looked at his doll, horrified. “You killed her!”
“She was going harm Miss, it’s what she deserves. She was an evil witch.”
“You…” He stammered, slumping back down and looking at the dismembered body. “My doll killed a witch…”
“This happens a lot, Miss.” The doll snuggled up against him, licking blood off of its hands. “This one was made to kill other witches! Lycanforms can break many wards thanks to our unique magicks. Witches kill other witches frequently with all manner of spells and hexes.”
“I don’t want to kill witches! I don’t want to be a witch! I don’t want to be your miss!” His breath was erratic, flitters of silver magic coming and going in the air around him. “My life is over! All because some fucking dog doll thought I smelled good!”
The doll might have corrected him, but he couldn’t hear it. He’d been bottling this for months now. Magic continued to flicker around him, blocking everything else out. Maybe this was how it could end. Maybe he could just drink deep those magicks he felt in his veins…
The world froze, a new warmth hitting him. His doll held his face, hands wetted from the witch’s blood, forcing him to taste it. Everything else faded away, and all he could think about was the taste. Metallic and electric, the aroma of raw power and taste rising through it.
“Good witch,” the doll whispered. “Miss has to learn to control the magic, not let it control him. This is what witches do. This is what Miss does. This one helps Miss kill evil witches, and Miss takes their blood for his own, blood they don’t deserve.”
He stared up at the doll, some part of him wanting to pull away, to push the doll away and run. He could bind it, rend it from limb from limb and it’d thank him for it. He could run somewhere he’d never be found, be done with this alll…
The blood turned sweet and he went limp, his doll guiding him back against the wall, dragging the dead witch’s body closer as it wet its fingers again and put more on his lips. He could feel the magicks in it seeping into his own, invigorating him, bringing clarity to the world.
He exhaled, the last bit of resistance leaving him as the doll leaned in, kissing him for a moment before pulling back and licking its lips to taste the blood for itself.
“Does Miss understand now, what he needs to do?”
He nodded, sleepily, the smell of more fresh blood beginning to overpower his thoughts, crawling towards the body with a newfound need.
“Not yet, Miss,” the doll knelt down next to him, now holding a ritualistic knife and a feint smile.
“This one can’t protect you alone, as much as it wants to. Miss needs more dolls. This witch surely has many… and Miss’ll need her blood to take them for our own.”
He nodded, pulling himself back from the edge with a deep breath, before closing his eyes and taking the knife.
The two of them had much work yet to do.