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Marry had a little lamb

imagesIt’s not too bad, is it, sweetie?”

Humbly dressed and brown haired, Wilbert Snow smiled at his daughter, and Mary gently smiled back from the living room. Mary’s father, Wilbert, was searching for a home set on a few acres of land that he could potentially build a vegetable garden on, and after a tedious hunt, he found one that would hopefully please Mary’s taste. It was a dreary journey for both Mary and her father. Mary’s father had his own difficult times, but he made sure that Mary would always have her mind on something joyous and kind. When Mary’s mother passed away a few years ago, she was devastated. Since Mary’s mother passed away from an unknown illness in their old house, Mary’s father decided it would be best for both of them to leave and move to a new home. A new garden with lots of land for Mary to play in, and a new place to start fresh memories is what Wilbert wanted. It would definitely take both of them some time to get used to Flyde. The nearest village, Hambleton, was only a few miles away.

“Dad, this house seems so old. Why here?” Mary scoffed. Mary’s father glared at her from the doorway with packed boxes in both hands. “Are you going to complain, or are you going to help your dad get stuff out of the car?” Mary’s father returned. Mary shrugged and proceeded to help unpack the boxes. She didn’t really like the thought of moving to a place where houses weren’t present for miles, nor did she like the thought of living on a big piece of land partially surrounded by forests. The only thing she did like had nothing to do with the house, but that summer was just beginning. Mary had just finished her second year in high school, and she couldn’t wait to relax at home. She was longing to see her friends that she’d left behind when she moved out of her previous home. She only ever had a few friends, but they were true friends.

Mary peaked out of the window in an attempt to see why her father was taking so long to bring in more boxes and saw him talking to a woman. Mary stepped out the front door and onto the porch to observe her father closely. “Hey, Mary, come say ‘hi’ to your aunt Tori for a second.” said Mary’s father. Mary was quite shy, even if it was family she was going to greet. “Oh, wow! You are just so gorgeous, aren’t you?” Mary blushed at her aunt’s kind remark. Mary didn’t really see herself as pretty, although; she did appreciate her aunt’s compliment. Without a doubt, Mary was quite lovely. Curly orange locks of hair fixed around her face, and she was undeniably smart for her young age. Coping with a family death kind of puts a sense of responsibility on the people who experience the loss, and that’s most likely how Mary carried through such difficult times.

“So, aren’t you just loving the new house, Mary?” Tori inquired.

Mary was hesitant to give an honest opinion of how she really felt about the old, two-story Victorian- style home. “Um, well…I think it’s pretty, but it might take some getting used to.”

Her father let out a soft chuckle. It was great to see her father happy again. He had spent all his savings on this house; the least Mary could do was be grateful. “You are just so clever, aren’t you? Now, you can run along and explore. I’ll help your daddy put away the rest of the boxes.”

Mary felt relieved that she could take a break from unloading what seemed like a thousand boxes. Exploring wasn’t really on Mary’s mind, but she figured it would be good to know where she could plant that apple tree she had been wanting to plant ever since she was little. She kissed her aunt, hugged her father, and set off to roam her new surroundings.

The land was mainly flat with a few hills sparse in between. Medium stalks of wheat occupied most of the plains; although, the lush white flowers were visible from a great distance away. There were small clusters of trees that were subtly separated by a few hundred meters or so. The closest patch of trees to the home was standing on top of a small hill. It wasn’t too far from the home, but far enough that Mary could feel safe in the event that a tornado struck. She hated the thought of a tree falling on top of the house. Other than that, she loved trees. In fact, this patch of trees would be perfect for her to plant her apple tree in. Making her way up the steep slope, Mary noticed the silence and serenity as she stared up at the aged trees. The wind blew softly, revealing a rustle of the leaves above, and the smoky smell of moss that swayed from the branches.

She made it to the top of the slope, turned to face the field she traveled, and saw her aunt and father still unloading boxes from her father’s car in the distance. The house was closer than she had originally thought. With the sun at the highest point in the sky, Mary wanted to take advantage of the light and search the woods for a nice planting spot. She didn’t want her father to find out about her apple tree; she wanted to make the best apple pie for her father. Mary made her way between the porous-barked trees and into a small area. It could have been the perfect place to plant a tree, but there was hardly any sunlight passing through the tangled branches above. Mary steered around searching for a substantial spot to plant her apple tree, and she began to notice oddities in the environment.

Mary stepped back to examine the wall of trees that stood around her. It was quiet. There wasn’t any chirping of birds, any buzzing of bugs, no flowing of air, and no sound of any kind. It was a different kind of silent. “I’d better get home.” She thought to herself. She worried about how her father was feeling. “Maybe he thinks I got lost and called the authorities to come find me.” With this in mind, she walked back the way she came from. As she brushed through the path she created earlier, she couldn’t help notice a subtle interruption in her mind. She peered through the gloomy darkness, but could not see anything other than trees and shade. Only a soft touch of light existed here. Even though she could not see anything, she felt like someone was there. She hadn’t felt this feeling in a long time, not since her mother passed away.

She hastened her way out of the woods, down the hill, through the fields and to the house. It was dark out. Mary wondered how long she had actually been in those woods, and why she hadn’t noticed the time. She banged on the back door afraid to look behind her. “You’re finally home from your adventure? You had me a little worried.” Mary’s father opened the door and patted Mary on the head. Mary didn’t know how to reply. Her mind was still being interrupted by an odd feeling. With her father at the doorway, she gained the courage to look back at the woods and noticed nothing but a perilous view of the land she traveled. She stepped inside, and her father closed the door behind her. As soon as he closed the door, the strange feeling went away; she felt safe. She couldn’t wait to go to bed after such an exhausting day. She had noticed that everything was unpacked minus a few boxes of utensils in the kitchen. “Dad, can you show me which room is mine?” Mary requested. Mary’s father was excited to show her the new room he had Mary’s aunt decorate for her. “Oh, Dad, I love it!” Mary gave her father a big hug. It had various shades of nature painted throughout the room, and a bed with lace comforters centered the space evenly. The walls were painted a neutral olive color; her favorite color. The thing Mary really liked about the room, though, was that it was on the second floor. She had always wanted to live in a two-story home ever since she was a little girl. “Good night, Dad.” “Sweet dreams, Mary.” The two exchanged hugs and Mary’s father left the room. With the lights out and moonlight shining in, Mary expected to feel uneasy, but she felt safe. It wasn’t long before she fell asleep.

1e97210e8af65ca92df38efa0fac92f0The next morning, Mary woke up to bright sunbeams peeking through the sheer curtains. She could smell breakfast cooking and heard the laughter of her aunt and father from downstairs. Mary combed her hair, put on a clean, simple dress, and went down to the kitchen. “Look who’s finally up. You got a good beauty sleep in?” Mary’s father teased. “Dad, you know sleep just makes your face all puffy and unflattering.” Mary’s aunt chuckled and prepared a plate for Mary. “Well, Mary, I’m leaving back to the States tomorrow night, so I want us to do something together before I go, okay?” Mary’s aunt placed Mary’s plate of food on the dining table and slipped her twenty pounds. “Happy Birthday, Mary.” Mary had forgotten it was her birthday and couldn’t believe she was turning 16. She wanted to go into town, but she didn’t think her father would approve. Quickly eating her breakfast, Mary slipped the money into one of the front pockets of her sundress.

“Dad, can I please go into town with aunt Tori, please?” Mary begged.

“Now, you know I don’t want you going into town getting influenced by those city kids.”

“But, Dad, please? Tori will make sure I’m only looking around. I’ll be good.” Mary smiled. Her father returned the smile. “Oh, fine. You’d better behave yourself, okay? And another thing, I need you to do me a small favor.” “Dad, on my birthday?” Mary whined. “Yes. It’s not anything tedious. I just need you and your aunt to get some of those flowers from the back and bring them to me; I want to make your cake look special.”

“Okay, Dad. I like how you make it a surprise.” Mary stated facetiously.

Mary’s aunt giggled as they made their way outside. Walking through the short stalks of wheat and to the lush green grass, Mary began to ask Tori a few questions. “Tori, how come my dad picked this place of all places?”

“Well, you see, the price was very low, and for the size of the land, it was a price your father couldn’t ignore.”

“But what about school and stuff? How is that going to go? Like, does a bus come here?” Mary’s aunt laughed. “No, girl, I was told by the land owner that buses stopped driving through this area around the time your mother moved away from here with your father.”

“Wait. So my mom lived in that house?”

“Yep; she grew up there, but when she found out about her pregnancy, she couldn’t bare facing her parents with the news. She was too young to have a child in her parent’s eyes, so she left with your dad to America. She told me all about it.”

“Wow. That’s why Dad came here. It was probably because she had good memories here before she got the sickness when we lived in the city.” Mary began to remember her mother’s humble smile and soft rosy cheeks.

Mary’s aunt didn’t want Mary to feel sad about her mother, so she quickly changed the subject. “I wonder how many flowers your dad wants.”

They began picking flowers and chattered the details of city life until Mary noticed something in the corner of her eye. She looked up the hill and in the clear daylight stood a baby sheep atop the crest. “Tori look, it’s a lamb!” Mary shouted with excitement. “Oh my, isn’t it cute?!” Mary’s aunt replied.

Mary ran towards the top of the hill to greet the baby sheep. “Mary, don’t run after it; you’ll scare it off.” To no avail, the lamb walked towards Mary. Mary was taken aback since she considered the logic that her aunt was instilling in her. Mary stopped in her tracks and watched the little lamb prance its way down the hill. The little lamb stopped a few feet away from Mary and looked as if she was familiarizing herself with Mary’s scent. Mary began to slowly walk towards the lamb with her hand out. She knew that animals had to get familiar with scents. With the lamb only inches away, she placed her hand on its snout and caressed gently. The lamb scooted in closer. It liked the attention.

“It looks like a girl, Mary. Her mom might be looking for her and you don’t want to be around for that.” Mary’s aunt said jokingly.

“Can we bring her back and introduce her to my dad?”

“Mary, you know your dad isn’t very fond of animals. He won’t approve of it being near the house.”

“Okay, fine. Let me tell her goodbye.” Mary demanded.

Mary turned to the little lamb and said, “Don’t worry, okay? I’ll come back here soon.” She then smiled and walked toward the house. Mary couldn’t help to look back at her new found friend. She wanted to see where it was going, so she turned around and noticed the baby sheep was still standing where she had left it.

Mary’s aunt decided to take Mary’s father’s car because she was going to need the gas left in her own vehicle to drive to the airport the next day. It was about a ten minute drive before she saw the village of Hambleton, Lancashire. The village wasn’t as much of a city life as her old home in the United States, but it definitely had more life than the new place she called home. There were houses with neatly trimmed lawns and towns’ people walking the sidewalks in front of the stores. They had stores like any other well-developed town had. Mary and her aunt went for decorations to spruce up her room a bit more. Mary’s aunt insisted that Mary save her money and let her do the spending. It was Mary’s birthday after all. Tori was a pretty laid back aunt and let Mary wander off into the store to look for things that she liked.

With a small shopping basket in hand, Mary toured around the shop searching for seat cushions that would fit in nice with the theme of her bedroom. Dabbling the comforters and bed sets, she spotted a boy walking her way. “Hello, Madam, is there anything in particular you’re looking for?” A young boy in his late teens approached Mary in what appeared to be the shop uniform. His name tag read “Daryl”.

“Um, well…I don’t know exactly what I’m looking for?” replied Mary timidly.

“I can certainly help you with your search. Do you have a certain colour you like? We’ve got bed sheets, comforters, pillows, and curtains of all sorts!”

Mary couldn’t help but blush at Daryl’s enthusiasm. “I would like to know if you sell these pillows separate from the bed set.” Mary asked while picking up a mousse colored pillow trimmed with lace.

“I’m sorry; Madam, but we only sell that with the complete set.”

Mary frowned slightly and Daryl saw her dismay. He was charmed by her chocolate-hazel eyes and red hair. “I know that it would be expensive to purchase it this way, but I know of a place a few shoppes down that has almost the same design and specialises in pillows specifically.”

Mary chuckled at the thought of a store that only sold pillows, but it sounded like a great place to get exactly what she wanted. “That sounds great! I’m gonna let my aunt know. Which way is it?”

“I could show you. I’m almost off of my shift, and plus, I need to get a few pillows for my mum.”

Mary was nearly embarrassed on how straight-forward Daryl was being. It was quite obvious he liked her. Mary was not used to this kind of attention, so she reacted how any other girl would act; she ignored him most of the time. She didn’t want to be shy, but it was in her nature, especially around boys. She planned on leaving to the pillow store with only her aunt, but as soon as they stepped foot out of the shop’s exit, Daryl came running out. “You two ladies almost left without me.” He said with a chuckle.

“Who is this young man, Mary?” Mary’s aunt questioned.

“Tori, this is the guy that told me where the pillow store was, and Daryl, this is my awesome aunt. You can call her Tori.”

“It’s a pleasure to meet you, Tori. Shall we see this shoppe? It’s just up ahead.”

Both Mary and Tori snickered at Daryl’s loudness. He was a very enthusiastic teenager. They arrived at the pillow shop a few moments later and noticed it was closed for the day. Mary’s heart sank. She wanted to go in and find the mousse colored pillow that would have gone great with the olive walls she had in her room. “Well, we can always come back first thing tomorrow before I leave, Mary.” Suggested Mary’s aunt. Mary nodded with agreement and began to walk away. Something in the window caught her eye. It was a pillow that was split into the two solid colors: Sky blue and green. It had an apple tree in the center that was fully blooming with apples. “I have to come back, Tori. You mean it?”

“Of course I mean it. We’ll come back here tomorrow and hopefully we’ll have Daryl here to give us a tour of the shop.” Mary’s aunt winked at Mary. Mary hid her face with embarrassment. Mary and her aunt said their goodbyes to Daryl and made plans on when to meet the next afternoon. Daryl went in for a hug, but Mary quickly put out her hand for a polite handshake. She wasn’t used to that kind of culture. That’s how the towns’ people greeted and departed from each other here. Everyone was so friendly. With that, Mary and her aunt got into the car in front of the shopping strip and drove home.

Once they arrived to the house, Mary dashed inside to put away the few antique findings in her room. She was placing Chinese-inspired tea pots on her windowsill while admiring the clear sky. It was getting dark and only a few stars were beginning to reveal themselves. She looked down to notice the little lamb was still standing where she had left it. Mary grabbed a coat and headed for the field. She walked up to the little lamb and sat beside her. “See. I told you I would be back. Sorry it took so long, though.”

The lamb laid next to her and released a small sigh. “I know I took so long, but there was this boy, and he was just so charming. He gave me this feeling that I’ve never felt before.” Mary laid down to look up at the sky fading to an indigo. She spoke of her day to the little lamb and how she had moved here. She caressed the lamb’s soft wool and began to feel sleepy. The stars were plenty now.

“Mary!” yelled her father. Mary woke up on the couch to her father cursing up a storm. “Why in the hell were you sleeping outside?!”

Mary looked around to notice that it was daylight. “I didn’t sleep outside, Dad, chill out.”

“Chill out? You were outside, in the goddamn field with your fucking clothes off! How the fuck do you want me to react, Mary?!”

“What are you talking about?! What, in my right mind, would I be doing outside naked, huh?”

“Oh, I don’t know. Maybe having sex with that boy from in town! I knew I shouldn’t have let you go. You’re already turning into a town slut.”

“Dad, I didn’t do that, and you know it!”

Mary let out a loud cry. She couldn’t believe what she was hearing from her father. She could see her aunt in the background with a worried look on her face.

“Now, Wilbert, you can’t say she was doing that with that boy. You didn’t see her doing that did you?” Mary’s aunt defended. She had been confused as to why Mary was in the field with no clothes, but she knew that Mary wouldn’t have had sex; she was too timid and very respectful to her father. “I have to leave today, but I will not leave you two like this. I will be damned if what’s left of my family gets torn apart by an accident.” Mary’s aunt sat on the couch beside Mary and wrapped her tighter in the covers.

Mary was shocked at the whole situation, and she wondered why she had fallen asleep outside. She knew she had clothes on when she went outside that night because it was cold. In fact, she even grabbed a coat on her way out. Mary’s aunt grabbed and hugged her all the way to the car. She promised Mary she’d take her back to the pillow shop.

“We’re going to go get that pillow you wanted so much, but I want you to avoid that Daryl boy if you see him, okay?”

Mary nodded her head. Everything that her father said to her was still racing through her mind. She didn’t even want to look at that boy, let alone talk to him again. They arrived to the shopping strip and nearly power walked to the pillow shop in an attempt to avoid Daryl. As they approached the entrance, Mary could see Daryl inside. He looked up and spotted her through the display window. He waved enthusiastically, but Mary didn’t return the gesture. Entering the store, Mary and her aunt went directly for the pillow with the apple tree art and immediately to the check-out counter. Mary glanced over her shoulder to check if he was following her, but he wasn’t. He just had a confused, but focused look on his face as he browsed the pillows.

“Hello, Madam; that will be 25 pounds.”

Mary had just enough, but Mary’s aunt quickly pulled out some money and paid for it. As the woman handed Mary the bag with her pillow inside, she dropped it. She bent down to pick it up.

“Oh, I got it, Mary.” It was Daryl.

Mary snatched her pillow away from him. “Go away! You are ruining everything.”

“What did I do?”

“My dad hates me because of you!”

Daryl stood there puzzled as Mary and her aunt walked out to the car. Mary had a guilty feeling for yelling at Daryl that loud in public, especially in a peaceful village like Hambleton. It couldn’t be changed, though. The drive home was quiet. Mary stared out the window and examined the breathless sky. A thick, gray haze spread over the horizon. The sun peeked through and revealed itself as only a slightly glowing spot. With the weather like this, it was sure to rain that night.

The drive seemed much longer than the last time, but she was home. She was quite sluggish from the ordeal with her father and Daryl, but she felt a little better now that she had the pillow she wanted. Making her way up the stairs, she heard the sound of rustling coming from her room. Scared that her dad was going through her things, she swung the door open. Mary’s pillow fell to the ground. She was in awe. Her room was destroyed. The walls cracked, curtains torn, cloths thrown from corner to corner, and there stood the little lamb in the center of the room. It was wearing one of Mary’s sundresses. Although the lamb destroyed her room, she had an idea of who was behind letting the animal in.

“Dad, why did you bring that animal in my room? I told you I did nothing wrong!” yelled Mary.

“What are you talking about? You know damn well I don’t like animals. You think I would let one in this house?!”

Mary took consideration of this, but still believed her father wanted to get some sort of revenge on her behavior. Mary took her father by the arm and pulled him towards her room.

“Look! Why did you put my dress on an animal? That’s gro…”

Mary couldn’t believe her eyes.

“Mary, what are you talking about? Are you trying to upset me again? You’ve done enough of that already.”

Mary’s father walked off, leaving Mary alone in confusion. Her room wasn’t destroyed, and the dress that the lamb wore was neatly placed on the bed. She didn’t know what to think anymore. She was relieved her room wasn’t destroyed, but worried about her mental health. With the smarts of most adults, she knew she could tell if she was going a bit mad, but that wasn’t the case at all. Maybe it’d been the rough day. Maybe she needed to get some rest. She turned on the night lamp and fell in bed. Her eyes got weary the more she grew tired, and eventually she could focus on sleep rather than the events that occurred earlier that day.

TAP~TAP!

Mary immediately opened her eyes and focused them at the window. She couldn’t see a silhouette, rain, hail, or bugs. Her heart began to race. TAP! The sound was a little louder this time. With all curiosity, she had to take a look outside. Pulling the curtains back quickly, nothing was there to surprise her. TAP! It was a tiny rock. Mary looked down and saw the cause of the noise. There was Daryl standing with a mousse colored pillow in one hand and a pebble in the other. Mary was relieved, yet confused at the same time. Mary opened her window and whispered to Daryl.

“What are you doing here? How do you know where I live?”

“I just saw you and your aunt leave in this direction, so I knew this was the only house closest to Hambleton for miles. I wanted to give you this pillow as an apology. You know, for not selling you the one from the bed set.”

Mary smiled. She couldn’t help herself from noticing his effortless charm. She debated on the thought of letting him in, but knew that was a bad idea. It would only confirm her father’s belief that she was with Daryl. “It’s okay if I can’t come in. I just really wanted to apologize. I can toss you the pillow if you know how to catch. I know how well you Americans are at catching with baseball and all.”

Mary was slightly offended, but took it as an insulting joke. She chuckled anyway.

“Well, thank you. I’ll catch it, but I don’t know if you’ll able to throw it this high, though.”

Daryl smiled. He was enamored by her sharpness. With Mary’s challenge accepted, he tossed the pillow toward her window and Mary caught it.

“Good night, Mary.”

“Night, Daryl.”

Daryl waved goodbye and Mary shut her window with a sense of accomplishment. Oddly, she didn’t feel quite right. She looked out the window to watch Daryl make his way out the backyard. The presence now interrupted her feelings. As she heard a vehicle drive away from the front yard, she looked up and into the distance. Against the purple sky were the dark hills that rolled along the surface of the earth. Peering into the horizon, she noticed a white figure standing on a hilltop. Her temples began to flutter. She knew the lamb had wanted to spend time with her. Maybe this was guilt she was feeling. Seeing the lamb earlier was only a figment of her imagination built up by frustration, right? Mary shook off the feeling and went back to bed.

Knock-Knock.

Mary woke to a soft knock at the door. It was her aunt Tori. She missed her flight and had to reschedule a new one for another time.

“Are you awake, Mary? I got you some orange juice.”

“Yep, I’m kinda awake.”

Mary’s aunt handed Mary a small coffee mug filled with orange juice. This was a good day already. It definitely was better than the day before. Mary sat up in her bed only to discover a small painting on her wall in the very corner. Small, but visible, the painting was slightly similar to Mary’s apple tree pillow, except the tree had no leaves.

“Tori, I think you forgot to paint the leaves.” Mary giggled.

Mary’s aunt looked over to the far corner and stared back at Mary. She stared at Mary for a few moments with what appeared to be a confused look on her face.

“Yeah, I guess I did.” Mary’s aunt replied hesitantly. She patted Mary on the head and fluffed her pillows.

“Good night, Mary. You try to get some good sleep now. I have to leave early in the morning. I want you to be there when I leave.” Mary hadn’t realized that it was still only a little past midnight. She began to wonder why her aunt randomly gave her orange juice in the middle of the night.

“Tori, thank you for the orange juice, but what was it for?”

“I’m surprised you didn’t ask for more. I assumed you were thirsty. You’ve been asleep for an entire day.”

Mary was taken aback by this. She never liked to miss out on a day’s event, even if recent days had not been so well. With the darkness outside, she couldn’t help but to feel tired. She’d slept a whole day, yet the gloomy weather had reinforced her sleepiness. Mary’s aunt closed the door and went to her bedroom to get some rest before her flight in a few hours.

Staring at the ceiling fan, Mary began to dose off. She had various things on her mind: Daryl, the apple tree painting, her father, how things would be if her mother hadn’t passed away. Suddenly, a shuffle from the end of the bed abruptly interrupted Mary’s thoughts. She was frozen in fear, not able to move. She began to move the covers closer and closer to her face and as slowly as she could. She didn’t want to see who was there. The rustling stopped. Mary halted her movement in fear that she had been spotted moving. The figure made its way to the side of the bed. Mary’s mind racing through thoughts of how to escape, but she couldn’t think of anything that seemed plausible. I have to turn that light on somehow. As the figure leaned in closer, she could see what looked like a woman’s silhouette peeking from the edge of the bed. Mary had to do something and do it quick. She jolted out of bed, straight for the light switch and turned it on. There stood the little lamb wearing one of Mary’s dresses.

“Why the hell are you in my room, and why are you wearing my dresses?!”

The little lamb stared back in silence.

Mary had yelled in frustration.

“Get out of my house now!”

She attempted to open her bedroom door, but it wouldn’t budge.

As Mary began to build up more anger, she thrashed at the door hoping for it to open.

Abruptly, the lamb let out a loud cry.

Baaa baaa baaa baaaaaa baaaa

Mary thrashed harder at the door, yelling for someone to help her.

Baaaai baaa biiii baaaa ooooo

Mary became helpless and resorted to self-defense. She never wanted to hurt an animal, but it would be the only way to stop this.

Baaaaiii baaanna biiii baaik oooo

Mary grabbed the iron off of the dresser just by her bedroom door and raised it. She swung down as hard she could. The little lamb’s eyes stared up at Mary with anger. The lights went out.

Aaii wannaa bii like yooou

The iron hit the ground. Mary looked into the darkness. She backed away slowly to her bedroom door staring at her bed with the figure beside it. The figure rose from its crouching position. A wiry presence stood tall, facing Mary. Mary’s eyes began to water as the figure stepped closer. Long nails softly ran across Mary’s face and down to her neck. The figure leaned in closer. Mary closed her eyes. Even though she couldn’t see its face, she knew it was menacing. As the presence grabbed a hold of her neck, Mary’s father broke into the room.

“Mary, are you alright?!”

He flicked on the lights and discovered Mary lying on the ground nude crying every last tear she had. He quickly grabbed the bed sheets and covered her up. He yelled for Tori to come and watch Mary as he called the police. The room was a complete disaster. Piles of feces smothered the carpet floor, curtains torn, mirrors broken. The only thing that wasn’t tampered with was the bed and the sundress that lay on it. Mary pleaded with Tori to take her back to the United States with her. She wanted to leave this place behind. Mary’s father was standing in the corner shedding a few tears with a somber look on his face.

“Tori…” Wilbert began. “Please take care of my daughter; she doesn’t have much time.”

“What about you, aren’t you coming with, Wilbert?”

“I can’t. My life is here in this house. This is where it all started.”

“What do you mean, Wilbert?”

“…her mother acted this way since her pregnancy. I thought it would end when she died.”

“Wilbert, she was sick. You couldn’t help it.”

“People don’t just eat away at their own flesh, Tori! She didn’t have a disease! Oh, God. I thought they killed that sheep a long time ago. Take Mary far away from here!”

Tori kept silent. She was shocked by her brother’s breakdown. He was losing everything he worked so hard to get. She grabbed Mary’s clothing and packed them into her luggage. She gave her older brother a kiss on the forehead and made her way outside to the car with Mary close by. As she packed the luggage in the trunk, she could hear her brother weeping a pain that very few have ever felt. A pain he had kept in for a very long time. Mary was still in a daze as they drove to the airport, but came back to her senses as they pulled up to the entrance. Tori checked in her luggage, bought Mary a ticket, and traveled to her flight. Several hours flew by as they rode the plane into the United States. They made it to New York City. The dark curtain of brown and blue covered the sky, not one star present, the streets were vacant with only a few cars passing by Tori’s apartment complex every hour or so.

“I’m glad I got to move in with you. I hope Dad can come here soon.”

“Yeah, Mary, hopefully he will. You’ll need to get some rest. You’ve had a long night.”

Mary lived through the years going to high school and making new friends. She appreciated the life she had now. A doctor’s visit once in a while and even going on university tours in order to see what her future plans were. It was quite difficult to think that she had left Daryl and her father behind, but she was coping pretty well. Her life was better now. Things were slowly getting back to the way they used to be. Every now and again, she discovers only a few dresses missing from her wardrobe.

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Samiha Ashrafi

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