Taking Our LeaveMature

While most of the characters were talking amongst themselves I noticed that Blackbird and Ms. Muller had pulled away from the group and were conversing quietly. Blackbird seemed to be elaborating on an idea; shrugging uncertainly at her questions, gesturing in vague circles, and, finally, sighing and shaking his head sadly as he stood and walked towards the door.

"Doctor," Anna said as she too stood, "I'm afraid we will be taking our leave. Blackbird has some rough idea for a story that he's working on. I'm starting to wish I'd agreed to hunt secret policemen... instead it looks like I'm going to be witness to the downfall of mankind. This won't end well for anyone, he says it can't. Such a cheery fellow, isn't he?" She tried to smile, but only managed an unsettling grimace, as though she was looking at the gallows.

"I thought you wanted help dealing with being in stories like that? Do you want me to talk to him, I'm sure I can persuade him to stay until we can help you." I was worried about Anna; she looked sick, pulling her coat tighter around her and shivering even in the warmth of my office.

"No. Thank you, but I have to do this, it's my job a character unfortunately. But if I do a good job maybe he'll bring me back in a happier story? I don't want to be remembered, I doubt I ever will be, but maybe he'll write a story just for me, leave behind all of the blood and the dirt for someone else? What's fear and pain if I can finally rest once this is over..." She trailed off "I know fear, hunger, and even hate very well. I have some memories of a better time, but I've been in so many convoluted first drafts since then that they seem like a dream. They only taunt me."

"Alright, if you insist, but I still think you would benefit from this. Please take care, and when you finish with this story I would like to see you again." I wasn't sure if this idea of her own story was something that Blackbird had promised her, or if it was something she had imagined on her own. I could see in her eyes that she wasn't convinced that her life would have a happy ending; there was just nothing else for her to believe in.

"I don't think I'll be coming back from this." And with that she turned and followed Blackbird out the door, a few of the others watched her go, but turned back to their own conversations.

When the door closed it was as if she had never been.


The End

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