Necessary Repairs

“Hey babe”, said the witch, “mind helping me with this? I think I cracked a bone the other day.”

The doll looked up from her book. “Sure, but isn't that the third this month?”

”... yeah.”

“Shouldn't you have someone look at your spells? Wood should last longer, even without plasticizing it.”

“No, I'm fine. I just ... look, give me a hand? It's one of the supports in my chest, I've already got the replacement out.”

The doll rose, doing her best not to sigh. She really had been enjoying the story she was reading, and she'd been so near the climax (the dashingly beautiful hunter was about to encounter her prey for the first time—the moment the entire story had been building toward!), but needs must.

Her witch was already sitting on the recliner they used for repairs, right below the great hanging chandelier they had pieced together from salvage and floor lamps, always in danger of falling up through the ceiling and away into the sky above. She looked beautiful beneath them, her form shining and sparkling, warm polished wood and iridescent mother-of-pearl, and all those little bits of sea-glass she had gathered over the years.

Even after so long, she still took the doll's breath away.

The witch chuckled, a noise like wood creaking beneath the sun's heat. “Ready?”

The doll nodded.

Once the witch had needed to push her magic into the doll; once the doll had needed to touch the witch's sea-glass heart. But that was so long ago.

All it took was a glance, a moment of eye contact.

And the doll's mind dissolved beneath the flow of the witch's magic.

It felt like floating, like seeing the world through a happy haze; it felt like being nothing at all.

The doll's body moved just as the witch needed it to, undoing clasps and removing panels; her touch releasing spells and stirring others to life, wards against dust and water replacing the spells of adhesion and oneness which maintained the witch's body. The new support slid into place perfectly, the old broken one falling to ash as it left her body.

Afterward, the doll could never say how long the witch's power had filled her. The sun had shifted; the clocks had turned.

Not that she returned to herself looking at the sky.

When the doll was once again herself, no longer an instrument of her witch's will, she found herself straddling the witch, a hand wrapped around her head and her own hand buried deep in her witch's chest—something warm and smooth pulsing beneath it.

She squeaked and sputtered as the witch pulled her into a long, deep kiss; warmth and love filling the emptiness left by magic's ebb—and once her witch let her up, after she wandered off back to her book to leave the witch to finish putting herself back together, that warmth lingered.

As did the warmth on the palm of her hand, just as it had the first time she touched her witch's heart.