ドロレス

Dolores

Note: This is a girls love and loli-com story If those themes do not interest you then please do not read this story.

6 November, 12 o'clock

Dear beloved—

I dare not tell you in person about the events that transpired a few days before, on 31 October. While you were there for a time, you mercifully were ignorant of the strange happenings that I was witness to. I struggled with my conscious for a good hour before deciding I could not keep my thoughts to myself. Please forgive me for relating to you this unnatural tale, although I feel I would go mad if I remain silent.

As usual, I awoke at half after seven in the morning that day to the aroma of my breakfast tea and toast. I slipped out of bed in my night gown and left my bedroom to the dining room. I was greeted by Hannah, who bowed graciously to me and presented my breakfast set out on the table, just as I liked it. I must confess, I find Hannah very pretty, and bought her a scandalously short skirt to go with her maid uniform. As you know all too well, I have a terrible weakness for glimpsing pure, white pants beneath a stray skirt. My heart flutters at the naughty sight, as your own pants often prove when you "accidentally" make your skirt fly up in front of me.

When I finished my breakfast of tea, toast, and marmalade (I eat lightly, although I hear a full breakfast with smaller lunch and dinner is overall healthier) I had Hannah change me into my dress for the day. I chose my black silk dress with matching black stockings, garters, ruffled skirt, the miniature top hat with the white ribbons and rose, and the little coat with the white fur trim on the sleeve openings. Hannah painted my fingernails purple as well. I wanted to look my best for our meeting that day. By the time this was all done, it was 9 o'clock. I bade farewell to dear Hannah and stepped outside to greet you at Marshmallow Park.

It was an overcast day, as you remember. I passed my beloved cake tree, and was pleased to note that Hannah had been taking especially good care of it. Some slices had ripened, and the smell was so sweet I just had to pluck one off the tree and consume it. It had a light white frosting with a strawberry on top, the batter soft and warm. I had to stop myself from eating any more, and I thought about sending a few fresh slices to you and all the others (although the rest all possess even better cake trees than I do!).

I strolled casually through the streets of Never-Never City, enjoying the architectural marvels we have accomplished over the years. The black and orange Halloween ribbons hung from the doors and windows, and carved pumpkins grinned cheekily at me from their perches. From cozy little cottages in Berry Town to the grand castles of Cloud-Puff, there's nothing we can fail at once we set our minds to it. It makes me proud to be a contributing citizen of this fair land.

My patriotic thoughts faltered however at about ten o'clock. I was passing Harmony Toy Shop and the usual crowd that stood outside the window, gazing at the finely crafted dolls and play houses, when I spotted from behind a perfectly lovely blonde with hair draped over her right shoulder. She wore a simple dress that was as white as driven snow, and she stood nearly as tall as I. I had to stop and stare, feeling a longing for her (forgive me! I still love you the most!). At the same time though I could not help but think that there was something familiar about her, but I could not put my finger upon it. I wondered if the pretty little creature had just been Saved and if she had a comfortable home yet. If not, then I was considering taking her in to be raised as my apprentice.

I approached the blonde wearing a warm smile and gently tapped her bare shoulder. "My fair lady," I whispered, "have you a home yet? I can give you one if you so wish."

The blonde did not answer, so enraptured she was by the display of dancing dolls (the enchantments placed on dolls are ever so impressive now, are they not?). Disappointed, I spoke to her again. This time, she responded. "I shall be leaving here soon," she said, in a voice like tinkling silver bells. She sounded so pure that I licked my lips greedily. I had to possess such a beautiful Nymphet! I would not allow her to leave so easily!

"Please," I said, not letting it sound as though I were begging, "come back to my manor for some tea and cake. I have butter too—real butter, not the tasteless artificial slime you might be accustomed to. I have a wonderful maid who will treat you like a princess!"

"I said, I shall be leaving here soon," the blonde said, breaking my heart. She turned around at last, and that was when the horror truly began for me. She was indeed beautiful, with rosy cheeks and delicate pale pink lips. Her flesh was almost like porcelain, it was so pale. But it was a face I was familiar with, one I had seen many years ago, when I was first Saved. It was the face of the one who raised me to be a proper lady and Nymphet. Her eyes were all wrong though; the one who brought me up had orbs of shimmering sapphire, full of life and innocence. This blonde had no innocence in her blue eyes; they were drained, looking hideously ancient in that forever-12-years-old face. I backed away, repulsed by what I saw. Why did the other Nymphets fail to notice such an abomination in their midst? They were still so young and foolish, I suppose, ignorant of the subtler details of life that older Nymphets like us realize and understand.

The blonde slowly turned back to the toy shop. I staggered away, knowing I must have imagined the resemblance to my former teacher. That revolting fiend could not possibly have been her. My teacher had been kind and loving, her heart pure with the childish innocence and wisdom all good Nymphets possess. I had told you before about the day I lost her, so it does not bear repeating here.

Shaken, I continued on to Marshmallow Park. Nymphets, some accompanied by Humberts, were watching a performance by a clown that juggled and did disappearing tricks for the audience. She billed herself as "Pedrolina the Pretty Clown". I wonder if her skills were genuine magic or just slight-of-hand trickery? A high skill in either art makes it indistinguishable from the other.

I spotted you in the crowd and made my way over hastily. A lumbering Humbert got in my way, but I kicked its shin, and it backed away, remembering his place. Whoever owned that Humbert ought to train it better. Anyway, when you saw me you smiled brightly and gave me a brief embrace. I was a little shocked by your boldness, but no one seemed to notice.

"Oh, how have you been?" you asked me. "I've been waiting for you."

"I had a slightly unpleasant encounter on my way here," I answered. "It's nothing, really. We can meet the others soon."

We walked together through Marshmallow Park, the white marshmallow trees having a calming effect on my nerves. Your hair was calming too, like great masses of light-purple cloud. I imagined your pants, so white and clean beneath your skirt, and left my lust for you building. I apologize for having to be so subtle in my description, but it is how I feel for you.

"You'll love my costume tonight!" you said to me.

"Yes, I know I shall," I said. "Please surprise me, as I hope to surprise you."

Perhaps it was the way I said it that you sensed something. You looked at me solemnly for a moment, which only struck me as unusual a little later—normally you are the happiest Nymphet in the World of Eternity. "I've been thinking…" you said quietly.

"About what?"

"We've known each other for so long now," you said, your eyes dodging mine. "Ten years now? I think it might be time to—"

I looked at you, startled. "Sakurako…" I whispered. "You wish for that?"

It was unsaid, but we both understood. You blushed and slightly lifted your skirt to me. I caught a flash of your pants beneath your long black skirt, and I wanted so badly to kiss you and say that I would accept your offer. That was when the unpleasant commotion happened.

A scream rent the air, destroying our romantic mood. Irritated, I looked over and saw a pair of police officers dragging a poor little Nymphet with a brown ponytail off. The Nymphet cried and sobbed, trying to escape from the police officers. "Mama! Papa!" she wailed pitifully. "Where are my Parents!? Please let me go back! I wanna be with them! This isn't fun any more!"

As the police forced the poor girl into a police carriage and took her away to the hospital, I shook my head sadly. Is it not sad how some girls can be Saved and reborn as beautiful Nymphets like us, yet they still are in their souls enslaved to the tyranny of the Parents? If even the waters of Cockaigne could not help a Nymphet forget the Parents then the hospital would have to correct the problems. I would not wager on the doctors being successful though; in a few weeks that poor girl shall likely emerge as a Humbert, hulking and stupid. At least she would become useful then though.

In the confusion of crowds having run away from the hysterical Nymphet, I took sight of a strangely calm figure. She wore a familiar white dress and had horridly aged eyes that were fixed upon me directly. I stepped back and grabbed your arm for support, trembling. I looked to you, as though trying to will you into looking at the girl in white—I could not bring myself to tell you to look. In that instant, when I turned back to the eerie figure she had vanished. How clad I am to have not told you to look that time.

You did not see the girl in white, have you? I can only hope you did not, and that this is merely some sickness that compels me to see strange phantasms. I should see the hospital, but I am afraid to recount this story to the doctors. I can only trust you for now, Sakurako. When you have reviewed this madness we shall decide what else to do.

A messenger pigeon then landed upon my shoulder. I took the letter from its talons, prompting the messenger pigeon to take flight once more, and opened the envelope.

"What's it say?" you asked.

Come to the cemetery at twelve o'clock tonight alone. I shall be waiting. Tell no one.

Dolores

My breath caught in my throat when I finished reading. Dolores. It was a name I had hoped for so long to hear once again, but seeing it on that letter made my blood run cold. I hurriedly stuffed the letter into my dress to hide it from you. Had I been wiser, I would have shared it with you and called the authorities. Instead, I would heed the message.

"Something just came up," I said to you. "I must cancel the meeting and I can't participate this Halloween."

"You would ignore even the Nannies' sweets?" you said, dismayed.

"I'm sorry, Sakurako," I responded, deeply regretful but I had to know what was happening with Dolores. I could not allow you to become involved, so excusing myself was the only thing I could do.

I hurried home, fretting over the mysterious message. I did not dare glance at anyone on the way back, fearing I would see the apparition once more. When I made it home I locked the door and went straight to my study to think. Poor Hannah was worried over how little I spoke to her then, and I regret not putting on a calm façade to keep her from feeling bad.

There was no mistaking that the writing belonged to the one I had lost. After years of wondering, I finally had a chance to learn what happened. I was sacred though—who would not be, faced with how the girl in white's eyes looked? I hated thinking that was my Dolores. What could take her innocence like that?

After an unendurable passing of time, it was eleven o'clock at night. I slipped out and weaved my through the celebrating masses. The Nannies tossed sweets to the happy Nymphets and Humberts carried huge baskets to collect sweets for their mistresses. How I wanted to surrender and play with them, but could never! Not when I was so close.

The cemetery was deserted when I arrived, or at least it looked that way at first. A ghostly light hovered over the graves, and I recognized that it was over the general spot of Dolores' empty casket. My heart beating rapidly, I slowly approached the light. Up close, I saw it was a figure holding a candelabrum, the light illuminating the grave stone of Dolores. I faced the figure, my every instinct urging me to run away.

"Dolores?" I whispered fearfully.

"So this is my grave," the figure spoke wryly. "I had no body to be preserved and displayed. Oh, how I wished to be frozen in time like that, admired eternally in death."

"Dolores," I said, "where did you go? Have you returned from the grave to see me?"

"I never died," Dolores said. "Not in the sense you're thinking of. Quick, let's go to the church."

She silently lead the way, me following meekly. The church doors opened with a groan, candles burning eerily with a blue light all over. I could see her more clearly now. It was undoubtedly Dolores.

My emotions threatened to overflow and spill all over. "Dolores! What are you doing here!? Please, answer me!"

She set her candelabrum on a pew, and strode over to me. Without answering my question, she grasped my hands. We began to dance a waltz, her leading. It was so nostalgic I began to shed tears. I was a fresh Nymphet once again, Dolores teaching me how to be good and proper like she had before.

"I love you," Dolores said sadly. "I always have, my dear. I missed you so."

I looked into those pitiful eyes of hers, seeing only sadness and loss in them. "Why did you leave me, Dolores?" I asked. "We all thought you had died. Fallen into the treacle and drowned."

Dolores laughed bitterly. "Yes, I wanted you to think I drowned and my body forever lost. I had to do that so you wouldn't come looking for me. I had to escape."

"Escape? Escape from where?"

"Here, of course. The World of Eternity."

"But why? Outside it's cold, dark, and unloving."

"Is it?"

"Yes!"

Dolores smiled chillingly at me. "Yes, it is," she said. "But the World of Eternity, as fun and beautiful as it is, is empty. My memories of my Parents had returned to me one day, and they were good people. I was wrong in thinking I was their servant. They served me, attended to my every need. What was I Saved from? Not the tyrants we're told all Parents are."

"No!" I insisted. "It's a trick! Something was trying to fool you!"

"I needed to get out," Dolores continued. "A foreigner named Miraju came to me, and said I could leave with her, but on one condition: I had to give my dreams to her. So I accepted and faked my death."

"Your dreams?" I asked. "What do you mean?"

"My dream was to make you my bride," Dolores said. "I wanted Miraju to take you with me, but you were so happy here that I felt I couldn't. I vowed to return when you were wiser to explain. But my dreams are all gone now. I'm only allowed to dream of what Miraju wants me to."

I struggled to understand what she was talking about. We danced in silence for a time.

"Would you wish to come with me?" Dolores asked. "It's painful to not have dreams at first, but you become accustomed to it. If you're good, you can have a few dreams back, and the power you receive is intoxicating…"

My mind reeled at the blasphemous statements Dolores spoke. Dreams are what separate the Nymphets from the Parents and Humberts! A Nymphet's dreams are sacred, the joy of being a child. Growing up meant losing your dreams, to become lost forever in a slow, living death.

"No!" I spoke resolutely. "No, Dolores! I'll never give up my dreams!"

Our dance abruptly ceased, as though Dolores were a wind-up doll that just lost mobility. Dolores stared at with those terrible, dreamless eyes for a moment, then she softened. "I understand," she said softly and evenly, although tears welled up at the corners of her eyes. She brought me close and kissed me on the lips. We stood there, locked together. Her warm, sweet lips made me want to change my mind. My weak will nearly gave out, but she withdrew the second before I could say anything more.

"Good bye, my love," Dolores said somberly. "I shall think of you always."

Dolores suddenly burst into a nimbus of ghastly of ghostly blue fire. Terrified, I slowly backed away as she dissolved into azure petals of flame. For a brief moment her unholy light filled that accursed church with a brilliance that I was sure would summon the authorities. Then she and the candles were gone. I was all alone in the darkness in a church as silent as the grave.

I hurried home after that, trying to convince myself this was all a nightmare. Every time I close my eyes I see Dolores, drained of youthful hope and ambition. It is the most horrible sight, a beauty who will forever look 12-years-old with the eyes of an ancient monster dead at the bottom of the sea. There is a great evil at work I fear, preying on our dreams. We must be vigilant. Do not let false memories of the Parents sway you! Our lives in the World of Eternity are beautiful and worth fighting for! It is far better to always be 12-years-old than to grow up and lose your dreams. What kind of villain would take that away? Beware this Miraju and her mischief.

I am very scared now, Sakurako. To answer your question that day, I say yes! Be my bride, and we can face this together. I love you, Sakurako, and I need your youthful strength to survive this crisis. I shall be waiting to hear what you say.

Love,

Charlotte


Author's note: Another Halloween short story for your enjoyment. This took very little time to write, considering the plot did not come together until just a little while before I began writing.

This was a very different story for me to write. I prefer writing in a third-person narrative, enjoying the freedom that gives me. For this story, I tried to make it like an H. P. Lovecraft tale, or one of the chapters of Dracula. The other big difference is the lolita complex theme. I am not a loli-com and it is sexually uninteresting to me. I wanted to challenge myself by writing a story with only little girls as important characters though, explore what kind of strange society they might have. I hope the implications of the World of Eternity give you a queasy feeling. That, I think, is the true horror of this piece, much worse than anything our heroine found frightening.