The Stick Girl: Chapter Five (Part One of Two)

 

Everything had been quiet for a long time. The girl had fallen asleep, exhausted from trying to escape the slash of black that held her captive. But now something was happening. There was another mountain- a bigger mountain than before.

This one was angled differently, though. The straight part went through the hills and crags of the mountain itself and moved more fluidly- as if it were surer of what it was doing. A whistling sound filled the girl’s ears as the mountain faded from view without doing anything. The girl frowned. What on earth was going on?

Without warning, the whistling sound stopped, and the girl’s world was rocked back and forth, literally. First one way then the next- she tried her best to avoid being thrown to a side, but to no avail. Her head knocked into her elbows and her ears rang. Her world stopped moving to and fro, only to be pulled up and then down.

Finally the world stopped spinning and jerking. The girl was breathing heavily and almost didn’t see the second mountain return. It wasn’t until a small smile appeared on her partner’s face that she realized it was back.

Yes, it was back, and it was finishing its predecessor’s work. A smile had been drawn, and then eyes- and a nose! For a moment the girl was upset. She didn’t have a nose. Oh well. She was more interested in the mountain finishing her friend so that she could talk to him. What was taking so long? She tapped her foot impatiently.

Why won’t the mountain free me? she wondered suddenly. Doesn’t it want me to be able to enjoy my home?

“Why the long face?”

The voice- the first one the girl had ever heard besides her own, came out of nowhere and startled her into a scream. She turned in a flash, only to see the person beside her smiling kindly.

“Sorry. I didn’t mean to scare you.”

The girl stared. The man wrinkled his nose. “Um… can you speak?”

She nodded, and he returned the gesture, although a little more sagely. “I won’t hurt you, I promise. It’s not like I can move much, anyway,” he added, tugging against the bar that held him in place.

“Oh,” she said softly. “I see.”

“She does speak!” he said victoriously. “I knew it!” She smiled at that as he asked, “What’s your name?”

“Name?” the girl asked quizzically. “What’s a-” she broke off as yet another concept came into understanding. Lillie. She repeated the name out loud, trying it out, testing how it felt on her tongue.

“Lillie?” the man asked, eagerly examining her face. “Lillie?!” he repeated. He looked very excited. “This is great! You’re the one we’ve been waiting for!”

“But… how? You just got here!” Lillie, as her name seemed to be, was confused.

The man dismissed this technicality with a restrained wave of his hand. “Not sure. But I do know that I’ve been waiting for you for a long time. I’m so glad to finally meet you!”

A smile was tugging at the corners of her mouth. This man had been waiting for her? He had wanted to see her? She felt warm, although she’d never felt anything before. The warmth spread through her stick limbs, down to her toes and out to the tips of her hair.

“What’s your name?” she asked timidly.

The man’s expression softened. “Aw, Lillie… I’m your daddy.”

Lillie didn’t have to wonder what ‘daddy’ was. She knew, instinctively, what that meant. With a grin that stretched across her face, Lillie pressed against the black line.

It shattered almost immediately at her pressure. She fell to the ground and had barely regained her balance before she was running over to the man and throwing her arms around him.

“Hi… Daddy.”

Her daddy held her close and whispered wonderfully words. “Now all we have to do is wait for your mommy and your sister Callie get here.”

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