She was a child, not even twelve. I kept quiet and smiled. She'd tell me all the story, no need for encouragement. So they told me she would.
"Are you here to listen to the story? My doctors say talking about it helps. They say I should talk about it whenever I can."
I nodded. She understood and went on.
"They say it was just a bad dream. A very bad dream. That I was born this way and I choose to ignore or forget it. But that makes no sense. I remember having bones, and walking and moving around. If I was born like this I wouldn't remember that. They took my bones, the big ones and the long ones. And some small ones. Or well, he did. There was a man. He had dirty glasses and black hair. He smelled bad, like smoke and ash. He came six times. Every time, he took a bone or two. I don't remember anything apart from his glasses and pain. A lot of pain. The first few times I screamed and tried to get away. He kept saying something in another language, I think. 'eenga penga' or something like that. He kept saying it every time I was screaming or crying. 'eenga penga fur anestesi' too. He kept repeating that, until I couldn't forget it."
"I don't remember how much time I was on the table. I just remember crying and staring at the same ceiling fan go round and round all the time. It never stopped. I was there for days. Or weeks, or months. And pain. The pain wouldn't stop at all. Every time I moved, I felt pain. By the third time the man came, I was too tired to cry or scream. And it always hurt too much to sleep. The man with the dirty glasses came and stood next to the table where I was. I think he said 'iaag aer lessen', or something similar. Or...or maybe he said that every time. I forget. He gripped my ankle and I could feel something sliding across my ankle, from the heel to the bend. Immediately after, it would burn and I'd feel blood pouring out. Then he began cutting sideways, towards my knee. I felt my skin and flesh splitting apart, bit by bit. He stopped above the knee and began to shove his fingers into the slit. He groped until he found the bone and began to pull at both ends, until it came out. It was a long bone, red with blood. It was still being held by thin red streaks from inside the leg. He wrenched it hard and the red streaks broke completely. It hurt. It hurt so much. I don't remember anything after that, it all went black. The next time I remember waking up, he came to take my left arm."
She stopped for a while. I wasn't sure if she was going to break down, but she went on.
"The fifth time it hurt the worst. He cut me from belly button to neck and pulled my skin apart. I still cried and screamed, but he didn't stop at all. He took a small round buzzing thing with a round blade on one end and stuck into my chest. He was cutting my ribs. My whole chest buzzed as he sawed away. Every few seconds he took away some more bone. I lost count how many bits he took out. At the end he pulled out a big thing, that looked like a long, thin spider or crab, red and dripping with blood. I suppose he stitched me out every time he finished, or else I would have died. The next I remember I was in a chair, looking down at a room with tables covered with shiny instruments all over. The man with the dirty glasses stood in the middle of the room, looking at me and waving. Then he pointed at a table with many white and red things on it. Some looked like the bones I saw him pull out of me. The big red crab-looking thing was there too. There were five, all looking the same. Then he started grinding some of them and sticking them together with nails and white paste, like one of those 3D puzzles. Around me were other people. They looked like other children. We were all watching. Watching the man shape all those bits and pieces of bone into what looked to be like a white violin.
Again she stopped. This time she looked straight at me.
"People usually tell me to stop about now."
I had no problem with it, I answered. She stared at me with dead eyes for a bit, then shrugged and went on.
"Next thing I remember, I was sitting in a hall. A concert place. There were other kids around me, sat as I was. There was another kid n the stage, apart from all of us. He had a white violin and was holding it awkwardly. One of his arms was shorter than the other, and his head seemed crooked to one side. He...he looked to be in pain...or confused. His mouth was halfway open and his jaw was shaking. He...there was something wrong with him, I'm sure. He tried to play but his fingers just didn't move right or how he wanted them to move. The violin just screeched and screeched. Someone around me winced a bit. It wasn't music. He dropped the violin and started crying and screaming. But...it was so frightening. It sounded sad. But the screams were like pain. He rocked back and forth and almost fell out of his chair. The man with the dirty glasses ran up the stage and caught him and carried him off the stage. Then he came back and looked angry. Very angry. He picked up the violin and stared at it. Then he started yelling and threw it at us. It hit the kid next to me and shattered. I remember her neck going limp and blood flowing from her face down to the chair. After that everything went black again. I don't remember anything after. Just that I woke up here, with doctors around me."
She stopped and her eyes fell to the floor. Someone came in and tapped my shoulder. I didn't move at first. I just looked. At her. At the boneless limbs, dangling uselessly from her torso. At the waste of bones. The person behind me tapped my shoulder again. I got up and left. It's a good thing I didn't wear my glasses that day. I always forget to clean them.