A traumatized girl finds a home and forms an odd friendship with a lonely, selfless writer
| Amy ran as fast as her twig-like legs could carry her, tumbling forward as branches whipped across her face and neck, leaving thin lines of blood where they tore thin cuts across her skin. Her eyes were wide with a mad, animalistic terror. Onward she ran, tearing headlong through the brush, teeth gritted. She could hear the snapping of branches behind her, the grumbling and heavy thudding footfalls of Him, coming at her, slow, but far steadier... closer and closer, nearer and nearer and nearer...
Amy sat bolt upright, gasping and sweating. She clutched her chest, waiting for her heartbeat to steady, letting out a low, strangled cry. A few moments later, the light flicked on- she blinked, looking up at Anya, who stared at her with a look of alarm and concern. Amy took a moment to right herself- she had gotten tangled in the blankets and fallen off the couch. She sat up, still gasping and panting for air, staring straight ahead.
Anya shuddered. Seeing Amy awakening from nightmares brought back an unpleasant memory- her older sister had suffered night terrors, waking up everyone in the house now and then with screams of panic and thrashing wildly. It got so bad that the girl had to be restrained at night when she slept, and Anya had to sit with her sister's head in her lap- eyes wide but unseeing. Eventually, however, the Terrors stopped as the girl grew older, sleep problems resolved.
Luckily, Amy just had a nightmare, not a Night Terror. Silently, Anya sat next to the smaller girl, and gently pulled her into a hug, hushing her gently, and holding her. Amy almost desperately clung to Anya's arm with surprising strength.
"The m-monster was gonna get me again..." She mumbled, almost too fast to be coherent. "I c-could feel him b-breathing on me..."
Anya stroked her hair with her free arm, speaking softly. "It's okay..." She simpered. "He's gone... He's gone now. It's just you and me, that's all. Here, lay down now, let me getcha some tea, okay? It'll help you sleep more..." She carefully lay Amy down, and the small girl curled in a ball, sighing. Anya came back with a steaming mug and pushed it into the little one's trembling hands.
"So Little One..." She said, liking the sound of the nickname. "What was the dream about?"
"H-he was chasing me..." Mumbled Amy, sipping from her tea. "I-I didn't want to get hurt again so I ran and the Monster chased me..." It was still a mix of real words and gibberish- the sudden awakening had jarred her speech a bit.
Anya stared at her for a moment. "Amy..." She said uncertainly. "Look at me, please? Just for a second."
Amy looked up, tilting her head. Anya frowned, holding the small girl's face- for the first time she noticed the thin white lines. They were very narrow, and barely visible, but they made her shiver.
She gently released Amy's face, and examined her hands next, slowly unraveling the bandages- Amy's burned, cut hands had healed mostly by now and even her burns had left scars, though not too serious or even very visible. Anya noticed how calloused Amy's tiny hands were. Her palms were rough and felt almost sandpapery.
Amy squirmed, mostly awake now and becoming uncomfortable, pulling away. She looked at her feet, feeling a bit rattled at Anya's examination of her face and hands. The taller woman smiled softly, shaking her head.
"Sorry... I just wanted to see..." She gently ruffled Amy's hair, humming a quiet, wordless lullaby. She hummed, nuzzling into the small girls hair. Amy flinched, but slowly relaxed, leaning against Anya a bit. The albino kept humming, stroking the girl's head.
"It's okay, little one. Nobody is gonna hurt you here. Never." Anya rocked Amy softly, still humming in a warm motherly way. Amy gave a final shudder before going limp against her. Anya sighed.
"Hey, Amy? Can you tell me more about you? You don't have to but..."
The black-haired girl laughed, a dry, humorless sound. "O-one track mind huh?" She sighed, still sitting limply on the couch with Anya's arms wrapped 'round her shoulders. "Okay... I can... t-tell a little more."
Amy sat wearily in the back of a car, watching the world speed by. She was very little, and her name wasn't Amy then. Nonetheless, she was curled in the back, dressed in a plain, sky-blue dress. She counted the cars that drove by, only catching brief snippets of her mother and father's conversation.
"We have to."
"Enough. We have to."
It was all lost on the tiny girl. She was in her own little world- one made up of lights and sound that she couldn't quite grasp. Images that flashed by and bombarded her eyes and mind, distracting her from anything else. The soft hum of the car made her eyes flicker, and she sunk drowsily in her seat until she fell limp, the world sinking away into a blur of darkness.
Hours later, she woke. She blinked and yawned, before sitting up in alarm- her seatbelt was undone, and she had her mother's coat draped over her, like a shawl. The steady drumming of rain was the only sound she could hear.
Carefully, Amy peeked out the window. She could only see the darkness of night, and many tall black shapes. Trees. She realized, shuddering. All I can see are trees.
She was alone in the woods. Carefully, she attempted to open the door. She frowned- she could open it maybe a fraction, before it jammed against something. Amy slid over to the other side and found that door to be jammed shut as well. Truly afraid now, she scrambled into the front and found the passenger and driver doors immobile.
Amy flopped into the seat, breathing fast and hard, her eyes wide as saucers. How had this happened? And how could the car be in a place where the doors couldn't be opened? Her parents weren't there so that could only mean...
Amy sobbed suddenly, burying her face in her arms- They must have somehow blocked the doors after getting out. She thought Which means they... left me...
She shook her head, gritting her teeth with some small modicum of resolve.
"I have to get out!" She gasped aloud.
Amy sat, composing her breathing and thinking. She opened the glove box and found very little- a bottle of water, and a scarf. She left the bottle in case she needed it later, and wrapped the scarf around her neck.
Amy carefully lay on her back, pulling her legs to her chest and closing her eyes. "This is a bad idea..."
With every ounce of power she had, Amy snapped her legs out, slamming her shoes into the glass windshield, wincing in pain. The shield seemed to jerk a little, but did not crack. Amy grunted, drawing her legs in and snapping them out again, slamming into the glass.
Ow. She thought, curling back for a moment to rest- the windshield had barely budged. With a howl of dismay she flung herself bodily at the glass- this was much more painful, and Amy lay back on the seat, reeling for a moment. When she regained her senses, she gasped in delight- a few tiny cracks had splintered on the windshield.
In her momentary jubilation at her victory, she lunged; headbutting the glass and momentarily spending a few minutes lying down so as not to hurt herself again.
She continued like this- slam into the glass, rest for a while, repeat. Hours passed and she looked at her progress- a spiderweb of cracks criss-crossed the glass and Amy smiled grimly. A few more hours of this and she'd be out. However, the glass was proving to be stubborn.
Hours passed, and it grew lighter outside- though the rain never let up. With a final sob, Amy threw herself into the glass, breaking it. She hissed, using her scarf to shield her hands from the glass shards.
She flopped out into the rain, gasping. She smiled weakly, before the danger of her situation. Following the tracks the car left in the mud, Amy limped towards the edge of the woods- she found the edge of the highway, collapsing.
A few minutes passed and a police car eventually pulled up. The policeman, a large, friendly man gently sheperded the lost little girl into his car and drove her to the station.
Amy trailed off, not wanting to talk any further. Anya held her for a while, eyes closed in thought. After a while, she opened her eyes.
"You poor dear..." She whispered, struggling to hold back tears of empathy. She rocked the little girl in her arms for a while longer- until Amy's steady breathing made it clear the small girl was asleep. Anya laid her back down on the couch, draping blankets over her, before returning to her room, lost in thought.