Photo Provided by Brea Bee on September 3rd, 2010

Diana was feeling nervous. The air was crisp and cold and the floor felt brittle at the end of her wooden legs. The people had been gone for months. The floor littered with spools of thread who had fallen from clumsily packed bags in their mad rush to leave. They had gathered as much as they could carry, the female one, silently crying. It was evident from the separation in the coarse white powder on her nose that she had been like this for some time. They had locked the door behind them, the bell long removed so as not to beg attention. That was the last time Diana would see them. It was also the last time she had been warm.

A shudder ran through her spine as she threw the first peg forward. It was always apparent to her that she could move, but had never tried, had never needed to. And it came slowly at first, one after the other, her breath visible as she struggled to make her way to the front. To the window. It would take the night at this pace, one step, heave, next step, heave. It was late last night that she made the decision, after 14 years. Fourteen years behind the whirring iron of the weaving machines, through the secretive conceal of the maroon curtain, hidden away from the public eye. Diana had always been proud. Angry that her beauty was hidden, the delicate loveliness in her intricate details. It was pure foolishness to keep covering her up. After all, wasn’t the point of her to entice? To beckon? To reveal?

She was moving quite fast in her new found comfort and stoic determination when she slipped on a caste off swath of silk. Frighteningly she tap danced backwards watching the window fall farther away, her dream flashing into oblivion. Her scream woke the dead, until she was caught, just below her buttocks, by a giggling old desk, more than happy to have caught her there. She’d been set back 5 paces. But it was better than falling, getting up would be nearly impossible as she had no arms and her legs had no bend. She pushed off the now excitedly wheezing mahogany. He was shaking such that pens fell to the ground, papers fluttered and the ink gushed and spilled from it’s well. She ignored him. It was the window she wanted. The embrace of the window, where the rays of sun could finally reach her, warm her frigid body in front of the world, in front of men.

She was panting now and sweating a bit under her exertion. Her panties clung tighter than ever before as she continued on, meandering around the fallen furniture, the discarded dresses, torn, raped. The empty casings of cushions with their guts strewn about, had long since lost hope. But not her, her window was within reach and he called out to her, encouraging, her excitement mounted. The Dawn of morning rippled in and held out it’s golden gloved hand to help her up to where she belonged, in the light, on display.

Diana burst inside as she fell into the embrace and reveal of his glistening virtuous panes. If there was music, it played for her now, violins, violas, cellos. Their bows running along the hairlike fingers of their strings drawing the light and the attention, sweet, sweet attention to her beauty. And she closed her eyes and listened and felt the sun crawl through her body, warming places she had never known could be warmed. She was finally where she belonged, twirling in blissful satisfaction, her tassels tickling the glass, beating rhythmically along his frame.

But it was not to last long.

A small boy was running past and glanced at her, immediately stopping in his tracks. He was stunned, in awe at her lack of modesty. A piercing shot rang out sending him fleeing away down an alley. An alley she now noticed was littered with debris and rubble. Diana took notice for the first time at what lie outside the window. She could see the walls now; the painted signs of hate and disgrace. The buildings quivered in fear; a fear she had been safe from in the hollow of the back corners of the shop. Her heart sank and fell as the window panes began to weep in the shadow of the arriving clouds. Clouds who barreled over one another to gawk at her. In their haste and excitement they blocked out the warmth of the sun and the cold resumed as an accompaniment to the rhythm of the approaching soldiers. Several tiers of uniformed wind up toys seemed to can-can past in unison intent on their mission, focused only on their purpose, this stomping. She held her breath in hope but they took no notice, the window doing his best to hide her behind his veil of sadness.

As with all novelties, eventually the clouds lost interest and dispersed, grumbling a bit but satisfied. Diana adjusted herself in anticipation of the new admirers who were to come. The sun reappeared as a flicker, much lower now, tingling about bouncing off this and penetrating that. And as the light dipped away into the clattering of gunfire it said goodbye, as if it knew what was to come. The now visible flash of heated bullets cracked at the brittle bricks who had given in to their destiny long ago, even before the people had fled. The last ping rang out an echo of victory and the marching resumed. It was just practice now anyway, most everyone had already fled, leaving only rats and cockroaches as targets.

And then the soldiers


to admire.

It was a look she had always been able to feel, even through vicious scowls. They imagined her silken tassels dancing about, inviting them in, on the rosy hips of their dream girl. The braided cloth they would run their coarse and stained fingers along. She delighted in their gaze only to be caught completely off guard when one of them rage-fully grabbed his gun and destroyed her beloved. His shattered glass showering her in a last attempt to protect. It was with haste and anger that the soldier ripped the heavy cloth that lie around her and gathered it in his arms. It was then that she saw the change in his look. The anger and hatred he felt for himself for admiring, for indulging in her. It would take him years to cleanse himself of his thoughts, to think, him entertaining these thoughts at the provocation of a, and he spits as the thought flitters across his mind, a jew. It was enough to sicken him and as the cloth covered her head, she heard glass shatter behind her.

It took several minutes for her to feel it. The warmth from the fire now engulfing the discarded remnants of a life. And her smile grew as the flames licked at the air around her, the warmth enveloping her perfect body. The panes screamed for help that was certain not to come. She had no need for help; not any longer. She had been to the sun, had been adored, displayed. There was nothing more she needed, she had already won. Her beauty would burn in the minds of those who most hated her, those who had cast her into a permanent cold, alone, to die. Now she would live in the warm desire of their nightmares, twirling provocatively…. eternally.