Lydia Chotrow
Perryville High School
Grade 11

The Little Girl walked slowly through the black expanse. There was nothing in front of her and nothing behind. She was alone, yet she was not afraid. As she walked along, her white tulle dress swayed around her, and her pretty golden locks fell gently down her back. She knew she had been walking for quite some time, but she did not tire nor consider stopping. 

She was still walking, when suddenly, the sound of footsteps resounded through the silence. The Little Girl stopped when the tip of a cane and two black shoes appeared in front of her. The Little Girl’s eyes traveled upwards to the face of this new companion before her. In front of her stood a tall man; he looked gaunt to her, as if someone had pulled on his head and feet a little too much. His face was pale, and his eyes were like the blood that drips from a wound. The man carried a severe-looking cane and was dressed in fine clothes made of black silk. He smiled menacingly at the Little Girl as she studied him. She was unsure of him; his eyes held a secretive glint to them she felt wary of. 

“Hello, Little Girl,” he greeted her in a raspy voice, as if he had swallowed some gravel. 

“Who are you?” the Little Girl asked. 

“No one terribly important. I only came to ask you a question,” he said tritely. 

“What is your question?” she asked curiously. 

“Would you like to know?” The man quirked an eyebrow at her. 

“Know what?” 

“Would you like to know?” he repeated. 

At her confused look, the man swept his cane in a wide motion and pointed to her right. The Little Girl looked to where he pointed, and her eyes widened. Where there had once been nothing but black, there was now white, but the white was not empty, as the black had been. Inside the white were creatures; they were all different shapes and sizes. The only common factor of the creatures was that they were terrifying. Some had twisted features and jowls that hung open and swayed with their movements. Others had eyes hanging from their head or blood pooling in their sunken heads. The sounds they made were horrid — moans, screeches and grunts rose from them. The Little Girl gasped and took a step away. The man placed a hand behind her, though, and forced her to look at the creatures. 

As she continued watching, she saw the creatures licking at the white greedily. Wherever one of the creatures licked, the place slowly turned black, the same black she had been walking through for quite some time. 

The man looked at her again and asked, “Would you like to know?” 

“Do I have to?” The Little Girl asked on a shaky breath. 

“No, but if you do, then you’ll know,” he chuckled, as if amused by his own words. 

“What will I know?” She furrowed her eyebrows. 

“What you should know,” he said and smiled like he was in on a secret he couldn’t be bothered to tell her. 

The Little Girl was confused by his words, but still, she continued with her questions. 

“What if I don’t?” 

“Then you may turn around and walk away.” 

She pondered for a moment, looked to her right at the creatures, then to her left at the endless black. Hesitantly, she took a small step toward the creatures, and as she did, a dark stain started to grow on her dress. It was a black spot that slowly started creeping up and devouring the white. The Little Girl quickly stumbled back, and the black spot faded into white once again, with nothing but a tiny little dot left. She turned to the man and asked, “What was that?” 

“The consequences of knowing.” He stared at her intensely, waiting with an expectant look on his face, then asked for a final time, “Would you like to know?” 

The Little Girl was quiet as she answered the man, her voice barely above a whisper.

“No, I would not like to know.” 

The man looked disgruntled for a moment, seemingly bothered by her answer, but then shrugged uncaringly and strutted over into the mass of creatures. The Little Girl turned away from the man and the creatures and started to walk. She stopped only for a moment and looked over her shoulder, but there was nothing there. She went forward again, and the farther she went, the more the memory of what had occurred faded from her mind, until she could not remember at all. 

The Little Girl walked slowly through the black expanse. There was nothing in front of her and nothing behind. She was alone, and oddly, she was a little bit afraid.