Drusilla hugged the porcelaine doll to her chest. It was happening again. So much screaming, yelling, things getting thrown. Weasel words, crawling out of the walls and into her ears. Chewing at her brain. “Stop it,” she whispered. “You’re hurting Miss Edith’s ears.”
But it didn’t stop. The vermin kept chewing, biting through her skull. Grinding little teeth, scraping, gnawing. Making cheese out of her brain. And she screamed, screamed, screamed. She screamed until it was all she could hear, until the weasels were drowned. There were arms around her suddenly, pulling her away from it all; she couldn’t stop screaming, couldn’t stop crying.
“Look what you did,” her little bird said to the weasels. “Are you happy now?”
And the bird flew her away, out to the garden. Drusilla leaned into the bird’s wings, clutching the doll and covering the little doll’s eyes. “They hurt Miss Edith’s ears,” she wept. “Now her head is full of nails.”
The bird stroked her hair. “I’m sorry, Miss Edith. You know how boys can get.”
Drusilla sniffled, looking up at her little bird. She touched the pale blond feathers, making sure her bird was real. “I’m happy you’re not a boy.” Drusilla watched her bird, blinking as the bird slowly began to look like Darla. “Oh. There you are.”
“Here I am,” Darla agreed.
“Do you love me?” Drusilla asked. “Even if my head is full of nails?”
“I love you, nails and all. I’ll love you when your head is full of nails, or rabbits, or roses.”
Drusilla pondered this, then smiled hopefully. “Do you think my head will be full of roses again someday?”
“Oh, Dru.” Darla leaned over and kissed her forehead. “I know it.”
“That’s nice.” Drusilla laid her head on Darla’s bosom, closing her eyes. “I want to give you one, Darla. A lovely red rose.”
Despite the cloudless sky, it started to rain, splashing on her cheeks. She didn’t mind. The rain was warm.