“Why does Miss keep us around?” The paper doll asked from a table adjacent to the witch, looking up at her with curiousity in its crinkled eyes.

“Dolls help me and my work, of course,” she replied, sipping a cup of coffee and continuing to draw.

“Miss has so many other ways she could obtain help.” The doll climbed a set of loose books, looking to the witch’s sketch. “Hired help. Apprentices. Enchanted tools.”

“That’s what you are, an enchanted tool.”

“Tools don’t talk to you Miss.”

The witch sighed, looking to her small paper doll with an uncertainty of what to say. That was this doll’s purpose, after all, formed out of the pages of old journals and notes, imbued with her thoughts and speculations. “Maybe I enjoy the companionship.”

“Why dolls, then? Miss spends countless hours keeping her dolls in order. The cutlery dolls can hardly cook a meal without destroying the kitchen debating who prepares dishes the best. The broommaids cry themselves to oblivion when they have to sweep a spider.”

“All of my dolls are very sweet and just need… guidance. A steady hand. That’s my job as a witch.”

“They didn’t exist before you, Miss. You gave them life. You made them the way they are. Why?”

“That’s the way of things, paper doll.” She held out a hand, letting the doll hop on it so she could bring it closer. “I didn’t make them the way they are. I put ingredients together, that directed the way they’d be… But dolls are dolls. I can’t change that.”

“Then why create them at all?”

“Things have power. Things have desire. Either you give a thing direction and purpose, or it will find a way to manifest it. True, the kitchen dolls may fight often… But the oven never breaks down, the pipes never burst…”

“The maids cry over the littlest things and make queer little cults amongst themselves to whatever patron insect they’ve found that day… But the boards don’t rot. The ceiling doesn’t leak. Things that were once disordered are now ordered.”

“It sees, Miss.” The doll nodded, sitting down and watching its miss take to drawing once more. “Does this one bring order as well?”

“Of course doll.”






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