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Pretty as a Doll This work is considered exceptional by our editorial staff.

By , Jackson, NJ

“Goodmorning, gorgeous.”, the hoarse voice sent shivers down Chloe’s spine. Chloe whipped her head around in the direction of the mysterious voice and to no avail, saw nothing but black. The rough burlap wrapped around her eyes made it impossible to see anything but the black abyss that lie waiting for her, the cold steel biting her wrists kept her from moving. As the haze in her mind began to clear she started putting pieces of her fragmented memory back together.
“Chloe! Come on, have another drink with us. You only graduate high school once ya know”, her friend slurred. Chloe timidly declined the offer, two were enough for her. This wasn’t the sort of thing she’d ever come to but since it was her friend’s graduation party she felt an obligation to attend. She simply watched the drunken antics play out in amusement. After a few hours idly sitting on the sideline she decided to walk home.
Click-clack. The echo of her footsteps was oddly comforting on her journey back home. The pale flickering light from the streetlamps was the only thing illuminating her path.
Click-clack. Her curly hair bounced joyful behind her.
Click-clack. Chloe’s mind wandered as she neared her house. She felt someone's eyes burning through the back of her head.
Click-clack. Chloe’s pace sped up, she began to feel paranoid but chalked it up to being slightly tipsy.
Click click-clack. Chloe’s heart stopped, that wasn’t her footstep. She stopped dead in her tracks, too petrified to turn around.
Click-clack. Someone was right behind her.
Click-clack. A masked man tackled her and held a cloth to her face, everything went black.
Chloe screamed and thrashed around; she remembered everything.
“Whoa now darling, what’s the matter all of the sudden?” the unknown man smirked.
“Please! I’m begging you, let me leave!” Chloe begged.
“I can’t do that sweetie! I’ve finally caught you. I can’t let all that hard work go to waste now, can I?”.
“What do you want from me? Please I’ll do anything, I’ll give you money. Just let me go!”, she exclaimed with an exasperated cry. The tears flowing out her eyes soaked the burlap which irritated her skin.
“What do I want?”, he said with a wicked grin. “I want you to be my prisoner forever until the day you die, which may be sooner rather than later”, he chuckled.
Frustrated she pulled on the handcuffs which bound her to a pole above her head; the man snickered at her futile attempts of freeing herself. Chloe was seething with rage and spit directly in the man’s face.
“Ugh! You disgusting little b****”, he screamed. His calloused hand hit her petite face with brute force. She whimpered at the burning sensation that nibbled at her skin.
“I can already see you’re going to be one of those girls,” he whined, “so I might as well get it over with now”.
Chloe’s eyes widened in absolute horror, “No! Please don’t, I’m sorry”, she screamed.
“Too late”, he mocked.
Roughly calloused hands met her petite ones with force, tightly gripping her bony fingers. Her futile struggle only gave the man more enjoyment. Chloe felt a thin, sharp object inserted underneath her pastel nail. A hammer made contact with the wooden splint slightly pushing it deeper underneath her nail.
“One…”, his face contorted into a look of pure mania.
“Two…”, his knuckles blanched from his intense grasp.
“THREE!”, the heavy hammer flew through the air creating an audible rush of wind before crashing into the splint. Chloe screamed in pure agony as the hammer was repeatedly slammed against the splint over and over again, driving it further into her nail bed. All ten of her nails grasped onto the thread of skin connecting them to her bloodied fingers.
“Please…”, she sobbed, “I promise I’ll be good now”.
Chloe’s pleas fell on deaf ears as the man scooped up a shiny pair of pliers from the inside of a wrinkled shopping bag.
“Say ‘ahh’”, he snickered. His dirt laden nails cut into her pale cheeks as he squeezed her mouth open revealing glittering white teeth. The plier latched onto her canine like a Rottweiler  with a hunk of meat. With a single flick of the man’s wrist the tooth was ripped out of her gums. Blood spewed from her agape mouth with every word she attempted to utter. A metallic taste travelled from the extraction site, sloshing against her inner cheeks and finally making its way down her esophagus causing her stomach to twist.
“HELP! SOMEONE, SAVE ME!”, she frantically screamed, spitting blood everywhere.
“Oh, no no no, that simply won’t do,” he thought aloud, “if you can’t hold your tongue, I suppose we’ll just have to cut it out”.
Chloe violently shook her head no with her mouth cemented shut, unwilling to give the man an opportunity to catch her tongue. Her naivety amused the man immensely, he had many ways to make her open up. He scanned the dank basement for something capable of holding heat; settling on a thin wrought iron rod he cautiously placed it on top of the rusted boiler. While he waited for the scrap metal to heat up the man decided to remove Chloe’s makeshift blindfold. The light shocked her silver eyes, instantly causing tears to pour out of them.
Light is supposed to be a beacon of hope, she thought to herself, but why is it so terrifying? The man appeared as a blur of colors to her, she tried to focus on his face but the lights were too bright to see anything. Once he moved from her view she let out a sigh of relief, which suddenly turned into shrieks of agony as the red hot rod made contact with the flesh on her back. The remarkably pungent smell of burning skin filled the air around her. He held the rod against her skin until it went from bright red to covered in liquid filled blisters like water balloons made from human skin.
The sounds flowing from her mouth were shrill enough to make glass shatter. The man had had enough, seizing the opportunity by shoving a pair of scissors into her mouth and haphazardly cutting away at the muscle tissue. Crimson liquid spewed in every direction, soaking both the man and Chloe. The pain was hot, almost as hot as the iron rod used on her back. A feeling of being detached from her body over took Chloe and within minutes, her body hung limp from the chains that bound her from the ceiling.
Chloe’s eyes groggily opened as she was brought back from the depths of unconsciousness. Her face and clothes were plastered with her own dried blood. Exhaustion overwhelmed her emotionally and physically. She pulled her head up and looked around, the man stood across the room casually leaning up against a stainless steel cart. Noticing her wakeful state the man began wheeling the cart closer to her. The wheels were tiny mice squeaking along the cold cement floor.
“Well darling, our fun time together has come to an end”, he winked inching closer to her battered body.
The man carefully cradled the unused scalpel from the cluttered dissection tray. Piece by piece her clothing was ripped off leaving her bare skin exposed to the damp air of the basement. Her spirit was shattered, she stood still silently sobbing welcoming her demise. The blade danced on her skin delicately at first only drawing a few drops of blood. He was an artist and she, his canvas. Inspired by her screams he began to plunge deeper following the natural curves of her body. Chloe’s being shivered violently as her pale coat was stripped from her. Metal teeth were dragged along her sternum back and forth until… crack… the bone eventually snapped.
Chloe drifted in and out of consciousness from a detrimental loss of blood until she simply never woke up again.
The man worked tirelessly for hours on end delicately removing each organ and preserving them in a formaldehyde c***tail. Cotton replaced her heart and intricate glass orbs became her eyes. Miniscule stitches held her flesh together, nearly erasing all the damage done to her body.
Now, she sit across the dinner table from the man expressionless, clad in a pink gown  that compliments her ivory skin tone.
Now, she is free of the pain and agony she endured for what had felt like aeons.
Now, she could never leave him, not ever.






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