Author's Note: Please don't kill me. I know I shouldn't be starting another story... but it's too good to pass up!
This is another story from the "Dollhouse" and "Wonderball" universe. I will be posting the first chapter of Dollhouse as soon as I finish typing it.
Please be nice!
In December of 1944, Dietrich Granz, age twenty-four, died. His corpse was not given a proper burial, or really any at all; merely tossed into a small thicket just outside of a small French town, which was under the occupation of the Allied forces.
In 1943, just eighteen months before the end of the war in Europe, Unterscarführer Granz was captured by Allied Forces, while on a routine patrol operation. He, knowing English and French, was used initially to interpret German broadcasts, before he was discovered giving false information to his captors. He was then sent to a military-run testing facility, where he was submitted to countless experiments that ranged from ethically questionable to the inhumane.
After ten months of experimentation, his heart finally stopped.
Whether it was his untimely death, his lack of proper burial, or simply his conscious refusing him peace after death, Dietrich's soul never quite made it to the afterlife.
For decades, his spirit wandered the earth, searching for something he could not find, be it peace or a purpose.
Finally, in the late 1950's, he happened upon a gypsy camp, or that's what he had initially assumed.
In actuality, it was a gathering of mystics, witch doctors and mediums from across Europe, the Americas, Western Asia and Africa- most there in body, others there in a variety of forms- faces in the flames of the fire that was situated in the center of the make-shift camp; other disembodied spirits, voices from bowls of water and eyes formed in hour-glass sand.
The youngest of the group, a dark-skinned woman in her late thirties, eyed him knowingly. Her hair, long, dark and beautiful, was pulled back into a braid, her dark eyes emanating an unknown light.
She withdrew a single, porcelain doll- with colorless, vacant eyes, no hair and lacking any distinguishing features.
She smirked at him- as if aware of some joke he was not privy to. She spoke in a heavily accented voice, while her lips never once moved. "Come, your soul is not yet needed. Rest, your guardian will come to show you the way in time."
In a sudden burst of shapes and color, he felt himself being pulled forward, by some unknown force. He was lifted off of his feet and drawn into the doll, panic not registering until the world- which he had grown used to being gray, dull and otherwise uninteresting, became much larger and brilliantly colored blinking him for a moment until darkness set in.
Slowly, as if waking from a dream, the world swam back into focus. He was no longer by the fire, or in the gypsy woman's lap... He was in a shack- or at least a very worn old shop. Where, he had no clue. He looked around, searching for the gypsy who had placed a hex on him...
Only to find himself surrounded by dolls. Dolls of varying shapes, colors, sizes and styles, dressed in an array of different clothes- some he recognized, specifically the female doll, dressed in a wedding dress similar to the one his mother had had- Victorian-style, with an unnecessary amount of frills and lace; others he could only guess at their origins.
Before long, he noticed a grayed figure standing by the shop's entrance- white-braid and long white dress blending in with the early morning light.
As if sensing his attention, the woman turned, and he recognized the dark eyes that met his own, though the face had aged almost half a century- still recognizable, if just barely.
"So you're awake." The voice was the same, though this time, he noted, her lips moved.
"It's a little early I think..." She continued, pausing for a moment to begin her slow walk forward. "...Your guardian has just been brought into this world. ...It might be another few decades before they arrive. You're just going to have to wait." She stared up at him, smirking faintly, as if amused by his predicament.
Dietrich tried to speak, but found his mouth unable to work, he tried to gesture, but found his limbs unresponsive. Fear seized him and he wondered if he had been paralyzed.
"Oh settle down." She scolded, her eyes narrowing in distaste. "Getting all worked up won't do you any good."
With a sigh she picked up a small, hand-held mirror and held it up to him. "I sealed you away before anything could tarnish your soul beyond recognition."
He blinked, staring back at him from the mirror was a face, similar to his own, but so very different. Porcelain skin, a pale, white color he never had, a single dark blue eye stared out from under a mass of poorly-maintained, sandy-blond bangs, it's twin covered in a swatch of white cloth, fastened around his head by strings.
He was dressed in the uniform that he had been stripped of upon his capture- its dark-green color and the familiar arm-band incredibly comforting, even it was on a doll's body.
"So you approve of my handiwork, I see..." The aged woman mused, smiling faintly as she set the mirror down. "Well that's good. You're going to be in it for awhile. Why not try going back to sleep?" She offered.
Unable to respond, Dietrich's world faded to black.
Several more times he swam into consciousness, forced back into a dormant state every so often.
Sometimes he'd wake to find other people there, dressed in familiar, and yet strangely styled clothing. They'd converse with the woman, whose name he over-heard to be "Roma", which he found amusing, as that was what the gypsy's called their people.
The people who came always left with some gift- be it a doll, like the ones surrounding the shelf he sat on, a puppet, a book, a candle, a crystal, a skull (at least one time, he noted it to be human), pieces of paper, or strange little featureless dolls made of cloth. On occasion, he'd attempt to converse with these people- beg them to notice him, to no avail.
The last time he awoke, he found a young woman in the shop with Roma, a skinny wisp of a thing- probably just a few years younger than he was at the time of his death.
She was angry and bitter, he could feel it- a dark, inky thing swarming around her, threatening to consume her.
She recieved a book and one of the little cloth dolls before running out into the light, never to return to the shop.
Just as she left, a pair of little girls wandered in, clutching each other's hands and looking around, eyes wide with wonder, mouths open- jaws ever so slightly slackening...
The older one, with long, slightly wavy hair, seemed to be the first one to notice him- pointing at him and all but shrieking "NAZI", in the gleeful, excited tone children get when they recognize something in a sea of oddities. She seemed incredibly fascinated with him, and could even hear at least one of his pleas when she held him.
It was a pity she didn't speak German, or catch onto the urgency his pleas held.
"Miss Roma, what does "Hilfe Mich" mean?" She looked up at the old woman, curiously.
Roma snatched him back from the girl and placed him right back on his shelf, glaring at him. Apparently she was not happy with his outburst.
The shorter, younger sister, didn't pay him too much attention- her eyes attracted to the bright, golden "angel" sitting a shelf above him, and the white-haired doll seated at the opposite end of the same shelf he was on.
The latter was the one they left with, though he noticed a sadness in the aging mystic as the children disappeared. "Those children are bound to a tragic future- the same their predecessor shared." She sighed heavily and rested her chin on the back of her gnarled hands. "They share a divided soul that must be reunited..." She continued, as if talking to herself. "And the only way that can occur is for one, if not both of them, to die." She turned, glancing at him, as well as a few of the dolls around him.
Apparently, he was not the only one awake this time.
He never went back into his dormant state- days passed slowly, usually with no customers, only occasionally would a particular teenage punk come in to harass Roma, until she would beat him out of the store with a broom.
She later told him, while sipping on a cup of strange-smelling tea, that he was her great-nephew, and her last living relative.
Finally, after nearly two months, a young girl, with long red pig-tails, and bright green eyes (a color-combination which reminded him distinctly of an apple), wandered in.
Her eyes were clear and unnervingly sharp for someone her age. She strode over to Roma and looked up at her, not a hint of shyness or insecurity, as she asked bluntly. "Is this a magic shop?" Her voice high, almost shrill, and Dietrich noted that her English had an American accent to it.
Roma glanced at him and smirked faintly, before looking at the child. "Yes, my dear, it is."
Dietrich's stomach dropped and fear settled in his stomach.
"Unterscarführer" means Sergeant.
...I don't know a whole lot about military ranks, so if anyone wants to help me, I'd greatly appreciate it.
It's cruddy, I know. But please tell me what you think, unless you have nothing nice or constructive to say, in which case, kindly move along.