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Through Annabelle's Eyes
The child sits neatly at the edge of the pond, her pretty bare feet dangling beneath the water. Her young green eyes are reflected vaguely, her dark hair, long and tangled, resting on both her shoulders. She looks down at her cotton dress, smeared with grass stains and dirt, amazingly a dress that was once a pretty yellow. She smiles to herself, wondering what her mother would say about her tomboyish ways. A moment later she dismisses the thought, waving it away like an annoying insect. She stares into the sparkling water, so overwhelmingly inviting, she decides she can no longer resist. In one swift movement, (soon to be regretted) she holds up her hands and allows herself to slide off the dirt and into the water.
She laughs out loud, splashing her face, silently concluding that this is worth any given punishment. Pulling her hair back, as if it wasn’t already soaking wet, she dunks her head in, again, and then once more. Between the trees, she notices the sun slowly beginning to float downwards. Reluctantly, she pulls herself out of the pond and begins to walk the path she desperately hopes will lead her home.
After just enough walking to make herself hungry, she sees the pink flowers of her grandmother’s garden. Now, she begins to run, stopping abruptly when she gets to the back door. Surprisingly, it swings open, stopping just short of the little girl’s nose.
“I fell into the pond.” she lies immediately.
“I’m sure you did, Annabelle,” Her grandmother’s voice is sarcastic.
She takes a step forward, to be rudely stopped by a chubby hand in the middle of her chest.
“Nope. I want you to leave those shoes on the porch and take your dress off.”
“Take my dress off? But, Grandma Jean, then I’ll be standing here in my…in my underwear!”
“Perhaps you should have thought of that before you jumped into the pond.” Her grandmother attempts to be firm in her response, but the rehearsed innocence in the child’s features force her to suppress a chuckle.
Shyly, Annabelle peels the wet dress off her pale skin, and leaves it lying in the grass. Her cheeks turn pink, and then a bright red as she moves past her grandmother and into the house. Her body is scrawny and awkward, making her grandmother smile as she dashes towards the back of the house, dripping drawers and all.
“No dessert tonight!” she calls after the child.
When she gets to her bedroom, she lies across the bed and takes a deep breath. The room is large, with a wooden floor and walls, yet surprisingly empty for a child of only ten. Indeed, besides her bed and a small chest of drawers, the only thing left for the eyes was a portrait that hung opposite the window.
The picture was of her mother. In the same, bare room, she sits at the window with one hand extended, as if reaching for some beautiful, veiled angel… Her clothes are tattered and her hair is tangled, but her eyes are brilliant and green, strikingly identical to Annabelle’s. When she sees the picture she wants to smile, but then she remembers… She waves the thoughts away like annoying insects.