For her Words Have Been Stolen by Walls

Evangeline never talked to the other kids at school. Whenever they made a comment, she only made eye contact to acknowledge the fact that she heard them. If they asked her a question, she didn't respond at all. Even if someone was able to hold her attention for more than a few seconds, she only stared at them as if she were afraid to open her mouth. It was the same scenario with her teachers. If a question were asked, Evangeline didn't raise her hand. When asked directly, she would only shrug her shoulders. Eventually, both teacher and student learned to avoid talking to her altogether.

At home, Evangeline didn't speak very much either. Her parents tried to engage her in dinner conversation, but her answers were always clipped and to the point. "Did you have a nice day at school?"


"Keeping up on your grades?"


"Would you like to watch movies after dinner?"


And so it was every morning, afternoon and evening. Even Evangeline's parents sometimes found having a chat with their only daughter a useless effort.

What Evangeline's classmates, educators, and parents didn't know was that she could talk. In fact, her jaw was capable of moving for hours. When the house was empty, and the walls were her only companions, Evangeline would make her way towards her room. Once there, she would open her mouth and pour forth a soliloquy worth the ears and attention of thousands. Her words would float from her mouth and dance in the air as she continued on and on about the simplest of things: The sweetness of that morning's orange juice, the beauty of a stranger's smile, the purity of a flower's petals. Evangeline talked about it all. When her tongue finally stayed still, she'd smile to herself and stare at her sentences in the open space of her bedroom. Even then she'd be thinking of more things that she wanted to say, to people this time.

But then, something would happen. The paragraphs she spent hours reciting would drift to the corners of the room, slowly, like clouds. Her smile would fade and her eyes would grow large as she took in the all too familiar scene of her words blending into the background. They'd hit the beige plaster silently, and settle onto the surface. In minutes her wall would appear to be covered in newsprint. One tear would form in each eye as, letter by letter, her monologue faded. Like a burning piece of paper, the swirls and loops would fold and sink into themselves until finally, they were gone.

After these episodes, Evangeline stays silent for days. How can she speak? There's nothing she could possibly say, for her words have been stolen by walls.