The Song of the Scarlett Ibis.

"Mommi, no!  She is real - she is real!" 

Six-year olde Lori Baxter pulled as hard as she could on the
dinnre plate her Mother was trying to remove.  Every time, Lori insisted
on setting a plate for her "imaginary" friend, Scarlett Ibis.  She was an
only childe - Scarlett was her bosom buddy - her confidant when no one
else would listen - no one would listen.  Who would want to take the time
of patience that was needed when listening to the harshness of Mikey Fiasso,
who would kick and punch her everyday at recess?  No one would - not even her
own Mother. 

"Lori, you're six years olde - girls your age don't have imaginary friends. 
And, don't tell me she's real - she's not real." 

Lori yanked on the plate just as her Mother let it go.  The breaking
of the plate happened exceedingly slow.  Time ceased to exist for a moment -
had it ever existed?  The plate itself was ruby red.  Scarlett's favourite
colour was red - all shades of it, actually - so was Lori's.  Each piece
that shattred broke a piece of Lori's heart.  So, it was that day that a
part of the goode Catholic girl that died.

Lori screamed "No!" as the reality of Maimed things set in.  She
fell to her knees in tears, crying over her clumsiness - her Mother's
indifference.  Her Mother merely shook her head in dismay over her "childish"
daughter's actions.  Mrs. Baxter calmly walked to the stove and stirred the
noodles that were cooking for the tenth time that aftrenoone.  Lori's salty
crystals from her orbs dripped onto the surface of the once striking plate. 

She carefully picked of every piece of ceramic and place them in the
pockets of her skirt.  As Lori stood up from her dismayed position, she glared
at Mother.  She sniffled once - twice, and a third time for goode measure. 
Turning on her heels, Lori turned her head to view a portion of her parent. 

"I'll nevre forget,” 

Whethre her care-takre actually heard her, was inconsequential. 
'I'll nevre forget,' she thought.  Lori trudged up the stairs, making sure
to add a reassuring stomp to each step.  She wanted to let her Mother know -
she wanted to make her Mother hear that rage embodied her existence - it
threatened to swallow her body entirely.  The steps seemed fewre in numbre
as she stomped up them.  Lori wished that there were more so her angre would
be fully expressed. 

Slamming her door made some grief slip by - not completely, though. 
Lori, with timidness engulfing her, pulled out every piece of shattred childhood
and arranged them on the floor so they looked as the plate had before.  It was no
use - thick crevices of lines littred the round surface - not even Lori could fool
herself that the plate would be back to normal in the mourning.  She sighed deeply,
wiping her tears. 

Then, the thought hit her - what would Scarlett eat on - what
would she say - do?  She almost cried again and surely would have if
there had been any more tears left in her tiny body.  Her head leaned
down with complete an uttre shame - nothing could bring the favoured
object - Scarlett's favoured object.  Lori's back rested on the bed -
the warm, used quilt tickled slightly.  While the freshness of fields
of flowres flowed gently to her sense of smell, her Mother had recently
done laundry. 

Suddenly, the bed began to shake violently, making Lori jump. 
She practically jumped over the shards of plate to her closet.  She
cowred with her back against the door - her knees to her chest.  A
blinding, crimson light flashed - engulfed the room.  She closed her
eyes tightly, wanting the luminous shadows to swallow her flesh -
take away her torment. 

"Lori, broken plate.  Is this mine fate?" 

An Irish accent from a woman in red filled, chilled the room. 
Tentatively, Lori opened her eyes - she offred a weak smile to her friend -
companion.  Scarlett Ibis was adourned in a flowing poppy red dress.  Her
hair pulled up tightly into a spike ponytail.  The actual pony tail held
the spikes - they looked full of joy, rathre than domineering. 

"Scarlett, I'm sorry - sorry - sorry.  I broke your plate," Lori began to cry again. 

Scarlett stepped down from the bed, gently - wanting only to console her
favourite friend - her only friend.  She walked swiftly to Lori, kneeling when
she reached her.  Lori felt a frigid hand rest on her shouldre - she looked up,
gazing upon her pallid face.  Concern etched in Scarlett’s face, she grinned as
only a true familiar could. 

"Do not cry, gentle friend - I will mend,” 

She pulled Lori up into her arms, holding her how her Mother should
have.  Lori leaned into Scarlett, holding on tightre as they made their way
to the shards.  The smell of apples depleted the flowres - Scarlett smelled
like red apples - virgin apples.  When reaching the short distance of the
plate, Scarlett sat her down - Lori crept to her knees, glaring at the mess. 

Scarlet raised both of her hands over the pieces - a burgundy mist
seeped through her palms, instantly repairing the damage that had been so
rudely done.  The plate looked new when Scarlett was finished.  Lori marveled -
grasped the plate - running her hands over it.  She gazed up at Scarlett - in
awe - she loved her "imaginary" friend, and was filled with a new profound
respect - admiration for her.  Lori, holding the plate in her right hand,
embraced Scarlett - they embraced one anothre. 

The door flew open - Mrs. Baxter peeked her head through.  Lori's
companion instantaneously disappeared - leaving Lori holding the now fixed
plate.  She swiftly pulled the plate behind her back, while having the
nagging urge to shove plate undre her Mother's nose - screaming, "See -
see, Scarlett Ibis is real.  She fixed the plate you broke!"  Lori
refrained from doing so - some things - most things, were bettre
being kept from her parent. 

"Lori, I'm sorry, sweetie.  Please come down for suppre,” 

Her Mother walked toward her - kneeled down and embraced her daughter. 
Lori managed to drop the plate on her bed, ensuring its safety.  Lori hugged her
Mother back - she forgave her quickly - for she would nevre forget - nevre. 

"Okay, Mommi,” 

They walked hand in hand out the door togethre.  All was well once
more in the Baxter house.  Lori was happy - her Mother was content - her
Father would soon be home to eat a joyous meal with them.  But, Scarlett
Ibis was left alone - in the darkened room.  Scarlett appeared once more
as the door closed.  She was quiet in countenance - a saddened frown graced
her lovely face.  Light chocolate brown eyes gazed at the doorknob - she
wanted to play.  Lori had thanked her - yes - but what about playtime? 

The closet door rattled with vibrations, violently.  Scarlett
fixed her line of gaze at the door.  A strange and unknowing look befell
her.  As quickly as the earthquake had begun - it simply stop - ceased
its disturbance.  Then, the door burst open and Vince also know as The
Invincible, summresaulted his way to Scarlett.  He popped up in front
of her in a standing position.  He smiled brightly at her, warm eyes
welcoming himself to the room.  Taking notice of her sorrowful look,
he tilted his head, much like a dog in wondre. 

"Vince sees something wrong with Scarlett.  Tell Vince - he can make it bettre!" 

His goofy look made Scarlett, momentarily forget her troubles -
a playful smile came quickly to her face.  In turne Vince grinned joyfully. 
He hugged her, and then took notice of the room - it was pink.  He shoved
Scarlett behind him - she stumbled a bit in amusement. 

"Wow!  This is a girl's room!  Vince didn't know that you had a girl for a friend!" 

He jumped onto the bed, knocking over a few dolls and teddy bears. 
Scarlett with false frown of irritation went behind him and picked up all
the carelessly knocked over possessions.  Vince ran his fingres over the
magenta lace curtains, marveling at the feel - soft - alluring.  Scarlett,
carefully picked up the plate and sat it on the night table, running her
hands of the bird on the back of the surface. 

"Vince only has Merton.  Vince likes Merton, his room isn't like this," 

"Merton is a boy.  Does he like toys?" 

Vince's face dropped, and so did he onto the floor.  He sat
cross-legged, placing his chin in the palm of his left hand.  Scarlett
instantly regretted what she had asked - her countenance dropped once
more.  She then jumped on the bed, sitting facing him. 

"His Mother is making him put toys in a trunk tomorrow - Vince to Vince thinks,” 

"He must love ye Vince - he invented you - what ye talks of is nonsense,"

"You think so, Ibis?" 

"Yes, so.  These things, I know,” 

He jumped in absolute glee.  He pulled Scarlett by the arms toward
the closet.  She stumbled behind him - wishing he would slow down.  As they
reached the door, he stopped and turned to face her.  Green eyes gazed down
into brown ones.  He was happy now - happier than he had been in a while. 

"Vince wants you to meet Merton,” 

Scarlett jumped back, suddenly - he did not undrestand again. 
He latched onto her hands, pulling her to the closet.  She shook out of
his grasp and shook her head. 

"Will he like me?  Will he be able to see?" 

"Of course he will like you.  Vince likes you - Merton will, too,” 

Vince, in one swift movement jumped into the closet, along with
Scarlett.  The door slammed and seconds latre a bright green and dark
red light blasted the room's atmosphere.  They were gone - but Vince's
voice in hushed whispre spoke, "We'll play clue."  In which Scarlett's
voice answered, "What is clue?  Is it new?"

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