Her name is Sarah, and her fingers are moving over the paper, smearing the thick, slippery paint everywhere, painting a picture of her home. She’s painting the blue of the sky and the green of the grass, the black outlines of the house and the yellowish orange of the sun. She’s humming a tune she’s known her whole life, one without an end that spins itself over and over in her mind, one that annoys her mother and makes her father groan every time it starts. She’s crouching on the carpet and her hands are telling a story without words while her toes curl in and around the fibers.
They’re soft and thick, plush and tickling the sensitive skin under the soles of her bare feet. She’s drawing her pet now, a little bright pink ball of fluff beside the big tree. It’s purring, sitting a few feet away and watching her paint with its lazy eyes, head tilted curiously to the side. She’s ignoring her hair as it hangs in her face, obscuring her view of her painted place. She’s biting her lip and listening to the distant creaking of her mother’s rocking chair and the sound of her father’s truck rumbling up the drive way.
Her name is Sarah; she’s still humming her song while she’s painting her favorite thing of all, a purple birthday cake with a messy, smeared number five on it, the number of years since the day she was born. She’s painting her birthday scene on the lawn where her stick-figure self is surrounded by family and friends from her class. And now she’s adding the final touch to her perfect memory, her perfect dream… the bright red apples hanging from the branches of the big green tree beside her birthday scene.
Her name is Sarah and she’s seventeen years old. The blue of the sky is what’s left of the dish detergent her mother put beneath the sink. The green on the tree is antifreeze her father keeps in the garage. The brown is the chocolate sauce she puts in her milk and the black is the ink from her mother’s calligraphy set. The sun’s rays are painted with the remains of a carton of orange juice long since gone bad and the purple is old grape jelly scraped from the bottom of the almost empty jar in the back of the fridge full of food that’s growing life on its surface.
She’s kneeling on the tattered remains of her mother’s favorite fur coat, a crime that would be punished if her mother was able to get out of bed, and her fingers are adjusting the bumpy, pulpy pink substance that forms her cat’s body, taken from the mess left behind when she bashed in its skull with the bust of George Washington her father was so proud of showing off. The bright red apples are painted with the stuff that’s collected in the Tupperware container she cooks her meals in. Her fingers reach for another pinch of her favorite treat and as the recently microwaved meat slips between her lips, she sings a few sparse words from the song she can’t seem to forget.
“The song that never ends, yes it goes on and on…” she stops to chew for a moment, still humming and bobbing her head as one hand reaches out to grab a bit more of the pulp from the cat mess on the carpet and uses it to decorate her birthday cake with little pink candles, giggling. “And they’ll continue singing it forever just because…”
Her name is Sarah and her mother would be mad about the mess she is making, but she hasn’t left her bed in days, and her father can’t spank her because he doesn’t have hands anymore. Or eyes. Or a tongue. Or a heart. She slurps the luke-warm liquid from the pulmonary artery and lets out a happy coo as her distant blue eyes lift to look up at her Daddy and what’s left of his body slumped in his recliner. “It’s gonna be such a pretty picture, Daddy. You’ll see.”
The rumble of thunder is the tank rolling down the road, ignoring the dilapidated house a few hundred yards off the highway, the creaking of the rocking chair is the back door blowing in the wind, and the rumble of her father’s truck is the sound of a jeep pulling up outside carrying five men with guns expecting an abandoned home in the war-torn country side. The clicking of them pulling the hammers back on their guns doesn’t seem to faze her, but Sarah reaches out to pick up the nearby cleaver anyway.
“Did you come for my party too?” she asks in a distant voice, only lifting her eyes from her picture once she’s fully upright. She’s stepping over the picture, she’s ignoring their hurried shouting as she lifts the cleaver over her head and smiles that broken smile.
Her name is Sarah, she’s seventeen years old and lying in a pool of her own blood, eyes glassy and distant as the dirty and torn remains of her favorite flower print sun dress are soaked through by the crimson liquid spilling from the series of holes in her chest and stomach. Her world is going gray and fuzzy, and now black and cold as her lips form the quiet whispers of her favorite song.
“Yes it goes on and on my friends…”