Anwin! Adventures in Responsible Doll Ownership part 6

Updated: Aug 13

Our first Kickstarter is now Live! If you enjoy our stories and other efforts, please donate a dollar or pledge to one of our books! This includes the pre-order of Bound for the Styx.

“Look there!” echoed through the Sanctuary’s fifth floor. “I saw it behind that closet.” cried one of the guards. Two more were joining him as he was on his knees, reaching behind the file cabinet.

“Did you see what it was?” asked the second guard.

“Was it a Red Cap?” asked the third.

“Oh, you and your Red Caps,” rebuke the second.

“It's not one of Dr. Rum’s dinosaurs, is it?” the third retorted.

“Be quiet!” said the first guard peering behind the furniture. “Can you move this case, Associate?” he asked Igraine, who was watching them from the doorway to the office.

She nodded, but was more concerned about what that creature did to her doll, Anwin, than about the infiltrator itself. While the three guards surrounded the closet, she unclasped the fingerless glove that concealed the manipulator in her palm and waited.

“Alright. On three,” said the first guard.

Igraine aimed the manipulator at the cabinet.

“One... Two…”

The cabinet's drawers rattled as Igraine lifted the cabinet from a distance.

“Three!”

The guards jumped behind the closet when she moved the piece of furniture.

“What is that?”

“Grab its legs. It's trying to crawl away!” commented the second.

“Is that? You can’t be serious,” remarked the first.

“Just grab it, man!”

Igraine swallowed as she watched them fumble behind the closet.

“Got it! Got it. Damn, it's like a cat!”

“Careful! Care-ful.”

With deliberate movements, the first guard straightened himself, clenching the struggling fugitive to his chest.

Igraine's mouth dropped as she recognized the little infiltrator trying to free itself from the guard’s hold and muttered her name. “Anwin?”

Waking up from her nap, Igraine lifted her head off the desk and wiped the drool from the corner of her mouth. In the warm light of the desk lamp, she glanced at the redacted parts of S-243’s file. Unfortunately, the archivists had become very proficient at making text illegible, even to cyborgs like her. Meanwhile, she could hear Anwin chasing the tennis ball through her playpen. Her lips could only produce a faint smile as Igraine watched her friend having fun as her conscience was clouded by self-doubt. Igraine snapped from her contemplation when Anwin was waving at her from her pen. The chair was creaking when Igraine got up as if she was recovering from a hangover.

The moment the pen’s gate was opened, Anwin came running up to her.

“Hello, Anwin,” she said to the doll clenching her clothes, and sank to her knees. “We are going out today. In the pram you go, mademoiselle,” she groaned while lifting her up.

Anwin pointed suggestively at her prettiest dress, hanging for the closet key.

“Non, Anwin. You don’t want to get your favorite dress dirty do you?”

To her surprise, Anwin shook her head. The doll had never done that before.

“Right. Oké, careful now.” Anwin was holding the pram's railing as Igraine pulled the carriage out of her room. “Good, girl,” Igraine said, petting her on the head, hoping she wasn’t making the dolls suspicious. It made her wonder if dolls could get distrustful. Igraine felt a heavy weight in her stomach, fearing she was about to find out.



Inside the elevator, Igraine waited for the door to shut. After checking to see if nobody could see her through the fence, she pressed a combination of numbers on the control console. She only recently learned about this feature and where it would lead her. Well, she had a guess.

Anwin, who had just discovered the springs inside the mattress, was jumping up and down.

“Don’t, Anwin,” Igraine corrected her while reaching into the pram. “I have to give you a toy to bring along, don’t I?” she whispered to the doll who was hugging her hand.

*Ping* With a gentle roar, the elevator door slid aside.