Becky welcomed the blessed silence. How could it be otherwise? Day after day she was hounded by their incessant howling, the ever present screech of their disgust. The noise of their derision was deafening, their thoughts crowding her mind every waking moment. How was it possible to be tormented by the crowd and yet utterly alone? The cutting remarks and subtle shoves the teacher never observed, averted eyes and unasked questions… they would never trouble her again. She welcomed peace.
Her thoughts drifted inexplicably back to the black butterfly she had seen on the way to school seconds before it was caught in the front grill of her stepfather’s car. She had cried out, already too late. However, drying her tears on the way into her brick-and-mortar prison, she noticed the butterfly’s black silhouette fly away miraculously unharmed. Had it noticed her distress as she had noticed his?- moments before it was already too late?
Lunchtime hadn’t come soon enough.
Becky clenched the antique toy pistol in her small fists, backing the teacher, students, and lunch lady into the giant freezer. Both children and adults beat upon the thick door, their silent crying faces peering at her through the frosted glass window in quiet desperation. She heard nothing through the heavy partition except the faint beating of their fists. She would abandon them to suffocate or freeze, a better fate than they deserved for the isolation and loneliness they had subjected her to. She turned away from their mute pleas as they had turned away from her own, then her eyes fell upon and once more followed the dark shadow of the morning butterfly.