Sally dared to lift her head out of curiosity, however what she saw looming out in the distance, tall and stark and irrefutably skeletal, made her fictitious heart palpitate and the rest of her dis...
Genre: Romance/General/Angst (will lead to eventual Romance, because Jack's a bit dense).
A/N: Hey and thanks for choosing to read this fic! This is my first TNBC fic, although I've been reading them for a while now.
This fic is going to be a "Sally-creation" and "how-she-met-Jack" story, but I will not be retelling the movie from there on out. The rest is going to be made up by me. So technically, it's sort of AU-ish.
Please read and review!
When Sally was first created, it was hard for her to adjust to the accommodations of the physical world. Of course, she was a rag doll, and unfortunately it would be rather difficult for her, for we know that a rag doll cannot come to life, let alone perform physical ministrations. Sally was no exception to that rule when she first awoke strapped to a cold slab of an operating table, dying leaves scattered around her like a withering blanket. The atmosphere was morbid and macabre, as if the very air itself was swiveling with dank and dingy fumes.
Dr. Finklestein was beside her, staring at her with curiosity glittering in his beady eyes, that colossal cranium of his shining like a light bulb. He had a spool of thread and a glinting needle in his tiny gloved hands, currently in the midst of adding the last and final stitches to Sally's chest. Being a freshly created rag doll, Sally didn't know how to respond - how could she, she was a rag doll for heaven's sake? She hadn't a voice, or a will of her own, or a train of thought. Just two pairs of eyes and the observance compared to that of a 3-month-year old child.
She had eyes of course, and she was trying very hard to learn how to use them properly, for the images surrounding her were fading in and out like a blur. Finally, when she managed to focus on the dawdling doctor beside her, she blinked her eyelids (which were stinging for some strange reason) and stared at him, her stitched eyelashes seemingly enlarging her already massive oracles.
The doctor let a wicked smile snarl along his trumped lips, his disintegrating teeth spaced apart and leering out his mouth like stubs of white and gnarled cotton. His heart was beating, although he wasn't technically alive; it was probably just doing that because of the rotting juices swiveling around inside his body, but it was close enough.
He was feeling an energy surge of pride as he sat there in his rickety motor-powered wheel chair, staring down at the creation that he had made with his very own hands. It had taken a whole five months in preparation and creation to construct her body and fill it with all sorts of appropriate cushioning, such as little snips of twigs and crunchy autumn leaves, and it had been even more difficult to stitch her body up and compose it in such a way so she would have the base and outline of a human, but not entirely so. No, it would have been a mistake on his part if she were to look like a flesh walker, because to put it simply, flesh walkers weren't really welcome on the streets of Halloween Town, being that they were the source of mutilating screams that the Halloweeners were always seeking after.
"Hello, my dear," Dr. Finklestein greeted his creation, faux pleasantry lacing his voice like a bitter poison. Sally stared at him without a trace of recognition showing on her face. She couldn't do anything anyway, her mind was still relatively novel and she couldn't yet comprehend even the most basic of principles. So she did what she could - she simply stared straight at him. Dr. Finklestein smiled down at her, his grin growing large across his wrinkled face. "It's alright, my dear, we'll work on that in a matter of time."
She couldn't understand what he was saying to her; his words were nothing but a gnarled and jumbled mess of sounds that she couldn't possibly fathom to interpret. Actually, she wasn't really thinking to begin with, being that once again, her brain was new, if she even had a brain that is.
"Rest my dear, you simply need rest," he told her in a soothing tone, which was probably as soothing as a boiling pot of Deadly Night Shade, but who could complain? Once again, Sally simply could not understand until Dr. Finklestein's tiny and withered hands came into her view and tried to cover her two massive eyes, and so, in natural response, Sally immediately closed them.
The rest of the hours that passed were spent with her lying there on the table while Dr. Finklestein tried to add the last finishing touches to his nearly completed masterpiece.
Over the next two months, Sally's development had steadily progressed. She was now able to respond to her environment given the situation, and she was always fully attentive and alert with her surroundings. Although she couldn't yet walk properly on her own (or speak), she was perfectly fine with just sitting around and silently observing her creator and master as he milled about his lab and attended to his various experiments.
Dr. Finklestein was blatantly pleased by Sally's progression in her motor and communication skills, for she would often point or stare at an object that needed clarification and he would gladly teach her about said object, for he never refused an opportunity to instruct her on the ways of life. You see, he wanted her intelligence to expand to a whole different level, and then surely, most surely, he would be recognized and acknowledged by the whole of Halloween Town! Why, even Jack, The Pumpkin King would praise him for his amazing feat. Oh, how the doctor couldn't wait for Sally to become fully developed. He stared at her with a wicked twinkle in his eye, his mind painting images of praise and fame that was most often hailed to The Pumpkin King.
Indeed, the doctor could hardly wait.
Three months had passed and Sally was doing an exceptional job in her progression. Not only could she walk (with the assistance of a random wall to prop her up or a wobbly chair to stable herself), but she could now speak. Her vocabulary wasn't very large, but the doctor didn't have any qualms about that. He fully believed that she would be capable of intellectual conversation given month's time, and he was fully prepared to instruct her in the ways of casual and formal conversation.
It was a pleasant voice, a soft and gentle one, a voice that made Dr. Finklestein cringe whenever he had the displeasure to hear it, for he did not take to sweet things. Sally never understood what made her creator cringe so, but to compensate for that, she tried her best to be a diligent and practiced pupil. She wanted to be worthy of him as his creation and she especially enjoyed when he would give the random praiseful comment to her from time to time, although they had been growing few in number over the past couple of months.
"Yes, Sally?" The doctor asked, piquing his head to look at her before he returned his focus back to his current experiment, which was trying to convert pumpkin juice into an efficient fossil fuel. "Haven't I told you not to come into the lab without my permission?"
Sally stared at him for a bit, puzzlement etched on her stitched face, trying to discern the choice of words that he had used to address her. "P-per-miss-. . .?"
The doctor sighed and grumbled a hasty, "Permission, Sally."
Sally nodded to herself and twiddled her fingers in front of her, her balance starting to waver off. She looked over at a stable looking metal chair that was propped at the far end of the room, its stability looking mighty tempting as she scanned the rest of the laboratory for any other props that would be able to support her weight. She didn't want to go near the operating tables and chairs near Dr. Finkelstein, for she feared that if she did, he would growl at her or scold her for being in the way.
She never liked it when he scolded her.
"Well then, what do you have to say for yourself?"
Sally looked and cocked her head, her fingers still twiddling out in front of her. She had absolutely no idea what to say to him. What could she say? Her sentences were shamefully fragmented and she didn't have enough time to think up of a full and proper sentence what with her creator sitting before her and giving her the quizzical eye.
"I…I…sorry," she whispered quickly, bowing her head a bit to show that she indeed felt regret at breaking one of his clearly laid out rules. The last time that she had stumbled into his laboratory without his permission he had removed one of her arms and kept it with him for half of the day, leaving her feeling confused and lost as to what she had done to deserve such punishment. But she dare not do it again. Only this time, it hadn't been her fault. Igor had told her that the doctor had wanted to see her, and by the looks of it, it seemed as if Igor had told her an outright lie.
"Tsk," Dr. Finklestein grumbled. He waved his hand at her and dismissed her. "You may leave now Sally. Go up to your room for the rest of the night. Do you understand?" She remained where she was for a couple of minutes, trying to fabricate his words to dissect their meaning, until she finally got it and quietly left the room. She gloomily trudged all the way up the stairs to her dingy tower at the top of the house.
Another five months had passed, creating a grand total of 10 months. Sally had developed into a speaking, walking, and mildly intellectual young rag doll. She was by no means the smartest person alive, but she was capable of formulating quick sentences and as of late, deep thoughts- or as deep as she could get them to be. She could walk just fine, no longer needing the extra stability of a chair or a wall to get her along throughout the doctor's house. She was still a bit wobbly on her legs, but she supposed that was just a malfunction that wouldn't be corrected any time soon. It was a part of her, and she accepted that.
Her gentle voice was no longer impaired by short fragments and disconnected words. She could now speak fluidly and could respond on command without having to think of what she was going to say. This certainly pleased her, for she no longer had to feel embarrassed when asked a question on the spot. However, despite the amazing progression in her motor skills and things of that sort, she couldn't help but feel…what was the word? Impatient? Sally nodded to herself, piquing her head as she stared at the enormous hinged window located in her dank room.
She couldn't really pinpoint the cause of her impatience, for she didn't quite understand it to begin with. Why was it that whenever she looked over at her window, a rebellious feeling came over her and captured her very heart and soul? Sometimes, going against her creator's orders, she would go over to the window, unlatch it and push it open. She reveled in the cold and wispy breeze that always greeted her from the outside world and then all of a sudden, a lurching feeling of insurgence would overwhelm her very being and then she felt as if she wanted to jump from the very window itself!
However, to dispel her thoughts, she would look over at the badly misshapen tower that loomed ominously in the distance, with its single glowing light that illuminated from within, and she would feel calm and patient again, as if the thoughts were never even there. The tower always seemed to calm her for some strange reason, as if she were looking over at an accommodating beacon of hope. She didn't know who or what the tower belonged to, nor did she think she would ever find out, but just gazing over at its presence was enough to satisfy her on those nights where she felt restless and fidgety.
"If only I could be out there," she whispered sadly to herself, her tiny hands bunching up the bed sheets sprawled over her rickety cot. And oh, how she longed to walk amidst the grounds of Halloween Town; to roam and walk freely like a normal citizen taking in their town's view, but she knew that she couldn't.
Dr. Finklestein had told her many a time, and she always seemed to remember and repeat his monotonous lecture: "Sally, haven't we been through this already? You're a rag doll, an incomplete being, a mere creation. Halloween Town will never accept you - it's dangerous out there. Too dangerous. I'm only keeping you in here for your own well-being. Trust me my dear, it's a phase, and like all phases, it will pass."
However, he had told her that over four months ago, and she was by no means over that so-called phase. With every rustle of a fallen leaf, with every whisper of the passing wind, Sally yearned to connect to the world outside her imprisonment. Of course, she didn't know what lay out there, she didn't even know what the blasted town looked like, but if she was ever going to roam about, she was going to have to take a gander at it sometime. There was only one thing that constantly got in the way of her freedom, and that was:
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