Bone Girl

She was a girl made out of bones. Not skin and bones but just bones. People called her Bone Girl but she didn’t like that. She had a name, after all. She loved the summertime because in the summer it was always warm and her hands and feet were never cold. Neither was the tip of her nose. She could stay out in the sun all day and sleep on park benches at night. She could sleep anywhere really, being made out of bones. But once it got chilly her bones started to shiver and shake. Once the weather changed she started to wish she was skin and bones. Skin would keep her warm.

Every year when summer turned to autumn it was the same old story. She had to go in search of warmth. In search of discarded blankets and jumpers and winter coats stuffed with feathers. She had to break into fancy homes with fireplaces when no one was there. If there was no fireplace she would turn the stove on instead and warm her hands over the hot blue flame. She usually remembered to turn it off before leaving, but once she forgot and burned an entire house down. She still feels guilty about that to this day. Thankfully no one was home so no one got hurt. Sometimes, if she got lucky, people would invite her in. But usually they just screamed at the sight of her and ran, locked their doors and barred their windows.

But on one particularly chilly night, when her knees wouldn’t stop knocking against each other, she met a man who had all sorts of warm things in his home. Pillows and fleece blankets and hot mugs of tea and coffee, and scarves. He heard her bones rattling before he saw her but when he did their eyes met and she expected him to scream and run. But he didn’t. Instead he invited her inside.

He gave her all the spare blankets and pillows he had and led her to the warmest room in the house where she slept for days. She never wanted to wake up. Even in her dreams she could feel the warmth. Her bones felt less like icicles and more like plain old bones. It was an odd feeling, almost as if something was wrapping her up like a present. Almost as if she was transforming into something else. And when she finally awoke, days later, on a relatively warm and sunny day, she realized that she had.

She was no longer just a handful of bones. She was skin and bones. She was skin and bones with eyes and hair and fingernails and everything. She was a real girl and not just a reminder of death. And she almost didn’t know what it was, when she felt her heart beating in her chest for the first time in a long, long time. For a split second she actually thought she was dying.

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