ARGH. SO. STRESSED. Not that any of you care, but whatever.

I figured this would be an interesting way to end the year 2007. Final story for this year, moving on to 2008. This one I wanted to do of Franziska...wanted to play with some things other than characterization--wrote in a...not a "jumpy" way, but definitely in a different way than I usually write. Things are here and there, anyway.
This is also how I kinda see Franziska and Manfred's daughter/father relationship, anyway. Or not. I don't know, I thought it'd be kinda neat to look at it this way.

Broken Ballerina

"What is this?"

Manfred's lip curled just like the papers he flipped through in disgust.

She had not straightened the papers out; hugging them close to her breast, she half-hurriedly marched down the darkened hallway, trying to keep her exasperated breaths from being heard amongst the sound of clacking heels.

He never even looked her direction as the file and its containing papers exploded across the floor.

Turning the heavy knob, she slid quickly in through the narrow passageway of the door, pressing her backside against it to close it behind her. From there her heart beat faster, harder, and an uncontrollable but helpless rage began to consume her.

"Revolting," he spat as he rose from his chair, making sure to step on the file as he crossed the room and passed by her without another word except, "Perfection is divine, my child. It is imperative that you do not fail."

Only in his presence would she remain standing tall, taking each word with a heavy heart and a restrained face; now was not the time to show weakness.

Like previous times, she glanced ahead desperately to her dark-wood dresser, seeking out the one thing that seemed to cushion her childish dreams in the past, and the present. Her eyes locked on it: the porcelain figure, masterfully crafted into the delicate shape of a ballerina. Her face shined with a finely painted smile, lips full and precise, her eyelashes neither too long or short, her hair pulled back in a tight bun with every individual strand distinguishable in an auburn colour. The skirt to the dress flared out in thin, ceramic sheets, all rose-coloured. The base on which the little lady stood upon was heavier, and coated in pure white were greatly detailed vines and roses that encompassed the ballerina's stage.

Franziska's lip twisted as she silently moved across the room, her right hand outstretched to feel that figure and all her perfect details again. Time and time again she compared herself to the little ballerina; the young woman that strived for perfection with such elegance and grace, that was what she had always wanted to be, what she felt her father wished her to be.

Her thumb lightly caressed the fine shape, and she closed her eyes and she pictured that beautiful woman in her head, glowing, smiling…she could not even remember when she received the figure or from who, but knew that she had had it since she was only a little girl. She had always looked up to this fake woman, always wanting to be as graceful and precise as she was.

A door opened in another part of the household, and in strode Manfred himself to the quiet sanctuary of his reading room. Passing the walls lined with books, he found his way to the deep green, velvety cushions of his chair. And as he sat, his personal butler approached him with his usual tea tray.

"How are you, Mr. Von Karma?" the young man quietly asked, quickly making him a cup of tea.

"Don't ask unnecessary questions, boy," was the response. As he brought the steaming liquid to his mouth, the young man smiled thoughtfully and continued to make conversation.

"Miss Franziska is doing well, I see?"


As Franziska's thumb lightly slid over the figure again, she came to the harsh realization that she was not nor ever would be the ballerina. They were both pushed to do their jobs expertly and without fail, but their jobs were different. Her acts of dependence were also sickening to herself, feeling the need to have to cling to an inanimate object for comfort. It was at this thought that her insides bubbled up with anger again and she forcefully strangled the ornament in her hand, the file and papers slipping out of the other to the floor.

The door opened while she responded, "Yes, Papa."

As he closed the door behind him, she stared straight ahead at the mess before her. Once she was certain he was gone, she dropped to the floor and began to pick out each of the papers—first trying to put them back in order, but then settled for grabbing them in whatever way they were in, squeezing the bunch of them close to herself—she bit her lip and angrily fought the tears that started to sting her eyes. Once she had every one of them, she got to her feet and headed out the door herself, trying not to move too fast as to let anyone get the idea that something was wrong…

A scream of embarrassment, frustration, and the feeling of utter incompetence filled the room and sent the porcelain figure flying from her hand across to the wall, shattering into hundreds of pieces. Tears swallowed her as she, too, let herself fall to the floor and let herself wail out the pain that was locked inside her.

Once her body ached out every salty tear and a pounding sensation beat out the feeling in her head, she realized her papers were not in order yet. Surely that would never do…

And so she set to work reorganizing them in the file folder; she wasted too much time wallowing in her own self-pity, and it was imperative that she get back to work and study more, pay closer attention, and prepare again to present her work to her father. This time, she was going to have it absolutely flawless, just like it should have been to begin with.

The young butler in the other room, however, took a step back at Manfred's sudden outburst. He straightened himself when he saw the cup rise to Manfred's chin again, a smile spreading across his face as he did so.

"She's better than most ever could be," was all the older man said before silently returning to drinking his afternoon tea.

That's it, that's all. Hope you enjoyed it and if you didn't...well, I don't really give a damn. Good day.