The curtain closes on yet another tragic story, followed by a sigh of wonder and a slump of exhaustion. Frankie glanced at her phone for the time; 3:18 AM. She slid down in her puffy chair, her book dangling between her fingers above her head, feet propped on a wooden stool, soon finding herself with her head and arms lazily teetering on the edge of the seat, feet remaining on the stool, still clutching the tattered book in her left hand. Her rump finally dropped to the floor after suspending momentarily inches above the ornate rug, but instead of getting up she didn't move and gazed at the wall between her feet.
She blinked once.
A sudden scream of a little girl in agony rang in her ears, followed by laughter and banters from other children. Cruel names and words were thrown around by various others, as well as the sounds of limbs colliding with clenched fists, open palms and dirty shoes caked in mud. A beg for mercy, sobbing, and pleas were drowned out by the shrill laughter and insults. The cries of the victimized child grew louder and louder as the harsh words and sneers began to fade away until all there was left was the silent sobs of the little girl...oh, those cries broke Frankie's heart to pieces. The girl then began to speak between gasps of air, "What....what have I done wrong?" the girl sniffled as her cries were muffled, as if she were crying into a shirt or a jacket.
"Please tell me," Frankie whispered, choking on the sobs that seemed to have become her own, "just tell me so I can make everything okay..." While she was being captivated in her trance, she had slipped off the furniture and onto the floor, sprawled in what resembled the fetal position. Her nails dug into the rug, leaving small indents where her fingers embedded into the thick material. Tears poured from her hazel eyes onto the rug, spotting it in the same place over and over again in a rhythmic beat that brought Frankie back to reality. It took her what seemed like minutes to pull herself back onto her feet again.
The room tilted slightly, and she steadied herself on the side table next to her chair. Once her feet were firm where they stood, she glanced at the digital clock above the window overlooking the back yard of 221 Baker Street. Her vision was still blurred, but the sunlight pooling in through the window told her it was early morning. With all of her energy, Frankie stumbled into bed. As she started to fall asleep (almost instantly), she wondered if the sobs and pleas were not of the little girl, but from her own being. The thought lingered, then vanished as she fell into a deep sleep, a single tear sliding across her face and onto her pillow.