She screams even though no one can hear her.

She screams because she cannot talk, because she cannot feel, because her heart is hard and she is alone and someone should know.

She screams, but there is no response.

The Fat Man talks but he does not listen, he just talks and talks and talks. They all talk and talk and talk. They talk over each other and around each other and at each other but never to each other and it is a waste of breath and a waste of mouths and a waste of voices.

She screams even though no one can hear her.

She can hear the cries of the others and she wants to go to them, but she cannot move because she is weak, and someone is watching.

She is hungry.

She is always hungry.

She is always screaming and she is always hungry and no one hears or sees or knows and she is angry.

The Fat Man talks and talks and talks and the Woman talks back. The Woman speaks of her with reverence and with fear and she would laugh if she could because she likes fear. She knows fear. She knows fear like she knows hunger like she knows what it is to be alone and unheard.

The Woman pulls back the curtain and though she smiles, her fear radiates around her, and it's close but not close enough.

The Fat Man talks.

The lights are out and no one is looking and she can feast but she can't because she is weak so she screams and screams and screams because she is so close and there is nothing else to do.

The Woman hears her.

She has never been heard before.

And then there is chatter, chatter, chatter, and her screams don't matter anymore and she is angry again because she is still weak and still hungry and the people are talking again and there is a Red Girl and a Man with No Name and what is the point of being heard if it leads to nothing but more talking.

They are loud and they are fast and they are always looking because they know her well enough to be afraid. The Man with No Name has more fear than she has ever seen and she wishes he would blink so she could laugh.

And then the Red Girl is gone and the Man with No Name is afraid and hurting and angry and then he is gone too.

She holds the Woman tightly because it is fun and because she does not want her to go.

They are together for several minutes until they aren't, until the Woman pries herself from her grasp with a whimper instead of a cry and runs.

Others would have cried.

Others would have shouted in pain, but the Woman does not.

The Woman only cries when she thinks no one can hear.

The Woman screams, but not out loud. She screams in her head because she does not want anyone to hear, because she is in pain and she does not want anyone to know. She screams because she hurts, because she is not alone but lonely, because she is too strong, too soft, too damaged.

The Woman screams because no one can hear her.

But she does.

She hears the Woman because they are the same: screaming, but silent.

Blood drips down her fingers.

Her hand is empty, and she is alone again.