"It was you, wasn't it?" she murmurs, and her breath fogs the window pane with childish accusation. The glass is delightfully, bitingly cold against her cheek and she watches a rivulet of rain slip slyly past her eye; the world blurs.

"It was you all along," she repeats softly, under her breath. Her small hand fists into a ball, pink lips pursing. "I knew it. You're the one who did it. It's all your fault."

The sound of polite laughter rings in the living room, a too-high, too-strangled falsetto. A tiny sliver of light, like a small slice of moon-cake, falls on the girl's hair through the crack of the door; the clink of glass and the stench of forced smiles is thick, but the girl does not mind. She is too busy staring through the window as the rain falls in pouring torrents, barrages the rose plants at the sill. The heads and buds bow meekly under the drowning sting, hiss of a traitor; the water washes away the color in the petals, pounds the blush to a dead grey, to a quiet murmur of nothing.

"You're the one who made Mommy like that," she sniffs, the cold numbing her cheek, reminding her of the times when the dentist gave her the shots that made her gum tingle curiously. Her eyes sting again at the memory of a woman's ashen face, the quivering hard shadows--the angry shadows that had swallowed the high cheekbones and candle-wick body so fully, just like Jonah's great whale. She draws her knees closer to her chest, presses them tight, tighter, and squeezes the life out of them.

She stares at the window and the window stares back.

"I hate you," she whispers, and the window reflects the same clear spite. She suddenly pulls her cheek away from the glass as if it has slapped her, shrinks away from it in shivering disgust.

"I hate you!" she repeats, louder this time and with more conviction.

Her eyes are tearing up now, and the world blurs with the plastic-painted smiles and her tears, with the rain whisperings of traitors, with the dying roses. She scrubs viciously at her eyes, forces it all to go away.

"It's all your fault," she whispers hotly and the steam of her words fogs the window.

She hits the window.

It does not budge.

She hits the window harder, and her fist throbs with its cold indifference. She begins to beat at it and the beating falls into a steady rhythm and the rhythm grows louder and louder, accentuated by her sudden keen wailing, a siren's wailing, and it consumes the room, the hallway, chews the corridor.

There are muffled sounds of confusion and puzzlement from the room of phony smiles and tin-tipped laughs, and then the clattering of silverware, shifting of gazes, and low murmurings sweeping throughout. Suddenly the door bursts open and the girl is struck by the pallid light like a great blow, is pale and vulnerable in the white cold light, a trembling ghost. A woman bustles out and grasps the girl tight by the wrists with bony vulture hands.

"It's all your fault!" the girl screams, beating at the air with numb fists. "It's all your fault!"

The girl bawls in the blinding light and the murmuring in the other room swells to a dull roar, an ocean of arched eyebrows and manicured nails and stifled tight lace and chokers. The mother hisses in the girl's ear, "Shut up!"

Shrieking louder, the girl cries with her fists waving in the air. "It's all your fault!"

The woman shakes the girl hard like a limp rag doll, the girl's head snapping dangerously back, and the girl writhes and kicks out and catches the woman in the stomach, sends her stumbling back. Gasps escape ugly lip-stick smeared mouths, disdainful quirking mouths.

"Oh dear, oh dear, what a child!" The exclamations are far away in another universe, rebound faintly, dizzily. ""Shameless child! Wild thing!"

The woman clutches her stomach, breathing hard, hair wisps escaping the tight bun, stares at the child with flinty grey eyes, walks up to the thrashing child and—

Slap!

The bony vulture hand smacks against the cheek, the cheek burning red velvet and wet, and the child stops crying. Blinks.

Silence.


This was actually written a while ago...I just sort of forgot about it and let it rot. Well, here you go. Another piece of spam to add to the growing pile. :D