Prologue

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    In a world that you and I are quite familiar with, someone gave a young girl a gift that was much too dark and powerful for her to control.

    Most children ran from it, but not Calypso. At twelve years old, she already understood that to some children was given an affectionate home and, to others, parents who remained family only in name. Calypso's anger and ambition for independence attracted the attention of a clever demon named Aliquis, and that is where the real trouble began.

    He approached the young girl in her fragile state. Aliquis told Calypso of the potential she had, complimenting her fine embroidery skills and appreciation of detail. He offered to make her his apprentice and she agreed.

    Aliquis shared his power with Calypso in increments. He provided a means for her to leave the First Realm where humankind lived and in which the demon's powers were not fully freed. He gave Calypso access to the Second Realm, which stood outside the reaches of time and light.

    To Calypso, the Second Realm appeared as the inside of a mansion, resplendent with magnificent dark wood and craftsmanship. She retreated there frequently to pursue her passion for sewing small dolls. Calypso found comfort in making her own friends. Unlike people, dolls didn't forget your birthday and they always wanted to talk to you. They also liked hugs and good-night kisses.

    Calypso grew up slowly. She spent so many days in the timeless Second Realm creating clothes, furniture and houses for her dolls that by the age of twenty she had already lived nearly thirty-five years. Back in the First Realm, her creativity and skills in seamstress work were coming to the attention of everyone in her town and she was able to open a small business with her talents.

    But this was hardly the goal of Aliquis. He had been grooming his apprentice to be endowed with something greater.

    Along with living in solitude, Calypso was plagued with the natural yearnings for love and companionship. By nature, she was not a giver nor a listener, so true friends remained elusive. One day, Aliquis released a spirit into the Second Realm. The spirit, long dead, was from an ancient era and desired the confinements of a body that would give him physical abilities again. He possessed a doll as Calypso was sewing it. When her doll began to move, she wasn't frightened at all and immediately stitched him a face.

    Aliquis, she believed, had sent her a companion. Calypso loved the doll unconditionally and began to find more determination to face the First Realm and its relationship difficulties, finish her studies and build her quiet sewing business. She kept the spirit doll secret from everyone but held him tightly at night when she slept. He was the only sweetness she found in the bitter predicament of her life.

    With Calypso firmly attached to the spirit doll, Aliquis' plan was nearly finished. He appeared in the Second Realm and told Calypso that it was time to build a better doll for the spirit, for at this size and level of design he was not much of a friend and incapable of conversation. Unwilling to tear open her beloved creation to migrate his spirit, Calypso refused Aliquis for the first and only time. In response, the demon picked up the squirming doll and tore him in half.

    Calypso wailed but the demon shushed her. He wrapped a silvery handkerchief around both halves of the torn doll and squeezed. Aliquis then pinched the handkerchief, pulled it away and tucked it into a glass jar, discarding the doll pieces.

    "Create a better doll for this spirit," he said, "and you'll begin to discover the furthest reaches of your new power. Be sedulous, be determined, for in time you will be sent a test to see if you can pass on your power to another, thereby remaining worthy of your gift."

In time the test did come, unannounced and unaware of the circumstances revolving around her sudden appearance in Calypso's Dollhouse. 

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