Bird Girl

Ellie Marillo is an extraordinary girl with the power to see spirits. With no inention of talking to anone, her life tragedy is described as she encounters events that she would never dream of. As she discovers her life, her history falls into place, with one special person close to her heart....

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1. Mama

Her bony fingers traced the jewelled embroidery, every touch imprinting on her pale skin. The soft silk sliding through her hands, racing with the wind. Her hair was flying out behind her, the beautiful scarlett locks her deceased mother stroked every day. If there was anyone she would love it was her mother, her beautiful, angelic mother who abadoned her 3 years ago. Slowly, she let the silk fly, whispering the same words every time.

"Mama."

Footsteps.

"Ellie, come in, it's lunch, yeah?"

In a dart she grabbed the silk that had fallen to the floor and clutched to her heart, like a lioness protecting her cubs. She glared at her surroundings, her heart pacing in fear of losing her only motherly possession. As a girl of 5 years old, she refused to talk, smile, laugh.

"It's okay, Ellie, no-one will hurt you."

Her care worker Mathilde carted her inside. She tried to place a hand on her shoulder but Ellie shook it off, turning down any kind of attention she could get. They made their way to the dining hall where all the other care kids were sitting and wolfing down food.

"Sit down, honey," said Mathilde. "I'll get you a plate, yeah?"

Her care worker had a habit of yelling when nessecary. She was a hard worker, in a care home that could only provide her with an indecent salary for a year's worth. She was a very pleasing, deserving woman who decieded to make the most of life.

Another care worker who had no option but to work here was John. He came from a poorer background, that forced him to work in such a place. But he had a love for children, desperate to have some of his own. He too was very becoming towards them.

It was 2 years ago that they read Eleanor's plea for staying at The Care House for children. It was a case of misery and child abuse, so they took pity for the child and gave her a grand welcome. It was  rather shabby but it was just the place for a toddler like Ellie to confide her inner feelings and hopes. Never forgetting her past, she made this place home, a difficult task which she had pretty much excelled in. Inspection officers scoffed at this place but refused to close it down as there wasn't another care home around for 28 kilometers. At the same time they had no intention of improving it as it was a waste of their time and money.

The best thing about it though was that it was situated by the side of a river, a long, beautiful river, and an acre of gardens too. No-one went out there much, except Ellie, who sat there every day. She faced the sun and glared into it's rays, and Mathilde would often wonder what a child they had stumbled across. Of course, they couldn't delve into her mind, but they knew that there was something about her. Something that wasn't part of normal intelligence for a 5 year old.

As Mathilde was watching her now, she wondered what went on inside that little head of hers. Ellie placed the silk scarf around her, allowing it to droop around her shoulders. The others stared at her, in absolute silence, knowing that if they made one wrong move they would fall into a hurricane of tears and tantrums. 

Silence. Screams. Shouts.

"John?" said Mathilde. "JOHN?"

John came running downstairs. He paced into the living room.

"On fire! On...fire!"

There was a moment of silence. Then screams. Yelling. Harrassing. The click of doors opening. The stampede of people. The relief once they get outside.

"Wait.....Ellie?" gasps Mathilde. "She's...she's in there! The building's burning down!"

"She isn't screaming!"

"She's 5 years old!"

The panic in their hearts was increasing by the minute. They knew she would die. They would have to wait. They couldn't do anything. The shock had totally paralysed them as they watched the building fall to pieces.

 

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