Blood, Wine, and Roses

There are certain circumstances in life that are too dreadful to mention. Losing your beloved parents and going to an orphanage are some of those things. One cannot describe the pain, the horrific sadness that follows such a death.
However, Emily had never met her parents. So, of course, she wouldn't feel depressed. But it was very discomforting to share a room full of strangers, who were children just like herself. With no place to go, the orphanage was the only solution.
Her birthday was coming, which was on New Year's Eve. She always felt anxious every year, for fear of being thrown out into the cold winter snow that came down gently outside.
Christmas had gone and passed. Emily had only received a pair of old striped stockings, that were very worn out by the previous owner. Emily noticed a small girl about her own age glancing shyly at her. Smiling, Emily guessed she had given her the stockings as a present.
As other girl received porcelain dolls and nougat, this girl had nothing. Perhaps she had no family at all. Or maybe she had one, but that they didn't really care about her.
Emily confidently walked over to where she was, next to the enormous evergreen tree decorated with assorted trinkets, and with a typical plastic, silver star crammed rather crudely on the top.
The girl, of whom Emily had never seen before, looked very pale. It was a nice kind of pale, though, and for a moment Emily envied her, the snow flower.
"Thank you for the stockings." said Emily under her breath quickly. She didn't want to be seen by the other girls, who were all too busy playing hand games in the crowded, noisy, and toy-filled room.
There was one unopened present underneath all the unwrapped boxes. Jill, a heavyset girl, noticed it.
"It's for me, ain't it?" she said hopefully, searching the box thoroughly: looking for a name on it, and finally, shaking it to guess what the contents were inside.
They all heard a small miaul.
Many girls tried to claim it, but there was simply no name written on the present. Finally, someone spoke up.
"It's mine."
The looked around for the owner of the voice, and Emily saw that it was the girl who gave her the stockings.
"How do we know it's yours?" Jill demanded. The present had nothing but an emerald green ribbon tied on it.
"Because," she began. "I have this."
She held up a similar green ribbon for everyone to see.
Her hair was loose, as opposed to the single braid she had on earlier.
All the girls moved aside, and let her open the present. Untying the ribbon delicately, she pulled it away, took off the lid, and inside, was a kitten no larger than the palm of an adult's hand.
All the girls cooed and whispered and smiled, and were secretly jealous she got the kitten. It was all black except for a white patch of fur on it's chest.
"What are you going to name it?" someone asked.

The End

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