Two ten-year-old little girls, sat together in the middle of a room painted in shades of pale blue with toy dolls splayed a crossed the caramel colored floor board. Both girls wore floor length dresses, over puffy white under garments they used to cushion the hardness of the floors. One of the girls' dresses was a foresty emerald green that matched her willow-green eyes, but clashed with her temperamental red hair. The other little girl wore lilac with snippets of black interlaced all over her dress.

The little girls were using their dolls to reenact a scene form a play they had gone to see a few weeks prior. Giggles slipped between quickly spoken sentences of Spanish. The dolls were dressed ostentatiously; hair wound in intricate designs, and make-up masked the dolls painted on coloring.

One doll was dressed as a pauper's wife and another as a Lady taking care of a young child. Both dolls were in the possession of small dainty hands, belonging to he small little girl with a delicate nose, slightly chubby pink tinted cheeks, long thick midnight black lashes looming over melted chocolate brown eyes and curls upon curls of inky black hair, touching frail shoulders covered in lilac and black. The little girl smiled and laughed with her friend as they made the dolls dance for a couple of hours.

Too soon though both girls' parents were at the door of the bedroom they were in breaking up their game, in hopes to start the late evening meal and to open tightly wrapped gifts for the birthday girl.

Two sets of small dainty feet skipped and hopped down a hallway painted in a soft shade of crème, quickly descending down the wooden stairs carefully, and then dashing towards the dining room, throwing out the need to act like young ladies after hearing the words food and gifts, leaving behind four sets of amused eyes.

All four adults, two little girls and three adolescent boys sat down around a large table hidden under piles of food and said a prayer before filling their plates with: mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, honey smoked ham, turkey covered in gravy, cranberry sauce, buttered roles, pumpkin pie, meat pie, apple pie, zucchini bread, corn bread, and steaming hot blueberry pie.

Each individual sitting at the table savored the taste of each flavor that hit their extremely sensitive taste buds. Quiet hmms resounded from the table's occupants occasionally in appreciation of the decadent meal.

A little while later when everyone was finished their portions of food, presents were brought out and full bodies moved to the small sitting room situated on the right, three feet down the hall leading from the dining room and kitchen.

Both little girls quickly sat sown on the soft light purple carpet in front of all of the gifts that were given. Chattering erupted seconds after the first gift was placed in front of the young child wearing lilac and black. Then the words, "Es tu cumpleaños hija. ¿vas a abrir tu regalo pronto, Amanda?"

"¡Sí, abre tu regalo Amanda! ¡Yo quiero verlo! ¡Rápidamente por favor!" an anxious red-head said excitedly.

"¡Yo voy! ¡Yo voy, Calamaria! Sientate y espera." Amanda, the birthday girl responded to her best friend of seven years. Mere seconds later brown paper and nude colored string were flung carelessly onto the carpeted floor around both girls.

The first gift was a hand crafted leather journal with an emerald dragon sewn onto the front and the words Amanda Jane Lopez beautifully scripted onto the binding. Each page in the journal had a small green and red inked rose in the upper right hand corner as well as the left on the other side. The paper that was used in the journal was of a material similar to what most used artists and designers use. It was put in the journal instead of regular paper so that when the owner wished to switch from writing to drawing and the like, they could. On the inside of the cover were the words, "A gift for my heart and soul, that has brought much sunshine into our lives, Love Mamá," in small delicately written cursive.

The next gift to be opened was a box that had both a brand new writing kit, but also an art kit that was given to Amanda from her father. Following after that gift was a small jeweler's box with three handmade beaded bracelets in the colors: blue and green; silver and black; and yellow and gold. A small card with light pink and white roses a crossed the front, came with the small box, stating that the gift was from her dear friend Calamaria.

After the first three gifts, time flew by much faster than before, seeming like minutes rather than the hours it had actually been, causing everyone to prepare for a night of rest.


Two weeks later both girls lay side by side on a full size bed set, covered in light green and blue comforters up to their heads, fighting against the shaking consuming their small pale frames. Dark bags lay underneath a set of willow-green eyes and a set of milk chocolate brown eyes, showing the telltale signs of lost sleep. Cool rags lay on each forehead attempting to bring down the rising temperatures. The skin on the girls faces had slightly sunken in from the inability to keep down the substance and nutrients they so desperately needed. Every once and a while a set of hacking coughs would wreak havoc on their already weakened bodies.

The only skin that wasn't buried under blankets were Amanda's and Calamaria's arms, which were trembling, rattling the three matching bracelets worn on their right wrists. The much too pale skin hung uselessly from the bone and cartilage underneath. At only ten-years-old both girls looked to be on their death beds, mere weeks after celebrating ten years of life. The rate that their bodies were deteriorating from the virus funning rampant through their bloodstream was astounding.

Doctors had told both of their parents that the virus was one that wasn't known to medical community. All they knew was that it infected healthy white blood cells, causing them to either mutate and reproduce more of the virus, burst or completely break them down into nothing. The worst part about the virus was that the rate of spreading was so fast that the body could not replace the dead white blood cells fast enough to assist with their bodies homeostasis, which for unknown reasons caused skyrocketing temperatures within the victim that continuously fluctuated between deadly and safe. The mysterious part about the virus was it didn't always kill those who were infected by it and there were only two known survivors.

How the girls contracted the virus baffled not only their parents, but doctors as well because the known cases of where it had struck happened to be nowhere near where they lived. The closest man to where the girls lived was two towns away, in the middle of a woodsy area. The man was named Jeremy Ray Malciber and he had contracted it from a friend he had been taking care of when he had gotten sick. His friend had ended up dying at the hospital before any doctors could determine what was killing him. Suffice to say nobody knew how Little Amanda and Calamaria ended up with the malicious virus.

So both girls' health slowly, but surely deteriorated to the point that their skin hung not only uselessly but lifelessly turning pale, then grey until it began to develop open wounds and was a step away from rotting in several places on their small frames, looking as if death had already claimed them. Neither girl could move without crying out helplessly in excruciating pain, if they were even able to move at all that particular day.

Doctors, scientists, biologists, botanists and others in the field of science looked desperately for what had caused their delicate situation, where it came from, and how to cure them of it. So far they had searched through everything that had ever been found or known to see if it was some sort of mutation, but found nothing. They were all becoming more agitated because they were quickly running out of time. They had all estimated that at the rate the virus was working at both girls would be gone in a mere week's time.

Seeing as how the doctors before couldn't find a connection to the two survivors or the known victims of the virus, they decided to ask the little girls one last time if they had an idea of how they could have gotten sick.

Amanda told them that she didn't have an idea where it could have come from because she was always either with her family or with her best friend, Calamaria, and she never went out into town.

Little Calamaria, had said to them the very first time they had spoken that, she had started to feel sick from what they were afflicted with a week after going to the museum with her other friend Lucia, which was the week before they had found out what the girls were infected with.

She had been at the museum for the whole day looking at all the exhibits with Lucia because her parents were gone all day dealing with business and attending a charity auction that children weren't allowed to attend.

While she was there, Calamaria, accidentally ran into a man who was very pale, that had been coughing heavily. She had politely asked the man if he was okay and if he would like her orange to make him better. The man had kindly accepted the orange and thanked her profusely before leaving the museum to go visit his sickly friend he had finally managed to go to the hospital.

When Calamaria was asked to describe the man for further identification, they found that the man who had unconsciously gotten her sick and by association her friend was indeed Mr., Malciber from two towns away, who was on his way to visiting his now deceased friend.

The doctors felt sparks of hope blossom from the fact that Jeremy Ray Malciber had survived the virus towards the end of his near death experience with it. The thought that it might be the same with both little girls, ran through the minds of every adult, but it would be all for naught when by the end of the week Little Amanda passed away, in the middle of the night from organ failure, and starvation.

Only Calamaria was able to survive through the experience to grow into an adult and years later still blame herself for the death of her childhood friend, even if it had been a simple accident by getting sick and passing it on to her friend.

Throughout her adult life the events that took place, haunted her so badly that when she died peacefully in her sleep at the age of 64, her soul lingered in limbo for a year and then was reborn a year later to suffer in its own personal hell, repeating the process for hundreds of years until one faithful day.