Doll's Demand

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"Miss, this one will not accept any further arguments," the doll exclaimed, exasperated. "Hand over the Big Hat."

Their back and forth had started over a week ago when their Witch hit a major snag in a new spell she was devising. It was ambitious. It was bold. It was ingenious. It was part of what the doll admired about their Witch. But it was also a nightmare.

At first the problems were small and typical; a missed rune of termination somewhere early in the process that took the Witch hours to hunt down. The doll's answer was similarly small and typical, a fresh pot of tea. Then a containment circle for some of the spell's larger thaumaturgical precepts proved to be incompatible with other important components, ruining days' worth of work. The doll could assist here by drawing their Witch a luxurious bath with candles and wine aplenty. Then the Witch realized that the entire structure she had chosen was insufficient for this level of complexity and she'd practically have to start over with a new design configuration. The doll had only one answer for the level of hair pulling and literal cursing that ensued.

"Miss, this one has come to the conclusion that you are in need of a vacation," the doll tried for the first time. "You've pushed so hard that only a complete stress reset will put you back on track. This one insists you stop working, step away, and come back to it next week."

The Witch stared agog. She was used to some degree of backtalk or assertiveness from her doll. Without it, she knew there'd be no way she'd ever listen and take care of her own needs. This was unprecedented however and, so far as she saw, uncalled for.

"I will rest when the work is done and not before," she replied. As she continued, Magicks laced her words, turning them from suggestion to compulsory function. "Find another manner to fulfill your Purpose. You're a smart doll."

And so the doll did.

Meanwhile, the work did not improve. Stresses drove the Witch deeper and deeper into the maladaptive behaviors she had Made her doll to help avoid. Unscheduled tea times, fictional tomes distracting from alchemical tomes, and the etching of a single rune being cause for a break.

The doll knew they had to step in. More than that, they knew that a radical solution was needed. Their Witch had pushed herself too far. Gathering every scrap of courage they'd been built with, the doll marched into their Witch's laboratory once more, letting Purpose bolster them.

"Miss, hand over the Big Hat," they demanded, stepping across the threshold.

"I'm sorry, what did you just say to me?" the Witch replied incredulously, with the hint of a threat.

"This one has decided that you are taking your vacation. Now. That is the end of this discussion."

"And that requires you take my hat for what reason?"

"Your work is at its end until this one says otherwise. This one will hold on to the Big Hat, lest you forget that and try to spend more time down here, stressfully accomplishing more nothing."

That shut the Witch up.

"Ow... Can't say I didn't earn that one." The Witch considered her doll's proposal a moment. There were tales of dolls coveting their witch's hats, thinking them the source of their powers. This was somewhat off. They served as foci for a witch's more powerful spells, not sources.

There seemed to be no risk in acquiescing to her doll's demand. Besides, they were right. The Witch knew that with it, it would be hard for her to get out of the research and work headspace she felt herself trapped in. Handing it over with a sigh, she said, "Alright. You've won."

"Yes, Miss. This one has," they replied, taking the hat and placing it atop their head.

Magicks flared, stronger than any the Witch thought her doll capable of. They too had been busy. The mana swirled, too chaotic for the Witch to discern and disassemble before taking shape. As the runic circle flared out from beneath her doll's feet, the Witch scrambled to read its function. She recognized several of the symbols used. Humanity. Craft. Identity. Transposition. Transfiguration. Stillness. Purpose.

"You intend to make a doll of me?!" she cried over the whirling din of the spell.

"No, Miss. This one intends to grant you the Stillness you cannot grant yourself. Making you a doll is simply a means to that end. Besides, it will be... cute," they said, flashing a dangerous grin

The air crackled with energy, sparks igniting off of the circle. "The spell is too large! Release it before you hurt yourself!"

"Miss, you forget. This doll is filled with Magicks, all with a singular goal, a singular intention, a singular Purpose. This pales in comparison."

Magicks laced the doll's words as they began to incant, "Let Purpose guide, let Purpose grow.
From doll to Witch, let Stillness flow.
Flesh to rag and rag to flesh, no matter what my Miss must rest.
Despite the protests of the Witch, Magicks grant our places switch!"

Too late, the Witch saw the error she had made. It was a dangerous thing to craft a doll whose Purpose was to keep you on task, no matter what. More dangerous still to get in the way of that Purpose. It was her last thought before the room was filled with blinding light.

End 🧵