A random image. The precious doll, sprawled on the ground, legs bent unnaturally—broken?—her lovely golden hair dulled in the mud. Azelma knelt in the doorway, dressing and undressing a newer, better doll, patting its curls, whispering to it. Beneath the tree, perched upon a bony root, Éponine thought. How must it feel?

To lie on the pavement, forgotten by the one you love, mud soaking through your clothes, cold and wet against your flesh...

Your poor, broken body twisting against the hard earth...

To be replaced by someone with a cleaner face, nicer clothes, prettier hair...

Éponine turned her toes inward and brought her knees together, crossing her arms tightly, hugging herself, consoling herself.

Then she hated Azelma. The doll had always been good enough before, but on Christmas morning something newer had replaced it in an instant. Was that enough time to be erased from a heart?