She crawled in the dark, unaware of the risk. She did not consider that the dark could hide spiders, snakes, and other things that went bump in the night. She was fleeing a much bigger monster, a monster that left her petrified. Her breathing was rapid and harsh, though completely quiet so that they could not discover her. She’d had plenty of practice at this. She was now despondent and very scared. She was dragging her blankie behind her as she continued her slow and silent struggle in the crawlspace beneath the house of the monsters. She stopped when she reached the furthest stretch of obscurity she could find.
She wrapped her dog-eared, shabby blankie around her like a cocoon. She used an edge to soak up the tears that were almost dry upon her face, and her nose that was dripping like an old kitchen tap. She flinched as she heard them outside, calling for her to come back, to be a big girl. She started shaking like a wobbling champagne glass on a New Year’s Eve. They were so angry with her. She prayed they would not find her. “I wish I were dead,” she silently whispered to herself in the pitch-black emptiness. Enormous, scalding tears started raining down. They plopped with reverberation on her emaciated blankie.
Her heart broke when she realized she had left Tom behind in her dash to escape. Tom had always been Mary’s best friend. He had often been her only friend. The fact that he was a sad excuse for a stuffed bunny was lost on her. At six years old, she had not become aware of or seemed to mind that he had lost an eye and most of his cotton-ball tail. The stains upon his purplish exterior only proved to her that he had lived the most exciting of lives, for a plaything, as this young, destitute girl’s companion.
Her eyes slid shut in exhaustion. She heard the creaking of someone moving around in the house. She ducked fully under her blanket and curled into a ball from fright. In the mixture of heat and lethargy, she fell into a deep sleep.