Tea Leaves and White Pearls

Dolls

Match Twelve: Dolls:

The therapist pulled out his notes.

"Are your dreams still the same, Honda-san?" he asked. Kiku sat stoic on the outside while nervous on the inside.

"Yes," he replied, "However…" The other man glanced up at him.

"However?" he asked. Kiku lifted his eyes at him.

"My wife put up dolls around the house and the dreams have stopped," he explained calmly.

"Dolls?" the therapist asked. The client nodded at him.

"Yeah," he said, "She read somewhere that certain can ward off evil spirits by holding them in their body."

"I see," the therapist replied.

He isn't the only one taking on this practice. Many of the other countries have started to put up dolls in their homes and places of work. On the surface, the dolls seem to be working. No more dreams and no more unease. Everyone just goes about their business and nothing else passes. Because of the results, the dolls started to multiply all over the world in various windows to keep out the wasteland.

Yet, something seems off about these little creepy dolls. Why were they working so well? It didn't take long for people to get curious about them. However, no one dared to touch them. For some reason unknown to them, it felt like someone was watching them every time they got close to the dolls. As a result, no one dared to touch or even stare at them for a long time. This didn't stop the curiosity, though. It wouldn't be long before taboos were broken and the need for an unholy quest to seek the truth would stir again. In fact, the wasteland waited the right moment to start up its hungry hunt for destruction.

On Saturday afternoon, Ju received a knock on her door.

"Coming!" she shouted as she hurried over to open. Yao looked inside with papers in his hands. His young business partner gave him an elegant smile.

"Yao," she said trying to keep down her excitement, "I didn't expect to see you here so early."

"My sister had to tend to a friend in the hospital this morning so she had to cancel her visit," he told her, "Plus your villa was nearby, so…"

"Is that so?" Ju asked sounding intrigued. She stepped aside for him. "Do come in," the younger woman said.

"Why thank you," Yao said with a bow. Ju closed the door behind him once he walked inside.

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