She stood still as stone, blinking once every hour, but only when she was quite sure no one would notice. She had tried to enhanced her every feature to near perfection – near stillness! Her straight black hair was as still as her body. Her lips, painted a rich red contrasted with her sickly white face. The gray gown she wore (which seemed to be pulled straight down by an unseen force) tautly fit around her skinny figure – obviously the result of a very tight-fitting corset. Her hands were held out in front of her, offering an invisible gift. (What would she have to offer? What could she possibly have given but shudders, even hatred for her accomplishment of near perfection!?)

Her long, slender fingers were hidden beneath dull, white gloves. Her bare feet were barely visible beneath the still dress, yet they were painted the same hue as her face.

Her two milky blue eyes were fixed on the clock of the church tower across the street. The minute hand moved ever so slowly, tantalizing her poor, young soul. She thought she'd reached perfection. Her feat now was to sustain it! While her body remained still as stone – nay, still as a statue! – her heart beat faster and faster. Her veins hidden under the white gloves, rushed with colorful blood. And the fastest moving part of her entire person was her mind! It accelerated to a speed faster than the blink of an eye! Even faster than her own occasionally blinks!

People would come up to her, stare at her for a brief moment, and walk away, mumbling about their own business, and very rarely about the near perfection of this Living Statue.

One little girl came up to the Living Statue followed by her mother. "Is it real?" the daughter asked naïvely.

"Yes, she is," assured the mother, her arm behind her daughter's back, ushering her away from the Statue.

"She is so perfect." The mother frowned at her daughter's opinion.

The Living Statue had not received such a kind comment for hours. Yet, somehow, she still managed to stifle a smile. Her mind raced faster, faster, faster. She'd been still for six hours straight and would not be interrupted by a little girl.

"Come on, let's go," the mother said. She and her daughter walked on past the statue.

Faster, faster, faster, faster… Hunger, thirst, fatigue, pain, everything. Just one blink. No one would see…just one blink.

Her deep black mascara-covered eyelashes met in what seemed like an hour to her. Of course, it was much quicker…much, much quicker.

But not quick enough for the little girl to see it out of the corner of her eye.

"She blinked!" the little girl exclaimed.

She blinked! She blinked! And as the Statue heard those words, she fell to the ground.

As I watched, I half expected the poor Statue to crumble into a billion small fragments. However, her stiff body became loose and fell upon the ground, gracefully, humanly with a soft thump.

Her stiffened face was released from it's mask-like position. Her mouth curled down. The black mascara rolled down her pale face in the form of tears.

The daughter ran to the fallen Statue and lifted the gloved hand. The statue opened her eyes. She took her gloves off to reveal flesh-colored hands.

"I guess I was never offering a gift," she said, "I was begging for one." The Statue rubbed her white make up on the gloves and cast them aside, covered with white and black. "Even statues cry, love."