AN: Okay, so maybe I'm a little pissed at the fact that I posted this story in the first place because I have no clue whatsoever to do with it and Rosie will not let me delete it! Damn you, Rosie! Damn you to hell! Kidding, of course. I love her to bits and pieces, but I hate writing this story! Rosie, you owe me one!

Chapter IV

Night. The dead of night was as quiet as the grave, if the grave is so silent as they say. The white room, that the nice man in the white coat had let her stay in, had now gone grey and the sky was no longer a silvery white tinted with cool blue, but a dull black poisoned with brown. She couldn't sleep. She could only stare at the ceiling and try to picture something happening to her that might make her smile again. She must have forgotten how to smile. She had to learn sometime.

A whisper then called her name: Emily! How did that voice know her name? But then it called again.

Emily!

It spoke her name as if it were a song. Mommy did that when they were playing. Was that Mommy's voice calling to her?

Emily!

Emily swung the warm blanket away from her body and stepped lightly away from the bed, following the singsong voice of her name echoing through the halls. It was Mommy. It had to be Mommy. No one else called her like that.

Mommy?

The door swung itself open as her steps came closer and the opening became wider. The hallways were not what they used to be. It became a path of snow-white curtains of silk flying in the wind of daylight windows. She stepped towards that path and left the other behind. The tight grip in her stomach had somehow drifted away and she felt like she could breathe again. Her muscles were no longer as tense as before. She was not afraid anymore.

Emily!

Emily looked towards the light and heard music. Twinkling music singing an old lullaby that she remembered as a little girl. Mommy used to sing it for her.

Emily!

Mommy! There was Mommy! She was in the white dress that she wore in the picture next to Daddy when he wore black. She was smiling at her and calling her name. Emily felt a sudden pressure against her cheeks and a stretch in her lips. She was smiling again. So this was what smiling felt like. It had been so long. She pushed her legs to move quickly across the ground and ran as fast as her skinny little legs could take her, even if they went numb.

Mommy! I'm coming, Mommy!

But then her feet went stuck to the ground and her eyes became as big as saucers to see her Mommy's smile grow as brittle and dry as her rotten skin and her eyes gone white. Her dress was splashed with red and the music box in her hands was not twinkling, not singing; just twanging.

One, two; buckle my shoe.

Three, four; lock the door.

Five, six; pick up sticks.

Seven, eight; lay them straight.

Nine, ten; start again.

That chant, calling to her. The same voice that called to her since she knew what it had done to her. She remembered them still. The strap wrapped so tightly around her ankle that it would have ground her joints together, the slamming of the wooden door at her face, the bones that they called sticks that they'd picked up, the straight line of the bones laid perfectly together and-Oh God!-the spinning circle of time commanding them to continue this routine!

Emily stirred in her sleep as the splashes of red exploded before her eyes. A ravenous red of blood to match the oblivious black of a heart. She could see them. Everyone…they were all screaming like banshees and calling her name, begging for help. The pain and agony in their eyes shed hot tears and wept for mercy over and over again.

"Emily!" they screamed. "Emily, please help us!"

Oh God! She could only think. I don't know how to help you. I don't know if they'll let me.

Who were they anyway? Were they Gods that she worshipped? No, they weren't Gods. They were just people who acted like Gods…especially…that one.

Suddenly, a firm and gripping hand covered her mouth and muffled her screams and cries for mercy. They were useless anyway. No one would hear her screaming and nor would they care.

One, two; buckle my shoe.

Emily felt a strap of soft iron gripping at her ankles as if to grind the bones of her joints together into dust. Oh, it was unbearable! She couldn't feel her feet anymore.

Three, four; lock the door.

The door slammed shut in her face, smashing against the wall like thunder against the clouds. Her tears were the pouring rain to the strong clap of thunder.

Five, six; pick up sticks.

Bones. They were everywhere. The rattling of the bones knocking together as everyone else gathered them all together. Bones of the people that breathed no more.

Seven, eight; lay them straight.

One by one, every last bone was beautifully sorted with the others as if to build a castle out of them. Such pretty little castles made of bones.

Nine, ten; start again.

And then it would start all over again like the circle of time.

Emily awoke with a start and screamed at the top of her lungs. Her shrill cries echoed against the white walls, now gone grey like they were in her nightmare. She searched the room and saw that it was empty, as was the sound surrounding her. Numbingly empty. Where was the nice man in the white coat? She needed him. He always held her and made her feel better when she was afraid.

She didn't hear footsteps or voices anywhere. The nice man was nowhere to be found. Where was he?

Help me now! I need you!

The white sheets of her bed had now gone red. She jumped off and gasped in fear to see that colour again. She hated that colour now. Oh God, she hated it so much! It was a sinful, dangerous and sick colour that she never wished to touch again! But then she looked down and found that she was bleeding between her legs and the red was dripping from her dress.

Red against white.

She touched the red and saw that the tip of her fingers had soaked in the red against her pink flesh. She looked at the wall and saw how clean it was. She reached out and touched the cool surface to see a line drawn from her own finger. She knew that if someone wanted help, they'd ask for it. She needed help.

xXx

Julian's eyelids were heavy. Nighttime was not his time to work. Not even the strong bittersweet aroma of the coffee could keep him awake. Darkness appeared to swallow up his sight, regardless of how hard he tried to fight, but even a soldier had to give in sometimes. His head sunk to his chest and his sight faded to black.

Ouch! Stop it! Mommy, that hurts!

Splashes of red were spilt, irons fists thrown, whiskey glasses shattered and screams cried out in agony. Fire was fuming in Mrs. Cartwright's eyes, as the whites were yellow from the sickness that she must have had. She screamed at the boy and cursed at him, calling him names that were far too bold for a child to understand, but somehow the boy knew that they were not nice names.

Mommy, you're hurting me!

Daddy called her those names too. The boy thought that Mommy and Daddy were supposed to be happy. They looked happy in that picture where Mommy wore white and held flowers in her hands and Daddy wore black with a flower on his chest. They must have had in their mouths to make their lips go wide and their cheeks go red. Of course, growing up with tears, the boy barely knew what a smile was. It had been a long time since he'd smiled.

Ouch! Mommy, stop it! Mommy!

Crash! Bang! Thud! Crack! And little Julian fell to the ground, begging Mommy to forgive him for taking the last cookie.

Mommy!

Julian gasped as he awoke with a start, slick with sweat from the fear and loathing that he remembered from when he was just a little boy. His fast and heavy breath slowly ceased as his muscles became looser and relaxed at last.

God, it had been a long time since he looked back on those memories. He hated to mention it to anyone since one of the teachers found his constant cuts and bruises to be too constant to just declare him as clumsy and took him to another family where they took care of him and loved him. He never knew love until then. He was only ten years old.

Still, the memories were still imprinted in that little space in the back of his head and haunted him in his nightmares once every now and then. He hated having those dreams and tried to forget them, but they were still there.

But the memories were suddenly forgotten when a sharp scream pierced his eardrums as it flooded the room.

Emily!

Julian jumped from his seat and ran out the door, through the halls and to Emily's room. As he swung the door open, he was almost sick to his stomach to see one word written on the white wall, trailing from Emily's hand:

HELP!