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The words run through my head. It’s the only thing I can remember.
I look around. I’m standing in what looks to be an old fashioned theatre, with a red carpeted stage and rows upon rows of seats, one of which I am sitting in. It’s dark. The lights that would shine on the stage are off.
On the stage I can just make out a figure in the shadows. It stands there motionless, not moving even in the slightest.
I stand up from the seat and begin to make my way around the seats, slowly but steadily walking up to the stage.
As I place one foot onto the steps beside the stage, a bright spotlight flashes onto the figure on the stage. It is a wooden shop mannequin, unmoving, unblinking. It has bright blue eyes painted on, and its red grin is unnerving. I find that I do not want to look at it, anywhere but at it.
Just then there is a sound from above - a rush of air - and then there is a stabbing pain in my back, my arms and my legs. I see a thin white thread extend from my arm. Touching it, I feel no seam between the thread and my arm. It is as if it has moulded itself into my skin. The threads disappear; I can no longer feel them.
I let out a sigh of relief and turn around. A squeak of terror escapes my lips. The wooden mannequin is standing an inch away from me, its painted smile a centimetre from my face.
I take a step backwards. My heart beats fast. This is no statue. This is no object. This is a living person. It has to be a costume. It has to be.
My arm rises of its own accord, floating through the air. My legs begin to move, carrying me closer to this thing. I try to turn away, but I find I have no control. Turning back, I face it once again. Is it just my imagination, or has the smile on its face grown wider? I know now that it cannot be any person.
Of its own volition, my mouth opens. My tongue contorts, forming a sentence that I do not want to say.
“Forever, I will serve you.”