By Maria Okumura
She looked out across the muddy lawn and watched the cars zooming just beyond it.
A long highway stretched just beyond the house, but she knew not where it went.
Behind her a cluttered house cried from old age and overuse.
She sighs and places a hand against the teary window, pinning to leave it one day.
"Sweetie?" a soft voice called from across the red striped carpet. "Are you okay?"
"Of course, Mother."
Silence ensued. Her chest heaved in and out and she watched her mothers unblinking hawk like grey eyes trained on her.
"Mother," she stood from the windowsill and crossed the florid carpet. "I'm going to leave."
Two letters. Those two letters formed one dreaded word that she'd heard everyday for as long as she had been alive.
"You can't leave." Her mother tucked her overgrown bangs behind one ear, "You can't leave."
"I can and I will. You can't keep me in here forever."
"I can and I will." She mocked.
Neither of them said anything else. After a moment her mother exited the room with a strange and ominous gleam in her eyes.
"I will." The girl whispered to herself.
That night, while her mother slept, the girl slipped out of her room and down the long hall until she found herself at the front door.
It creaked slowly as she pushed it open, every noise made her jump out of her skin and search her surroundings for unwanted eyes.
The door finally halted its screams when it stoop wide and exposed.
The girl peered out into a soaked world with new eyes.
The grass was a deeper green than she could see through her window.
The trees stood taller than before and for the first time she could see the tops.
The sky was a murky grey but it was brilliant and extraordinary all the same.
"Stop." Her mother whispered from the doorway. she watched the girl observe the dreary outdoors with awe.
"No." The girl turned away from her mother, ready to walk out the door.
"You can't leave."
"I can and I will." The girl smiled and threw herself out the door and onto the lawn. It was so fresh and beautiful and everything came together all at once.
It came too fast.
Her chest heaved in and out, she couldn't catch her breath.
It felt like something was digging at her gut with a crowbar.
She fell to the grown and immediately began expelling everything from her stomach in an attempt to rid herself of the pain.
But it continued to grow worse.
It wasn't just her stomach anymore. Her arms felt like they were being torn off by giants, her legs felt like they were being stomped on by elephants and every nerve was screaming at her.
Spots corrupted her vision and eventually everything faded to black.
When she opened her eyes she was staring at the front door, still open. her hands burned as she tried to rise from the wooden floor.
"You can't go outside." Her mothers voice chilled the room and she turned to see her sitting on the floor next to her.
"Why not? What just happened?" She studied her mothers face.
Her mother stood up slowly and walked over to the open door. she closed it and turned back to the girl.
"If you go out there you'll die."
"A witches curse, if you believe in that sort of thing." She shrugged and made her way into the hall.
"I wan't to leave this place." The girl called after her.
"So do I," the woman croaked. Before fading from view completely she called back to her daughter,
"But you can't so I won't."