She was free.
It felt good. She'd jumped through the painting, and let the flurry of colors absorb her. She breathed in the air of the museum, of the real world. It was fresh, there were people everywhere, oh, she wished Ib was here to see it. But Ib had not left, Ib had gone to sleep. Maybe she liked the painting world better.
But that was okay. Because Mary was here, Mary would never be alone again, Mary was human.
She could not wipe the grin off her face.
"Mary!" Someone was calling for her. She turned, dress swishing about around her legs, eyes curious.
A man. He was not like Garry at all. He had hair just like hers, bright blonde, and he was not wearing a jacket.
"Mary, it's time to go home. I've been looking for you for ages." He sighed, running a hand through his hair. "Now then, let's go." He extended a hand for her, and she could not hold back her elation.
"Daddy?" She questioned, eyes sparkling, unable to contain her pure happiness.
"Well who else would it be, darling?" He laughed lightly, then shook his hand. "Now come on, no dilly dallying. We'll go home so I can make you dinner, okay?"
His hand was rough, but she did not let go. He was warm. She smiled at everyone, everything, she waved at everyone.
Then he brought her to a big... Thing. It was black and shiny, with doors and big round things on the bottom. It was one of the coolest things she'd ever seen, and he let her sit in front, with the huge window.
"What are we going to eat for dinner, daddy?" She asked, as she stared out the window, swinging her legs and grinning to herself.
Her dad did not answer, but she did not ask again, he'd probably tell her when they got home. They did not talk for the whole ride. The thing went vroooooooom and made loud noises, and inside it smelled funny. It was still very fun though.
Their house was small. It wasn't anything like the gallery. The thing stopped making noises, and daddy got out, so she did too. He opened the door to the house, and she swore she was about to go in, but suddenly something hit her back. She stumbled forwards, falling onto the rough carpet, frowning and holding her back.
"Ouch...!" She whimpered, as her back stung. What hit her?
"Who told you it was okay to leave the house, Mary!?" Daddy's voice echoed. "WHAT DID I SAY ABOUT LEAVING THE HOUSE?"
The door was locked when she turned around, holding her aching back, confused. Why was daddy yelling?
He seemed to be waiting for an answer, so she hesitantly tried to give him what he wanted.
"Daddy, I don't-"
This didn't help. He brought his hand against her face, knocking her body against the wall of the hallway. Wetness rushed to her eyes, dripping down her cheek as she held the tender skin, half of a sob breaking through. "Daddy, I-I don't understand...!" She whimpered, what had she done wrong?
"Remember the last time? I told you if you ever even tried again, Daddy wouldn't forgive you." His voice was suddenly more gentle, though the world did not stop chills and tears from leaving her.
"Daddy tries to be very patient, you know? Daddy hates it when little girls don't follow the rules." His tone did not match his actions as he grabbed a hold of some of her hair, yanking her down the hall. She staggered after him, scalp on fire with pain. He'd ripped some out, it burned! Why was he doing this? "Thought I wouldn't find you at some museum, hm? Thought you would be smart hiding from me there?"
"Daddy, stop, stop! Please, please!" She screamed gasping with tears steaming down her face, barely able to keep up with the hand dragging her forward.
"I made it very clear, Mary. I made it clear that you were NEVER to leave this house again." He said, before throwing her to the ground somewhere in another room. "I also made it clear that I don't like screaming."
She hiccuped, broken sobs leaving her body as she heaved. She could barely see him with her blurry vision as he pulled out some kind of grey circle. He pulled part of the grey off, and it made a loud sound.
She trembled, crying out when he yanked her hair up so she'd sit up against the cabinets. And suddenly she couldn't speak. He covered her mouth with the thin grey thing, and it was stuck. She tried to speak, panicking, but all that came out was muffled, and didn't make an ounce of sense.
"Listen to me. You're here until you're eighteen." He growled, using his foot to step on one of her legs, applying pressure onto it until she was writhing, unable to stay still while sparks up pain ran through her leg. "You'd better not make any more trouble for me or I will do much, much worse."
He was quiet for a moment, observing his handiwork. Mary felt wetness on her forehead, and she looked down, as it dripped onto her dress. He had ripped out a chunk of her hair. Red stained her green dress in droplets falling off her forehead. It stung, it stung so bad.
He drew his foot back, and soon it was embedded in her stomach. She gasped, muffled screams leaving her lips, cries silenced when he did it again. And again. And again. Again. Again.
She fell over, arms weak, back sliding against the cabinets, head hitting the floor. It did not soothe her aches at all. Finally, daddy stopped. He was gone.
And Mary was here, on the cold, cold floor.
This is not what she'd wanted. She didn't want this. This was not the price she'd had to pay.