The doll housebyCharles Petersunn©
This story was inspired by an episode of The Twilight Zone (titled, "Miniature"), as well as the Toy Store movies, although only in the sense that toys might in fact be alive. There is also a bit of first time quality to the story. All of the characters within this story are at least eighteen years old.
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Milton Widdams was not a particularly happy man. He didn't have that much to be happy about. He was a lonely guy; actually, very lonely; and he really detested his job.
He was an accountant for a software company, Natech.
It paid well, or at least well enough. He really shouldn't complain. There were clearly hundreds, thousands, and likely millions of persons who had it far worse than him, at least with respect to finance and health. He was always reminded of that fact when he watched the news. So many persons died at a young age, or suffered major accidents, or illnesses, or injuries, or disasters. Yes, his life really wasn't that bad. He really shouldn't complain.
But, he did really hate his job. It was just so fucking boring. Why had he decided to become an accountant?
Actually, it really wasn't his decision. It had been largely his father's decision. His father had pretty much made all of his decisions in life. Milton had not been a particularly rebellious boy, to say the least. He was in fact rather agreeable, obedient, even compliant. He had never caused anybody any trouble, particularly his parents.
When he was in the sixth grade he took this psychological test that was supposedly good at telling him what career he should pursue. He wasn't at all sure what he wanted to do. He had always been good at math. He didn't particularly like math, but he was pretty good at it, so he endorsed the questions that concerned math.
He wasn't sure how to answer most of the other ones, so he answered in a manner that he figured his parents would like. Those were probably the correct answers, or at least the best ones. Anyway, its conclusion was that he wanted be an accountant.
He had been right in one respect: his father was very pleased with the result.
His father had also been an accountant. He felt that such skills would always be useful, if not necessary, even in times of recession, perhaps especially in such times.
So, Milton majored in business and accounting while in college. It was not the happiest time of his life. College just seemed to be an extension of high school, going to classes he didn't like, watching those around him enjoying a life that was somehow out of his reach.
And, now, Milton worked in this cheerless little cubicle, within this dismal big firm, with this really annoying, demanding, arrogant boss, Mr. Limbergh, who really didn't seem to appreciate his work. Whenever he failed to complete an assignment within the arbitrarily imposed deadline, he was reprimanded and berated. Whenever he completed an assignment on time, Mr. Limbergh piled on more tasks and demands.
He would hint at bonuses, raises, and promotions, but for years nothing ever seemed to materialize, and it eventually became clear that nothing would. Mr. Limbergh recognized that Milton would not assert himself, would not demand anything, and would not leave, and so he remained stuck within this drab, dreary, corner cubicle.
He didn't even have much of a social life, as Milton was not a particularly engaging or outgoing guy. On the contrary, he was rather reserved, even withdrawn, and certainly now alone. He had never had many friends when he was young, fewer still even now. He was not entirely sure why. It was perhaps because he had not had any brothers or sisters, no siblings with whom to learn useful, if not necessary, social skills. Or, it was perhaps because his parents, especially his father, had so isolated the family. His parents rarely visited others, and even more rarely had guests over to visit. They discouraged Milton from having friends over. His father felt they would be noisy and messy.
On occasion a rare guest or relative of the family would arrive for a visit, their own child in tow, forced to play with Milton and clearly not relishing the prospect. Milton would himself get so excited that various "accidents" would occur, the details of which he found embarrassing to admit. They only affirmed for his parents that Milton was not really good with peers, was not ready for rough play, and was best kept to himself, where he would be safe.
His parents were now deceased. He didn't know how to feel about that. He did, of course, miss them terribly. Well, maybe not his father. He did miss his mother though. He did feel that she had loved him, cared for him. And, without them he really didn't have anyone anymore to visit. Holidays were especially difficult, as Thanksgiving and Christmas had been typically spent with his parents. As problematic and difficult those visits had been, it was at least a family, his family.
Milton was now pretty much, if not entirely, alone. There were colleagues at work, but none of them ever invited him to the Friday happy hours. It was even difficult for him to discover the scheduling of company picnics and outings. He would notice the postings but when he inquired he was invariably told that the posted note was outdated, that the office function had been cancelled. It was difficult for him not to take this personally, but it was also absurd to think that his colleagues were purposely trying to exclude him.
But, Milton did still have his family; at least that was how he liked to think of them.
This was one area of life with which Milton had a passion, and that was his dolls.
Yes, that does sound strange. Perhaps it is unappealing, if not inappropriate, for a guy to enjoy playing with dolls. But, Milton had always enjoyed, as long as he could remember, playing with dolls.
His father had bought him his first doll house when he was a boy. It was his birthday, and he had neglected to pick up the present as his mother had instructed (a chemistry set). Fortunately, there was a yard sale down the street and Mr. Widdams purchased a wonderfully equipped doll house, with a whole family.
His mother was at first a bit upset, as a doll house didn't really seem to be the right present for a boy his age. His father promised her that he would get the chemistry set the next day, but he never did.
However, Milton liked the doll house. He played with it for hours. He made his own perfect little family, and the boy, whom he named Mike (a very strong, masculine name), had many, many friends.
His mother eventually grew to accept his interest, and in fact supported and encouraged it. Milton did eventually wonder if it was because she had always wanted a girl, and would have enjoyed playing make-believe with her daughter.
His father attempted to wean him off his dolls. He felt that it just wasn't right, for a boy to be playing with dolls. It was one of the few times that Milton openly expressed his frustration, opposition, and even anger with his father.
But, it didn't help. No way would his father accept having a son who played with dolls, and one day Milton came home to discover that his entire collection had been thrown away, even the original doll house from his father.
Unbeknownst to his father he then scoured the neighborhood for more yard sales and garage sales, looking for dolls. They were not hard to find. Every little girl eventually discards her dolls, and Milton was quick to save them. He could not imagine what might have happened to his dolls, probably now rotting away at the city dump. The thought of that was just so depressing.
He eventually accumulated a number of families, which he kept hidden in the attic, at least from his father. He eventually discovered that his mother had found the hidden stash and had left it alone.
As an adult Milton discovered through the internet that it really wasn't that unusual for men to collect dolls and doll houses. It was rather reassuring that he was not alone, that he was not some weird crazy eccentric.
Milton had by now even built his own little fantasy neighborhood within his basement den. Like some men might build elaborate toy railroad lines, Milton had built a whole neighborhood of families.
It was though a rather strange neighborhood, not the kind one would ever see in real life, as it was a collection of incongruous, mismatched homes. There was a large Victorian house, a 1950's suburban bungalow, a mansion, a Barbie Dream House, a log cabin, a Louisiana shotgun, a trailer home, a country cottage, a southern plantation, a western ranch, a hillbilly shack, even a Japanese bungalow, and many others, each with its appropriate doll.
One unique feature of this neighborhood was that it was without any walls on the front of the homes, each open to view so that you could see each room inside. What a strange neighborhood that would be in real life, but clearly a necessity for the owner, the master, to manage the doll houses. Milton though did wonder why companies didn't just put on a swinging wall, so that the house could at least be closed up at night, and would look more normal when not in play.
Many a time Milton imagined living within, being within, one of those homes, having a family, being happy in the bosom of one's home sweet home.
Which was why none of them currently had a family. Each house was occupied by just one person, a woman, apparently a woman waiting for a man, such as Milton, to someday arrive. Some of the women were in the kitchen, making dinner, some were in the living room, vacuuming, some were in the den, reading, or watching television, but all of them were notably alone.
He could have provided each of them with a husband. The homes often came with a family, but Milton could not stomach the husband's presence. He only felt a sense of jealousy, even annoyance, at his presence, as if he had somehow inserted himself into his family, his marriage, taking away his wife, his only true love. Plus, well, frankly, he didn't care much for undressing and dressing male dolls. It just didn't feel right.
So, the women were, like him, alone, waiting for their man to someday arrive.
Well, they would apparently have to wait quite some time, about as much time as Milton would have to wait for his own bride to show up, as if a single woman would just walk up to his own house, knock on the door, and announce that she had arrived, to be his bride.
Milton had at one point considered ordering a bride, a Russian bride. He even explored the possibility on the internet, but he knew the likelihood that she would turn out to be a pretty, cheerful, affectionate, amusing, and loyal wife, as advertised, was pretty darned low. He also read how the savings of some of the men were eventually cleared out, with the women subsequently taking off. Some of the men were even murdered by their mail-order brides.
No, he thought, as he gazed upon his Victorian doll, dressed in all her finery sitting within her empty parlor, apparently having tea, he would also likely remain alone in his life, in his real life.
Milton's heart suddenly stopped, or at least it seemed to. For a moment there it appeared like she had moved, and not just a shift in the doll's position that might occur if he bumped the table, the whole body moving as one. No, she seemed to have moved her head, just her head, turning her face toward him.
He bent way over, taking a closer look. Was this the position of her head when he last positioned the doll? He didn't think so but, of course, the notion that the doll moved her head was absurd, and if she had it was probably because it was a little loose.
He stood back up. He left the den to have a cup of tea in the kitchen. He was feeling a little unnerved. He really shouldn't. Optical illusions are not that unusual, but it had just seemed so real, and he felt so odd. He was perhaps taking his doll houses too seriously.
Perhaps his father had been right. He put a teapot on the stove to boil some water.
Once it was ready he poured the hot water into his cup, within which was a tea net, filled with an Ayahuasca tea he had just purchased. He did fancy rare and unusual teas, and he was quite pleased to have found this rather unique brand, and it wasn't even terribly expensive.
He was disappointed to discover that it tasted a little bitter. But, he didn't really mind. It was certainly exotic and, he soon discovered, very relaxing. It wasn't too long before he began to feel a bit sleepy. Of course, that could have as well been simply because it had been a pretty long day, and he was now well into the night. Still, he had been feeling so agitated beforehand.
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"Would you like some more tea, Milton?"
"Tea? Would you like some more tea? I'm so pleased that enjoyed your cup. It's a special family brew."
"Excuse me?" Where the fuck was he?! He was sitting in the parlor of an old Victorian home, and there before him was perhaps the prettiest blonde girl he had ever seen, pouring him apparently another cup of tea.
She was dressed in the finest of Victorian polonaise, with a tight fitting long-waisted bodice. The sleeves, widening slightly at the wrist, finished with a ruffle. The draped and poufed overskirt was trimmed with pleated flounces, gauged tucking and ribbon bands. It was a profusion of puffs, ruchings, fringes, ribbons, and flounces. It was a really very pretty, very feminine, dress.
But, what was most appealing to Milton was how terribly low-cut was the bodice, revealing a very substantial cleavage. The young lady's breasts seem to bursting forth, like two large white balloons trying to squeeze and push themselves through at the same time, yet unable to do so, perhaps because neither would give room to the other. Of course, these balloons were quite alive, evidenced by their softly rising and falling with each of the young lady's breaths.
Milton had read that the Victorian period was rather inhibited and repressed, sexually. It must have driven the men wild to have women so openly display their breasts like this, as if they were serving them up for desert. Woman today did not routinely dress so provocatively. Milton's eyes were simply mesmerized by the sight of the young lady's breasts spilling out from her dress just inches from his eyes as she leaned down in front of him, daintily refilling his cup.
"Could I offer you any desert? Cake, perhaps? Crumpet?"
"What?" Milton was noticing how with every little movement her breasts jiggled like jello. He finally tore his eyes away to fix them on the eyes of the woman.
He suddenly recognized her. It was Nora, or at least that was the name he had given her. What the heck? "Nora?"
She smiled sweetly at him. "Well, yes, of course, Milton, who else would it be?"
She finished pouring him his tea and returned the teapot to the side table. "I do say, sir, that it's just wonderful to have you actually paying me a visit. As you might imagine, well, in fact, as you know, I don't get many gentleman callers." She demurely placed her fingers to her lips as she modestly smiled.
It was indeed his doll, Nora, alive, and the same size as him. He glanced around the room. He suddenly recognized the room as well. It was the parlor within her Victorian home, albeit everything considerably more real. In fact, apparently quite real. He then realized that she was not the same size as him. He was the same size as her! He had apparently shrunk? "Nora, how did I...?" He couldn't finish the question. It was just so strange.
"How did you arrive here? Gracious, how would I know of such things? Mine is not to reason why. I am here only to serve you, dear." She added, casting her eyes modestly to the floor, "in whatever manner that pleases you, sir." She sat down in the Eastlake loveseat. The carved solid walnut frame had burl inlays. The upholstery was burgundy paisley. Milton remembered when he purchased the piece. It was really quite remarkably authentic.
What a very strange dream. It was, of course, a dream. There was no other explanation. In fact, why was he even considering any other possibility? Actually, now that he thought about it, it was not really a terribly strange dream. He had imagined being married to Nora one time or another, as he imagined being married to many of his dolls. He was not proud of that fact, but it was only natural to occasionally have such thoughts, such fantasies, as he set them up in their little make-believe homes, as he sat on his stool, gazing fondly at his lovely little brides.
What was strange perhaps was that he knew he was dreaming. However, this had also happen on occasion, during some dreams. But, typically such an awareness occurred during a scary dream, a nightmare. He would suddenly become aware that it was just a dream, and then he would wake-up, the self-awareness perhaps being incompatible with dreaming, or perhaps the awareness was just a transition state prior to fully awakening.
Of course, this time his awareness did not cause, or precede, an awakening. Now, that was new. How strange it was to continue to dream, yet know full well that it was but a dream.
In fact, perhaps he could also somehow control the dream. Imagine that! So many times he had awaken from a dream and wished that he could go back, and do something, fix things, change things, or finish something. In what direction would he like this dream to go?
"Would you like to see the house? Of course, you've seen it many times, but never like this." She got up from her seat, took his hand, and pulled him from his chair.
He set the cup of tea down.
Nora led him around the house, holding his hand with her soft feminine fingers, enclosed with her even softer white gloves. Milton though wasn't paying that much attention to the tour. He had seen and admired the rooms many times before. His eyes were fixed instead on Nora, seeing her in a much newer and even more appealing light. He was dumbstruck at how alluring and delightful she was. She had such smooth alabaster skin, a small perky nose, rosy cheeks, sparkling gay blue eyes, long fluttering eye lashes, perfect teeth, and long flowing blonde hair.
Plus her breasts just kept rising and falling within the plunging cleavage of her tight open bodice. He had noticed these breasts before, of course, but never had they seemed more real, more alive, more luscious.
It was though a very impressive home. There was the dining room and the kitchen on the first floor (along with the parlor); upstairs was the bathroom (Nor only briefly opened that door) and the sewing room. One odd aspect was that each room extended to the back of the house, and yet none were really that terribly deep, but Nora didn't seem to mind. She was clearly very proud of it, as she should be.
She did though walk right past the door to the bedroom.
"What's in there?" Milton inquired, as if he didn't know.
"Well, sir, my goodness," she modestly replied, her cheeks reddening. She lowered her voice to explain, "that's my bedroom, sir. I shan't show you in there. That just wouldn't be right."
Before he could object she led him back downstairs to the front parlor.
When they were back in their seats she asked, "Is there anything else you would like to see, sir?"
Yes, there was indeed. He did wonder, in his dreams, if the dolls were now anatomically correct. "Nora, if you would, please, lift up your skirt." It was a statement he had never made to a girl, and certainly wouldn't do so the first time he met her. Well, perhaps a prostitute, if he would ever get the nerve to visit one, but certainly not a Victorian girl, while having tea in her parlor. But, she was, after all, his doll and it was his dream. He was feeling a little emboldened.
"Milton Widdams! Please, sir, you mustn't speak that way, to me, to a lady." Her face flushed with embarrassment. She opened up a white lace fan and waved it before her warming cheeks. "Oh my gracious, I mean, goodness, I must say, that was really quite rude. I would never have thought..."