Chapter 1 ~
The Music Box
"She's playing that blasted music box again," the man grumbled.
"She enjoys the music box, Rudy," the woman whispered, placing a soft hand on his arm. He growled with disgust. Abruptly he turned on his heel before stopping out of the room, slamming the door shut. She sighed. Behind the door adjacent to the careworn, dilapidated living room a little girl shook her head, allowing several strands of wispy blond hair to shade her features. Her small hand paused over the music box she had been winding, releasing the tightened figure, for she would not be able to hear the entire ballad. She sighed, the whoosh of air slightly jarred, sounding a bit unnatural in its young soul. There would be no type of diversion today. She resolved herself to staring out of her window for the next several hours.
A soft swooshing noise was heard, causing the girl to awake from her stupor, enough so that she glanced at the open top-half of her window. An owl, or what appeared to be an owl due to its large build, had rushed into her room, zooming towards her bed. Utterly bewildered, she shook the hair away from her face quickly in order to better observe a tawny brown, ruffled mess of feathers hobbling around on large wrinkled feet, with a beautiful, speckled snowy head. Such a variation she had never seen in an owl before, or rather any bird, since, indeed, she had no experience with them. However, the creature was on her bed now, so she should probably-
"Quickly little bird, you have to hide!" Softly, Bonnie picked up the owl in a rather unceremonious manner, to the poor bird's immense chagrin as it attempted to nip at her, stashing it in her closet like a stuffed toy. The door to her room opened, revealing a crusty looking mean with curly red hair that made him resemble a fiery red scarecrow. His electric blue eyes alighted upon first the closet, and consequently his daughter, causing her to swallow reflexively.
"Dad." He growled.
"I told you to put that music box away. I don't like to hear it."
"I'm sorry, Daddy."
"I don't want to hear your tiresome excuses, girl. Just clean up and come out for dinner. our mother said she made something you really like." Her eyes brightened.
"Did she make a stew?" He eyed her for a minute, in a manner that suggested analyzing.
"Dad?" she asked, confused. He had never given her such a look. In his yes a hint of sadness completed his critique of whatever he was studying in Bonnie.
"You remind me of someone I knew once . . . " his words trailed into the silence. They trickled into nothing, leaving her feeling starkly the change in her father's manner, that teased the air. Bonnie didn't feel any sort of threat really, but her father had bent truly out of character. Her thoughts abruptly became shorn, upon being tossed, or rather, bossily pushed, beneath one certain mess of feathers. Her eyes slid quickly to the side before landing back on her father.
"Dad," she whispered, with eyes that now resembled saucers. Oh, please, don't have heard- what would he say? The owl scuffled in a cantankerous, perhaps a dangerous manner. The telltale scratching of digging claws against the wooden door slid across her thoughts and any false resemblance of calm she'd maintained. She gasped as her father's head whipped around.
"No, no, Dad . . . leave him be! Please!" she screeched. Any image she had of herself as a dignified little woman was gone, fleeing as the tiny girl fled the room, no longer wishing to stand stalwart against his wrath. She sought her mother at the end of the hallway. "Mom. Daddy's gonna blow." Upon hearing her words, Bonnie's mother turned rapidly, spinning away from her, causing the girl's hands to fall from their grip on her skirts. Quietly she began humming to herself, softly making an avid, yet effective attempt to calm her nerves down. The woman that closed the open door was faster than she appeared to be judging based on her delicate appearance.
"What do you think you're doing?" The spark of her words might have spelled her husband with the heat of a magical wave that bound him with a ring of fire- she was magical . . .
"Your daughter seems to have brought an OWL into the house.. I'm going to do away with this piece-of-filth," spat the red-haired man-type-creature.
"I don't know what do to. You are not human anymore. Whom did I marry?" She paused. "You are barking. Leave my house. Bonnie and I do not need you."
"No!" The madness of a spiraling ball of girl flew into the room. "No! You can't banish him! He's my dad! I'll never get another one." The woman bent down and gathered the girl into a gentle, caressing, warm hug. The man behind the woman, swore loudly while his blundering bulk careened, rollicking in the movement, after the owl he wanted to catch.
"You can't banish him," the child repeated, staring hard at her mother with watery, red eyes, biting her lip in a thoughtless act.
"Bonnie." Her mother held her hands up to her, in some sort of desperate plea. "Bonnie please listen." The girl shook her head. The red-haired predator on the other side of the room caught the owl, who screeched and flailed.
"Let him go!" cried the girl desperately, as she quickly started sobbing. "Mommy- mommy please make him let it go. The bird didn't do anything. It wasn't it's fault. Please, mom." The woman rubbed the girl's shoulders gently, but there was the hint of a shaded sadness in her own blue hues. "Bonnie I want you to leave the room now," she whispered. Bonnie grew rigid with terror, and then, the girl fled.
Later on that night, the blond head trembled underneath a force filled up with harsh, jagged sobs that raced through Bonnie's frame with such anger that she felt powerless against it. Truly there existed no avenue of escape against the vice that gripped her and pushed her down beneath an invisible wall, thrusting, pounding . . . the ache that felt like a real demon who wanted to kill her with a physical pressure. She cried for over an hour.
"I feel so alone. So, so . . . " Bonnie tried to steady her breathing as she took several vast, gulping breaths of air. She looked out the window, letting her gaze rest on the passing overcast of cloudy gray scenery. The rolling clouds resembling stream-like smoke drifted before her vision, then commenced to swim by lazily, as their playful tails teased her as would that of- an animal. A bird. No, no, she wouldn't think of it. She couldn't bear it. Hesitantly, she walked over to her bureau. Knowing what the consequences would be, her hands seemed to betray her knowledge, and she couldn't stop herself from removing the traitorous music box. She wound it up, releasing thereupon its soft music.
"I told her not to play it!"
"Calm down, and get out of my house," the woman said harshly.
Bonnie pressed her ear against the item and hummed softly.
"I don't care what you think, you worthless man. Bonnie has a right to play it." She pressed her ear to the soft harmony, forgetting all about the outside nuisance.
"I already had to obliterate that owl," he growled. "I'll go in there and squash that piece to scattered glass, toss it across the floor, and not bother to clean it up."
"I've had- enough, Margalita!"
She continued humming peacefully. As the sound trickled into her airways, filling all of her bodily passages, Bonnie withdrew into herself from the world, from distraction. Now she could hear only the cadences. They thrummed through her veins, trickling through her nervous system like a beautiful ballet that lived within her. And it was. It was a part of her. She laid her head down into her arms, feeling weightless . . . she was weightlessly floating . . . becoming someone else. Who she would become, she did not know. But as she melted away her thoughts began to ripple, and her appearance, while not changing altered slightly. When Bonnie awoke, she would no longer be who she truly was- the charge of two inadequate parents.