The little girl was bent over the picture, miserably numb. Once a pretty picure of a garden and trees and butterflies, it now had large creases across it, and was damp and smudged. Most telling was a large drop of blood which marred the light blue waters of a pond, and partially turned a white swan an ugly crimson. It was these waters that the little girl was furiously colouring over with a darker blue. She coloured so hard that a hole appeared in the paper, and the blue coloured the newspaper underneath. But there was no time for another drawing. It was almost time for bed and art class was the next day. Perhaps the swan could be pink.
\"WHAT THE HELL HAPPENED TO YOU!\" The little girl cringed, recognising the tone of voice. Mommy knew, and was angry. There would be no relief for her today. A blow to the head smashed her face against the drawing, and the hard kick worsened the awful burning sensation in her tummy. She curled up into a fetal position over the once-pretty picture, resigned.
An hour later, the little girl was in bed. From under the covers, she peered at her mother, who was sitting at her child-sized desk, using her crayons. Mommy was copying her drawing onto a new sheet. The little girl realised she wouldn't have to submit the spoilt picture after all. Eventually she slept.
The little girl's drawing got an A with 2 gold sticker stars. Her mother told her what a nice drawing it was, and hung it on the refrigerator with magnets. Visitors to the house commented on how good the drawing was, and how a girl so young had such steady control of crayons. Over the next few months, as the horrors escalated, the girl often stood infront of the refrigerator and stared at the drawing. Sometimes she thought that everything will be ok, as her mother had drawn this, and must love her. Sometimes she imagined the pond in the picture was so deep that she could step right into it, and drown herself. Sometimes she wondered if she had indeed drawn the picture herself, and was just plain crazy.
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