MISS EMILY

Deidre Mayfair

Everybody knew her. Everybody knew her dolls.

Lovely Miss Emily, with the thick rimmed glasses and black bow, why, you'd think her a life-sized doll if you saw her from afar, outfit complete with fancy silk frocks.

She crafted every one of them herself, Airedethe, Solaris, Raven, Claudia, and many more, flanking her shelves, their glassy eyes staring forward, lips curled up into a smile.

Mary Beth was there, in Emily's room, when it happened. She was fixing her a new outfit, for every doll of Emily's had at least three. Mary Beth was to acquire a school girl outfit, complete with black boots.

And yes, Mary Beth was sad about what happened to Miss Emily, sad that she hasn't been able to stop him.

They took her away in a stretcher, her white frock, very much like Diana's, who resided on the third shelf, adjacent to Mary Beth, stained with something red, as red as Circe's gown.

But dolls don't know what blood is. They don't bleed.

Emily was so much like them, Mary Beth thought, when she lay on the gray stretcher, eyes glassy and forever staring off into oblivion, like theirs.

Her glasses were still on the bed, the left lens cracked and sprayed with crimson fluid, alongside Mary Beth.

It was him, he did it, and Mary Beth knew it.

Him. Emily's little secret. He was like Emily, hair as black as Raven's, slitty brown eyes like Amelia, and he came here sometimes, at night.

Emily told them always never to tell anyone that he was here.

Sometimes, he was nice to her, and brought her roses. She only liked roses.

But sometimes they would fight. Emily would shout at him and he would hit her.

Tonight he didn't bring any flowers. Emily told him to go away.

But he wouldn't. She ignored him. But he was still there.

He wouldn't go away, Mary Beth saw that. He held in his hand something shiny, like the scissors Emily used to sew their clothes. He thrust it at her, making the red liquid spread all over her gown. He did it over and over and over.

But Mary Beth couldn't do anything. The scarlet fluid splashed on her.

The shiny silver thing stuck out from her chest obscenely, sheathed in red. You couldn't even tell that her dress was white anymore. He slammed the door and left.

It was when the clock chimed five times that someone finally found her. She was dead, they said.

Mary Beth didn't know what that that meant.

But there were many things that she didn't know. She didn't know why he did that to Emily. She didn't know why she never saw Emily again.

Now Mary Beth lives in a box of glass. People come and go, staring at her, taking pictures like Emily used to do. In fact, they all lived in their own little glass prisons. They were confused about why Emily disappeared. Mary Beth knew what happened, but never knew why.