June 17, 1986
She was turning 10 years old.
Her name was Marylou.
Golden hair.
Dirt-brown eyes.
And tall. Was she tall.
Five foot eight at the age of ten, quite the talk of the town.
Marylou skipped happily over to her obviously drunken grandfather, she threw her arms around him and kissed him on the cheek.
He responded with a grunt/growl. Then he turned to her and said "I already gave you money, go away." He laughed.
Papa Joe was a kind drunk.
Marylou's mother, however, was a mean drunk.
Which is why she quit several years ago.
"Marylou!" her mother called. "Why don't you sing us all a song"
"But," Marylou shouted back. "There is no music"
"Nah baby, sing the one you wrote"
Marylou walked slowly to the middle of the yard, where the audience sat in a semi-circle patiently waiting for the show to commence.
Marylou took a series of deep breaths.
She sang.
She sang the way no other could ever sing.
Her vocals sweetly lifted you and painted you in a fantasy world of perfection.
All the while her lyrics beat you to death with the brutal honesty that only a child can percieve.
The song was called "Otter."

June 28, 1986.
Marylou was now ten and she liked to flaunt that fact around the neighborhood.
Nearly all of Gorgetown was talking about Marylou and her song. "The whole of the world should hear it," they'd say. Others critiqued that it was "amateurish", which was almost always quelled with the statement of "Well, she is only ten"
She woke up.
Stars and quite a few signed photographs of people she had never heard of.
She always used to think, who is Red Skelton anyway?
Steve Allen?
Bettie Page?
All of them.
Marylou fell out of the bed.
The floor was always so comfortable to her when she just woke up, but then painful when she wanted to sleep on it later.
Her mattress was made of some substance that Marylou couldn't pronounce the name of. But she had a sneaky feeling that it wasn't too good for you. So, when she could, she'd try to sleep on the floor.
She was poor.
No, she wasn't, her family was.
Marylou never understood why her father wouldn't sell the pictures. He always said they would save her life or something... She didn't usually listen to his "speaches."
The kitchen is always so far from the bed in the morning, and too close in the middle, and again too far at night.
The logic of the world constantly escaped Marylou. But, again, she is only ten.
Marylou's mom was in the kitchen cooking her daughter's favorite breakfast.
French toast.
French toast with cinnamon and no syrup.
Marylou's mom went to grab a knife to cut the butter with, but there were none other than a butcher's knife.
She cut her thumb off.

Hours later, after Marylou had eaten her breakfast and wondered about the blood, her mom came home.
Marylou exictedly hugged her mom, and told her of all the weird stories she came up with about her mother's disapearance and all the blood.
Marylou's mother, nearly missed all this. She was floating.
Marylou bottomed out.
She went to sleep on the floor in the livingroom.
There was never anything to do in her town, so Marylou became very good at getting tired doing nothing.
Her father opened the door.
He had groceries.
He always had groceries.
"Hey all"
"Daddy!" Marylou leapt up and hugged him tightly.
"Hey you leave daddy alone until he has all this put away, huh?" Her father said.
"So any excitement here?" her father said to the universe at large.
"Uh huh," Marylou said while grabbing some bags, "Mommy gots killed."

July 2, 1986
Marylou fell on the ground, her head under his foot.
"Never tease my daughter again!" He said.
Marylou was crying. "I didn't. It was the other girls"
"My daughter," he pushed down harder. "said that it was you"
Marylou shrieked. She nearly slipped out the word "daddy"
"Are you calling her a goddamn liar"
"No!" Marylou yelled.
There was a shot.
A gunshot.
Marylou cringed and she felt the warmth pooling around her.
"I'm dead," she thought.