This short story appeared outside of the bad end threads.
Note: The story was unnamed. Alice and Anonymous is a placeholder title, this page will be moved under a real name upon a request from the author.
Alice and Anonymous
“Shanghai, come help me clean up. Marisa is coming over soon!”
Master is very excited today. Her good friend Marisa-san is coming to visit today. They haven’t seen each other since Master got married.
“Shanghai, clean up those beer cans!” Master calls from the kitchen.
I obediently bag up the cans of Suweiser. Master’s husband is such a slob.
“Master, wouldn’t it be nice if Anonymous-san would clean up after himself every once in a while?”
“Shanghai, don’t talk about my husband like that. It’s a wife’s duty to keep a house clean, you know?” she says, while wiping the grime off the coffee table.
“Marisa said she has an important announcement to make. I wonder if she finally found a nice guy to marry, like me?” Master mused.
A knock on the door caught Master off-guard.
“Oh, she’s early! Shit, the cleaning isn’t finished!” Master says, while throwing some dirty socks behind the couch.
“Go answer it while I freshen up,” she says, running to the bathroom.
I knew that she was going to put on some makeup to hide her bruises. I flew over to the door and struggled just to turn the knob. Houses really aren’t made for dolls. When I finally pull it open, I see a sight for sore eyes. Marisa Kirisame-san, radiant in a summer dress, stood on the porch.
“Hello, Shanghai. Can I come in?” she says with a beaming smile.
“Of course! Please, have a seat. Master will be out in a second.”
Marisa hangs her witch hat on the coat rack, and then sits with her hands in her lap as I begin to pour some tea. It’s really cheap tea, so I make sure to put out lots of honey and sugar. She deliberately leans forward, so she won’t get her hair dirty on the greasy back of the couch.
“Marisa! Long time no see!”
Master finally emerges from the bathroom in a clean dress. I didn’t think she even had any clean clothes anymore… The two girls hug each other like sisters. Master does her best to hide a look of pain when Marisa squeezes her. I know she complained of a bruised rib the other day…
“So what’s your big announcement, Marisa? I’ve been waiting all day to hear it! Oh, but we’ll have to be quick. My husband will get upset if he comes home and sees your broomstick in the driveway again.”
Marisa-san said nothing, but simply raised her hand. On her finger was a modest, but beautiful ring. “Oh my gosh, you really are getting married! I’m so happy for you? So, who’s the lucky guy?”
“Ah, about that…” said Marisa, looking away.
“I’m getting married to Reimu.”
Master was speechless, her mouth agape.
“Sweetie, by now I thought you would’ve grown out of your girl-crushes,” she finally blurts out. Surprisingly, Marisa-san doesn’t look offended.
“But we love each other, Alice,” Marisa-san says with a warm smile. “We’re going to live in the shrine together. We’ve already discussed adopting a child-“
“Oh? And how do you think you’ll pay for all the expenses? You’re a two-bit magician who plays kids shows and she’s a miko with no weekly paycheck. Do you think her donations will put your child through college? Sweetheart, let me find you a nice guy, like my husband.”
“Like that husband who beats you?” Marisa-san said, while wiping the makeup off Master’s face, revealing the bruises underneath. Master smacked Marisa-san’s hand away roughly.
“I told you, I tripped on my dress! And I’m pregnant now, so he wouldn’t hit me!” Master says, lifting her dress to show Marisa-san her stomach with its steadily growing bump.
“Honey, I had no idea… Well, if he ever hits you again, I want you to call me, OK?”
By now, Master was visibly upset.
“Where do you get off accusing Anonymous of such horrible things?! He’s a great man, he just gets angry sometimes. His job is very stressful.”
“Alice, I’m worried that one day he’ll be more than angry. I know what he did at the Scarlet Devil Mansion. He’s capable of killing, you know…”
“What the hell are you talking about? He promised me he’d never go back there after I caught him fooling around with the gate guard.”
“You know those books he got you as a wedding present? He stole them from Patch’s library, may she rest in peace. I was there when the mansion burned down. After Anon stole the books, he let Flandre out of her room. He pricked his finger and shoved it in her mouth and said his blood was delicious candy. Being a vampire, she wanted more and flew into a furor. He said that she can get more candy from Sakuya. Flandre found Sakuya and began ripping her to shreds. She barely had time to yell for help before Flandre decapitated her and began to drink her blood. Meiling heard Sakuya’s screams, but because of all the abuse she suffered at Sakuya’s hands, she took off into the woods instead of saving her boss. No one has heard from Meiling since. By the time Remilia was roused from her slumber, Flandre had already made it into the library and had impaled a straw into Patchouli’s half-dead body and was drinking her dry. Remilia confronted her sister, and after a fierce battle that wrecked the mansion and set it on fire, Flandre was finally killed. Remilia, vowing to never return to Gensokyo, gathered up Sakuya’s head and flew off into the night. I confronted Anonymous about why he set this chain of events into motion. He said, ‘I did it for the lulz’. Don’t you see, Alice? He’ll hurt you without even blinking!”
Master’s face was bright red at this point. She’d heard enough, even if it was all true.
“You’re lying! How would you know all this, anyway? There’s a restraining order against you from going near the mansion ever since you assaulted Patchouli when she didn’t have a book that you wanted to steal!”
“I… I snuck back in to steal some more books. I didn’t want to report Anonymous to the police, since I knew he would be unstable if he thought he would be caught, and I was worried about you. I thought you would come to your senses about him and leave him by now…”
A cracking sound split the tension in the room like a peal of thunder. Master’s anger had finally reached its boiling point, and she slapped her best friend. Marisa-san, stunned at this outburst, gingerly felt the large red mark on her cheek.
“How dare you come into my house and insult my husband like this? Get the fuck out, right now!”
“Alice, please! You’re a victim, we can get you help-“ Marisa-san tried to plead with Master. Her golden eyes were full of worry.
Master would have none of it. She yanked Marisa-san up by her arm and shoved her towards the door.
“Shanghai, get the door!” Master ordered curtly. Not wanted to disobey, I swung the door open. Master pushed Marisa-san out. She landed roughly on the porch. Master grabbed Marisa-san’s hat and threw it in her face.
“Don’t forget your hat, you dyke! Don’t come around here again!”
Master slammed the door. From the window, I watched Marisa-san board her broom and ride off, after one last glance back at the house. I think I saw tears running down her face. Turning back to Master, I saw her slumped against the door, head in her hands.
“I… I’m better off without her, anyway. I’m fine as long as I have Anon…”
Master trailed off as she noticed the black and white doll on the shelf. It was a perfect likeness of Marisa-san, and making it was a real labor of love. I remember how proud Master was when she completed it. She planned to give it to Marisa-san as a wedding gift. Picking up the doll, Master began to sob.
“Oh god… What have I done…”
She fell to the floor as she clutched the doll to her chest. Master began weeping loudly, tears streaming down her cheeks. All I could so was stroke her hair until she cried herself to sleep. I snuggled up next to her neck and fell asleep, too.
The sound of the door slamming woke me up. Oh no, Anonymous-san was home from work, and Master hadn’t cooked dinner yet.
“Honey, I’m home,” he said with a belch. He must’ve stopped at the smoked eel stand for a few bottles of sake before he came home… again.
“Where the fuck is dinner? Bitch, what the fuck are you doing?” he said, noticing Master sprawled out on the floor. She was just beginning to wake up when Anonymous-san snatched the doll from her hands.
“You’re still playing with dolls? How pathetic,” he said, before throwing the black and white doll to the floor and grinding it to dust under his work boots.
“No! Why did you do that? That was my favorite doll!” Master protested. That was a bad idea.
“For the lulz. Now I’ll teach you what happens when you don’t make dinner on time!”
Anonymous-san delivered a fierce backhand to Master’s face. Her nose exploded in a cloud of blood. She was on her back now, whimpering. Anonymous-san began stomping down on Master’s stomach, hard. She screamed in pain, digging her nails into the carpet in agony. I was powerless to do anything. I knew that if I tried to attack Anonymous-san, he’ll just blame Alice and make her suffer even more. I covered my ears until the commotion died down. Anonymous-san retreated to his bedroom. I looked over towards Master, who was coughing up fierce amounts of blood. I was worried for her life, until she rolled over on her side and passed out. It was all I could do to wipe up the blood around her mouth. Her breathing was ragged and irregular. I resolved to stay up all night if I had to, to protect my Master.
Sunlight streaming in through the blinds woke me up. Oh no, I fell asleep! Is Master alright? I can’t see her anywhere.
“Oh, Shanghai, you’re awake. Anon felt so bad about what he did that he must’ve gotten a new doll for me! I don’t know why it was covered in blood, but that’s alright. It’s the perfect size, too. I’ll start knitting some clothes for it right away! I’m so excited!”
Master walked in from the kitchen and placed the doll next to me. It was made of some weird pink material, like rubber.
I may just be a doll, but even I know that this was no wooden likeness. Alice had a miscarriage during the night.