• Once upon a time, in a present day neighborhood much like your own, there lived a girl
    named Charlotte. Charlotte was a pretty young girl, only 16, with long chestnut curls and curious green eyes. Her face had gentle features, and she was small and fragile looking, like a porcelain doll. But her eyes were dull, and had rings around them. Charlotte was not a happy girl. Since her mother had died when she was only three years old, she had lived with her father for thirteen years. Her father was a cruel and wicked man. When the Charlotte's mother had died, he had blamed the girl, treating her terribly. He never let her leave her room. She never went to school, never got to go outside, never got to meet any other people her age. Her father had even boarded up the windows, trying to block the girl off from the world. He threatened that if she ever left, or defied him, that he wouldn't hesitate to kill her. The only time her room was unlocked was when her he came to bring her food, or to give her clothes to stitch up for him, or things to clean. Charlotte could see outside through the slats in the wooden boards, only with a small mirror that was in the room. Since her father forbade her from looking outside, this was the only way she could see what lay beyond her little room. Whenever he came in to bring her food and saw her staring into the mirror, he only thought she was looking at her reflection. This caused him to call her vain and shameful, but she didn't care, as long as she was able to see the cars go by or the birds flying in the sky. The only entertainment she had in her tiny room was a stitching kit, left behind there by her deceased mother. Every day, she would stitch what she saw outside the window; The people going by, the birds flying, the snow when it fell. As she stitched she would sing songs that she made, her lyrical voice as beautiful as a caged bird. The people of the neighborhood knew she was there, and heard her sad songs as she sang, but could never help her. They feared what the horrible father would do to the girl if they tried to call for help. So all they could do for the poor child was listen to her songs and shake their head sadly, hoping for a day when the girl would finally be able to leave her horrid guardian's grasp.
    One day, as she was looking through the mirror at the autumn's afternoon sun, she spotted a boy walking down the road. The boy was handsome, with honest eyes and a kind smile. She watched him for days as he walked to and from school, admiring him. He was always kind to the people he met, and it wasn't long until Charlotte fell in love with the boy, who from her window she had heard his name was Lance. She began to grow tired of only being able to see him through the wretched mirror, and stood to look through the window herself. But she stood too fast, and with a loud crash and a flurry of flying glass, the mirror toppled to the floor. The father came to see the commotion, and smacked the girl, called her clumsy and useless and made her pick up the glass with her bare hands. Now she wouldn't be able to see the boy she loved so much anymore. The next few days, she stitched the most beautiful thing she had ever sewn. It was a love letter, written with thread, with the boy's name embroidered in large, ornate letters. When she finished it, she looked at it sadly. She wanted so to meet this boy, and to tell him of her love for him. Charlotte wiped the tears from her eyes and smiled. She decided that she would defy her father, and leave this horrible place, if only for one night, and give the boy her letter.
    That night, while her father slept downstairs, the girl pulled away the boards from her window. She tied the sheets from her bed together, tied them securely to her bed, and began to climb out. But she slipped, and she landed hard on the ground below, creating a large racket. She tried to get up, and limped away from the house, having hurt her ankle. She hobbled down the street, to the dead end, where they boy lived. She went around to each of the windows until she came to the one where she could see him sleeping. She stuck the fabric between the screen of the window, and limped back out to the street to return to the confines of her prison. It was then she noticed the man in the road ahead of her. She looked on in horror as she realized it was her father, wielding a shotgun.
    "I told you, that if you ever left that room, that you would die." He said, his voice cold and merciless like the wind that blew past. She only watched, with tears in her eyes, as her father raised the gun, and shot her through the heart. The father, his reason for staying in the town gone, fled in his car, never to be heard from again, as his one and only daughter, laid broken-hearted and bleeding in the street, only to be found in the morning by the people of the neighborhood.

    The next morning, a boy awoke to the rain pounding against the roof. Though he did not know why, he felt a deep, deep sorrow as he stood from his bed. He looked out his window, and saw a bit of fabric in the screen.