"...don't know, it's dress is all tatty."
"Do you think she would want it back?"
"Maybe she'll give us a treat if we did!"
"It looks broken to me, why would she want this piece of junk back?"
"Who knows, she's weird."
"Yeah I don't like her anyway, let's just leave it."
Disturbed by the voices you sit up and roll your eyes open, all your joints feel stiff like you've been asleep for months as you rub some feeling into your face. For a moment all you can see is hazy blur of muted greens and browns before you as your eyes focus on the three indistinct figures before you, bright swirling colours that seem to dance in your vision.
"Maybe it's not broken after all?"
"But it's so dirty...."
Three voices are raised in that special whisper that little girls use that aren't really whispers at all, tentatively you call out to the hidden speakers.
"E-excuse me? Are the spots in my eyes speaking or is someone there?"
A chorus of gasps.
"I've never seen one do that before..."
"Who is it calling a spot?"
As you're finally able to see straight the blobs before you resolve themselves into a trio of girls each with four gossamer wings attached to their backs and clothed in elaborate little dresses. Even more peculiarly each one floats a few inches off of the ground with no apparent effort, hovering in place like motionless dragonflies. Huddling together they watch you suspiciously, one girl with blond hair in bunches and one girl with long black hair look at you with sparkling curiosity, the other blond girl with hair in odd ringlets gives you a more surly stare. Suddenly you feel very small and alone.
"Excuse me," You say again. "Where am I?"
A glances passes quickly through the gaggle of girls and some kind of unspoken argument breaks out between them, eventually the one with ringlets answers you.
"You're in the forest." She said simply.
Turning away from them momentarily, your neck seeming to creak in protest as you do, it becomes quite evident that; yes, you are in a forest of some kind. Against your back you feel the rough texture of bark as you sit propped up against one of the hundreds of trees here, all around you as far as you can see are trees of every kind. Big ones with broad leaves and little ones with dark green spikes as well as all kinds in between, the ground is littered with a soft scattering of fallen leaves and brown needles.
"Yes, I can see that." You respond as simply as she spoke. "And where is the forest?"
"Where?" She seems confused by your question and frowns at you. "It's here! Where else would it be?"
Seemingly satisfied with her answer Miss Ringlets turns back to Miss Bunches and Miss Long with her hands on her hips, you notice that each wears some kind of ornamentation. A Moon, a Star, a Sun. Maybe Miss Moon, Star and Sun would be better names for them? Ignoring you Miss Moon speaks bossily to the other two.
"Even if it can talk it's obviously broken, let's go do something else."
"But why is it here?" Miss Star asks of her friend.
"Probably got thrown out for being broken," Miss Moon shrugs. "Who cares? Let's go!"
As Miss Moon and Miss Star begin to float off into the sky, like dandelion seeds on a breeze, a sudden feeling of panic takes you. Where are you? Who are they? What's going on? Suddenly you're on the verge of tears, just because these odd girls are about to leave you all alone. You don't know what is going on but you desperately don't want to be alone now.
You wish your mother was here to comfort you.
"But she looks so sad...."
Miss Sun hasn't moved, instead she gazes at you almost wistfully as her friends tug on her arms to get her moving. Did she just call you "she"?
"It's junk, broken things always look sad!" Miss Moon snaps.
"She's right, when I broke my favorite comb the other day I almost burst into tears." Miss Star adds.
"Just leave it."
With a note of finality Miss Moon gives a toss of her hair in your direction and tries to urge Miss Sun into action again.
You don't want to be alone.....
[ ] "I am not an it! And I am not broken!"
[ ] "Please, don't go away! I'm lost!"
[ ] "I'm looking for my mother, can you help me? Please?"
Furious you stand up and feel every click in your legs as you do, it doesn't hurt but the sensation is very uncomfortable. Your ragged skirt swishing around your knees you stride boldly up to Miss Moon, yet even at your full height each one of them of them is huge compared to you. Towering over you from where they float above the detritus on the ground, it makes your knees shake as the difference in size sets in.
"I am not an it!" You wail fiercely at them. "And I am not broken!"
"Oh really? But we can hear you rattling from here!"
It's true, as your legs shake they make clattering sound as if some tiny thing were loose in them, a bead in a tin can sound that makes you think of horrible skeletons chasing a frightened girl. Miss Moon sneers at you while her friends exchange a bashful look.
"You're just a silly little toy that doesn't know it's broken, I bet you don't even have a name!"
"I do too!" Your voice sounds thin and reedy, like it was being sucked up by all the empty space in the air. Being so big Miss Moon must have enough voice to spare as she sounds very loud to you.
"I have a name! My mother gave it to me!"
"Then what is your name?" She taunts. "I bet it's something like 'Begging Finnish Doll' or something like that!"
"It...It is not!"
"Then what is your name?"
Don't know, you catch yourself before saying that as anything would be better than proving this girl right. Yet, why can't you remember your name? You know mother gave you one, you can almost remember it but whenever you think you're about to see her face and hear her voice it all just slips from your mind. Why does this have to happen to you? You've lost the precious name mother gave you!
"Yeah, what is your name?"
Drawn in by one, the other two girls begin to ask as well with a nasty note in their voices. You thought that Miss Star and Miss Sun were nice....
"I'm not telling you!" Is all you can say.
"That's because you don't have one!" Miss Moon says triumphantly, folding her arms with smug satisfaction.
"I bet your mother didn't want to name you because you were broken to begin with!"
"She just threw you out without a second glance!"
"I bet you were a mistake!"
"My mother loved me!"
Screaming your pain, your anguish, you spit those words into her horrible leering face as she leans down to torment you. All those terrible words are making you feel sick, making your chest hurt and your eyes sore with unwept tears. The three girls loom over you, jabbing you with nasty names and all manner of cruel things, making you feel small and pathetic.
Breaking into giggles the trio ignore you. Even as your pump your little legs so hard the crunching in your joints sounds like gravel. Even as you coil yourself up like a spring and leap at them with all your might they don't notice.
However when you landed on Miss Moon's dress and began to climb up, then they noticed.
"Get it off meeeeee!" Miss Moon's shrill cry went up as you clambered your way, hand over hand, up her dress. Suddenly they aren't laughing any more, instead they fill the forest with their shouts and calls of surprise. Vigorously Miss Moon tries to shake you off as she squeals indignantly, failing to free herself of you as you climb ever higher with teeth clenched.
"Hold still Luna!"
"It's in my haiiiiiir!'
Up the shoulders, over the neck you grab two thick handfuls of the girl's soft curls and hold on for dear life, broken or not if you fell from here you'd be in pieces for sure then. You're not even pulling on her now, she's doing it to her self as she shakes her head around sending your legs flying out under you forcing you to grip the golden strands.
"Luunaaa! Stop moving!"
Giant hands try to grab you but miss as Miss Luna, as she seems to be called, thrashes about. More often than not the other girls grab chunks of hair and wrench on that rather than grabbing you, making things all the worse. Shutting your eyes tight you dig your fingers in deeper and try to imagine a way out of this, you're so stupid! What were you thinking?
A sudden rush of wind around you catches at your messy dress and one of your shoes falls far to the floor, peeking a look through one eye you see the ground zooming away from underneath you. She's flying away!
Oh dear, oh no! You think. Whatever will I do now? If she drops me I'll surely be broken! Oh I wish my mother were here! She'd hold me and make everything better!
Over and over Miss Luna tumbles through the air, trying to rid herself of her unwanted passenger. Rolling and diving like a bird she swoops and weaves sending you flailing around. You think she might be screaming still but you can't possibly hear it over the rushing wind.
A sudden jerk snatches you away from your spooked ride as she turns a sharp corner to avoid a tree, soon you're wheeling through the air with nothing to stop you now. The sky and the ground trade places over and over as if they were chasing one another for fun. Oh dear me...
With a mighty crash you plop into a murky puddle, sending the dirty water flying all around like an explosion. Down and down you sink as tendrils of filth drift around you, disturbed by your abrupt entry. Disgusted by this dark and wet place you waft your limbs desperately through the water trying to get to the surface. It resists you on every stroke and every kick, it feels like your body is made of stone and your saturated clothes try to drag you down. Thankfully you find the strength to go on and break through the surface once more, albeit with less of a show and a spray then when you entered it.
Grabbing the muddy edge of puddle you pull yourself out feeling wretched and miserable. If that puddle hadn't been there to break your fall you wouldn't be sitting here now but looking at your soaking dress, your muddy hands, your filthy hair and your missing shoe you almost wish you hadn't. Plucking at a strand from your head you can't even tell what colour it's suppose to be, the mud has stained it greenish brown for now.
Softly you cry by the water's edge, longing for your mother to come and make it all better. She'd pick you up and take you home where she'd give you a bath and make you a new dress. She'd fix your joints so they didn't rattle and give you a new pair of shoes, then put you to sleep in your own little bed by hers.
Oh dear, you've cried so much you've given yourself hiccups! Sadly you watch the little spiders as they skate across the surface of the water, you probably scared them when you fell in.
You whisper an apology to the skating spiders, they just flit around like elegant dancers.
"They don't mind, although you did give them quite a fright!"
A huge, booming voice from above shocks you out of self pity. Sat atop what looks like an upside down stove with a friendly smile on it's face is a giant with boyish green hair, it looks down at you with amusement on it's face as a swarm of insects clouds around her head.
"Wh-what are you?" You stammer, everything forgotten in the face of this colossus.
"Me? I'm Wriggle Nightbug, what's your name?"
She seems, almost friendly. Compared to those big girls from before at least.
[ ] "I don't know, can you help me find my mother?"
[ ] "I don't have a name because I'm broken!"
[ ] Cry.
So yeah, it's impossible to find a picture of Wriggle smoking. That's to be expected I suppose.
"My name? I don't remember...."
"You don't?" The giant named Wriggle looks surprised, even the insects drifting around her seem to change how they fly as she raises her eyebrows at you.
"Could I ask you to lower your voice please?" You say timidly. "It's awful loud..."
"Huh? Oh, well how about this?"
Shifting from where she sits, Wriggle lays on her stomach and reaches out to you with her hands held open, the cloud of bugs following her as she does.
She says gently, cautiously you step into those outstretched hands and she brings you closer to her face, a big smile welcomes you as she does.
"B-be careful! I'm all dirty now, I don't want to make you dirty as well...."
"It's alright, I won't mind. Here!"
Balancing you in one hand the giant reaches into a pocket with the other and produces a small handkerchief, working gently she begins to rub the mess from your clothes and hair.
"Is this better?" She says, much more softly now. "Not too loud?"
"It's m-much better thank you."
Oh dear, you're such a wet blanket. Already you feel tears of gratitude welling up inside you as she wipes the muck from your face, you wish you weren't so easily driven to crying. Wriggle seems oblivious to your turmoil as you screw up your courage to fend off another wave, that or she politely ignores it.
"So, what's this about not knowing your name?"
"I." It sounds very strained when you talk so you swallow and try again. "I know I have one, my mother gave it to me. I just don't remember what it is..."
"Is that so~?"
Downcast you flop yourself heavily onto Wriggle's big hand, even though you feel a little better about things now you've met Wriggle it doesn't change the fact you don't know what your name is or where your mother is. Content to let Wriggle finish cleaning you up in silence you close your eyes and try to picture your mother's face, you're sure she's very pretty but you can't exactly remember her features. In fact you're having a very hard time remembering anything at all from before the time you were woken up by those girls from before, there are memories from before that but they're hazy. Nothing specific comes to mind, just vague sensations and feelings of a happier time.
No! You're not going to cry again, you'll have no more tears left if you carry on like this.
"There, all done!"
Opening your eyes once more you see Wriggle tucking the now muddy hankie back into her pocket, with no regard for how it might sully her clothes. Wriggle regards you with a pleasant look on her face, she's a nice person for a giant you think.
"Miss Wriggle?" You begin.
"Hmm?" She buzzes in response, the breath from her nose jostling your hair.
"Will, will you help me find my mother?"
She goes quiet and sets you down on the cool metallic surface of the upturned stove, crosses her legs and looks pensive for a while, considering your request. Feeling more tiny than ever at her massive feet you huddle your shoulders together and try to stop your knees from rattling again. All around her head the insects dart to and fro in a complex dance, there's so many of them you're surprised they don't crash into each other but each one orbits without so much as glancing into another. Time passes, you're not sure how much but it feels like it's been a very long time to you.
Still she hasn't said anything, maybe she's trying to think of a nice way to say no? You can hardly blame her if she does, she's got no reason to help out a lost little doll like you after all. Maybe even if she says no she'll let you stay with her for a while, as you look for mother...
"I'll gladly help!"
Out of no where she suddenly booms her support, just like that! Just when you thought she wasn't going to help you she says she will! Oh Wriggle, you're the best! Is what you try to say but your voice catches in your throat, you're so grateful. Unable to say anything you settle for dashing up to her over sized foot and wrapping your arms around it,laughing she picks you up again and brings you close to her face once again. You hug her long fingers instead.
"I was thinking, I have a friend in a field of flowers far away from here. She knows someone who might be able to help you out, Yuuka says her friend knows a lot about dolls."
"W-wriggle's the best!"
You finally manage to say it, sheepishly Wriggle tugs at one of her dangling antenna with a prideful grin.
"We can go there now, if you'd like?"
Enthusiastically you nod.
"Great, in that case: can you fly?"
"Huh?" You frown at the silly giant. "I'm just a doll, how can I fly?"
"Well I thought I was just a firefly but it turned out I was more than just that!"
Puffing out you cheeks you retort.
"But fireflies can fly anyway! It's in the name! Dolls don't fly, unless they're thrown..."
"Well I just assumed because you're like..." Wriggle trails off mid-sentence and holds you up for a close look, peering at your back she finally says.
"That's why! You've not got your wings, all her others had wings after all. Maybe if we got you a pair, you could fly?"
Winking Wriggle sets you back down again and holds up one finger with a knowing sparkle in her eye, could this giant really give you wings? Come to think of it those girls from before had wings and they could fly, although you think their wings would be a bit big on you. You wonder if Wriggle can fly too?
You were so preoccupied with that train of thought that you didn't notice the moth until it was alighting on Wriggle extended finger, it's easily the biggest moth you've ever seen although you're not sure how many you have seen when it comes down to it. Whatever the case you're fascinated by it with it's fat little body, shimmering eyes that seem to catch everything at once and fluffy antenna that twitch and stroke Wriggle's in some kind of silent communication. What gets your attention most of all though are it's wings, easily they're as broad as you are tall, like two shabby bits of grayish purple cloth they beat the air slowly. Putting her finger to the ground the moth trundles off and creeps towards you, waving it's fluffy antenna at you.
"My friend here says you can have his wings, I know they're not as colorful as a butterfly's but they'll do the job!"
"Oh no! I couldn't possibly accept, if I took his wings he wouldn't be able to fly!"
As if he could understand what you're saying the moth wriggles he way closer and begins to stroke your face with his antenna, close up you can see his wings are very frayed around the edges and those sparkling eyes look tired for some reason.
"He's already had his babies and he's near the end of his life now, moths don't live for very long you see." Translating Wriggle indicates the pitted edges on Mr Moth's wings, a sad note in her voice.
"He said he was always proud of how big his wings were though and he wants you to have them, so they won't die when he does."
"That's so sad..."
"He says not to be sad, he had a very good life for a moth and all his babies will have his pattern when they grow up so he's ready to pass on. He wants to help you before he goes though."
"Mr Moth, thank you."
Unafraid of his strange little legs, his alien face or his curly tongue you wrap the frail moth up in your arms and hold him close, to show your gratitude. Fluffy antenna caress your hair for a moment, then the feeling fades away and your arms are left empty.
"It's done..." Wriggle breaths softly, when you open your eyes you can't see Mr Moth anywhere. Casting about you look for him, to see if maybe he walked away and he's standing behind you or something but as you swing around you over balance and fall on your bum. You feel a little heavier on your back for some reason...
"Most of the you see fairy wings on a doll, probably because you'll never run out of them I suppose." Wriggle says mysteriously. "But I think those suit you in a way."
Looking cautiously behind you, slowly so as not to fall over again by losing your balance, you spot something big and of a sort of grayish purple colour behind you. It drifts into sight and out again, there it is again! Attached to your back are now a pair of brilliant moth wings, stemming from a little hole in your tattered dress. Marveling at them you twirl around and feel the breeze flowing around them, then fall over again laughing.
Cupping your hands around your tiny mouth you call out to the sky.
"Thank you Mister Moth!"
For the next few minutes you practiced flying under Wriggle's guidance, at first tumbling through the air clumsily you were reminded of your first time flying with Miss Luna and that made you nervous. As you became more courageous though you soon began to enjoy your self, playing games of chase with myriad of gnats and such so attracted to Wriggle or seeing how fast you could go. You might not fly quite as elegantly as Mr Moth did once but fancy you look quite graceful with your wonderful new wings, you can't wait to show your mother!
"What's wrong?" Wriggle inquired.
"I was having so much fun that I forgot about mother." You answer a little ashamed, tapping her shoulder Wriggle invites you to sit down.
"I think that's fine, you can't be worried all the time right?"
Agreeing you nod, this is the best you've felt since waking up.
"If you think you're ready to try flying with me, we can go find my friend if you'd like?"
"Yeah, let's go!" You say hopping off her shoulder.
Keeping up with Wriggle was a chore, even with Wriggle slowing down to let you catch up you had to push yourself a lot to keep going, maybe for someone Wriggle sized it was only a short journey but for you it was very long indeed! At first you amused yourself by weaving in and around Wriggle like her insect friends, pretending you were a moth yourself but that tired you out after a while. By the time you left the cover of the trees it wasn't an exaggeration to say you were feeling exhausted, you refused to say anything however as meeting Wriggle's friend was far too important.
Beyond the forest was a vast sea of yellow sunflowers, each one turning it's face to the sun to drink of it's brilliance. Oh dear, even the flowers are bigger than you in this place! As you and Wriggle swooped over those glorious blooms you noticed how still and quiet it was here, other than a few bees that would buzz lazily over to Wriggle once in a while there was no sign of any animals. Even the birds didn't fly over this field.
"If we find Yuuka first then she can find her friend for you." Wriggle said, calling over the wind. "Look for someone with hair like mine!"
Hair like hers? Does she mean green or does she mean short like a boy's? Come to think of it, you don't know what colour your hair is since you haven't checked it since it was all muddy. Maybe you'll check in a moment when you're not flying....
Wriggle's sudden shout surprises you making you flinch in the face of it's volume, a wave of sound that crashes into you, slipping off course you crash head first into one of the tallest sunflowers. A cloud of pollen poofs out in front of you, sending you falling dizzily to the earth, thankfully catching yourself just before impact.
You mutter to yourself as you brush the pollen off, a fine yellow powder that sticks to your dress stubbornly. Knocking off the dust with sharp flicks of your hand you look around, the stems of the sunflowers tower over you like the trees of the forest did almost blocking out the sun. Well, it's not a problem as you can just fly up above them now but it's a very intimidating thing to be down here, it feels like there could be something big and dangerous hiding in here.
"Little Miss Doll? Where are you?"
High above your head you hear Wriggle calling out for you, concern evident in her voice. You try calling back.
"I'm okay, I'll be back up in a second!"
However you doubt she heard your tiny yell, sighing you wish you weren't quite so small. You don't want so much really, being as big as those girls from before would be enough for you.
A deep, female voice speaks above you in subtle tones.
"Well, well, well. What have we here? I do wish those humans wouldn't keep using my garden as a junk heap, maybe I should teach them a lesson."
[ ] "I am not junk! People should stop saying that!"
[ ] "Who is there? Are you Wriggle's friend?"
[ ] It's a monster! Run away!
Wasn't really intended as a wall but this story will be quite short so I will avoid vestigial choices.
Tempted to call it a night for now but you're only two choices or so from a ending. A good one I mean. Like I said, short.
However I'm getting tired and the write does not flow, plus it's not a sure thing you'll go for the ending and if you did I'm not sure if I can give it justice while dry. So yeah, unless sudden inspiration comes this is it for tonight. Back whenever tomorrow, even if you go for the later ending it's possible to end it in one thread with a good prevailing wind in the brain.
Who said that? Casting about you look this way and that, the forest of stems zipping past your eyes with each flick of your eyes. You're being silly, why would anyone be on your level in a land of giants? You'll have to get used to ignoring the crick in your neck when you look up to see who is talking it seems, unless you want to talk to the ants and beetles all day. Maybe they're close enough to hear you?
"Excuse me? Is someone there?"
Suddenly you're lurched into the air, a pair of giant's fingers plucking you up by the hem of your collar you're held in a vice like grip, you can't get out no matter how hard you struggle! Up and up you go, above the bright manes of the sunflowers once more.
"What's this? Those wings, I hope you're not here to eat my clothes."
Two great, big, ruby red eyes framed with such very long eyelashes bore into you, they look sedate and calm but dangerous like a cat's. A pair of pretty lips are pursed before you in disapproval, you try not to think about what kind of teeth they might hide.
"Oh no! I'm not a moth, Mr Moth and Miss Wriggle gave them to me!" Quickly you explain yourself, that look is making you nervous again. "Are you Miss Wriggle's friend?"
Slowly the giant blinks, you think she might be the biggest giant you've seen so far, risking a glance down you see you're well above the flowers but aren't even flying! Oh dear me, you do hope she's friendly!
Surely anyone friends with someone like Wriggle has to be just as nice, surely?
You can't turn in the giant's fingers to look behind you but you hear Wriggle's booming voice again, a patch of darkness falls over you as a shadow draws near. This new giant isn't looking at you anymore, eyes drifting past you with an amused smile on her face.
"You found Miss Doll!" Wriggle exhales with relief, you're glad she found you too.
"Wriggle is this....thing, yours?" The giant says with a tease. "Boys shouldn't play with dolls, Wriggle."
"Yuuuukaaa!" Wriggle moans.
"And boys don't cry either," As Wriggle groans Yuuka twists you in her hand and presents you to a despondent Wriggle. "Alright I'll give you your toy back. Isn't it a bit tatty though?"
"She's not mine, Yuuka." Wriggle says as she takes you back, carefully you climb onto her shoulder and listen quietly.
"And I don't think she looks tatty too! This is Yuuka," Wriggle says, gesturing from you to her. "And Yuuka, this is my new friend. She's looking for-"
"Walk with me."
Yuuka says simply, cutting Wriggle off then strolling away without a word. It's very rude of her to cut someone off like that but Wriggle doesn't seem to mind, obidently she follows after and takes a place beside her taller friend. In silence, they take a walk through the flowers.
Occasionally Yuuka reaches down to touch Wriggle's head, to stroke her hair or rub her ear making Wriggle flush with the attention but neither of them make so much as a sound.
These two make a very odd pair you think, are they really friends? Yuuka does seem a but mean to you but Wriggle is smiling a little, despite all the teasing, very odd indeed. Now you've gotten a better look at her Yuuka really is the biggest giant you've met so far, she's even taller than Wriggle who was taller than the winged girls. She's very pretty as well, in a beautiful red checkered dress and a white shirt that makes you wish your dress looked like hers. She's got green hair like Wriggle but hers is curly, almost bouncy unlike Wriggle's flat and boyish cut.
"So, to what do I owe the pleasure of this visit, dear?"
Abruptly Yuuka stops walking and speaks, her voice quiet and content. Once again Wriggle doesn't seem confused by this and acts naturally, you find it very strange though.
"You said there's a girl who lives in the Suzuran flower patch?" Wriggle explains. "She knows about dolls right?"
"Tut, tut Wriggle." Yuuka says chidingly. "I never said that she knows of dolls. Although I suppose that she would have familiarity with such things, being one herself?"
"Your friend is a doll too?"
Unable to help yourself you blurt that out without any hint of manners, Yuuka frowns at you. Quickly you bow an apology without really knowing why, Yuuka accepts it however and ignores you.
"I could take you to meet Medicine if that is your desire."
"Thank you very much Yuuka!"
For the first time since you saw her you see Yuuka lose her composure for a moment, bowing her head slightly to conceal her happy little smile.
"Well it's the least I can do, seeing as you indulged an old lady after all." She says demurely.
"You're not old Yuuka, don't be silly! And I like coming to see you."
Yuuka actually seems embarrassed by Wriggle's affectionate outburst, turning her back on the smaller girl to hide her enjoyment of those words. Coyly Yuuka casts a glance over her shoulder and addresses you both.
"Are you coming?"
"What do you want to do, little Miss Doll?" Wriggle asks.
[ ] "I'd like to meet another doll like myself, let's go see Miss Medicine!"
[ ] "I don't think my mother was a doll but maybe she knows my mother?"