'I don't know why,
All the trees change in the fall,
I know you're not scared of,
Anything at all,
Don't know if Snow White's house is near or far away,
But I know I had the best day,
With you, today.'
-The Best Day, Taylor Swift
Holding him by his paws, Ariana danced the teddy along the dusty
floorboards. She settled him carefully in her lap and picked up a
ring of pink netting. Her small, slim fingers deftly attached a
pink material to the teddy's brown fur, giving him the impression
that he was wearing a tutu.
"You shall go to the ball, Mr Ted." She said quietly.
She smiled slightly. She had been given Mr Ted that very morning
for her birthday. He was tattered and half of one ear was missing
but she loved him with all her heart.
She held the teddy aloft, examining him. Seemingly satisfied,
Ariana placed him back down onto the floor. She sighed, closing
her dark grey eyes and leant back against the wall.
Ariana was seven years old to the very minute the clock struck
eleven on that cold evening. Her dirty, un-kept, black hair fell
in tangles down to her waist. She wore the same clothes she wore
everyday; a too big, off white dress that came down to her knees.
She went barefoot.
Suddenly there was a loud crash from below and a scream. Ariana's
eyes snapped open. She stared at the door fearfully, her heart
pounding too hard for her small frame. The door to the room burst
open and a wild looking woman flew in. Her hair was a mess and
her make up was streaked down her face. The woman slammed the
door closed and locked it.
"Ariana!" She whispered. "Quick, hide!"
"Mama?" Ariana stared up at her with wide eyes. The woman's eyes
filled with fresh tears.
"Quickly!" Was all she said.
Ariana stumbled to her feet, without looking back she scrambled
into the wardrobe and shut the door behind her. But the door was
old and wouldn't close properly. It left a small gap, allowing
her to see everything.
Moments after she had gotten into the wardrobe, a banging on the
door started up.
"Open the door, Sally! You can't hide in here forever!" A man
shouted from the other side. Ariana shuddered at the familiar
The woman, Sally, backed away behind the bed. Her eyes darted
over to the wardrobe and set determinedly. She grabbed the
bedside lamp from the table, tearing it from its socket. The door
was suddenly flung of its hinges and as the dust cleared a
handsome man in a dark suit walked into the room. His cold green
eyes settled on Sally, who held the lamp up threateningly. A
short bark of laughter erupted from his throat.
"What you gonna' do with that?" He smirked. "Hit me with it?"
"I'll do worse than that." Sally snarled.
Michael grinned. He started towards her, but was stopped when the
lamp flew at his head. He ducked and it hit the wall behind him.
He turned back to Sally.
"It seems you're all out of ideas." He said tauntingly.
Sally swallowed; she glanced at the wardrobe worriedly. Ariana
gasped as Michael suddenly took a handful of Sally's hair and
threw her to the ground.
"Where is she?" He growled. Sally took a hold of his wrist,
trying desperately to release his hold.
"She's gone! You'll never find her!" She spat. Michael scowled.
He kicked her in her ribs causing Sally to scream as they
Ariana's snapped shut, her hands slamming against her ears. Tears
streamed down her face as she shook her head from side to side,
trying, failing, to block out Sally's screams of pain.
Eventually everything became quiet again. Ariana dared to open
her eyes. The man was nowhere in sight, but Sally was another
matter. She was lying on the floor; a pool of blood surrounded
her. Her eyes were closed.
"Mama!" Ariana shrieked. She burst out of the wardrobe, making
for her mother's body.
But two strong hands clamped round her waist and held her in
place. Ariana screamed, struggling against his hold.
She hated Michael. Every night he would come and give her mother
strange bags of white stuff and pills. And every night her mama,
the woman who read her bedtime stories about handsome princes'
and beautiful princess', would be taken up to her bedroom and
they would stay in there for hours on end. Ariana didn't know
what they did and she wasn't allowed inside the house when it
happened, but she didn't like it. She knew Michael was hurting
her mother, which was why she brought her head down and bit down
hard on his hand.
He cried out in shock and anger, releasing her at once. Ariana
flew to her mother's side. She dropped to her knees and gently
shook her shoulder.
"Mama?" She whispered. "Mama, wake up!"
"Mama's dead now, kid." Michael stated coldly, grabbing Ariana's
"No, she's not dead. She's…she's just sleeping!" Ariana sobbed,
refusing to leave her mother's side.
Michael groaned in frustration. "She's dead! See that red stuff?
Its blood, it means she's dead." He informed her.
Ariana touched the blood with her fingers; gazing at it
"Blood." She repeated.
"Yes, well done. Now come on." Michael rolled his eyes. He picked
her up in his arms and headed for the door, but not before Ariana
had managed to grab Mr Ted, who she held tightly for comfort.
Michael carried the young girl out to a sleek black car with
tinted windows. He placed her in the back, sliding in next to
her. The car immediately started up and pulled out of the drive
"Where are we going?" Ariana asked quietly. Michael looked at
her. He saw no harm in telling the seven year old the truth.
"To see your father."
Ariana gaped up at him. "My father is a bad man."
Michael chuckled. "I see Sally taught you well, the bitch." He
muttered as an afterthought.
Ariana turned away from him and stared out the window. She hugged
Mr Ted tightly to her chest. At least they hadn't taken him from
her. She watched the bright lights of the city flash past. Her
mother had never allowed her to go with her into the city and she
was fascinated by it. Maybe her father would let her come back
and see it.
"We could get you a girl friend, Ted." She said to her teddy.
Michael rolled his eyes at her behaviour. Mr Laquasto was not
going to be pleased and Michael almost felt sorry for the little