LITTLE LOST GIRL
By Melissa L. Webb
The white blur moved gracefully above the city, dropping low here and there as its search continued. It listened for the cries and sighs, for the discontented and the hollow. It needed to set things right, to give peace to the youth who so deserved it.
A sob echoed through the night, the tortured sound piercing the white shadow’s heart like thousands of tiny daggers. It jerked to a stop, instincts taking over as it flew straight to a window and perched on the sill, drowning in the sorrow contained within.
A girl sat on the edge of a bed. Teardrops glistened in the moonlight as they streaked down her face causing the shadow to gasp. It had never seen anything quite as beautiful before. Or quite as tortured.
Her chest heaved with an unknown burden as another cry escaped her lips. She was suffering. Another innocent had fallen victim to the cruel society around her. A society that used and abused their youth, turning then into nothing more than dirty, discarded objects. Children weren’t human beings to this world. They were property.
The shadow slipped through the open window, causing no more noise than a single breath. It moved near the girl, aching to free her from the pain.
“Why are you crying?” it asked her softly, knowing it really didn’t matter. It would stop whatever was troubling her.
The girl sat up, her bright green eyes going wide as she took in the white shadow. “What are you?” she asked, pushing herself away from it.
The shadow stood there, confusion plaguing its mind. Couldn’t she tell what he was? “Well, I’m certainly not a little white bird.”
She frowned, not daring to take her eyes off it. “What are you doing in my bedroom?”
“I heard you crying. I came to help you.”
She slid back to the edge of the bed, curiosity getting the best of her. “What do you mean? How can you help me, shadow?”
“I can free you from the sadness. I can take you to a place where you will never be treated badly again. A place where you will never grow old. It’s a place where you will have no responsibilities or expectations. A place where you can simply be you.”
A ghost of a smile now haunted her eyes. “This place…no one will yell at me? No one will ask things of me? I can do what I please?”
The shadow nodded. “Yes. This world will have no hold on you there. You’ll be free.”
She got up from the bed, her excitement at the offer no longer contained. “You can take me there? Right now?”
“If that is what you wish.”
“Oh, I do,” she said, practically jumping up and down. “I want to be free of my parents and their rules.”
The shadow sped around the room, bouncing off the walls with delight. “You and I will have so many adventures.” It stopped, looking down at the girl. “Are you sure you want to leave this world? You can’t come back once it’s done.”
The girl stopped, seriousness creeping into her face. She was quiet for a moment before looking back at the shadow. “I won’t have to be sad anymore, right? I can be free?”
The shadow moved closer. “Yes, I promise no more sadness, little lost girl, for I have found you.”
A smile spread over her lips. “Then let’s go.”
The shadow swept forward, reaching out for the lonely child. The girl waited for its embrace, thinking of all the lovely adventures in store for her. They’d fly to its world together and start the life she always dreamed of having.
Her smile faded as soon as the shadow’s hands made contact with her. They sank into her chest like wisp of smoke, tearing at her insides. Pain swept through her and she gasped, dropping to her knees.
The shadow stared down at her as its fingers dug into her core. The look of terror in her eyes displeased it. It wanted to free her from the pain, not add to it, but it knew this was the only way.
It ripped its fingers free, a blue glow sticking to them, coating them with a shimmer that pulsed brightly.
The deed was done. It had saved her.
Her body fell to the ground with a thud. It lay still, a pale shell no longer tortured by the world.
The shadow leaned close to the body, holding the girl’s essence close to its chest, shielding it from the sight. “Don’t worry,” it whispered, “death is the greatest adventure after all.”
Holding it’s prize close, the shadow turned and flew through the window. It was eager to show the girl its impossible world. Another lost soul for his collection.
It rose above the city, soul in hand, and headed for the second star to the right.
© 2013 Melissa L. Webb