Summary: A young girl with autism is being affected by something that lives in her home. Her mother is trying to figure out what it is. Very short.

Disclaimer: Mine. I'm using it for my application to a camp called Innerspark. Wish me luck!

Something Very Wrong

The last time the figure had appeared was through a photograph. It had hovered, gentle and feather-like, over the bed of the little girl, almost like a smokey wind of dry ice caught in midair, brushing away stray strands of hair from the child's head, causing a red heat-rash to erupt the following morning.

Lily, with her rose-pink skin and golden-blue-bright eyes and reddened-brown hair, was three years old, diagnosed with autism at a young age. She cried easily and her heair was often tied in limp auburn pigtails. Lily still had not said her first word and her parents had decided she never would. Lily was sensitive to light, sound, and touch, only a few of the effects of her autism. A voice was a shout, a shout deafening. Light was often dimmed a shade in her prescence and she hardly left home. Her mother's touch, though, was one of the only things that could calm her.

When she had first been diagnosed, the doctors had said, "There is something wrong with your daughter." But, on further thought, Aubrey Henderson decided, the doctors could have been wrong, must have been wrong. They do, after all, make mistakes. She knew without a doubt, though, that her daughter had autism. That was irrefutable.

And now, sitting at the dining table with the photograph of her sleeping daughter and the willow-the-wisp of light floating above her, touching her forehead, Aubrey thought back on the doctors' words. Something was not wrong with her daughter, she knew that much was true.

A crash came from Lily's room, then muffled sobbing. Aubrey Henderson began to stand up when she heard a soft "Shhhh . . . " She stood like that for a moment, not sure whether to stand up fully to check on her daughter or not. "Brenden?" she called out uncertainly. Silence. "Brend - " She never finished. Instead she saw the clock: 3:00pm. Brendan wouldn't be home for another two hours. "Oh, God," she whispered. She jolted up and rushed to her daughter's room. There, on the floor, her daughter sat, tears still wet in her eyes. She looked up at her mother in surprise, her mouth open in a silent gasp. Behind her, her mirror was crushed, broken to bits, but still in tact.

Lily was only three years old and had autism. She couldn't have awoken from her nap and broken the mirror and avoided being cut. There wasn't a mark on her.

The mirror held together in a very fragile manner, reflecting Aubrey Henderson and Lily. Beside Lily, in the mirror, was the figure, billowy white and gentle and grotesque in its softness. It wore a white, Eastery dress with fairy-like skin and silver curly locks, a very concentrated expression in its face. It reached out to Lily with one silvery-white hand. Lily, staring straight ahead to nothingness, whimpered and shied back a little.

Aubrey screamed a bloodcurdling scream and Lily rocked back and forth, crying. She pounded the floor and kicked her legs. Still, there was no one else in the room. Aubrey quaked and ran to her room, goosebumps travelling up her skin. She grabbed her and Brenden's Polaroid camera. She raced back to the room and took a snapshot of Lily. The flash caused Lily to scream. In the mirror, the figure was gone.

Aubrey scooped Lily up into her arms and ran for the door, the Polaroid still in her fingers, the camera band wrapped tightly around her wrist, Lily still screaming.

Aubrey threw open the door and, Lily in her arms, ran outside and stared, wide-eyed, at the house. The door slammed shut by a fierce force behind them. At first , there was nothing. Then the drapes began to blow and sway a bit. A soft, feathery screaming, so quiet it was barely detectable, floated through the house, as did a glowing white light, passing from window to window. Once the light had all but vanished, the screaming died away.

As Aubrey waited for Brendan to come home, she looked down at her daughter who lay, whimpering and glazed in the grass. On her forehead were five, doll-like fingerprints, still forming and becoming pink-rose-red and puffy. She could see the very details of the handprint, the lines on the fingers. The Polaroid photo fluttered from her fingers, lodging itself in the dewey grass, half-sticking up.

Aubrey picked it up. In the photo was a very tortured Lily, and, beside her, a very angry, very menacing, little girl, her pupilless white eyes bright and hateful against her pale white pallor. Her eyes were flaring, raging.

No, something was not wrong with her daughter, Aubrey decided as Lily lay, heaving her breaths in the damp grass as the screams from the house faded away. Something was not wrong with her daughter; something was very, very right.