Part One
Deny your maker.

Jenkins Creek would live forever in her addled mind; in infamy, between the
evil outside and all the pain in held, and the secret, whispered longing
for the grass under her feet, the wind in her hair, all the things that she
was denied. But the Angel had said no, and the Angel knew best... didn't
she?

~~

Annas eyes squinted against the bright am I- oh! Her eyes
rolled back in pain; she was sure they were splitting. Pain raced in sweat
flavored rivlets down her cheeks. Agony ran up and down her legs. Her lungs-
oh, oh, her lungs were filling with water- water was everywhere and she
couldn't breathe-

~~

Light, controled steps sounded throughout the well lit hallway. A keyring
jingled loudly, and the door creaked open to reveal a thin ray of light
into the darkened room beyond the hallway. A small smile broke across the
womans face as she spotted the girl laying on the bed, bruised and pale.

"Yes, doll... get better now, get better soon. Be a good Doll. Get better."
She backed out and closed the door, shutting out the light. Always, she
shut out the light.

~~

Anna cried out. Her voice was hoarse from misuse, and her throat scratched
painfully into the scream, but she screamed anyway, louder and louder. She
screamed because she could still taste the water, because all over her body
hurt, because the blood pounded in her head and now she needed to SCREAM.

The door opened. Anna looked up and starred- awestruck, horrified, unable
to look away- at the Angel. She had wheat colored hair, aqua eyes- and a
long, slanted scar against her once beautiful face. Her dainty hands
gripped the keyring so hard her knuckles were white and huge- out of place
with the rest of her tiny body.

"Shut up" The words were spoken with a quiet authority, so much that Anna
could not disobey. Even if she had wanted to keep screaming, her throat
closed with a terified whimper. The Angels calm face frightened Anna,
making her cower against the pillow.

"Dolls do not scream." The Angel said firmly.

"Dolls?" Anna questioned in the sort of tone a scolded child would take.

"Dolls. Don't be difficult..." Her blue eyes grew dark, angry.

"I'm not being difficult!" Anna snapped. She regretted her tone the moment
it was out of her mouth, regretted it as the Angel smiled.

"Dolls do not take that tone. Perhaps you don't understand, because Dolls
are very stupid, and they forget sometimes." She laughed a little, a
horrible laugh. "Have you forgotten? You must have. You are my doll. You
did a bad thing, and now you are sick again. Always sick. I always have to
take care of you..." She sighed. Anna whimpered.

"Now, we will go over the rules for your sake, though we have gone over
them atleast twelve times a year since birth. Rule one, you do as I say in
all things, or you will recieve a punishment. Your food-" here the Angel
paused and pointed to a chest at the foot of the bed "is located in that
chest. You may eat only as much as the chart says you may eat. If an item
on the chest is not located on the chart, which is on top of the chest as
you may notice, you may not eat it until you ask me and I inform you. If
you begin to gain weight, I will take some of the food away. If you are
eating more then the chart allows, I will take all of your food away. You
may not speak to the other Dolls unless you are given permission, or a
script. This is your reward box." The Angel picked up a small stone chest.
"If you are good, you recieve rewards. If you are bad, you recieve
punishments. You are not to yell, scream, or make any other disturbing
noises. You are to keep this room clean. There is a broom here. That bucket
there is for all your nasty habits. I will take it to be cleaned once a
week. If you use it more then that, it will be your problem, not mine. Do
you understand all of this?"

"What if I forget a rule?" Anna asked, panic tumbling around her head.

The Angel smiled. "That would be very, very bad for you."

~~

C grunted with the frustration of someone who had just woken up and did not
approve of his surroundings. He lifted his heavy head off the bed, wishing
as he did almost every day that there was a pillow to cushion the bruise
forming just above his ear.

"C! Quickly, please!" The low tone sounded ridiculous to C's ears, because
since when did Derick speak so... subdued, scared?

"Derick?" C murmurred; his voice was thick, rough.

Derick gave him an alarmed stare. "My name is D."

It hit him, then, like a punch in the gut. Two of them, stuck in this room,
with four beds- two bunkbeds, to save room, one extra and unused- two
shirts, two pants, two spoons... two lives to save. And his life was not
going to be saved if he didn't get up.

He stood quickly. His bed was unruly, but his hands were shaking too hard
for him to make it. D stooped down next to him and pushed his disobedient
hands away from the bedspread. "Go comb your hair, C." D ordered. "She
hates it when you don't look orderly."

C stumbled to the crate and pulled off the lid; such a heavy, heavy lid.
The comb was missing. He gave a cry of despair; her footsteps were coming,
coming and his belt wasn't on and she was so angry when they didn't wear
belts and-

The door opened. In stepped the Angel. Her eyes were unreadable, her mask
calm as usual. She stepped forward, locking the door with a wave of her
hands that sent blue light rushing into the door. The lock clicked. She
slid the keyring into the pocket of her pale white dress and starred.

"Beds." Her voice was smooth, calm, as it always was. Always was except
when the water was coming fast towards her face- C sat at the foot of his
bed, avoiding Ds feet hanging down from the bunk above him. He tried not to
let the dizzyness force him to lay down; she'd be so angry...

"I thought I had carefully explained the rules." The Angel said, her lips
pursing in anger. "Did I not? Did I not write them for you?" She gestured
to the paper taped perfectly, carefully to the door. "Did I not? I did. So
why are the rules not being followed? Why are you not groomed, C?"

C looked up, still in a haze. He couldn't speak. He was nearly remembering;
it was on the tip of his mind, if he could just get beneath the mask for
just a moment... D spoke for him. "C is sick, ma'am."

"C is not sick. C is lazy. Laziness is common among dolls; they are
pampered until they believe the world owes them. It is quite different. C,
you will change your attitude, or I will change it for you." Anger flashed
in her aqua eyes, seeming to brighten the scar across her face. "Is that
understood?"

"Yes." C responded in a dull, airy tone that he could still hold to.

"You have lost Exercise room privledges for the day. I want you to spend
the day reading your assigned books, and also the rules. Because you have
lost Exercise Room privledges, you have also lost eating privledges. I will
not tolerate overweight dolls." She shot a rushing blue light, and the
chest clicked closed. "You may thank C for this."

She turned on a heel and walked out. The door clicked closed and they both
breathed in relief; no food, no exercise, they could live with that even if
it was miserable. Punishments could go much, much deeper. The Angel was
clever; she could pour salt in wounds that did not exist, and it would hurt
more then anything you had ever experienced before. After all, that was her
life; making new wounds to punish you for.

~~

Anna slid off the bed and onto pain filled feet. She picked up the chart
and read to herself the sparce food allowed; just barely enough to keep
someone alive. She seemed to remember being in this room once; laughing
because the Beautiful One was laughing; opening the chest and offering up a
brilliant smile of adoration-

"That is quite enough." The Angels voice broke into Annas thoughts,
shattering them like quickly scattered water. "Sit on your bed. Whenever I
enter the room, you are to sit on your your hands in the center of the bed,
with your legs crossed. Yes, like that- NO!" Her eyes went dark, furious.
"Dolls sit up straight! Don't ever slouch!"

"I'm s-sorry. I've always slouched. My father used to tell me not to but I
never listened." Anna whispered, memories rushing in her head.

The Angel smiled a dark, twisted smile. "Your father?"

"Y-Yes ma'am."

"Tell me about him. All about him. Everything you can remember."

Annas eyes grew wide. "Everything? That would take a while."

The Angels mouth curved in anger. "Everything, you fool."

Not wanting to upset her, Anna began to speak. "He was tall, with dark hair
and big, dark eyes. He used to pick me up and spin me around. But only when
momma wasn't around..." Anna frowned, her memories blurring and reshaping.
"I mean, grandma. No, grandma would spin me... no, no, daddy would...
but..." She looked up at the Angel with tear filled eyes. "I don't know!"

The Angel barked with laughter, a noise that sounded alien to the dainty,
wonderful monster. Anna was horrified, frozen solid with numb hands and
numbing legs. The Angels laugh went on and on until suddenly she stopped,
smirking at Anna. "Silly, silly little Doll. Come, its time for our next
play."

"Play?" Anna whimpered, standing. She stood behind the Angel as she
unlocked the door and led Anna out into a hallway. "Play?" She repeated.

The Angel sent her a dark, warning glare as she pulled the keyring from the
front pocket of her pale white dress. The keys seemed identical to Anna,
but the Angel picked the right one straight away and slid it into the door.
With a quiet click, and a push from the Angels steady hand, the door popped
open and Anna was guided in on legs that responded to a higher power.

"We do not speak in the hallways. That will merit you a punishment." The
Angel said coldly.

"You didn't ever say that!" Anna cried in distress. "How am I to follow
your stupid rules if you don't explain them all!?"

The Angels eyes darkened to the shade of a fresh bruise but Anna did not
back away. Pale, dainty hands lifted from the Angels sides as her fingers
twisted in an intricate knot. A sudden hissing made Anna spin around- but
it was too late, and the snake twisted angrily around her thin neck.

Anna fell to the ground. She clawed into the snake, but its skin was like
leather and the Angel was laughing, laughing as Anna gasped and cried out.
I'm going to die. I'm going to die in some unknown place, without ever
making the Angel smile-

The pressure lifted and Anna sobbed in relief. The Angel starred down at
her oddly. "You idiot child. You'll never learn." A thick pad of paper
dropped onto Annas chest. "You are to play the part of Amber. Study your
lines." The Angel walked gracefully out, the familiar click informing Anna
matter-of-factly that she was trapped.

~~

Kyles bruised hands held the hem of his shirt close to his stomach as the
vomit flew from his mouth and into the bucket. He murmurred in pained agony
before collapsing back on to the bed. Sweat soaked sheets combined with the
bucket against the wall left the room smelling putrid; his shirt mingled
with both. Shirt and soiled underwear were all he was allowed; pants,
belts, socks and real food were all a luxury awarded to someone else.
Someone who was not Kyle.

"But I am who I am, and I can't change that." Kyle said outloud, as if to
diminish the insane hopes that sometimes crept into his mind while he lay
in bed, stinking and sweating and vomiting and dying.

"No" came the Angels gentle voice from the doorway that hope and death
entered through. "but I can."

~~

D swung his legs over the side of the top right bunk. He was tired, but
going to sleep would be a risk he couldn't take with C in his fragile
condition. The murmurred curses from below seemed to be bellowed from the
strong lungs of a newborn; not whispered from the fragile breaths of a
dying man.

"C?" He whispered, quietly to avoid the Angels hearing. "How old do you
think she is?"

"Shes ageless." C said firmly. "Ageless, so she can torture every new
generation."

~~

Kyle starred up the mixture of love and hate in the doorway; her eyes were
glowing death, but her fingertips held healing, and from her mouth came
joyful celebrations of torment. Tears slid unnoticed down Kyles face. She
smiled warmly at him. "Kyle, its time to go home."

Six months ago, Kyles still free mind would have thought "Home? With mom
and dad, and Jessica, and the others? Home?! Shes letting me go home!?" But
now he looked up at her dully. "I am home."

She laughed then. "No, Kyle. Home is waiting for you. Come on, stand up.
Take those filthy rags off." In her hands she held a soft cotton shirt, and
a brand new pair of pants. "Leave those things on the floor and follow me."
He did as he was told and followed her out. He hadn't noticed it before but
right across from his door was another door; he idly wondered who was
behind it before he followed her down the stairs and into a large, empty
room that held only one chair, glued to the floor, and a long, metal table.

"Sit." She ordered, setting the clothes on the table. Kyle obediently took
his seat on the chair, waiting for her to make a move. He starred at her
fingers as they moved, intricate and deadly, tying a knot over and over.
Suddenly, a cold blast of water hit Kyle straight in the face. He made to
stand, but an intense pressure held his shoulders in place and prevented
them from rising. The water continued to blast the filth off his body, and
in the process bruising him.

Finally, after the relentless stream had left him clensed of even the
deepest coats of dirt, it stopped and the Angel smiled softly. Tears ran
down Kyles face, blazingly hot compared to the icy chill the water left his
skin in. "Come." She ordered, her voice calm.

Kyle stood up shakily, stumbling to the table. He slid on the rough cotton
slacks that had appeared from the pocket of the Angels dress, whimpering
slightly for the comfortable looking pants that lay within his reach. The
pressure on his arm made him lay on the table, his back uncomfortable
against the hard metal.

Her smile was brilliant. "We just have to fix a few things. A few things,
and then you can go home." Her hands reached into the same front pocket
that everything seemed to come from, and came back into Kyles vision with a
scalpel. "Don't be afraid, darling...:" She whispered before plunging it
into the softness of his stomach.

He screamed, his vision turning red. Pain roared in his ears, but still the
knife twisted and the Angel smiled, even as her pale hands turned crimson.
It went on forever to Kyle, and only a few seconds to the Angel. He gnashed
his teeth and kicked, but it only made her laugh gently. "Such a silly
little doll."

And suddenly, the twisting stopped, and the knife exited his stomach. She
set it down on the table, and waved her hand over his abdomen. The bleeding
stopped all at once, scars covered the wounds. Kyle gasped for air, lifting
his head to look at his one and only scar. Perfectly straight letters stood
out against the pale skin. Four letters, so he'd never forget.

DOLL