If there was one thing Lovino knew was fully his own, it was his pride. No matter what anyone else would say there was always that to hold him up. No matter what.

At least, that's what he told himself as he wandered through the graveyard. Lovino cursed as his foot came into contact with a rock protruding from the ground. Yes, his pride. His wonderful pride that attempted to fill however many holes he had in his heart. But now… he needed to do something that would tear his pride away, if only for a night.

"Three paces past the Johnson marker with the broken wing…" He muttered the instructions to himself so as not to forget a single step. As stupid as this whole idea was he couldn't think of anything else. Feliciano was sick and wasn't getting better, none of the plants on their farm were growing, and he was out of options. As far as he could tell, there wasn't anything else he could do.

"Stop at the edge of the river… spin clockwise four times and clap twice," Shit, he felt ridiculous. But nonetheless he did as the old legend instructed, spinning and clapping with the best of them. Who was he kidding. There was no way that this would wo-

"Mmm. My, my… what do we have here? A new doll for me to dance with perhaps?"

Lovino blinked. He knew that two seconds ago he was in a graveyard. He was positive!

He was surrounded by four walls with no sign of a door or any windows. Hanging from every available surface were plain, faceless white dolls. For whatever reason one was wearing a beret. Lovino was pretty sure he didn't want to know.

"Come now, you're not here to gaze at my collection… You… must… want something~"

Slowly he trained his eyes toward the end of the room. Reclining on what appeared to be a giant pincushion was a woman, skin so pale it was almost impossible to tell where the woman ended and the folds of the tight white dress began. Almost, if it weren't for the amateurish stitching covering every plane available to the light. The string was pitch black, matching the color of her eyes and the silk of her hair. Her lips were red.

Lovino watched as she slipped down the edge of her pincushion, and walked over to him with slow calculated steps, "It has been a long time indeed since I've had a visitor…" she circled him, trailing one polished finger along his shoulders. Lovino stood his ground, "Yes… so long indeed… Nevertheless a man… Boy…" the woman stopped in front of him, placing a chalky hand on his cheek, "Whatever species you happen to be… man, boy…" Bending in closer, her voice came as a whisper, "All are equally… hypnotic…"

He swallowed dryly, trying to make his worry of Feliciano replace his fear, "I-I heard that you can make someone's wishes come t-true."

She paused, "Ah, yes…" A thin smile graced he lips, making the stitches stretch as she leaned as close to his face as possible yet still not touch, "I…" she breathed, "am the Voodoo Girl…"

"G-good!" Clenching his fists at his sides Lovino took a deep breath, "I need to g-get some stuff done, and I c-can't myself."

"Yes, yes… your brother is suffering from… hypo..thermia… and your farm will not produce… and…" she stopped, traced the outline of his cheek bone, "Quite a boring need…"

"Can you do it or not, bitch!" Lovino's voice came out much stronger then it had sounded in his head. The Voodoo Girl stopped, and looked at him, "Yes, I can do it… my little love. But the reward does not come… sans paiement."

"Fine, whatever," he crossed his arms, "I don't care. I'll pay whatever you like. Just help me."

The Voodoo Girl glided over to a wall, every so often removing a pin from one of her little white figures. As she worked she hummed, and eventually the lyrics of a song came flittering off of her lips.

"Her skin is white a cloth, and she's all sewn apart… and she has many colored pins sticking out of her heart…"

The words were chilling, and Lovino felt the cool tingle of fear begin to crawl up his spine. But he had to stay strong. For Feliciano. For Feliciano.

"She has a beautiful set of hypno-disk eyes… the ones that she uses… to draw in her guys…"

As each pin was plucked from the skin… cloth of the dolls it made a curious zupping sound like a zipper makes when being finally released from an over-stuffed suitcase. One by one they fell into her hand, the pile growing bigger by the second.

"She has many different zombies who are deeply in her trance… she even has a zombie…" the Voodoo Girl patted the doll with the beret affectionately, "Who was originally from France…"

Apparently done with her collecting she moved back over to him, sliced his shirt open with one fine nail, and placed one of the pins on his skin. Lovino cried out in pain as it sunk smoothly beneath the tissue, leaving nothing but a prick. The Voodoo Girl continued to do this, still singing her song.

"But she knows she has a curse on her… one she cannot win…" Lovino closed his eyes. Only two more, "For if someone gets too close to her..." The last one floated lazily in like the rest, leaving a line of dots over his chest in the shape of a heart, "The pins stick… farther… in." She ended her song, placing a hand over her work, "The deed is done… man, boy."

He was breathing hard, and tried to pull his shirt back together, "So does my heart belong to you now or something?"

"Silly, silly boy…" she practically floated back to her pin cushion, reclining once again, "You will have to share my… fate. Your heat is under lock and key. You may… never give it to anyone…"

Lovino shook his head, "Wrong choice of payment, lady. There's no one who cares even a fraction for me; hell even my brother doesn't care that much. I wasn't planning on 'giving my heart' to anyone, ever."

The Voodoo Girl smiled. She raised a hand in the air as if tracing his body from where she lay, "We. Shall. See. Keep it safe… man boy. Lovino Vargas."

In the time it took to blink the shop, if one could call it that was gone. He was standing back in the graveyard, and his chest still hurt like hell. Turning Lovino started to make his way back home, crawling over forgotten graves and brambles. It was almost as if nothing had happened. But if Feliciano was better…

As he approached the gate a breeze trickled past his ear, lifting up his hair yet disturbing nothing else in the yard.

"But she knows she has a curse on her, one she cannot win. For if someone gets to close to her…"

He gasped and put a hand to his chest as all twenty-seven of the pricks began to sting. Looking down he watched as they all melted away, leaving nothing but his skin as it was before he made his deal. He put a hand over his heart and, rushing out of the graveyard, completed the Voodoo Girl's song for her.

"For if someone gets to close, the pins stick farther in."