Innocence

“I’ve eaten more bars of soap than you” she cries like a little girl who has lost her toys. Her voice is shrill and desperate; she isn’t seven anymore. The crowd cheers, thinking her a horrible joke. Their applause draws the air from the room but she continues to scream. “I can tell you what I do at night.” Her hands swing around the stage away from her body like swan wings as she speaks. “There isn’t any rouge!” she hollers, tears starting to stream now like little rivers of purity across her cheekbones. The audience is blind to it.

“Buy more!” the crowd responds with feverous gaiety. They think themselves so wise and clever in their buttons and ties. Laughter erupts, bringing with it a flood. The satin curtains on the stage waver in their motion. The fabrics shadow obscures her face but it cannot hide the terror and disgust.

SS

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