Disclaimer: Nope, not mine. Sadly. Rhett, Wisconsin, is, to my knowledge, NOT a real town. If it is, the similarity was unintentional. Rose Orlen is mine, the ghost is mine…yeah, anything you don't recognize is mine.
Author's Note: I'm sorry if the description of the ghost grosses anyone out, but I had to describe her in such detail. Otherwise you guys wouldn't get the picture of how horrible she truly was.
Summary: Her arms were gone from the elbow down, and her eyes were crazed. She never spoke again, except for a single repeated phrase: 'Such a pretty doll…'
October 29th, 2003—Rhett, Wisconsin
Rose Orlen sighed quietly as she padded into her room, bare feet leaving wet marks on the hardwood floor—she had just taken a shower, and it was time for her to brush her hair. After a quick detour to the stereo, she sat down at her ornate white vanity, and began to run the brush through her hair as Mariah Carey's 'Don't Forget About Us' blasted from the speakers. She smiled at her reflection: beautiful. Not a single blemish, no split ends, and skin as soft and pale as snow.
She was bright; she was beautiful. Naturally, she attracted attention. And not always the positive kind.
On the 66th stroke on the right side of her head, she heard a loud moan from outside of her window. For a minute, she was afraid…but then she remembered. It was Halloween; Billy and the guys were probably just trying to scare her. But that delusion was smashed when another sound floated through the window: a woman's sob, so heartbreaking that Rose was compelled to get up, clutching her bathrobe around her, and open the window.
The sky was pitch black, and a powerful wind bent trees and swirled fallen leaves around. But despite the noises, there was nothing out there but the trees and leaves. She poked her head out of the window, damp hair blowing around her head, but still she saw nothing. With a frown, Rose ambled away from the window, snapped off the stereo and the lights, and got into bed.
She forgot to close the window.
At 3:06 in the morning, the room, already dark, seemed to grow darker yet. Any light that the moon had shed was sucked up by creeping shadows, and the temperature dropped at least 10 degrees. A dark shape flitted through the window, about the size of an average packing crate, and exuding an unpleasant smell. Rose subconsciously wrinkled her nose, but didn't awake.
As if cautious, the shadow drifted into the center of the room, and suddenly solidified into a horrific apparition. It was the image of a woman who had obviously been breathtakingly beautiful in life. Her eyes were brown, and her skin creamy and pale. But there was something wrong: she was missing body parts. Her left shoulder had a deep cut into it, so deep that the muscle was visible, and both of her feet had been violently hacked off. The right arm had been completely severed. There were deep slashes all over her body, some of which were sewn up with thick black thread, others of which were simply left open, giving a lovely view of her entrails, muscles and bones. The three middle fingers of her left hand were cut off, and her thumb was twisted at an unnatural angle. But the worst was her neck: it looked like someone had hacked into it with an axe, but hadn't quite finished the job. Her head hung at an unnatural angle, leaving flesh visible on both sides. Nor did she have any hair; it had been sheared off by an amateur barber in uneven patches, leaving oozing red scars on her scalp and ears. All in all, she was a hideous spectacle.
The ghost drifted over to the sleeping girl, and leaned over Rose. She –it— smiled slightly, revealing cracked and broken teeth, and reached into her ragged dress. With a soft sigh, it drew out a tiny glass bottle, half filled with a bright blue powder. Clutching the phial between her pinkie and twisted thumb, she tore out the cork with her ravaged teeth, and carefully tapped a few grains over the girl's face. After a dainty cough, Rose was silent. The ghost waited a few minutes, then murmured, "Emanio," and the comatose girl slowly rose out of her bed, the flowered sheet still draped over her levitating body. "Vado, induco, licentia," she whispered, and the sheet slipped off her body.
She trailed a finger down the girl's cheek, and, with a quiet snap, reverted to her shadow form. Quickly, it drifted out of the window, with the girl following dreamily after her.
November 29th, 2003—30 miles away from Rhett
For exactly a month, there was no trace of Rose Orlen. But on November 29th, two teenaged boys discovered a small back alley in the city of Dale, about 30 miles away from Rhett.
The boys, Billy and Collin, spent ten minutes or so daring each other to go into the foggy, dark alley, until Billy finally rolled his eyes and strolled into the alley. Collin, laughing, hurried after him.
"Hey, Coll…d'ya hear that?" Billy whispered, his eyebrows diving towards the center of his forehead.
"Hear what?" Collin whispered back, looking around the alley. They didn't have a flashlight, and the alley was pretty damn dark.
"That, over there! Listen!" Billy answered urgently, and the two boys fell silent, listening hard.
Finally, the incoherent whispering became clear as they inched closer to the source of the sound: "Such a pretty doll…such a pretty doll…such a pretty doll…," and the phrase was repeated over and over again.
It grew louder and louder, until Collin tripped over something at his feet. He squeaked, a very un-manly sound, and stumbled back. "Fuck, Billy!"
"What, what? What is it?" Billy asked in a high pitched voice, and suddenly the alley was filled with a blinding light. For a minute, the boys were disoriented: the change from pitch black to fluorescent light could hurt anyone's eyes; then, their sight cleared, and they both looked down to see what Collin had tripped over.
It was a girl, sitting on the pavement. She was naked, with long blonde hair covering most of her body, and she was rocking back and forth, twitching. Her lips were moving, and as Billy leaned closer, he realized what she was saying: "Such a pretty doll…such a pretty doll…," over and over again. He exchanged glances with Collin, who was pale as a ghost, and gently swept her hair back in an attempt to see if she was hurt.
Her arms were gone from the elbow down. Billy yelled and fell back, feeling cold alley water soak through the seat of his Abercrombie jeans. Collin reacted in a different way: swearing loudly and taking off down the alley, Converses slapping the wet pavement.
"Rose!" Billy cried, recognizing her. She didn't react, only continued rocking back and forth and twitching spasmodically. And she kept on saying that damned phrase with a glazed look in her eyes.
With tears in his eyes, he leaned forward to examine the wounds. He expected to see infected, ragged wounds, but he didn't. It was almost like her arms had been cut off with a laser; the arms were just gone. No blood or gore, just a neat little circle of flesh, a thin layer of skin, and a bright white bone in the middle of it all. Billy gagged loudly, and carefully picked up his twitching, muttering ex-girlfriend in his arms. He ignored the fact that she was soaking wet, and hurried out of the alley, squinting against the fluorescent light that seemed to come from everywhere and nowhere at once.
Rose Orlen was admitted to the Wisconsin State Insane Asylum on November 30th, 2003. She never spoke again, except for the phrase, which she said all day, every day. The poor girl only slept if sedated, and even as she slept, she'd twitch and mutter about the pretty doll. Eventually, Rose was put into solitary confinement (she scared the other inmates), and put into a straitjacket and a padded room to keep her from hurting herself.
The doctors never did find out how her arms had been removed, and the police never found the culprit.
Well, that's chapter one of Ragdoll! I hope you guys like it!