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Clockwork turned back to the dresser and looked at it dumbfounded. What on that table could possibly have brought that damn bear to life? “Can you keep him away from me for a minute?” She realized though that was silly to ask. Lionheart’s gun flashed to life, and then flashed again. But the bear wasn’t fazed. The action figure tossed the gun and rushed toward the giant teddy. The speaker in his plastic roared.  His impact against the stuffed bear caught it off guard and it stumbled back.

Tinkerbell shook out of her stupor and jumped on an arm as large as her doll body. The bear moved back a few feet. “I am the king of the Jungle!” Lionheart’s speaker said. He pushed again, all parts of his plastic body moving together. But the bear didn’t give an inch this time.

Clockwork furiously looked around the pentagram for something – anything – that might represent the bear. She kept flicking to the plush heart near the center, but that didn’t feel right.

“The dresser!” Lionheart cried. “He wants to get to the dresser!” the bear shoved the white toy backwards almost to Clockwork’s clunky feet. Her mechanical eyes glanced down to the small dresser talisman on the ring of the pentagram. The runes and bracelet were glowing hot now.

Tinkerbell jumped on the beast’s plush back and put her hands over its eyes. “Can’t see! Can’t see!” She cried, giggling. That didn’t stop the bear from taking large steps on small legs toward the dresser. But it was too late; Clockwork grabbed the dresser talisman and threw it across the room. The glowing runes started to dim. Lionheart got back up and shoved the bear back again, and this time the great plush teddy toppled over.

The room was silent for a moment until Tinkerbell started crawling from beneath the giant bear. “Ow.” She murmured. Lionheart, protector of all things, lifted the bear’s great head and helped the four foot tall fairy escape. “That was fun!”

They heard crashing sounds from the other room. “It’s going down.” Clockwork said. She looked back to the talismans. “Babe, should I keep the guns working or not?” The ring around the plastic missile was glowing, as was the ring around the green army man.

Lionheart roared, “I don’t need no gun.” Clockwork nodded and tossed the missile and toy soldier from their setting. Both rings cooled and became dormant.

“That’s all I’m doing for right now. I don’t know what’s going to happen with the others and I don’t want to screw something up.”

“Good plan.” The action figure looked to the playroom. “I think there are some dolls in there that need rescuing.”



Emily was stock still, using her body and the alphabet block to keep her former owner in the playroom. She glanced down at Calliope, hoping beyond measure that something hadn’t gone very wrong. She could feel the magic in the room; so much was happening and would continue to happen and spells old and new coursed through the room like the roiling ocean. The dolls in the room started crowding around Parker and Coppelia, who were both standing.

“Jewel, let me go. Something very dangerous is happening right now and I want to put everything right.” The old man said.

Something in the tone of his voice broke through Emily’s mental armor. She looked to Calliope and a tear broke free of her eye. “Put her right first.” She pointed to the fallen jester. He looked down at her unmoving form.

“She’s a toy, a plaything, just like you, and my bullets can’t kill.”

“And you have a wooden arm.” Emily spat through gritted teeth. “Something isn’t right, so fix her.” Parker ran past the old, beaten man and came to Emily’s side.

The old man did as he was told and knelt down to Calliope. He touched her pale face, expecting to feel wood but instead feeling skin. His mind reeled; he started to think. Did she wear white makeup, or not? He looked down and saw her hand and arm were still wooden. This was a possibility he never considered.

A pair of golden pointe slippers stepped into view and Coppelia – his daughter Sarah – knelt down on the other side of the doll.

“There is still time, I think, for her to be fixed.” The old man looked from the pale jester at his knees to his beautiful daughter across from him to his cracked wooden arm. He gingerly flexed a finger and heard sharp cracking retorts in his joint.

“I never wanted – I never meant any harm.” He brought his wooden hand over Calliope’s body and thought about how he could possibly help her. The answer came to him as he looked at his arm. He placed his good hand on Calliope’s heart. He had been in a similar situation a long time ago when he looked down on a perfect ballerina with sadness and love. She hadn’t been dying then, but he feared he would lose her just the same.

Truthfully, he didn’t know if he could muster those same emotions or channel those same powers into this doll. The old man said chanted something beneath his breath; an old spell he remembered syllable by syllable. There was a small light that appeared between his hand and the jester. He watched, mesmerized as the doll’s flesh turned to wood and back to flesh again, her body dancing across the line between human and doll.

The battle in his own body was much more one sided; his cracked wooden form continued to grow and overtake his person. But he never wavered his thoughts from saving his broken doll and never took his hand away until her eyes opened and she breathed in deeply.

He saw that and fell back. He knew that it was done. That the inevitable was here. The old man placed his arms across his belly and stared at the ceiling, never shedding a tear. Dolls began to crowd around him. His daughter came to his side and she placed her own hand over his heart.

“I don’t –“ she said, a touch of sadness in her voice, “I don’t know if I can save you.”

Dr. Coppelius patted her hand with his good one. “You don’t have to.” He smiled kindly. “All stories end eventually.” The doctor squeezed his daughter’s hand and closed his eyes.

Quiet descended over the playroom. Every toy and doll stood watching their former owner breathe for the last time. The rotting wood that had overtaken him gave way to a healthier, stronger wood. Even though the old man was gone, the magic he wrought into this place was not.

Parker looked away to Emily and her new friend Calliope. The wooden marionette lay on the rag toy’s soft lap, and Emily stroked her hand through the jester’s hair. Then she looked over to a trio of dolls by the door, a steampunk toy made from tin, a large and muscular action figure and a green fairy with a strangely familiar face. The fairy caught her glance and shifted a little behind the large action figure.

“Ryan?” She asked quietly. The tin toy smirked and pushed the fairy out into the open. Tinker Ryan blushed and crossed her arms over her girlish breasts.

“We, uh,” his voice was sweet and melodic, “really need to find a way to break the spell on this place.” Parker smiled and came to the fairy. She then bent down and kissed her boyfriend on the mouth.

“It’s a shame I won’t be able to play with you a bit.” The fairy blushed, but said nothing.

The action figure cleared his throat. “We think we’ve deciphered most of the spells that transformed us. Biff, bam, boom, and we’re back to normal. We’ve already taken care of the guns and the soldiers.”

The soldierette who had thrown off her hat looked up from her sulking position, “That was you? You were the one who broke the spell?” She stood up quickly and looked at him with her mouth agape.

“Uh, yeah.” Lionheart said. The soldierette jumped up and kissed him deeply, her arms wrapped around his thick neck. Clockwork cleared her throat a little, causing her partner to quickly, though gently, push the soldierette away.

“I was actually the one who broke the talisman and undid the spell.” Clockwork said, a little smile on her tin face. The soldierette paused for a moment and put out her hand. “What? No kiss for me?”

Parker turned to Clockwork, “Do you think we can break the spell and be normal before sunrise?”

“No problemo. All I did with the other spells was to just break the magic circle around them. Everything happened quickly.”

A voice spoke up behind them. “You may find the central spell to our transformations more difficult to break.” Coppelia said. “You see, the spell only works one way, by turning humans into toys. Into wood, plastic, or cloth. If you break the spell you would simply stay as you are now, not change back.”

Clockwork’s shoulders slumped, “So how do we . . .? We’re stuck?”

Coppelia smiled, “I never said that. You see, spells have a limited range of influence. My father always wanted his dolls to stay here, not only to protect us, but also to keep us under his control.”

“Are you saying all we need to do is leave the house and we’re human again?”

“Except if we try to leave we get miniaturized and put into that dollhouse.” The soldierette pointed to the pink house in the back corner of the playroom.

Clockwork bounced, “It’s a good thing we know how to break that spell.” The small group of dolls started to walk to Dr. Coppelius’ room, except for Tinkerbell, who stopped.

“We may want to get Rosalita out of the dollhouse before we break anymore spells.”



Dawn was coming up and over the hill around the pink house and all the dolls were standing on the front porch of the building. They were nervous but excited. The story was finally coming to a close. Parker and Coppelia had switched clothes once again. Though she, Emily, and Ryan all had their real clothes here, they stayed in costume out of solidarity with the other toys. Well, and that Ryan could no longer fit in his clothes.

It was strange that none of the toys had yet to move away from the house. Perhaps they had more fond memories here than they had thought. Or maybe it was just peer pressure that kept them from moving. Clockwork rolled her eyes and hopped over the railing instead of fighting others to walk down the steps to the immaculate front yard. Lionheart, as always, was right next to her.

Each toy looked at their hands expectantly, but nothing happened. “I think we just need to get further away.” They walked down the gentle slope of the front yard, almost to the sidewalk. Parker could imagine their worry. But they stopped there, and the dolls saw Lionheart flex his hand, then pull the yellow glove off with a whoop. Clockwork pulled a tin colored cowl off her head to reveal long cherry blonde hair. She cried with delight and jumped onto her partner. He rubbed his hand over her face and body, feeling her with skin for the first time in years.

The dolls on the porch clapped or cried before walking down the steps or jumping over the railing to join the pair. A few, including Ryan, ran to the edge of the property and watched as their bodies returned to flesh and bone quickly.

A few hesitated. Coppelia never moved an inch, and Calliope made it just passed the steps before stopping, and Emily stopped beside her. Parker stayed on the porch as well, though more so to say goodbye to Coppelia in private than any desire to be a doll.

“What’s the matter?” Emily asked Calliope.

“It’s just I don’t have much a life out there. I was . . . never going to do well as a person. For every bad moment I had here I had five good ones. I don’t even have a family to go back to.” The bright, happy jester hung her head.

“You don’t have to leave,” Coppelia said, adding quickly, “If you don’t want to. There are plenty of rooms to fill in this house, and I would enjoy the company.”

“You’re staying?” Parker asked, “But, won’t you stay a doll?”

Coppelia - Sarah smiled sweetly at Parker, “This is the only house I’ve ever lived in.”

Calliope took a tentative step up the steps. Emily took a step alongside her. “I can be your owner,” The redhead rag toy said.

Calliope smiled brightly, “We can take turns.”

Parker hugged Emily as she came back up the steps, “Don’t think this is going to get you out of being my best friend.” The rag jester laughed.

Parker turned to Sara and started to say something, but her mind failed her. “Thank you.” She eked out, “For a magical night.”

“Anytime.”

Parker walked down the steps and toward her now male again boyfriend, now dressed as the much more manly Robin Hood.

“Parker,” Sarah said, clearing her throat and talking loud enough for all the dolls to hear, “you can visit anytime.”
Coppelia Revisited, the Finale.

I hope you all enjoyed the adventures of Parker, Emily, and Ryan, and the many dolls they interacted with. In long stories like this, I always find it hard to go for a dark ending. But I wasn't completely willing to just let everyone be human again, forever.

I haven't thought too much about what happens to the characters after this, but I have thought a great deal on the origins of all of Dr. Coppelius' dolls. Where did Clockwork, Lionheart, Calliope, and all the rest come from? How did they become toys? One of these stories has been partially written, and I hope to post it in the near future.

Thank you again for your comments and favs through all of this.
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:iconanimelover1808:
animelover1808 Featured By Owner Nov 30, 2012
I really liked this story! I hope you do explore the background of Calliope sometime in the future she and Emily were probably my favorite characters! And maybe some future adventures with them until Emily decides to leave :)
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:iconkelannpoole:
Kelannpoole Featured By Owner Nov 30, 2012
I want more! So does Emily stay in the house as well, which mean she's a doll?
Reply
:iconsenor-refresho:
Senor-Refresho Featured By Owner Nov 30, 2012
Yeah, Emily is going to be a doll for a little while longer.
Reply
:iconkelannpoole:
Kelannpoole Featured By Owner Nov 30, 2012
That is soo cute!any idea how to make this happen for real?
Reply
:iconsenor-refresho:
Senor-Refresho Featured By Owner Dec 2, 2012
Do you know of any houses in your area that look like doll houses, but bigger? If you do, go there.
Reply
:iconderrrp211:
Derrrp211 Featured By Owner Nov 30, 2012
This story was great. Just great.
Reply
:iconsenor-refresho:
Senor-Refresho Featured By Owner Nov 30, 2012
Thanks! What did you like most in the back half of this story?
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:iconderrrp211:
Derrrp211 Featured By Owner Nov 30, 2012
The reconciliation of the man
With coppelia, and the resolution itself was well written.
Reply
:iconsenor-refresho:
Senor-Refresho Featured By Owner Dec 2, 2012
It was also tough to write, let me tell you.
Reply
:iconderrrp211:
Derrrp211 Featured By Owner Dec 2, 2012
I bet.
Reply
:iconmasteroftoys:
Masteroftoys Featured By Owner Nov 30, 2012
Hells bells. I forgot how much i liked this story.
Reply
:iconsenor-refresho:
Senor-Refresho Featured By Owner Nov 30, 2012
That makes two of us. What part did you like the most?
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