Laughter. High pitched, evil laughter. It pierced the stillness of the night like a dagger going through flesh. It was the laughter-of a child.
Not much older then eight, the small hands, the hands that once held Teddy, held a small knife. Drip, drip, drip. The red, sweet blood dripped from the small knife. Once again, the little girl laughed. It bounced off the trees and was a mysterious stranger to the cold night.
"Look mommy. I'm doing it. Daddy, look. I'm actually doing it," she called. No one listened. Silence. All the she heard was the rapid pounding of her heart.
"Mommy! Daddy1 Look here. At me. Please, look here. Will I go the Red Place now?" Silence. More laughter rang out. Evil, insane laughter. She stopped. It started to drizzle. The little girl threw her head back and tried to drink.
"The sky is crying. Mommy, it's crying for you. Daddy, for you too." Tears started rolling down her cheeks. Then she wiped them away and laughed-it was sorrowful and full of pity.
The little walked to the man lying on the barren ground. She spit on his face. He moaned. "My daddy says that he didn't like you at all." The man tried to get up but his body wouldn't let him.
"Your daddy…is de-de-dead, Sam." The little girl reached out to him. She made him lie flat. She continued.
"I know what you're thinking, Mr. Morton. I know." The man moaned once again. The girl gently touched the blood on his head.
"You're thinking: How can a little girl do this? Aren't you?" She licked her bloody fingers. A rock nearby shook and then flew into the girl's outstretched hands.
"Your mommy…mommy," the man struggled to talk, "…like this." More laughter.
"Mommy knew. She knew what happened. But the bad men came and took her away. You were a Bad Men." She rubbed the edge of the knife on the rock.
"Sam…please…no…" The knife swung into him with great force and he was silenced. Insane laughter issued from the girl. She cocked her head to one side. She listened. Listened real good.
"Mommy, Daddy. They're coming. With their guns. Don't worry. I'll save you," she muttered. No answer.
The temperature steadily grew hotter and hotter. The rock blew up. The trees caught fire. The wind picked up speed, carrying the fire to new homes. It also carried her laughter. Smoke took refuge in the air but the little girl took no notice. She stared at the man and soon, he too, caught on fire.
"See mommy? You said fire was bad. 'Don't play with it,' you said. But it saved our lives," the girl said. Her mommy wasn't there. Her mommy was in the public Harrington Grave. Or she could be somewhere else, somewhere red. She started walking away from the fire, away from the screams issuing from far behind. The fire had spread. Mommy…Daddy…Is the Red Place open now…? The girl tried to talk with her parents. The silence in her head was slowly killing her.
The girl cocked her head again. Sirens. They were coming. She ran. She didn't know where. Or why. She just ran. Never stopping. Just ran closer and closer to death…
Four days later, the little girl stumbled into Harrington Grave. The little girl was thin. Her clothes were ripped and she was exhausted. At the back of the cemetery was an old oak tree that shadowed only three graves. These were in darkness all the time. The girl flopped down under the shade of the oak tree. She looked at the tombstones. On was her mommy's:
Another was her daddy's:
Her mommy and daddy were dead. The Bad Men killed them. For no reason at all, they were gone.
(No wait, they did reason.)
The Bad Men wanted her. She was (the girl frowned: what was that word again?) a Threat to the nation. She looked at the third and final grave. It made her laugh insanely. Her laughter hit the air like ice hits the skin. Evil, insane laughter…
The United States of America shall remember you.
The insanity stopped and the girl faded away.