Em-Spider's challenge: Write a story using 350 words or less. This comes in at 349.
They give her apples. And she eats them, because they're given to her, and if she doesn't eat them, she'll starve. Certainly she could get her own food -- somehow -- but until she knows exactly how to do that, she'll take the apples, and eat them.
They're really quite pretty, she thinks as she turns a bright scarlet fruit over in her sharp red hand. They're shiny and red, or sometimes green or yellow. On rare occasions, they'll even be mixtures of different colors. But most of the time they're red. Sometimes she wonders how something so red could also be so pretty. After all, she's not.
But that's okay. It doesn't bother her.
She knew their names once, the people who bring her apples now. The girl with the yellow jacket and the short hair is remembered differently; she used to have a name and a voice and something more, but that's all been lost now. Now she is just the girl with the yellow jacket, and she brings her soft pink stuff with the apples, and it gets stuck inside her mouth. The girl with the yellow jacket thinks it's funny, and she laughs and smiles, even though her laugh isn't heard. And the red girl laughs along with her, even though she makes no sound. The girl with the yellow jacket is nice. And that is good.
She used to play a game of pretend. She was good at the game she played; she always was, because she liked games. Now, though, she isn't sure that she's won the game. She doesn't remember the rules, but she's fairly certain she's lost. Of course she doesn't like it, and she doesn't like it when the mirror girl comes and makes fun of her.
She used to know the mirror girl, too. Vague images of cruelty are associated with her face, but her words are lost, as all the words are lost. Words used to be so precious; she could toss them around like any other girl.
But of course her only treasures now are the apples.