*This is the origin of a character from my “Poppy McLain” series. You can find the other stories underneath my folder titled “Adventures of Poppy and others”. Gacha Club characters are on my wall. Enjoy!*
“STOP IT! LET ME GO!" Damien shrieked. Aunt Janet wouldn’t let him go, she was dragging him away, taking him far from those who loved him.
Damien was a young four year old boy who had witnessed his Aunt Janet torture his own father.
He and his little twin sister, Ivy, whom he was only a minute older than, had heard their father screaming in the basement from the bedroom that they shared. They were fighting over who had to go to bed first, since neither of them wanted to sleep, but had stopped when they heard their father's pained cries.
The two of them followed the noise and had found their Aunt Janet, cackling at their poor Dad, who was covered in his own blood, missing an eye and crying. Crying. He was crying.
Until that day, they never knew that adults could cry. They thought it was something only kids did.
Come to think of it, their Dad was acting quite odd after Aunt Janet arrived.
Damien remembered his Mom letting Aunt Janet live with them, because she had no home and she was Dad’s close friend. At least, that was what Mom and Dad said whenever he asked.
But every night, Damien would hear strange noises. He thought maybe it was the house, because it was old.
As she was dragging him away, he wondered if it was something more, because Dad always had such terrible, gashing, red scars on his hands and face. It only happened after Aunt Janet arrived. Mom asked him if he was okay and Dad always said “yes”, but Damien wondered if he was lying, because he never looked okay.
Aunt Janet always gave Dad strange looks, like she wanted him to keep a secret, but why?
Ivy and Damien tried to help Dad, they really did. But what more could they do? They were so little, so weak. Aunt Janet, with a wild and crazed look in her eyes, and rotten, bloodied hands, had chased them both away, threatening to rip them apart and hurt them like she had done with their Dad. Mom wasn’t there to save them, either. She was away. Away, at a time when Damien’s heart beat rapidly in his chest for the hope of salvation.
They both tried to run away, but Aunt Janet had caught Damien and was dragging him away from his house, further and further. Where was Ivy? He didn’t know. He could only hope that she was safe.
After much walking, he could feel the cold air on his face, could see the moon in the infinite black sky. Aunt Janet had clamped a hand over his mouth to stop his screams.
He recognized the path of trees as the very woods that he and Ivy would run in before coming back home.
Aunt Janet’s hand seemed to clamp down tighter, the world went black, everything around Damien disappeared…
Damien woke up in a clearing in the woods. His body felt…different…stiffer…
"What…happened…to…me?" Damien asked her. He felt trapped within his own body, and he didn’t know how to explain it.
Aunt Janet stood over him, smiling like a madwoman. Damien didn’t dare get up, not in front of her.
Perhaps everyone back home was safe, safe away from Aunt Janet. But what, exactly, had she done to him?
"I killed you earlier, but then I realized that it was so incredibly boring! So, I turned you into a life-size, living doll instead! You can still physically grow, but only in doll form. You’ll always be such a doll. Isn’t that wonderful?” Aunt Janet asked with a grin.
If Damien could move, he’d raise an eyebrow. But he couldn’t. Surely, she must have poisoned him, right? There was no way people could be turned into dolls.
"Want proof? I'll show you." Aunt Janet said. She took Damien’s cold, hard hand and smashed it against her own, pieces of porcelain hitting the grass.
"You're going to make a pretty doll in my new house.” Aunt Janet said.
Damien jerked his hand away, deciding that he had enough and that he was going back to his family, away from the woman who made him an oddity.
Damien, with much difficulty, ran for his life.
"Hey! Get back here, doll-boy!" Aunt Janet called out, running after him.
But he didn’t stop. Not for one second.
He had outrun Aunt Janet a while ago.
So why was he still running? To look for his family? Where was his family? How could he not remember how to get home? He and Ivy played in the woods all the time, why didn’t he remember?
Damien plopped down on the grass and cried, cold tears feeling cursed on his artificial face. His ball-jointed legs couldn’t run much too far, and he didn’t remember the way back.
He was hopelessly lost.
"Why are you crying?" Someone asked.
Damien looked up to see who was talking to him.
A little girl with long, brown hair in braids, a pink dress, and in a dark blue coat stared at him. She looked she was about his age. She had wore brown boots, dirtied boots that reminded Damien of boots that Ivy would wear. They were beautiful boots, lovely boots.
For the first time that day, Damien looked at what he was wearing.
A suit. He was wearing pajamas before, but maybe his clothes changed once he turned into a doll-boy.
The girl sat next to him, ready to listen patiently. She was a stranger, but she was someone. Damien told her his entire story of how his Dad got hurt, how he got turned into a doll, and how he was worried about his family.
"Don't worry. I'll help you find your family." The girl smiled.
"You will?" Damien asked. He didn’t know how, but if she said that she could do it, then she could.
"Of course I will! My name is Bronte, what's yours?"
"Damien...Bronte, what are you doing out here?" Damien asked. Not that much people lived near Damien and his family, but maybe she was lost, too.
"Oh, me? I ran away from my family." Bronte said.
"Why would you do that? Aren't they worried about you?" Damien asked. He couldn’t fathom why anyone would want to run from their own family.
"No, they aren't. My family isn’t like your family. They don’t like me."
"Why? You're really nice. Why don’t they like you?" Damien asked. Nothing was making much sense that day.
"Because I can do this." Bronte said.
She clapped her hands and out of nowhere, lighting stroke. Then, a thunderstorm.
Damien gazed at her in awe.
"Did you cause that thunderstorm to happen?" Damien asked, wide-eyed.
"I sure did!” Bronte beamed proudly.
"But that's so cool! Why would your family not like you?" Damien asked. If she were his sister, he would play with her all day, just so he could see her make thunderstorms. The rain wasn’t that bad. If anything, it was like a waterfall.
"I don't know why. Maybe because I'm different." Bronte said, shrugging. There was a flicker of tears in her eyes, something Damien saw in his Dad ever since Aunt Janet came.
That day, he did what he could never do with his Dad. What Dad pushed him away for.
He gave Bronte a hug.
"Hey! Kids! Wake up!"
Damien and Bronte opened their eyes to the sound of the booming, overly cheerful voice.
Whoa, it was another day already? They must have slept through the whole night!
They noticed a man in a ringmaster outfit standing over them. He had kind eyes and a set of white, bright teeth.
"Do you kiddos have anyone home to go to?" The man asked, seeming to grin wider. He must have been a very good man to offer his help. That was what Damien solely believed, deep down.
"My friend Bronte doesn't. But I do. I have family, I just don't know where they are. My name is Damien, by the way." Damien said.
Bronte smiled at Damien in thanks and he smiled back. Hunter was going to help them, Hunter was going to save them.
"It's a pleasure to meet you two! My name is Hunter!" The man said, sticking out a white gloved hand for him to shake. Damien shook it.
Hunter had such a funny voice and he wore such sparkly clothes! Clearly, Hunter liked to have fun.
"How would you like it if you kids lived in my circus?" Hunter asked.
"We'd love it!" They said in unison.
Of course, they didn't know what Hunter meant by a “circus”, because they had never been to a circus. They just wanted to be around the nice man.
"Great! If your family comes looking for you, Damien, I'll give you to them. Bronte, you can go with Damien when he gets out. For now, you'll both have to stay with me…" Hunter trailed off.
The naive children smiled at each other and each took a hand of Hunter's.
With that, Hunter took them far away, to his circus…