"How are you doing, Katie?" he asked keeping the lantern on the table, "I was worried that I hit your head too hard."
"Why am I here?"she asked scared seeing him rummage through the drawers, her hands and legs were tied with rope.
"You belong to the royal blood," he murmured, "You'll be good."
"Please untie me. You are mistaken, I do not belong to the royal blood," she pleaded but got no response from him. Her hands and feet were tied with rope to keep her in place so that she wouldn't escape, "If it's money that you want, I can get them to you but please let me go."
"Money is not what I need," he turned behind to look at her.
"What is it then?" she demanded to receive no response to her question instead the man left the room like she hadn't uttered a word.
The state she was in only fueled her imagination to the worst possibility with why he had got her here. The place looked the same as she had last visited, dusty and deserted. The silence only rattled her beating heart.
After few passing minutes Mr. Weaver got back to the room this time dragging a girl with him. He made the girl sit on the chair blocking the view and when he moved away, Katie gasped in horror. The girl was dead and the atmosphere was only getting contaminated with death.
"Now that you're awake. I will have you for my company until I complete my new doll."
"You made these?" she asked surprised.
"Beautiful, aren't they," he looked at the big sized dolls,"I've poured my soul into them even though their soul has left the shell. They will help me with the revenge," his words made her brows furrow in question before she looked alarmed.
"T-They aren't dolls," she stuttered, it wasn't a question.
"They aren't," he confirmed with a smile, his emotions not reaching his eyes and he looked no less than the dolls that surrounded them.
Katie saw him pick a bucket from the ground and placing it on the table. She noticed his hands were dirty, his finger nails muddy like he had dug the ground with his bare hands. Taking a metal rod he dipped it in the bucket before retracing it to put the white liquid on the girl's skin and she saw tiny little fumes evaporating into thin air.
The eyes that were closed were now wide open and hollow like many others that lied in the room. It didn't take much time to understand that he had mummified all of them, keeping them alive even after death.
"Why did you get me here?" she asked again and this time he answered her.
"To make you my ultimate doll," he kept the spatula that was in his hand on the table.
"What?" she whispered unable to believe what he just said, "But why? You're a good man Mr. Weaver-"
"No man is good after he has lost his dear ones," the Mr. Weaver interrupted her, turning back to look at her horrified expression, "After a certain point there is no goodness left in this world. I will find peace to my family once I'm done with you. It is time for atonement."
Atonement? Katie pondered over his words, did it mean the rumor about him was true.
"You killed your family," Katie stated and the bowl that was on the table containing paint splashed all over the wall.
The liquid dripped down in angry lines on the pale colored wall.
"Is that what they said?!" the man asked furious with his stiff back facing her, "They might be able to fool others but not me. Those bastards killed my family and now they have put the blame on me to avoid suspicion."
He got up from his seat and lifted the newly made doll to keep it down on the floor. He went to the nearest railing as if in deep thought.
"This world we live in has no mercy. No mercy," he whispered barely enough for her to hear, "We all live in the world that is controlled by lies and manipulation. Like any ordinary man I had a wife and a daughter. My wife died due to illness and soon my daughter followed, but my daughter lived. The cure wasn't found for the illness but the higher ups we so call took her away, and burnt her alive saying she was a witch. She was only thirteen. I can still hear her cries ringing in my ears at night. Listen to it," he said for her to hear the dead silence of the world apart from the crickets.
His words only made the hair in her body stand out of fear.
Katie didn't know what to say but feel sorry for the man.
"But doing this deed won't bring your family back," she argued.
"It won't but I vowed to repay the higher-ups one by one. Don't worry, you'll be the last doll Katie. You remind me of my little girl," he said walking across the room to pick a small knife before walking towards her.
"If that is so please untie my hands. Killing me is not going to bring your family back. Your daughter won't find peace this way neither will you," Katie pleaded to him but the man didn't say anything as he crouched down to her level.
Before she could move away from him, he caught hold of her hand and untied her hands to her surprise. She breathed out a sigh of relief thinking that the man had changed his mind but she was so wrong. Not a second later he slashed her wrist and she screamed in pain, due to the agonizing tear on her skin.
"S-stop...please!" she cried.
She felt a stab below her knees on one of her legs which only made her scream. He pushed the knife further into her flesh as she thrashed to get away from him. Tears streamed from her eyes blurring her vision in the process.
Blood trailed down her leg, staining the pale dress as it absorbed the liquid.
"I'll let you get used to the pain and will be back tomorrow to inflict the pain again my daughter suffered. As time passes by your life force will decrease and you will replace my daughter," he said taking throwing the knife on the other side of the room.
Putting his hand in his trouser pocket, he pulled out something that looked like a bundle of sticks tied together. On closer look she noticed that it was resembled a doll with arms and legs.
Without another word he took the lamp with him and went out before closing the door behind him.
She hadn't known a man was capable of such emotions. She hadn't done anything, nothing at all yet she was in this plight.
She felt it impossible to shift her leg as pain pierced through her entire body and she cried out of pain. Looking around her, she saw the doll that sat next to her and pulled the scarf from the girls neck, wrapping it around her wrist loosely while her good hand shook in fear on what was going to come next.
Katie felt tired and drained as though her life force was slowly leaving her body with every passing second.
How could anyone act this way? As sick as it was, it was hard for her to digest that she was sitting in a room filled of dead humans who were mummified as dolls. The thought nauseated her and felt her head throb.
Bringing them out like this meant ill omen.
The bodies were meant to be in the grave. They were part of the dead and belonged under the ground.
Not able to keep herself awake she fell unconscious to only be awake after few hours. With no window in the room she didn't know what hour of the day or night it was. He was an old man and if she tried, she could probably get out of this place, after all she hadn't heard him locking the door. Staying here would only result in her death and she didn't want to die.
She had dreams. Dreams that she had built to fulfill one day in the future. There were dreams that involved her family and even though they weren't here she wanted to pursue them by finding her cousin. Her mother had sacrificed her life to protect hers.