• A figure so clearly emerges from the blackness of my eyes. A whole world painted. A setting. I watch the scene with admiration, adoration, as the dream unfolds and the steam simultaneously fills the room, with the knobs still turned off.

    The figure walks down a street, the lights around him broken with age, but one still glowing in the dimness. The shops are all closed; it’s late. No one is around this desolate bit of town.

    Except for her.

    A tiny girl, around the age of two. Her piercing blue eyes strike me, even though I’m not even there, even though she can’t even see me. She gives me a curious look. So young, she’s still learning and discovering. She’s still too innocent to understand…

    What I wouldn’t give to be her.

    She sits on the cement, on the curb under the one remaining streetlamp. She sits in silence. She sits, playing with the ruffles of her dress that fall around her knees. A pink ribbon dangles in her thin hair, dancing, entangling itself with the strands. It blows in the light wind with the fine, silky blonde threads arranged on her head.

    Meanwhile, moths swarm under the streetlamp.

    She bites her lip with her small baby teeth and looks over her shoulder, her watery eyes almost keeping the alley lightened. But her expression of contentment reveals that she isn’t afraid of anything being in the darkness. She turns.

    Her eyes land on his feet. She looks up to greet his face with a changed expression of terror.
    His hand comes closer to her face, closer, closer, the light revealing several long, graceful fingernails, when, closer, closer still, his hand clamps tight to the child’s head. The girl’s eyes grow large and white beneath the hand, her skin turning a rainbow of shades and colors. Her mouth makes a small sound, only to be muffled by the tightness of his palm when her eyes go wild, deranged.

    One hand still on the girl, he creeps closer to the lamppost and holds the other hand delicately beneath the bulb inside. A smile opens wider across his face in a sick manner as he breathes in the light of the bulb. It is consumed by him, filling his body as he inhales, intoxicating him.

    The last light fades and dies out.

    In the pitch black, a small scream escapes, if only for a second, then all of the streetlights turn on. The city is alive with electricity.

    But, alone and cold, a pink ribbon lies beneath the lights, without the warmth of a child’s hair.