#8 Maisy

| November 8, 2011 | 0 Comments

Once upon a time, there was a bright and happy girl. She had been born with a caul, but her parents refused to lend that superstition any credence, so she led a normal life. On her Blessing Day she had been given the name Maisy. She never felt that the name suited her well and most people agreed with her. However, her name was her name and you don’t use milk names once a child has their proper name, so she answered to it anyway. She loved to dance and one day wanted to perform as a part of her town’s company. Her town was very well-known for creators and performers, and it was an aspiration for most young children, girls and boys alike, to be famous like them. She wished to dance because she loved it so much and wanted to share that joy with ours. There is nothing more splendid than to share your heart with others, is what adults always sighed.

Maisy did not just love to dance but was also very good at dancing as well. She practised every morning and every night, sometimes ’till her toes cracked and bled through her shoes. You would know how much she wanted a role if there was blood in the studio the next day, people said. It never mattered what sort of locks the dance studio was fitted with – her father was the town locksmith and she had learned at a very young age how to open any door. One time, the teacher punished her for this, for practising so much that she destroyed her body, by giving her a smaller role, but next time Maisy stained her shoes darker and left circlets of blood all over town.

Years went on, and she still practised as hard as ever. Her shoes hadn’t been blood red in years, but that was mostly because her skin had grown back, been broken anew, and came back thicker than ever. A few believed that she could dance on broken glass if she wanted to. She rarely did not get the role she wanted, and when she didn’t she understood that it was because she was better suited for another role.

However, not every girl understood this fact. One girl, whose Blessed Name was Tabitha, in particular did not understand this fact because she was as good as Maisy. Instead of understanding that she was better for the role she had been given, she seethed inside ever time Maisy had been given the role she wanted, and gloated when she received the one Maisy wanted. These are unhealthy feelings for anyone to have, much less a young girl still growing into herself, so as Maisy and Tabitha grew older Tabitha’s heart only grew more and more twisted like badly blown glass.

One day, the roles had been given out and Maisy had been given the leading role once again, but more importantly she had been given the role that she and Tabitha both wanted. Maisy’s smile lit up the whole room, blinding her to how blotchy and red Tabitha’s face had become. Tabitha’s heart filled with rage, as usual, and despair, which was not usual. This would not be the final performance of the year, but it was  the most important one, because the company would be in town to watch and judge their performance, and it was common knowledge that only the girls and boys who played the leads would be chosen. No wonder her heart broke, people whispered much later, in the darkest corner of pubs and alleys. Losing your chance at fulfilling your dream would be as devastating as losing a loved one.

It passed as Tabitha believed it would, and just days after Maisy performed in front of the company she had been asked to join them. Still wearing her dancing skirts, Maisy twirled and danced round the town as she had as a child, but instead of filling the streets with blood she filled it with joy instead. The only person who wasn’t smiling was Tabitha, who cried until her throat was dry and then cried more. She fell asleep weeping even though she had no more tears to shed.

When she woke much later, the rest of the town was asleep. Maisy danced well into the night and only stopped when she was too tired to stand. Tabitha climbed out of bed, feeling as empty as a husk, and left her house, running as if she was escaping fire. She stopped when she reached Maisy’s house, broke the front window with her bare hands, and climbed inside. Everyone had exhausted themselves with drink and food in celebration and hadn’t heard her at all.

Tabitha did not care that she trailed blood as she walked, nor did she care that her hands and arms were covered in scratches, deep and shallow. The pain barely registered and was certainly not enough to stop her. She climbed the stairs of Maisy’s house and on her first try, she found her room.

Fast asleep and wearing a white nightgown, Maisy did not hear Tabitha enter. She did not hear as she picked up Maisy’s scarf and candlestick, and she only woke when the scarf had been shoved into her mouth and tied round her head to keep her from screaming.

Maisy tried. She tried so hard to fight back, kicking and punching with unbelievable strength, but Tabitha was too strong, too angry, too pained already to feel any more.

CRACK!CRA!CKCRACK, went the candlestick against Maisy’s knees and elbows and ribs and face. CRACKCRAC!KCRACK.

Tabitha and Maisy were found like that the next morning, both bleeding and broken and dead in so many ways. Tabitha was taken away more quietly than anyone believed she would have, and Maisy was taken away more quietly than anyone should ever be. The undertaker did his best to clean her up, but there had been too much damage. They couldn’t find her teeth, some of which had still been milk teeth, so they had to bury her with silver ones.

Tabitha never danced again, nor did much of anything. She barely ate or slept, and people wondered if she would die before she would be hanged. But her hanging day grew nearer and nearer until it was only one more night away.

The next morning, however, she had been found dead in her cell, her cheeks still wet with tears and her mouth ripped of its teeth. The same undertaker who had taken care of Maisy took care of her and noticed that the teeth she had lost had been the same one’s as Maisy’s missing milk teeth.

Word got out fast, and soon parents advised children to get rid of milk teeth as soon as they were loose enough and set them out so that the girl (because they couldn’t call her Maisy now) could find them. They didn’t need to, but she appreciated the gesture all the same, so each night the girl who was once Maisy would come into everyone’s home (because locks were such simple things to her) and look for teeth. If the child was still sleeping, she would turn the teeth to silver coins. However, if the child managed to stay awake to see her, the girl who could have walked on broken glass would dance for them, dressed in the same gown she had died in.

Category: 2011, Drama, Fantasy, Horror

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