Stones in a Circle

April 7, 2012
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Maya walked steadily across the abandoned playground, tossing little stones around to form a circle surrounding her. She sat down peacefully, a young seven year old child who had no clue of what trouble she had caused herself. She smiled as the birds chirped, as the leaves rustled lightly in the breeze. Maya started to sing her song. It had always been her song, though it was meant for her mother. Her beautiful and kind mother with middle-length blonde hair and bright blue-eyes, a small little nose and cherry lips. All of these features Maya had inherited. Maya was average height, skinny, but healthy. She ate what was needed, sometimes even more, and she liked to play sports. She absolutely loved sport.

Maya leant over to play with a stone. She picked it up slowly and threw it in the air with a slight giggle. She heard a cackle in the distance. She froze. Everyone had heard of the witch. It was getting late, and the witch comes out at night. As the stone came back down towards Maya, she placed it back and ran home.

But Maya didn't know she had placed it upside down.

As she got home, she heard yelling. There was never yelling in her house. Her parents were in love. Deeply in love. It's nothing to worry about Maya! It'll all be back to normal soon. She trailed up the stairs to her red satin-sheeted bed with black cushions. As her small head sunk into the fluffy pillow, all her worries washed away and she fell fast asleep.

The next day she trailed downstairs happily, thinking her parents had made up. They were still yelling about, well, whatever they were yelling about. Maya poured herself a glass of milk. Her parents came in the room.

“MAYA!” Her mother yelled. Maya jumped. She’d never been yelled at before. Her milk spilt all over the floor. “YOU PATHETIC CHILD!” Maya flinched at her mother’s harsh words. Her mother slapped her. Her father beat her. She spotted a drink in his hand. Alcohol... Her father never drank...

Her family had been turned upside down.

Maya went back to the playground. Her stone circle was still there. She picked up what she thought was the stone she had flipped before and turned it around. She heard cackling and she ran back home. Her home had gone, and in it's place was a hut. Her parents had blown all their money on alcohol. The hut had a straw roof, and had been clumsily built by her obviously drunk father. Why did no-one help her? Why did no-one care? Did they not notice? As she stepped inside the hut, her parents beat her, then left to go to a club. Maya curled up in a tight ball, tears streaming down her face, hoping this was all a bad dream and that she would wake up soon to her mother and father and just be happy again.

Her wealth had been turned upside down.

Maya went back. She picked up a stone. What else is there to lose? She flipped the stone, leaving it upside down. She heard a cackle. Then immediately fell down, dead. Her lifeless corpse had a smile on it's face, as if she was happy to escape. Escape from what though?

Her life had been turned upside down.

She was found the next morning. The news headline read: "Maya Thiddle, seven years old, found dead in playground. Reason is unknown."

Far in the distance, the witch cackled. "That's what she gets for playing with the Stones in a Circle."

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