The sun was so hot and intense inside white walls- eggshell walls- of a white, white bedroom.

Shimmering red hair, intense and as alive as blood spilled grotesquely over a child's pale, freckled limbs. Quiet sobs echoed in the silent room. A despairing face with gray eyes that stood out much too big inside her face was a flushed red, tears streaming. little shadows teased her under her bed, laughing as she gave off a despair so thick and mottled...a tiny tendril, unnoticed, cast cooling, taunting shade on a little finger.

Won't you join me?

Beside her, rumpled music sheets wilted under the heat of an ancient, forgotten summer. Scattered piano keys- like yellowed nails on a chalkboard, screeching – lay carelessly on the white hardwood floor. And still, the girl cried, blind to the darkness slowly pulling her in, under the bed. a place where she would be kept safe...

" God, Oh god…why…" tiny, gentle little fingers probed the white-and-black rumpled sheets of music on the creamy carpeted floor like the most fragile of glass. " Mother…" she cried despairingly. " Why do you do this? Why? Do I not matter?"

The eggshell white walls told her in their silent foreboding way- that yes, she did not matter. the shadows gave an almost audible hiss towards it, protesting that their little fire-haired child was very important indeed, that if the walls didn't want her, they would take her.

" Why would you do this?" she asked hopelessly- again- to the shimmering air before her, still seeking approval from what should be right.

" Why?"

And the air told her, in its fragile heat:

Because she could. Because she can do more than you can. She has fewer limits on doing things to you.

Abruptly, the girl gathered the music sheets together, gently, gently, gently…. clutched then to her chess, and continued in her sorrow.

" I don't understand, mom…do you love me? Why do you toss away everything, every single time?"

No one answered. She could figure it out for herself.

A dry sob wracked her frame, and a shadowed hand curled around her ankle.

Next door, a boy asked his mother with childish curiosity: " Is someone screaming?"

The mother smiled, a dark secret shining with malice behind her eyes.

" No, Jimmy. The Greenwoods are just playing their horror movies too loud again. Would you like a cookie?"

" Oooh, please!"

The girl screamed like a wounded animal, desperate for someone to help. Of course, no one helped her.

She wouldn't be able to end this endless cycle of desperate pleasing, rejection, and hurt.

The eggshell walls, the shimmering air, and the lacy white bed only watched silently. Just another girl in the world- how could she matter?

A dead silence followed after her scream of bestiality.

" THE HOUSE IS BURNING! GET ME OUT, GET ME OUT!" she again screamed finally, wanting to make at least a tiny, tiny difference. She just hoped someone listened. the Shadows began their slow dragging into the shade, where she would be kept safe- but someone else had heard.

And as her horrible blank white door opened to reveal a furious woman- blond with gray eyes, the same facial features- grab the girl by her red, red tresses and drag her away… the shadows, ducked under the bed, could only watch in mute horror.

BAB: …well. This is kind of dark. Not really horror-inspiring, though. This is dedicated to a friend of mine.