The Paper People

Sometimes wishes do come true... Eva turns into one of her paper dolls, can she turn back? Does she want to?

Once upon a time, not too long ago, and not too far from here, there lived a girl called Eva. She had long blond hair, big blue eyes and a little button nose.

"Like me mommy?" asks the little girl, eagerly looking up at her mother.

"Exactly like you sweetie, now hush, or you won't get to hear all of the story." Tucking the pink Cinderella blankets tighter around the little girl, the mother settles down on the side of the bed.

She had a loving mother and father, but unfortunately they had to go away a lot. Sometimes she was lonely, because the other girls teased her for playing with her paper dolls all the time.

She had hundreds of paper dolls: big and small, girls and boys, princesses and kings, witches and monsters from Halloween, a baby cupid from Valentine's day, even castles and fancy carriages. Her parents brought her new ones back every chance they had, and she liked to make her own ones too, cutting out little hats and dresses and pets for all of them.

"Did she have a horsey one like me?"

"Only to lead the carriages darling, but she was scared of horses."

Each one had a name, but her 7 favourite ones were a princess called Amelia, a fairy called Rose, a boy and girl-Betty and Arnold, Prince Leo and his faithful butler Eiros, as well as the truly elegant lady, Ms. Dazzling. These ones got kept in perfect condition in the centre of her bookshelf, where she could reach them at any time. The rest were stored in a box under her bed, although there were always a few to be found scattered around the house.

On her fifteenth birthday, Eva decided that she was too old for her paper dolls. With a heavy heart, she knelt on the floor beside her bed. In a smooth motion, she pulled out the box. It was made of card, covered in a pattern of small blue and white flowers, a bit faded and rough at the corners. Her face was solemn as she reverently lifted out the stacks of paper, setting them gently on the floor beside her. When the box was empty she turned it upside down, shaking out the little bits of paper that had torn off various paper dolls, the tiny handbags and little puppies that had escaped to the bottom of the box over the years.

Going to the shelf above the big book-case, Eva gently picked up all her favourite dolls, one by one setting them on top of each other on her hand. When that was done, she used her other hand to shake open a big rubbish bag. Then sitting down again, she crossed her legs and lay the paper dolls on her lap, and softly touched each doll, whispering its name. Determined not to cry, as it was her birthday after all, she said goodbye to all of them.

"I'll miss you all, each of you. I'm sorry, but I'm too old to play with you now." she murmured. "I wish.. I wish I was one of you. I wish I could just be a paper doll as well, and not have to..." her resolve gave way, and a few tears slid down her cheek. "I wish I could just be one of you. It's not fair. I'm sorry. I wish..."

A strange feeling suddenly started spreading through her limbs and she felt her head spin. With an incoreherent murmur she closed her eyes and tried to settle herself, but her head and whole body felt like it was doing cartwheels and riding on a roller coaster and falling and spinning around and around and around in circles all at the same time.

She tipped sideways, and fell to the floor, asleep.

When she opened her eyes, her whole world had changed.

The End

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