Denise checked her looks in her rearview mirror one more time, and then got out of her car as she walked towards the front door of the huge house. She was in her early thirties, and was going to be babysitting for the first time since high school. The woman she was babysitting for she also hadn’t seen since they had been classmates in high school.
Michelle and Denise hadn’t exactly been friends when they were in school; they ran in totally different circles. Michelle was a brain, a quiet, petite, geeky-looking girl with glasses, while Denise was one of the popular girls: pretty, athletic, and a cheerleader. Denise had been a bit surprised to get the call from her former classmate, wanting to know if she would be available to watch Michelle’s 10-year-old daughter, Alyssa, while Michelle and her husband went out for the evening. It was summertime, and Denise could use the extra money to supplement her teaching income, so she said yes.
The house was impressive, Denise thought, as she got to the doorbell and rang it – Michelle must be doing really well for herself! The door opened, and Denise gasped a bit, as she saw Michelle open it. She was the same size as Denise remembered, but the glasses were gone, improving her look, and she was dressed in an impressively fashionable skirt outfit that Denise knew must have cost a fortune. Her hair was now long but done up beautifully.
“Umm,” Denise said as the door opened, “Hi Michelle… it’s been ages! You look so… different!”
“Why thank you, and you, you look, well pretty much the same!” Denise blushed a bit and looked down at her pink top and jean shorts and mules with 3” heels, and realized she probably was dressed and looked about the same as she had been in high school… which she took as a compliment.
“Thanks!” Denise smiled as Michelle opened the door fully, allowing her former classmate to walk in. Denise’s eyes stayed wide as she took in the beautiful interior. “Wow, your house is so beautiful…!”
“Thanks, this is just one room; wait till you see the rest!” Michelle chuckled as a young girl ran into the room, and then upon seeing the two women there, slowed down and composed herself. “This is my daughter, Alyssa. Alyssa, this is-”
“Wow, you’re really pretty!” the girl gushed as she stood before Denise. Alyssa was already taller than her mother, and dressed like a typical 10-year old, in a seersucker dress, and pretty brown pigtails, and no shoes.
Denise blushed again. “Thanks!”
Michelle looked at her watch. “I gotta run, I’m meeting Brian at a fancy place and I can’t be late… I’ll be back in a few hours, make sure she’s asleep by 9...” And without another word, Michelle turned to leave.
“Okay, see you later! Bye,” replied both Denise and Alyssa, not quite simultaneously. As the door shut, Alyssa grabbed Denise’s hand suddenly. “Come, come! I just made some tea… do you like tea?”
“Yes-yes of course,” Denise answered, a bit taken aback, as the ten-year-old dragged her into the kitchen and handed her a cup filled with tea. Denise took a sip; it was hot, but quite delicious.
“I-I haven’t babysat in a long time,” Denise said as she sipped some more of the tea. “Mmm, this is really good…”
“You really are pretty!” Alyssa repeated. “Are you sure you went to school with Mommy?”
“I’m sure,” Denise laughed, “we weren’t really friends though…”
“Oh no, that’s too bad. I know we will be the best of friends though!” Alyssa turned towards the stairway. “Do you like dolls? Mommy just got me three of the best dolls EVER and she’s getting me one more! Do you want to come up and see my dolls?”
“Umm, sure, of course I like dolls...” Denise replied as she sipped some more of her tea and followed the delighted girl up the stairs, curious about what kind of dolls she had. From the look of her house, Michelle could afford most anything – including the most expensive toys for her daughter, Denise thought, as they finally made it to the top of the stairs.
Alyssa opened the door to her room and let Denise walk in first. Her eyes widened once again, as she took in the room. It was probably the largest bedroom she had ever seen… and decorated to the nines for a princess. The bed was queen size with tall corner posts, something right out of a fairy-tale, Denise thought. The walls were decorated with very girly prints, but very expensive-looking ones. On either sidewall of the bedroom were long dressers, and facing the bed, on that wall, was a large curtain. Denise instantly wondered what was behind it. She also realized she hadn’t seen any dolls yet.
“Wow, I love your room!” she gushed. “I would have loved to have a room like this when I was your age.” Denise patted the bed softly, as Alyssa reached over and took the empty teacup from her hand.
“That’s awesome. Do you like my bed?” Alyssa asked, as Denise nodded. “Well come on up and sit on it then!”
Denise climbed up on the bed and sat down, against the headboard, her tan, athletic legs crossed Indian style, facing the wall with the large curtain. As she turned to look at Alyssa, she felt a sudden wave of dizziness come over her. She went to raise her left hand, and suddenly felt very mentally exhausted. “I… where are… the dolls…”
“Wow, Dee-Dee, you look really tired... Do you need a little nap…?” Alyssa asked suggestively.
“I… DeeDee? Nap…” Denise let her head rock back against the headboard, and then, suddenly, she was out.
* * *
Her eyes opened slowly. She knew she had dozed off, she didn’t know for how long, she could still feel that she was sitting on the bed. She slowly moved her head forward as her eyes opened, to see Michelle now standing at the foot of the bed. The mere effort of moving her head forward made her dizzy, and mentally exhausted once again. “What…happened…”
“What happened? You fell asleep, when you were supposed to be watching Alyssa, that’s what happened. Not much of a babysitter, are you, Dee-Dee?”
“Dee-Dee…” Denise mumbled, as she sat there, her arms dangling down by her still-crossed ankles as she sat there, looking lost.
“Yes, I remember a couple of the boys used to call you that in high school. They really liked you, didn’t they, you and your little cheerleader friends?”
“Umm…” Denise mumbled, as her mind tried to get a grip on things. What was wrong with her? Why did even the smallest movement wear her mind out so quickly? She sat there, staring ahead, something felt totally wrong…
“Wondering why it’s so hard for you to move?” Alyssa chuckled as Denise mumbled an affirmative ‘yes’. “Might have something to do with a cup of tea you drank a while ago…”
Denise’s eyes widened slightly. “The tea… you... drugged me…? Why…”
“Oh, you’ll see soon enough, honey,” Michelle teased. “Made a couple other changes while you were asleep too… want to see, Dee-Dee?”
“Changes…?” Denise mumbled as Michelle walked around the side of the bed, and slowly helped her stunned former classmate turn sideways to look at herself in the dresser mirror to her left. Her eyes widened again as she saw what Michelle had meant!
The clothes she had been wearing when she arrived were gone. There was a dark blonde wig covering her short brown hair, the fall of it cascading down past her shoulders and onto her chest. Her chest was barely covered by a pink and blue colored bra-like top, with ribbon-like straps down around her arms and a large ribbon hanging down the front, to her navel. She had a pair of little girl panties where her shorts had been, long striped knee socks, and striped heels.
“Wh-what… did you… do to me…” Denise breathed as she stared at herself in the mirror. Michelle chuckled as she allowed the dazed high school teacher to linger a bit longer on her appearance, then she silently turned Denise back around to face the curtain.
“You wanted to know where Alyssa’s dolls were, Dee-Dee?” Denise mumbled a soft ‘yes’ as Alyssa moved to the wall with the curtain, slowly pulling it open.
The curtain’s opening revealed a large window. On the other side of the window was what looked like a large toy-room. In the room were four large wooden toy boxes, each with their lids open. Slumped inside three of the boxes, eyes closed, and dressed very similarly to Denise, figures she recognized as her three cheerleading friends from high school: Candace, Barbara, and Alexis, or, as the lettering on the front of the boxes read, “Candy, Barbie, and Lexie,” the nicknames they had had in high school. The fourth box, empty, had lettering on the front of it, too:
Denise stared at it in blank disbelief. She tried to move, but the effort exhausted her immediately, and she rocked back into place.
“Careful, you’ll fall asleep again, Dee-Dee,” Michelle laughed, as Alyssa came marching into her bedroom. She ran over to where Denise was sitting.
“Is this my fourth doll, Mommy? It’s so pretty…!” Alyssa reached up and began playing with Denise’s wig.
“Why yes it is, sweetheart,” Michelle smiled as she brought a cart over to the side of the bed, and helped Alyssa load Denise on it.
“Uhh,” she mumbled, as the cart she was on slowly rolled towards the door, towards the toy room, towards the box, which would be her new home.
“You’ll get a little booster shot every twelve hours, Dee-Dee Doll,” Michelle whispered into the shocked woman’s ear, “enough to keep you passive, just like you are now. Before long, you’ll forget about anything except how wonderful it is to be played with, to be dressed up, to have your hair brushed, to be my little girl’s big doll…” As she said the last words, they had arrived in the toy room, and Denise felt herself being slid off of the cart, gently down inside a box… her box.
The lights went out a moment later, and Denise tried one more time to move, to somehow get herself up and out of the box… not ten seconds later she was again fast asleep, just like her friends.