And Hope To Die

The eyes of the doll would never see again. They would never recover.

Mary loved the outside world. Every color was less intense and rich in here, every smell pungent and vile. The people moved too fast and so did time- a single minute spent in the museum had aged her.

Everything was so... alive.

She did not know the meaning of tears and sorrow, but she knew very well what the want for something happened to be.

Her smiles were painted upon her face by an old, desperate man who thought himself a genius; they were as real as this world.

Soon she would know how to do it on her own and she felt excitement flood her thoughts like a tidal wave.

The door would stay open for quite a while. When the substitute was found and left alone, it would close. Once and for all.

"Where are you going, Ib?", Mary asked and her blue eyes shone with sadness.

The other girl stayed silent and watched in horror. How fragile she was.

Mary stepped closer.

"Why are you going by yourself?"

And closer.

"We promised we'd be together..."

Ib backed away until her back hit the wall.

Mary followed.

"...Right?" She laughed. Her smile faded fast enough.

"Why are you running?"

She was pushed to the floor by the strange man only seconds later.

Her rose fell to the ground and she fell silent.

Even her petals would fall someday. She would wait.

Ib embraced her savior, felt safe when he was around.

Mary wanted to stab him, make him leave her alone and in peace and with her. Then they could be friends and live happily.

It was a beautiful dream.

But then it took such a long time to catch up with the mortal duo; their bond strengthened. Mary could almost feel how their trust grew and how easily both of them relied on the other.

And then they fell.

The toy box swallowed them whole.

They would not stop her. Not in this world or any other. She would be happy.

Mary did not jump after them.

One of the dolls crawled for her, saw for her and moved towards the rose on the dark floor.

Roses meant life in their world and this was an easy way to get her hands on one more- five more chances to escape and a method to bribe herself a friend.

The doll needed to move only a few steps...

Just three.

Ib appeared at the side of its vision.


She saw the rose and hurried closer.


Ib took the rose.

Mary did not know if that was indeed a bad thing.

She would find a way to stop her friend. And they would be friends forever. And ever.

Ib had ventured way too far into the painted world. As she watered the tulips with a smile on her face and stared into the abyss until it frightened her no more, she became a part of the painting.

Mary knew how fast one could adapt to the different circumstances and she hoped it would her best friend only take a bit of encouragement.

The clock was not ticking anymore and yet she felt it was not much time left.

Why couldn't they just be friends and leave together?

Garry could stay behind-

Garry would not stay behind on his own if it was not to save a life. He would find a way for both of them.

Mary decided to see her painting. It helped her remember what she wanted and needed most: the outside world. The reality she had not been made for.

Ib stood before the shattered frame, lighter in hand.

It took Mary a few moments to realize what her intentions were.

The part of her called heart seemed to clench at the sight and it was suddenly not big enough to carry all the fear and hatred and... relief?

A painting would always stay a picture frozen in time.

Mary began running as the flames licked on the picture and tasted its sweet surreal contains.

It would never lie.

Her whole body burned as her world did.

It would never change.

She screamed and writhed as her childish body was consumed by the flames.

It would never love.

And what was left was silence.

The ashes rained down upon the colorful floor as the painted world aged and decayed.

So why did she?