4 Killer Doll
Jiao S’ POV
My name is Li Jiao. I am eighteen years old, but I still have no idea how to brush my own hair. Why? Because she takes care of everything for me.
Who is she?
My sister, Li Qing. She’s as beautiful as her name.
And her heart?
Her heart’s even more beautiful.
Still, there’s always poison in beautiful things; the more beautiful they are, the more poisonous they get.
She’s five years older than me and had always been regarded as a gifted child. At the age of three she understood the basic mathematical concepts of addition, subtraction, multiplication and division, then attended primary school when she was five. She skipped three grades after that, and graduated when she was just seven.
My sister was extremely gifted and my parents couldn’t be more proud.
Being my parents’ pride and joy, her condition for repayment was that she get whatever she wanted, and my parents did not hesitate in doing so. Anything could become a toy in her hands. Including me.
I didn’t know before that my existence on this earth was such a huge threat to my sister. In the eyes of our parents and relatives, she was a unique and talented girl. As such, the preferential treatment that once belonged to her, and her alone, was threatened when I came along.
Being the intelligent girl that she was, despite her young age, she knew very clearly that the presence of a younger sister was a mistake, one that should have never existed.
Even to this day, years down the road, I suppose I can understand how she must have felt when I think back on it. How terrified she must have been.
When relatives congratulated my family they claimed that having a daughter was a blessing, but it was supremely fortunate to have two of them. The family was abuzz with anticipation as to whether their second daughter would be as clever as the first, or perhaps even exceed her talented older sister.
How flustered and helpless must she have felt? After all, she was only five. My sheer existence was like to someone took away her favorite candy. And when I turned five myself, it seemed to her like the candy had finally been eaten by another.
I was never the genius others had expected me to be, and our family never had another talented girl. I was your average child with a slightly weaker constitution, occasionally showing a little more wit than my peers, but those events were short-lived and spontaneous.
Unexpectedly, my parents doted on me as much as they did my sister. For the sake of filial piety, I shouldn’t criticise my parents. In reality, though, if we’re being honest, my parents treated me better than her.
Isn’t there a saying like that? When parents have more than one child, they tend to coddle the youngest most of all? Or, in relative terms, the weakest. That child might not be smart, or sensible, or even obedient, but it was exactly this weakness of theirs that gained the favor of their parents.
That seemed to be the case with me.
My parents cared for me in every way possible, even to the extent of neglecting my gifted sister at times. My parents were gentle and mild-mannered people, so it wasn’t an abusive neglect; on the contrary, they still pampered my sister and treated her well. Even so, she was adamant in her belief that they would have treated her better if I had never existed. If it wasn’t for me, they would have praised her intelligence more, and she would have gotten whatever she wanted with less effort.
It’s plain that even if the family background is decent, if your children’s desires multiply with each new sibling it’ll obviously be far more difficult to get what you wanted.
For someone as smart as my sister, how could she not have figured this out? It was precisely because she was smart that she hadn’t thrown a tantrum over her stolen candy like the other kids would have. Even though that was the epitome of normal child behavior.
My sister wasn’t a kid though, she never was. She possessed intelligence beyond her age, and hence chose to use her own method of dealing with the disaster which had descended from skies—me.
From the moment I turned three, she started buying dolls for me. By the time I was five, I already owned a great number of them and began to foster fond memories.
When I was ten, she was fifteen. As with many child geniuses, the period when their intelligence drastically surpassed their peers was when they were young. At fifteen, my sister was no longer as many steps ahead as when she was five.
Skipping grades when she was younger led to a weaker foundation in the subjects she went on to study; and as a result, while she was outstanding in high school, she was far from gifted.
Still, her love for me was unwavering, and she continued buying those dolls for me. Being that young, I felt nothing other than pure delight at receiving them, to be treated with each new doll.
More frequently than not, she loved grooming me into a doll. As a kid, she could dress me up cutely, like a pretty little puppet, and no one would pay any mind. My parents were overjoyed that my sister loved me so much and treated me with so much kindness.
I had thought so too.
Many memories from my childhood had already faded, but my sister’s soft yet bewitching voice was deeply engraved in my mind.
“Jiao’er has to be doll. She has to be jiejie’s favorite doll, right? Look at how lovely dolls are. If you are willing to be a doll, jiejie will buy you a lot of pretty clothes too, and I’ll brush your beautiful hair, do you want that?”
At that time, I didn’t know better. I jumped for joy and answered, “Yeah, yeah! I want to be a doll, jiejie, I want to be the prettiest doll!”
And she answered with an incomparably gentle voice, “Alright, then Jiao’er will be jiejie’s doll forever. Forever, ok?”
I didn’t know at that time how this promise of being her doll forever was but a seed—a seed that would eventually grow into a demon.
I could still remember that year she helped me into a puffy skirt she just bought. She looked at me, and with her slender, fair hands, she stroked my face. It was as though she was touching her favorite toy when she said, “Jiao’er, do you know what’s a SD doll?”
I giggled. “I do! They are those pretty dolls with big eyes.”
“You’re the most beautiful SD doll in jiejie’s heart. Do you want to be a SD doll from now on? Jiejie will name you Jiao S, how does that sound?”
There wasn’t a hint of hesitance when I agreed. All I thought of at the time was how lovely SD dolls looked, but I had forgotten about everything else that others have mentioned; how, in spite of their cute appearances, their eyes were always lifeless and strange.
Which was why, up until I turned eighteen, supposed to be the most beautiful time in a girl’s life, I had instead been molded into the perfect doll by my sister.
Like a doll that was years in the making, the end goal wasn’t the attention of others, but a completion of a meticulously plotted scheme. She started brainwashing me when I was young, and so I eventually became the doll she created.
I didn’t smile much, because every time I did she would tell me that SD dolls don’t smile. I was used to being expressionless, because she told me that dolls didn’t need expressions.
The greed towards dolls started since I was around ten; the continuous pleading with my sister to get me a new one, coupled with her brainwashing, caused my family to distance themselves. For a daughter, I was simply too unusual.
This estrangement continued until I was eighteen. Occasionally, from the worried glances in my parents’ eyes, I could tell that they loved me and they still cared for me. Except… I was only a doll, crafted by my sister, who did not understand the concept of gratitude. Or any other emotion, for that matter.
In fact, right up to this very day, when I had been so cruelly oppressed by her doll complex… I couldn’t claim that it was entirely her fault because I had been willing. Even when she instructed me in the ways of porcelain born of her selfish desires, my life was still shaped by my own choices.
If I hadn’t been entranced by the beautiful dolls, then I would not have developed such greed for them, and none of this would have happened.
Accustomed to being expressionless, I had no friends—even our relatives would say I looked numb. My eyes were spiritless, without a glimmer of gratitude or emotion.
Everyone had thought it was such a pity; a pity I didn’t look like my sister, a pity I wasn’t that sensible, gentle, intelligent girl that everyone loved. Everyone pitied me, just because I wasn’t like my sister.
Yet, nobody ever asked the question that was buried deep in my heart—I am my own person; why did I have to be just like my sister?
One day, my sister finally divulged her scheme to me. She said that her plan had been to shape me into an eccentric, reclusive monster that nobody loves. While she didn’t quite achieve the result she anticipated, she still succeeded: I really did become a monster.
The amount of times I had been criticized and reprimanded for having an expression—because dolls did not have any—in turn transformed me into a truly expressionless person as time went by. Nothing scarier than someone without an expression, and all of things, that is who I have become.
Contrarily, my sister grew to love me even more, for I was the end result of all her efforts. As a finished product, any treatment I could enjoy could only come from her, my owner. I had no expression, no relationships, no friends. I only had jiejie.
As for my sister, after more than a decade mounting a counter, she emerged triumphant as my parents’ favourite daughter. No one could take away a shred of glory or love from her.
She’s the only one.
Only that day, when she finally revealed her devil-like mindset to me, did I finally realize… She didn’t want to provide for me—instead, all she wanted was to take everything away.
Just like she said, it was only a matter of time before dolls get abandoned. Who told you to become a doll?
As a doll, the moment she took away everything and chose to abandon me was the first time I felt the behavioral reflex of a human.
The knife in my hands plunged into her body so many times, until finally, it became the piece of evidence that sent me into a mental institute.
Li Jiao, delusional patient with deep paranoia, always thought of herself as an immaculate SD doll, to be forever loved by her owner.
Mental illness brought me a new place. Not a prison, no, but as for what it truly was… I have no idea.