Pup’s Love by Lochnessfairy

The story below was written by Lochnessfairy as part of our 2018 Halloween Special.

“Hey Dolly, so like, a couple of us are going to the graveyard for a Halloween party at like 8 tonight? It’s no biggie, we’re just dressing up as vampires or whatever and just chillin’. There’s probably going to be a joint. You wanna come?”

“S-sure” Dolly replied, her voice shaking. The words “graveyard” and “Halloween” had sent her veering into a flashback. She was twelve years old. She was in the graveyard with her pet Shuppet she had named Pup.Naked tree branches criss-crossed across the deep crimson dusk sky, creaking eerily, as the last of their dead leaves fell swaying in the wind. She remembered seeing her sister Lola, from a gap between two graves behind which was hiding and watching . She hazily remembered another figure standing next to her, and their arms were in embrace. yet the figure was dark and blurry, almost silhouetted.

It was a while before Dolly realized that Beth had cut the phone as she was drawn out of her thoughts by an alarming sound that was emanating from the TV. “BREAKING NEWS. Two bodies of an 8 year old girl and a 10 year old boy have been discovered in Greenfield Memorial Park, strangled by the chain of the swings they were sitting on. The Police are currently investigating the crime scene. The police has issued a curfew in the Greenfield district, advising all citizens to be in their homes by 6 PM.”

Dolly’s phone buzzed again. “Hey Dolly, so obviously we’re still on for tonight. Hey, and could you wear that pumpkaboo costume your sister Lola made for you in 6th grade? It was so freakin’ adorable! Byyeee!” A beep followed indicating that the call had been ended. Dolly stared at her cell phone, yet her thoughts were elsewehere.

“Dolores, we are so proud of you! All perfect As!” Dolly was standing in the corridor in her Pumpkaboo costume, hidden in shadows. She saw both her parents smile warmly at her sister Lola, as she grinned happily. “Here. we got this for you. We think you deserve it. It’s the latest iPhone.”

“OMG I can’t wait to show this to Gretchen!”
The name Gretchen made Dolly’s heart sink. She turned around dejectedly and slammed the door of her room. A few minutes later, she heard a knock.
“Dorothy, open the door! We’ve got you something too! It’s a doll from your favorite cartoon, Anna Munchkin!”
Dolly ignored them even though she really wanted the doll. Pup glided through the air beside her, silently staring at her.
“Let me handle this”, Lola’s voice drifted through the door.
“Gretchen, Gretchen, Gretchen! It’s always about Gretchen! Or Lola. Congratulations on your A, Lola! Never about Dolly. IT’S NEVER ABOUT DOLLY!”
There was another knock on the door.
“Dolly, open the door. It’s me. Let me play with my little Dolly.”

“I’m not little! I’m your TWIN!” Dolly screamed and then suddenly burst into tears. The knob turned and Lola entered the room. Pup stopped gliding and hovered in one spot over Dolly’s shoulder. Lola came over, placing her hands gently on Dolly’s head. She began braiding her hair quietly. After a few minutes, she said, “You know I love you, right Dolly?”

Dolly nodded. “I will always love you, more than anyone else in this world.”
“Even Gretchen?”
“Even Gretchen.”
“And you look so adorable in that! I knew you would. Cause you’re like my little Pumpkaboo, aren’t you?” Lola crooned. “Now do you want to go trick-or-treating or what? Imagine all the candy waiting for you! Come on, we haven’t missed a year!”

The words echoed through Dolly’s mind as she opened her closet, throwing out years of accumulated clothing until she found what she was looking for, Her Pumpkaboo costume. She plumped up two pillows on her bed and tossed her blanket over it, to make it look like she was asleep. She put on her costume, and slowly tiptoed down the stairs. She heard her parents arguing in the other room.

“Agnes, she will never be normal! Not after what happened when she was six. That day she found that blasted Pokemon. The doctors said her head was permanently damaged.”
“Paul, don’t start this again. How many times have I told you that we need to keep trying?! If we keep treating her like a kid she’ll never grow up! Now that Lola’s gone, she doesn’t even have someone to look after her.” Agnes’ voice quivered with emotion.

Dolly slowly opened the kitchen door slightly, so as to not make a sound, and then slipped through the gap into unusually warm night outside. A gentle breeze drifted through the air. The sky was crimson, much like that night.

Dolly remembered peeking through the same kitchen door, as she saw Lola and another girl huddled together against the blood-red skyline.

“Hey, love.” Lola whispered.
“Hey, Babydoll.” Gretchen replied. “Ready to go? Party in the graveyard with the cool kids, and we’re invited. Something about gay girls being ‘so rad’.”
Lola giggled. “I feel bad I can’t go trick-or-treating with Dolly though.”
“Hey, Gretchen wants to play with her Babydoll tonight.”
Dolly stared through the slits in the kitchen door, her body overcome with sudden hatred. Shuppet snuggled up next to her, staring at her through its icy blue eyes.
“Hey, Pup. Guess it’s just you and me tonight.”
Shuppet purred softly.

Dolly set out into the warm night, walking towards Vanessa’s house.
“OMG, so great you’re here. And you look hella cute!” Vanessa squealed. “Let’s go.”

The graveyard was as silent as Dolly remembered. The only sounds were the low howl of the breeze and the creaking of the trees as their branches swayed. The occasional crunch rent the silence as someone stepped on a dead leaf. Dolly and Vanessa approached a small group of people, all holding flashlights and standing around in a circle, talking in hushed voices.

“Guys, isn’t anyone afraid of the Kid Killer?”
“Kid killer? Oh you must mean the Greenfield Gourgeist. Rumor has it that a Gourgeist strangled those two kids in the park with its bare hands.”
“No way, it was definitely a human. Why would a Gourgeist want to kill children?”
“I dunno, they’re spooky dude.”

As the night wore on, Dolly grew tired and began to yawn. She heard a faint rustle through the copse of trees.

“Hey Dolly, we’re all planning to camp out here. You in?”
Dolly turned to look at Vanessa, who nodded. Dolly followed suit.

As Dolly was walking through the forest looking for a quiet spot to pee, she heard a pair of voices conversing in hushed tones.

“That girl Dolly, isn’t that one with sister? Lola, the one who came here with her girlfriend and… and died?”
“Yeah, totally. Shhh, keep your voice down! I hear someone coming!”
Dolly walked past the two voices deeper into the woods. As she squatted down to pee, she heard another faint rustling through the trees ahead. A dark figure emerged and slowly moved towards her. Dolly’s heart began racing. She quickly stood up and pulled up her shorts. She heard a high-pitched wailing sound pierce the night. The figure approached until Dolly could make out its face. It was a Misdreavus.

Dolly remembered the night she had met Pup. It was the evening of the Day she had hit her head when she and Lola had been playing in the garden. As soon as she had got injured, she cried out and then ran off into the park nearby. She felt blood running down her face as she ran maniacally.. She clutched in her hand a Pokeball. Suddenly, the trees rustled in front of her and out flew a Shuppet. It playfully danced around her. Dolly sat down beneath a tree, her head spinning. Pup flew into her arms and curled up, staring up at her.

“You’ve been abandoned haven’t you?”
Shuppet stared back at her without moving, and yet Dolly felt as if she could understand her. “Do you want to be my friend?” Dolly help up the Pokeball.
“We can play together and I’ll love you forever.”
Shuppet’s eyes widened as it glanced at the gleaming Pokeball. It seemed to smile with its eyes at it back at Dolly brightly.
Dolly placed the Pokeball on Shuppet’s forehead and a red light absorbed it in.

“I’m going to call you Pup.”
Dolly sighed in relief. She made her way back to the group. A couple of them had curled up on sleeping bags and were huddled around together, talking animatedly using flashlights to illuminate their faces.
“Hey, c’mere Dolly! We’re making up stories about who, or what the child killer could be.”
“Sit here. You want to take a puff?”
Dolly stared at the joint, which was smoking slightly, thick vapours swirling from its tip into the air, like it was alive. Dolly took the joint in her hand and placed it between her lips, drawing in her breath slowly. Her lungs filled with hot smoke and she coughed loudly.
“Shhh! Someone will here us!” Vanessa said, patting Dolly on her back to relieve her cough. The world started swimming around her.
“You abandoned me,” She heard a whisper. “You just threw me away like I was garbage. Just like your sister threw you away when she met Gretchen. You said you would love me forever. You LIED!”

Dolly screamed. Vanessa shrieked in alarm.
“Is everything okay, Dolly?”
“I was only trying to protect you”, the sinister voice continued. “ She hurt you, remember? She’s the reason you’re slow!”
“I’M NOT SLOW! I’M JUST AS SMART AS SHE WAS!” Dolly’s voice reverberated loudly through the silent night. The entire group gathered around her in alarm, watching.

“Hey, it’s that freak kid. The one who never grew up.” “Shut up, she can hear you!”

“Hey Dolly, you need to calm down, or the cops will find us. Why don’t you sleep it off?” Dolly nodded her head violently, slowly calming down.
She found a spot and settled down, slowly drifting off to sleep.

She was back behind the kitchen door, the night Lola had met Gretchen. Dolly decided to follow them, as Shuppet trailed behind. She slowly snuck up behind them, hiding in the shadow of the trees.

“I think someone’s following us…” Lola whispered, fear in her voice.
“Hush, babydoll. It’s nothing, just your crazy imagination working up on Halloween. Come here with me, I know a nice spot where we can… play.”

Dolly quietly crept behind a grave and peered at the two figures. Gretchen slowly leaned in towards Lola, and pressed her lips against hers. Dolly heard to smacking sound of them kissing. She felt a bubbling rage inside her. She remembered when Lola would kiss her like that, whenever she was feeling sad. Lola had forgotten her now, like an old soft toy she had grown bored playing with. Pup whizzed around her, it’s eyes gleaming with a mad vengeance.

Suddenly, it floated out and flew into Gretchen. Gretchen fell back, tripping over the root of a tree, her head falling directly onto the gravestone. An ear-splitting crack rent the air, as Gretchen lay against the gravestone, unmoving. Lola screamed. She screamed at Shuppet with utmost rage. “You! I’m going to kill you!”

Dolly flew out from between the gravestones, and charged at Lola. “Don’t hurt my Pup!” Lola stared up at Dolly, her face wrought with fear and sadness. “Dolly! What are you…”

“You don’t love me anymore! You told me you loved me more than anyone else in the world. Even her!” Dolly screamed, pointing at Gretchen’s lifeless body as it lay on the ground in a pool of blood.

“Dolly, you know that’s not t-true. I love you. I always loved you.”
“NO! YOU NEVER DID. That day, we were playing in the forest. You told me I was your Pokemon. You made me use tackle, and I tripped and fell. You were supposed to protect me. You’re the reason I’m stupid. I would be like you, smart and pretty and funny and perfect, if I hadn’t fallen that day. IT’S YOUR FAULT!” Dolly pressed her fingers around Lola’s neck.
“I can’t breathe. I can’t breathe!” Lola squealed in a strangled voice. She stared incredulously back at Dolly, who tightened her grip. Dolly saw her eyes suddenly become empty, her face still screwed up in anguish. Lola’s head fell back limply, staring into space, frightened.

“You killed her. You’re just as bad as me Dolly.”

Dolly awoke with a start. She looked around her frantically. The graveyard was empty except for Vanessa, who was slowly waking up.

“Dolly, you’re up! After your breakdown the other kids got freaked out and went home. I tried waking you but it was like you were stuck in some sort of nightmare. Come on now, Dolly, let’s go home.”

“Leave me alone!” Dolly screamed. “I’m bad! I’m a bad Doll. You don’t really love me! YOUR LOVE IS FAKE!” Vanessa stared back at Dolly, aghast. Dolly leapt up and ran towards Vanessa. She scrambled up and ran away into the night. Dolly watched as Vanessa’s figure disappeared into the distance.

“Everyone’s left me. No one loves me. No one loves Dolly. Dolly should be thrown away!” Dolly lay down on the ground and curled up in a ball.

“Like you threw me away?” A voice whispered from behind.

I was stuck in my Pokeball, waiting for you to let me out and love me again. Imagine my surprise when I was sent out by a brother and sister in the playground. They asked me if I wanted to

swing. I didn’t want to. I wanted my Dolly to hold me. You and I, we are the same Dolly. You deserve me, and I deserve you.”
A shadow drifted over Dolly, slowly coming to rest next to her. It was Banette, smiling maniacally.

“Are-are you going to kill me?”
Banette continued smiling, and gently landed, curling up in Dolly’s arms.