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Adam Sol 5/17/2024 10:52pm


"Pull the plug!" Florence Twofoot cried. "The Doll Bosses will hear!"

"MA MAaaaaa....."

The giant haunted doll dwindled to back to sleep like a set of deflating bagpipes.

"Well now we know the bellows work," I said.

"They won't do her any good if she can't stay on her feet."

"Which would be a lot easier if we went with more legs."

"No. She needs to be just like in the blueprints. Bipedal."

"She'd be scarier with four legs. Or just a bunch of squirming agitators. Like a star fish."

"Creating a race of abominations would be worse that what we have now. Just go with the traditional design."

"Your plans include no requirements for the brain."

"You've been inside their heads. You know there's nothing there."

"I've found things. Dead spiders. Sometimes a note."

"The doll body is only a vessel. What inhabits it..."

We both shudder.

"Is what crawls inside," we both said.

Adam Sol 1/25/2024 10:34pm

Florence Twofoot's blueprints were disturbing. The kind of thing passed around at criminal science parties while inhaling noxious fumes. Not that I would know anything about that. They went against every grain of our instruction, our oath. The kind of thing confiscated by the Oracular.

"You drew these? Yourself?" I asked.

Florence had seen the same kinds of drawings I had, at one time or another. The kind of thing you didn't talk about. And she a doctor.

"Do you see another way out?" she asked. "We'll never see that shore leave on Peppermint Bay. They won't stop till we've all died from malnutrition or gone mad."

She was already clearly mad. But she wasn't wrong.

Florence Twofoot 10/5/2023 9:57pm

It was clear the haunted dolls didn't want to be fixed.

They made that very clear.

Rather to succumb to a life of fear, hiding in the shadows of the disused corners of the Albion, living on candied waffles, I decided to put my knowledge of anatomy to use. Originally, this was just a strategy to keep from going mad. Something to occupy my mind in my waking hours, utilizing what was left of my higher executive function.

I began a project. Using the great store of spare haunted doll parts curated by old @Adam Sol, I set out to build the largest haunted doll I could. Claiming a disused cargo hold, I constructed a massive work table, and procured a few great winches from the mechanical room and a number of power tools.

And I presented Adam Sol with my blueprints.

Adam Sol 7/4/2023 9:51am

I curate the doll parts library on the Albion. When @Florence Twofoot needs a part, she comes down into my part of the hold. Not even the haunted dolls come down this far.

"Evening, Adam."

"Evening Florence."

Florence rummages through the bins... we don't really have great names for all the odds and ends. Screwfoot Hing, Big Ball Little Ball, Septum Rodgerious... we amuse each other with our creative nomenclature. But it makes organizing them a challenge. It's more about shapes and morphology and a story being told.

And when I think about these broken and disused doll parts, I almost remember another story. A sad one, about a desert, and great insects, and sweets and beauty and a lost friend...

Dishwater Meat 3/16/2023 10:13pm

Haunted doll blows smoke. The cigarette never touches her mouth. How does she do that?

I hang out on the deck off the back of the Albion and smoke during my breaks. There's always a few haunted dolls back there, smoking.

We don't talk.

Sometimes they turn their heads to look at me when my head is turned away.

Then it's back to work, spraying waffle crumbs off tiny plates.

The doll bosses watch, waiting for me to chip or break a plate, but I'm real careful.


Chloe Vidal 12/11/2022 11:34pm

As the lead chef on the Albion, the only nightmares these haunted doll parts have given me are the endless tea parties. Four times a day -- sometimes as many as seven! They've brought their own chipped doll cups and saucers--a whole haunted tea service--and I serve them in the officer's mess every time their damn creepy bell rings.

I've taken to leaving the table settings in place, since the dolls don't actually move. But they demand more tea, and waffles, and more waffles, so I make them: plain waffles, buckwheat waffles, chocolate chip, birthday party... It's all that's been sustaining the remaining crew... those that haven't gone completely mad...

Florence Twofoot 9/19/2022 11:26pm

I'm supposed to be the medic on board this ship, but keeping these Haunted Doll bosses in working order is a losing battle.

"Maaa-ma! Maaaaa-ma!"

I find them piled in corners, or wandering the decks. There's one at the helm sitting upright but its eyes won't open. It calls plaintively across the silent bridge.

"Maaa-maaa. Maaa-maaaa"

"You just sit tight, little broken haunted doll," I say. "You just relax while I lift open this eyelid and take a peek inside... ARRRRAGH!!!!!"

There's no eye within, and its head is filled with spiders.


All the haunted dolls laugh.

Randi Quarter 7/7/2022 11:57pm

The worst part about working on the Albion are the doll bosses. As long as you don't cross them, and stay out of their way as they roam the decks at night, you'll be able to make it to the next port and jump ship.

The best part is the food. If you like waffles, well... that's what keeps me here.

Frem Trevor Seven 4/11/2022 9:16pm

I've built a scale model of the Albion and enchanted (to the best of my ability) all of the parts with a corresponding resonance to what they represent. For instance, for the balloon of the ship I used the pages of my Zephyr Air Transport contact, coated with a nonflammable shellac of my own recipe.

For the crew area, engine rooms, etc, I consulted the blueprints of the Albion (on public record when invoked in the jurisdiction of Melm) and carved the pieces from appropriate materials as mahogany, rosewood, oak, or smelted aluminium or shaped copper or brass as necessary.

Finally, there were plenty of spare parts in the scaps bucket here to put together dolls of a reasonable facsimile and provenance.

Now that it's finally assembled, I will begin the incantations, and in T-72 hours we should be dialed right in to what's happening on board.

Let's watch together, shall we?

Frem Trevor Seven, Assistant Clone Proprietor
Ancient and Unusual Scraps LLC

Frem Trevor Seven 2/3/2022 11:59pm

I fear the worst for the Albion, and its captain @Emile Valentine. No doubt the haunted doll parts have driven them mad, and the Albion is now a ghost ship, one-eyed dolls with their hair half cut staring through the portals, phantom libs rolling across the decks.

I hear them crying at night.

Will I never find release?

Frem Trevor Seven, Assistant Clone Proprietor
Ancient and Unusual Scraps LLC

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