Nina Leigh spoke in soliloquies, monologues, rants and raves; her life was a One Woman Play. It opened and closed daily, and normally unfolded before an audience of one, one who paid such close attention that she mesmerized herself. Nina lived her life as a Tour de Force, but she never got the applause she sought for. Not until the Dollhouse called out for her.
There was an unquiet in her life that led her down the darkened avenue, past her own apartment building. She thought Miles was THE one, but…he was the one who got inside her panties, and left just as quickly. “It’s all his fault,” she thought, tearing at her clothes and hair as she stumbled down the road.
Out loud, Nina said: “It’s always their fault. Damn them for not understanding me!” Rip.
“I hate what they do to me!” Rend.
“I hate THEM ALL!”, and blood seeped down from the self inflicted wound she lanced across her brow. The blood tangled in her eyelashes, and caused her to see red. Stumbling, she righted herself while wiping away the caul of blood from her eyes. Squinting, she saw a flash of light come from inside the darkened store in front of her.
“The Abysmal Dollhouse? What a fucking name for a store!” She leaned against the glass, nose pressed to the side, as she peered inside, looking for the source of the quick burst that illuminated the inside for that brief second. Standing there only a moment, the light flicked on again, then off. Nina noticed it came from a dollhouse, set far back in the store.
It was in shadows, but the light flicked on and off again, and each time it did, Nina noticed more and more how…dark the dollhouse was. There was liquid on her lip, and she wiped it away, realizing as she did that it was drool, not blood. This alone shook her out of the daze she was in, and she was just about to turn away and go home.
The door to the shop unlocked and opened up.
Nina was frozen where she stood. The light from the dollhouse flashed in her eyes. On. Off. On. Off. On. On. On.
The light in the dollhouse lit up, and stayed lit. Nina walked into the shop, moving towards the dollhouse. She did not notice the door to the emporium close and lock behind her. She did not notice all the other dollhouses in the store vying for her attention as she was drawn to the one in the back.
As she passed by, sighs would have been heard, if she was listening. “Next One“, too, was ignored, as Nina walked by the large Tudor Dollhouse to her left.
“No, Mine!” whispered the Victorian.
“Mine!” echoed the hundred others on their perches.
Reaching the back dollhouse, Nina finally noticed the display sign: “Hall Manor, 1929. Three Murders, One Unsolved. Twenty Rooms, and a Theater in the Grand Ballroom.” The light from the dollhouse came from the bottom floor, and Nina had to bend down only slightly to peer inside, looking into the Grand Ballroom itself.
The walls of the dollhouse opened. The theater was lit, the curtains drawn, and a performer doll was center stage. Dressed in a long white dress of eyelets and lace, the face was harsh in it’s makeup. Severe black lines accented its jawlines, it’s cheeks, the eyes and mouth. The long black hair framed this all in darkness. Black laced gloved hand dripped red liquid.
Nina started to scream as the doll looked up at her. She tried to turn and run, but instead found herself on the stage itself, being held by the doll whose story was to unfold at this very moment.
The doll said: “It’s all his fault!“ as it tore at Nina’s clothes and hair.
“It’s always their fault. Damn them for not understanding me!” It screamed as it ripped into Nina.
“I hate what they do to me!” As blood ruptured from Nina’s mouth as the doll choked her with those red dripping hands.
“I hate THEM all!”, and the doll took an axe and chopped into Nina’s brow, and through, and down down down down…
…applause drifted through The Abysmal Dollhouse. The unfolding doll dropped the axe and took a bow. She then pointed to what was Nina Leigh, whose death was a true Tour de Force.
“Bravo, Nina Leigh. Bravo!”
Light’s down. Curtain closed.
The walls of Hall Manor slowly shut tight. The sign now read: “Hall Manor, 1929. Four Murders, Two Unsolved. Twenty Rooms, and a Theater in the Grand Ballroom.”