Rena poked her head out from under the bunk bed and found the other girl looking down at her, dolly held tight. Oh, me…again. She sighed, hoping maybe someone interesting had just walked in.
“What are you doing UNDER the beds, Weirdena?” Jeylie sniffed and looked down her nose.
“Bein’ creepy!” Jake, another of the orphans, answered as he walked in, laughing.
“Rena-Weirdena-Queen-a the strange!” Steve sing-songed, snickering at his rhyme.
Blushing, Rena ducked her head under the bed, holding back tears while she sorted through her little metal treasures; broken watch gears, bits of wires, and metal scraps. All these wrong parts held the mechanical squirrel schematics a visiting gnome gave her a few years ago pinned and unscrolled on the blanketed floor. “At least I’m royalty,” she mumbled.
The other orphans continued mocking her and laughing while she tried blocking them out.
“Remember that horrible dolly she made me?” Jeylie’s tone was disgusted as she jumped on the bottom bunk hard enough bits of dust and some dirt rained down on Rena. “Almost cut open my finger. Who makes a metal dolly anyway?”
Rena closed her eyes and shook her head before nibbling on her bottom lip. She worked for weeks on that doll, even exchanged her monthly treat for a bottle of specialized glue. Jeylie threw it away. When Rena looked for it later, the others started calling her a garbage picker.
“I just want them to smile…” Ren whispered in her own made-up language. The fat black house-spider up in the corner of the bedpost obviously understood this language. She confided often enough in that spider since she found it a few months ago.
‘They are smiling.’ She pretended the spider answered, the poor little insect not understanding the difference.
“They’re not kind smiles. They’re mean. I hate this place.”
“UGH!” Jeylie said in exaggerated disgust. “She’s talking to herself in that creepy language again!” The other girl retreated from their bunk.
“Who’s she talk to anyway under there?” Jake sneered.
“Her imaginary friend.” Steve giggled.
“She’s not imaginary!” Rena looked up at the spider.
Jake poked his head under the bed at her shoulder. “Oh yeah, where is ‘she’ then?” His smug grin disappeared when Rena pointed at the spider. He almost banged his head shoving away. “Weirdena’s talkin’ to a big ole spider!”
“A spider?!” Jeylie followed her shrill question with a tiny squeak of, “under my bed? Maaaaatrooooon!” And the sound of her footsteps and crying running outside. From the sound of it Jake and Steve followed.
It was the last Rena saw of her only friend. The matron squished her with the toe of a shoe.
Been a while since I’ve updated my blog, so thought I’d update with this.
Awfully close to maybe picking Silent Rain up again, at least to finish it off, even if people have lost interest in it.