Soft, young hands ran across the bed sheets as she slid her knees up to her chest, crumpling the sheets while her arms wrapped around her legs, hugging them close. She rested her forehead between her knees, closing her eyes to the crackling hot atmosphere.

"Listen to me!" Crack. She took a deep, shaky breath in and out, her body shuddering as it suppressed her sobs. Not tonight, not this night. She could be brave. "I don't want you to talk to him again, don't you understand?!"

Her door shook, and she yelped and squeaked in fright as the unmistakable sound of a body hitting the wood reached her ears.

"I understand, I'm sorry, it won't happen again!" The fear in her mother's voice, she knew it wasn't right. In her mind she remembered the strong and confident figure of her mom, but her vision soon vanished and now she couldn't see anything. All she could see was the darkness of her eyelids, and all she could hear were the soft, quiet whimpers outside her door.

"Move!" the man barked, followed by a scrambling. The door flew open and the man burst inside. She felt as though he was sucking the oxygen from her lungs. "You, Wendy," he growled, but she didn't look up. "Look at me when I'm speaking to you!" She looked up. "Promise me again!" he demanded, as he did every time this happened. She didn't even need to ask what for anymore.

"I promise I won't tell anyone." He looked deep in to her empty eyes, looking for any trace of a lie. His gaze burned her. With a huff, he nodded and left the room. She heard her mom stand up, watched the door close, but she carefully remained hidden on the other side. Wendy could see her bleeding in her minds eye, her bloody and battered face. Not seeing it didn't make it any less true, any less painful. In fact, when left to the imagination, it was far more terrible than reality. It was then that Wendy lost the battle, overcome with the tears that overflowed. Long ago had they drowned out the flame within her.

She lay back and curled up on her side, burrowing under the covers and pulling her old stuffed pink bear to her chest, hugging it tightly as she fell asleep against a wet pillow. It had dried completely when she woke the next morning.

Her morning routine had changed over the years. She remembered running up and down the stairs, in and out the bathroom, dashing about the house in a flurry. Now, she slowly crawled out of bed, turned on the light and crossed the room to her dresser, where rested a cup of water, freshly filled, and within it sat her toothbrush. She picked up the brush and shook off the excess water, then with her other hand she shakily took the tube of paste and carefully squeezed it on to the bent bristles.

Once her teeth were clean enough, she spat the contents of her mouth out in to the cup and pulled out a tissue from the box beside the cup, wiping her mouth before tossing it in to the small wicker trash basket by her feet, where it landed upon a small mountain of tissues and wet wipes.

After she had cleaned herself with wet wipes, changed in to Wednesday's clothes and made herself presentable, she picked up her already packed bag, slipped on her shoes and climbed the wooden stairs. She placed her ear flat against the door and listened, sniffing and pulling back when she was confident that nobody was in the next room. She pulled her beret from the hanger on the back of the door and fixed it neatly upon her head, swinging open the basement door and looking around to make sure the room was definitely empty.

Satisfied, she slipped through the door and quietly closed it, breezing silently across the room and out of the front door. She closed her eyes and took a deep breath in through her nose, drowning in the strong scent of the newly uncovered grass. She opened her eyes and looked down at her wrist watch, although she knew exactly what time it was.

She got in to her car and sat behind the wheel. She didn't start it straight away, she never did. Instead she just sat there for a few moments, running her bare hands over the smooth fabric of the wheel. After a few minutes, she put the key in the ignition and sharply turned it. The engine roared to life, she felt it vibrate beneath her seat as she turned on the CD player to play her favorite album.

The music poured from the speakers as she leaned back in her seat, closing her eyes as she let it surround her. The heavy beat drowned everything, and she began to drive. She always took the long way to school, making the most of the only time she could escape. She smiled, feeling like she could be anyone, going anywhere. She felt like she was flying, carried away by the music, but all too soon her high school loomed in the distance and the feeling faded away. She stopped the car in the parking lot of the McDonald's down the street, where she always parked ever since some students had found out it was hers and smashed the mirrors.

As she walked across the parking lot, she looked inside the restaurant and gave a nod and a smile to the manager. He knew her situation and, although she never ate there, he allowed her to keep her car parked there during school hours. She walked for five minutes down the straight road, kicking rocks and scuffing her shoes as she looked up towards the grand mountains in the distance.

School played out as it always did, day by day, week after week spreading itself across her life. High school would soon burn out, come to an end, but right now Wendy couldn't see that end as sat at her desk, closing her eyes and ears to the jeers and taunts around her.

"Do you think it will ever speak?"

"If we throw something at her, maybe she'll make a sound!"

"When I was friends with her she was cool, but obviously without me in her life she's forgotten how to function in society, poor thing."

"Hey Wendy, where's your dad?"

"Wendy's head is empty, and she's always sweaty!"

The last one is a childish chant a certain group of people like to sing at her in the hallways, and sometimes in classrooms when the teacher is absent. The first statement is far from true, and she has evidence for this in the form of straight A's, but she supposed they were stuck for words that rhymed with sweaty.

The teacher entered the classroom and everyone fell silent, and so began Wendy's long day of complete immersion in work, it helped her ignore everything else. Unfortunately, this was interrupted two times a day; once for morning break, and again for lunch break. She always sat alone at the back of the library building, where nobody else went except occasionally the goth kids and sometimes Stan, Kyle and Kenny.

"Hey, Wendy." Stan said as he walked up to her halfway through morning break, alone this time. "You okay?"

"The same as always, Stan," she replied, putting her copy of The Catcher in the Rye back in to her bag. "And yes, I've still not heard from him." she added, knowing the question about her dad was on the tip of his tongue. He asked her every morning.

"Okay... Well Kyle's ill, and Kenny's caught up in another breakup so it's just me today."

"That's okay."

"Is that a good book?" he asked, directing a small nod at her bag as he sat beside her, resting his back against the brick wall.

"Yeah, it's pretty deep." She decided not to tell him what it was about, or how many times she has read it over and over.

"Cool." was his only response before they fell in to a comfortable silence. Wendy didn't pick up her book again, she just tilted her head back and closed her eyes, listening to the birds and Stan's quiet breathing. The sounds of the rest of the school were far in the distance.

She was glad that they could spend time together like this, not having to talk and just being able to enjoy the company of another person. She thought back to the time when they were dating, when the conversation between them was forced, how they acted the way they thought every couple was supposed to. It took them a few years to realize that the one thing they were missing in the relationship was actual feelings towards each other, that they were never really there, at least not for Wendy. To her, Stan was more of a big brother in her life, even though she was only a few months younger than him.

Soon enough the bell rang, and thus ended the most interesting part of her day. She didn't see him again at lunch, but she never expected to. Some days nobody joined her at her spot, but she never held it against them. High school was tough, and keeping a good reputation was hard, so she understood that sometimes they wouldn't be able to see her. Nobody knew she was friends with the three of them, and it was best if it was kept that way.

When she got home she was pleased to find her mom sitting alone on the sofa. Her hopes at the sight were shattered, however, when her mom spoke.

"Josh is just at the grocery store, honey, he'll be back soon." she said. Wendy could hear the strain in her voice as she tried to make it sound like this was a normal, every day situation, that her boyfriend wouldn't come back and there wouldn't be the fear and uncertainty of getting hit again tonight or not.

"Okay." she said, hanging her coat and bag on the rack by the door.

"Come here, sit with me." she said with a smile, and Wendy didn't need to be told twice, she was curled up against her mother's side in a matter of seconds. From this angle, she couldn't see the bruises; she could pretend they weren't there. She could pretend she was ten again, and that they weren't waiting for Josh to return. Instead, in her imagination it was her dad that would soon return through the front door, like nothing had happened, like he had never left them. This image was so strong in her mind that when the front door did open, she expected her dad to walk through it and she had to stop herself from calling out to him.

"I'm back." said the voice that wasn't her dad's.

It was that evening after they had eaten that it happened. Wendy was sitting on the sofa when she heard a plate smash in the kitchen and just like that, something shattered within her mind. She stood up and ran down into her room, quickly picking up her cell phone, key, forty dollars and a pocket knife. She stuffed them all in to her purse, ran back up to the hallway, picked up her coat, put on her boots and ran out the house, the sounds of her escape all but silenced by the loud shouts and crashes from the kitchen.

She jumped in her car and, unlike that morning, wasted no time in starting it and backing out of the driveway. The drive to Denver passed by in a blur, the music thrummed around her. She just wanted to forget; if she couldn't remember it then it would be like it never happened. She had to keep driving; she couldn't stop, not yet.

When she arrived in the city, she drove around for fifteen minutes just looking for a place to park. She eventually found a spot by a bar, named Sam's Bar, on the outskirts. She stopped the car and, along with it, everything else stopped. Her previous determination to drive far away and forget vanished, and she remembered again. She remembered how she had just abandoned her mother, just like her father had done four years previous. But this time it was under worse circumstances; she had left her in the hands that wanted to hurt her.

Ashamed and crying, she rested her forehead on the wheel and tried to forget again. She fell asleep like that, but was woken up about half an hour later by a knock on the window. Wendy rolled down the window when she realized the girl on the other side was trying to talk to her.

"Thank God you're not dead!" she exclaimed, turning around and shouting over her shoulder. "It's okay! She's alive!" she shouted to someone, though Wendy couldn't see who in the dark. "You had us worried, a young girl like you unconscious outside a bar like this, we were about to call an ambulance."

"I'm sorry... I don't really know where I am."

"Well, don't worry, if you'd like you can join us... It's not really safe out here for a girl to be on her own."

Wendy nodded and stepped out the car, locking the door. When she turned around and adjusted her knee length purple skirt, she noticed a group of four other girls walking towards them from the shadows.

"I'm Steph, and this is Carly, Jess, Imogen and Becky." she said as she gestured to each girl in turn.

"I'm Wendy." was her simple reply. She wasn't sure if she could trust them, but at that moment in time she didn't really care; her worries were elsewhere. And so she joined them, first at the bar and then further into the city towards the night clubs. Once Wendy learnt what they were doing, however, she decided to speak up.

"Um, I'm not legal age." she said, and the girls momentarily slowed down in their walking to look back at her.

"Uh oh, just stick close to us Wendy, the bouncers are less likely to ask a group of young women for ID."

Wendy knew that was incredibly sexist, but she didn't say anything. Instead she just nodded and followed them, looking around at the lights of the city and making sure she stayed close.

"Say, Wendy..." Steph spoke up once the conversation had died down between her and her friends. Wendy could tell she had an important question to ask by the way she spoke, and the other girls were clearly trying to listen whilst pretending not to. Perhaps they had communicated telepathically to ask what was up with this strange girl, or perhaps Wendy had been so wrapped up in her own thoughts that she hadn't heard them speaking about her.


"How come you're here?" she asked, confirming Wendy's suspicions. "I mean..." She began to explain herself, realizing how blunt her question had been. "Call it women's intuition, but I'm guessing you've never been here alone before."

Wendy thought she was rude, she had only just met this girl, a stranger, and already she was prying. But, as before, Wendy just didn't really care.

"My mom's boyfriend smashed a plate over her head, so I ran away," she said, deciding not to sugar coat it and tell her the raw truth she had asked for.

"Oh," she said in shock, holding her hand up to her mouth. "Oh you poor girl, that's awful..." Wendy didn't like the way she spoke, as though she was talking down to her like a child. "Do you want us to call the police?"

"No." She shook her head, that was the last thing she wanted. "I just want to forget." She saw the other girls exchange glances.

"Alright..." said the girl Wendy remembered being introduced as Imogen. "If that's what you want, alcohol really helps."

"Imogen!" another girl - Wendy had already forgotten her name - said in shock. "She's underage!"

"Who cares, if she wants to do it that's her own choice, and we can't stop her, right Wendy?" Imogen asked. Wendy gave a small smile and nodded, she liked this girl.

Once they finally reached the club, they organized themselves so that Wendy was partially hidden within the group, as they entered and paid, and they successfully managed to get inside without being asked for ID.

"Imogen and I are just going to get us all some drinks!" Steph shouted to Wendy over the music once they were all inside. "Just wait with the other girls and we'll be right back!" Wendy nodded and turned back to the other three girls, only to find they had already begun to walk away. Wendy followed them, the distance between them getting wider and wider due to the large crowd of bodies. As she followed them through the crowd on the dance floor, she was shoved left and right, and soon she lost sight of the three girls.

She was alone. Alone in the sea of people as the music blasted around her and she was drowning in the music. She stood still as the beat dropped and spread around the burning, body-heated room. Somehow, a drink ended up in her hand and she downed it without a second thought, dropping the empty bottle when she was done. As she danced, sang and screamed, she felt it working. She felt herself quickly forgetting. In fact, she was forgetting what she was currently doing and the next thing she knew she was leaning up against a wall outside. She guessed she was outside the club she had just been in as she could hear the muffled music behind her.

She tried to stand properly, but she was overcome with a sudden dizziness and had to lean back again. She heard a door slam open around the corner from where she was.

"Don't you dare tell anyone!" a man shouted, and Wendy inched her way to the edge of the building, using the wall for support. She watched, partially concealed, as a man was pinned up against the wall and punched in the stomach. Wendy winced, and was hit with a strong sense that she had forgotten something important.

"I swear I won't." the victim wheezed out.

"You better not, because if anyone finds out I'm the one who set fire to the place you're dead!"

Wendy's vision began to spin, and she pulled back from the corner of the building. She fell down on her knees and started to crawl, feeling incapable of walking. She soon found herself bumping into a garden wall, so she decided to sit and rest for a moment. It was there that she fell asleep.

When she was woken up, she threw up the contents of her stomach. She groaned and looked upwards at the person who had disturbed her.

"Oh, dear me... It looks like you've had a rough night." the man above her spoke, and she squinted against the light that glared at her from behind him.

"Where am I?"

"You're in the graveyard of my church. Here, let's get you inside..." he said as he put his arm around her shoulders, pulling her up. She felt too weak to protest. "I'll get you cleaned up, and you can take some clothes from the charity box. Don't worry, they're clean, I saw to it myself." he said with a chuckle. "I do have a service today though, so unfortunately I can't hang around for too long. If you'd like to stay for it, you're very welcome, but I understand if you have somewhere to be." he explained as he sat her down on a slightly cluttered bench.

She looked around at the white walls and, based on the things he just said and the way he was dressed, she guessed she was in the vestry of this man's church. She felt safe, a feeling she didn't recognize straight away. The vicar left the room and returned after a few minutes with a small pile of clothes in one hand and a wash cloth in the other.

"Here, these clothes should suit you I think, based on what you're currently wearing." He smiled and handed her the clothes and the cloth. "And I wet this cloth with soapy water so you can clean yourself up. I'll give you some privacy, let me know when you're done." he explained, the smile still on his face as he left. She quickly undressed and wiped the dirt and dried blood off her knees and hands with the cloth, then she wiped her face with the other side. Once she was dressed, she opened the door.

"Um... Sir?" she called, not sure how she should address him. He soon appeared through the door on the other side of the hall, which she assumed lead to the main area of the church.

"Ah, you look better already, I do hope you're feeling better."

"A little, thanks... I think I need cream though, for my cuts and scrapes..."

"Oh, yes of course, how could I forget? I'll just fetch some for you." He disappeared again, and she realized he must live in a house behind the church. Within a few minutes, he returned with the cream, and she carefully applied it to the scrapes and cuts she had found whilst changing.

"I'm sorry, but I should get home..." She knew she should talk more with him, he was kind and he could help. But she knew he was busy, and she didn't want to burden him. Plus, every minute she spent there was another minute for her mother to worry and who knows what else.

"I understand, stay safe... What's your name?"


"Yes, stay safe Wendy. I'll say a little prayer for you."

"Thank you." She smiled and he led her back through the vestry and out to the graveyard, waving at her as she walked away.

She spent the rest of the morning looking for Sam's Bar, where her car was hopefully still parked. After asking a dozen people, she eventually found it, her car, mostly unharmed besides a few scratches. She took a few moments to calm herself and prepare for the long journey back to South Park, back to her house. She shuddered, she would rather not go back there. She wanted to escape, go anywhere, and leave everything behind. But she couldn't, not unless she could take her mom with her. She started the car and let out one silent tear as she began to drive.

When she got back, she parked her car on the street outside her house, and she instantly knew that both her mom and Josh were in there as both of their cars were outside. She could also see him pacing back and forth in front of the living room window. When he spotted her sitting in the car, he pointed aggressively at her and then down at the floor, silently telling her to come inside. She did as she was told.

Once inside and the door shut, he tightly grabbed her arm and pulled her into the living room, making sure to keep her away from the window and the public eye.

"What do you think you're doing?!" he shouted. She looked over his shoulder and saw her mom on the sofa, her knees tucked to her chest and her face hidden. "Answer me!" he said when she took too long, grabbing her face and making her look at him.

"I went to Denver." she said meekly, the small shred of defiance that had gathered on her drive home had quickly burnt out, and the kind vicar was all but forgotten.

"You're a problem child, you don't deserve a mother like her!" He pointed behind himself at her mom. "She was up all night worrying, wondering why you weren't answering your phone. She kept me awake. And you... You were probably sleeping around, just like your god damn father-"

"I was not!" she interrupted him, instantly regretting it. He slapped her, and her mom gasped. The room was filled with an unbearable silence, stretching on forever. She was momentarily stunned, and the only thing she could hear was the sound of the smack reverberating in her mind.

When her mind caught up with what was happening, she fled. Once again, she was running out the door and away from home. This time, though, she ran straight past her car and headed down the street, not really sure where she was going. She could hear Josh calling for her, but he didn't run after her. Hardly anyone knew what he was capable of, and he wanted to keep it that way.

Her feet eventually stopped and she noticed they had carried her to Stark's Pond. The place was mostly empty, so she felt safe enough to sit there in silence for a while and look out across the water to the forest opposite.

Her eyes traveled along the branches, unable to make out each individual leaf but still able to appreciate the whole picture; the large expanse of seemingly endless green. The longer she stared at the trees, the more she began to explore the branches of her past in her mind and soon that was all she could see.

She saw herself at eight, skating across the frozen pond with a young boy who had puffy blonde hair. She couldn't remember his name. She was nine, fighting tooth and nail with Eric Cartman, fighting for something she believed in. She was ten, sitting on her old bed with Bebe, giggling at an open diary between them. She was thirteen, sitting on her sofa eating a bowl of Froot Loops and waving to her dad as he left for work, not knowing he wouldn't return. She was fifteen, sitting alone behind the library. She remembered that day very well, it was the day she completely cut herself off from her friends.

She saw it clearly, everything in her life that dragged her down to this, what she is now and what she never imagined herself to be. Weak, alone, and broken, like a scolded tree stripped of its leaves, standing alone where a vast, thriving forest used to stand tall.

She stood up and began to walk back to her house, shaking as one thought ran through her mind over and over and over again; the thought of how she wished she could be like she once was, break through the chains holding her down and find her freedom, become the girl that she was supposed to be.

On her way down the main street, she looked across to the other side and saw she was opposite the gas station. She stopped for a moment, just staring at it, when suddenly something clicked. She had to go in there. She checked in her pockets to make sure she had enough money before crossing and entering the store.

It was eerily quiet inside, and the knell above the door echoed through the shop. She slowly walked down the small building, searching for the aisle she was looking for when she found something else instead, but it looked as though it had found her first, as it was already staring at her when she noticed it.

"Wendy? What are you doing here?" Kenny asked, and Wendy walked down the aisle towards him.

"It's a nice day..." she said, gesturing towards the shop window. "I'm taking a walk, why are you here?"

"I'm..." Kenny began to answer, looking at her curiously. "I'm just buying some things for my da- brother." he said, quickly correcting himself. If Wendy noticed this, she didn't show it.

"Oh... Okay, well don't let me stop you." She forced a smile and continued her search, her back turned to Kenny as she continued down the aisle. She missed the suspicious look he sent her way.

Later that evening, back in her house, things seemed to have calmed down. Wendy would have been happy to accept this, but she could tell that this was the calm before the storm.

"Me and your mother are going out soon for a meal." Josh explained to her as she came out of her basement bedroom. "You're not coming. You're going to stay in your room and you're going to bed without any food, do you understand?" he said this quite calmly, which was far scarier than when he shouted.

"I understand." she said, but inside she was shaking with fear and anticipation.

"Good, now go back down to your room." he instructed, pointing towards where she had just come from. She looked back and swallowed nervously. "Now!" he barked, and she did what she was told. Once she reached the bottom of the rickety stairs, she heard the door slam and heard a loud, echoing clink as he locked the door.

She sat down on her bed and let out a silent scream of frustration and anger. She wanted to fight back, but now she couldn't. She got up and briskly paced around the room, mumbling quietly about ruined plans and the unfairness of the universe. When she heard the front door open and close, she stopped pacing and her head whipped around. She ran up the stairs and pressed her ear against the door, listening for any voices or other sounds on the other side.

Once she was sure they had definitely left the house, she began slamming herself against the door, the loud bangs reverberating around her room. Soon, the door broke free of its hinges and she stumbled out, panting as she righted herself. Once she realized she had managed to break free, she ran back down to the basement, picked up her school bag, and tipped all the books out of it. She stepped on her copy of The Catcher in the Rye as she quickly crossed the room and began stuffing things inside the bag; a photo of her with her mom and dad, her old diaries, and her old stuffed pink bear.

She was in the process of zipping up the bag when she froze, feeling as though she was unable to close the bag. She slowly opened it up again completely, and examined the objects carefully. Her pink bear, she remembered getting that for her fourth birthday. She gently picked it up from inside the bag and held it in both hands, her happy memories returning to her - the things she thought she would never remember again. The power of the memories overwhelmed her, and she began to cry.

She dropped the bear on to her bedroom floor and frantically pulled out the other objects, dropping them on to her bed. She picked up the photo next, the only photo she had of them as a complete family. As her trembling fingers stroked the wooden frame, she could almost smell the daisy field that they all sat in, the last summer they shared together. They were visiting her family in Albuquerque, and she remembered that morning they decided to go out to the park, just the three of them, to enjoy the last day of their summer vacation together. Wendy smiled through her tears. But then she stopped, her smile fell and her tears dried up.

She put the photo back down on her bed and took a few steps back. These happy memories had been taken from her. She hadn't realized how many she had forgotten, but as they all came flooding back to her, she grew more and more angry. Her dad walking out, her mom letting Josh into their lives. Yes, Wendy needed to reclaim her strength, she needed to take control of her life once again, but she couldn't bring herself to destroy the one place where she had once been happy.

She knew where to go. She grabbed from the corner of her room the plastic bag full of the things she had bought at the store earlier, transferring the contents of that bag in to her school bag. She zipped up the bag once more and secured it on her shoulders, running upstairs and out of the house.

There it is. The forest of her life, the branches of bad memories. Wendy once again stood by Stark's Pond, facing the forest. For the first time in what felt like forever, she felt alive. She had reclaimed who she once was, and there was only one thing holding her down and stopping her from spreading her tired wings and taking flight. She had to prove to the world what she was capable of. She looked to her right and pictured her young, ten year old self smiling at her, reunited again.

"Should I do it, Wendy?" She asked her imaginary younger self out loud. She knew she wouldn't get an answer, so she imagined one. She imagined the young girl nodding, still smiling, before looking towards the forest. She followed her imaginary gaze and looked back towards the trees too.

The trees were her life, embedded within those leaves was the cause for all her unhappiness. She walked around the pond and headed in to the clump of trees, stopping in a small clearing. She dropped her bag from her shoulders and turned around, crouching down to open it and tip out the bottles of lighter fluid.

From within the small mountain of bottles, she pulled out a single, small match box. She held up the small box, examining it. So small, yet so powerful. Just like she used to be, like she wanted to be, like she will be. After tonight, people will remember what she is capable of, she will no longer be the weak girl.

She pocketed the match box and opened the first bottle, spreading it around the surrounding area, splashing it on the trunks of the trees until it was empty. She continued this with each bottle until she was left with just one. She stood there in the centre of the doused clearing, unscrewing the last bottle. With a smile, she dropped the cap and began to pour the contents out and walk away.

As she walked out of the forest, bottle still slowly pouring liquid, she left a trail of the fluid leading out of the forest and to a safe distance. She stopped walking when the bottle emptied and dropped it, pulling out the match box. She carefully picked out a match stick and struck it, watching as the small flame burst to life.

It took only a second. She crouched down and poised the match above the lighter fluid, and then a moment later she dropped it and the liquid ignited. She watched it spread along the trail for a few seconds before she stood up straight and watched it race in to the trees.

Five minutes later, she saw the smoke rising.

Ten minutes later, she could see the flames growing.

Twenty minutes later, she could hear the sirens wailing.

"You are aware of the circumstances of your arrest, aren't you?"


"You started a forest fire."

"I don't remember."

"You don't?"

"I want to report an incident of domestic violence."

"... I see."

When Wendy left the interview room, she stepped aside to allow her mom to go in after her. After Wendy's arrest, they contacted her mother - she left Josh alone at the restaurant without an explanation.

The door closed and she looked out at the corridor she found herself in. She took a deep breath, she felt liberated. She had been told that she may have to receive extensive home therapy, and may also be kept under surveillance. In theory, she wasn't free, but she could see the light at the end of the tunnel, and that made a great deal of difference. She had given a statement about Josh and his violent behavior, and now they were questioning her mom about it.

Today, she was tallest woman on Earth. She felt powerful and in control, reborn like a phoenix from the ashes. This was her Independence Day, and she was free.




If you enjoyed this story, remember to check out the original artwork that inspired it!