This was it.

This was the one that was going to be perfect.

In the loud silence of her toybox, she sat underneath her portrait with a book propped open in her lap and a yellow square of paper clutched in her hands.

"'First, mountain fold the paper in half...'"

Her eyebrows furrowed in concentration. Perfect. It had to be perfect. Guertena's book said that all people had roses, that they showed they were alive.

Mary wanted to be alive. Her rose had to be perfect.

She was so tired of being trapped. Always quiet, always alone ('But not really alone,' the dolls reminded her. 'Never really alone.').

"'Unfold the paper, then fold the lower half in half again,'" she read, creasing the folds with blunt, chewed fingernails. "This'll be the one. I can do it!"

The dolls and mannequins and painted ladies had all come down to watch her fold ('Mary, Mary, they're so wonderful Mary, won't you fold us some too?'), watching with rapt gazes (except for the mannequin ladies, they simply stood guard with a stiffness that a real person could never have) as she created her yellow paper rose.

"'Now fold the upper half in half and-' Oh no!" Instead of folding neatly like it was supposed to, like the book said it would, it made a small messy tear right at the top.

Mary was silent.

"Useless..." The paper crumbled. "Useless!" A loud rip. "WHY IS THIS SO USELESS?!" Her audience scattered as she threw torn gobs of paper in every which direction, a frustrated wail tearing out of her throat ('Mary Mary please don't cry. You can try again, try again. Make us some too, alright Mary? Please Mary we want to be alive too Mary we want out too'). The scattered bits of yellow paper landed in piles of other failed rose shreds, of failed roses, of imperfections.

As she sat down once again to create her tenth, her hundredth, her millionth rose with frustrated tears, her audience once again settled around her ('yes, Mary, that's it. Don't give up Mary, we love you Mary.') and watched with blank, glassy eyes.

This one would be perfect.


A/N: More word vomit. Once again, I spent half of French class doing this instead of conjugating verbs. I'm such a rebel.

Guys, I really don't like Mary. Why do I keep writing her? D: