Shannon sat reading her book at her favorite little café. Her blond streaked brown hair was held in a loose bun at the back of her head, but some of her more rebellious pieces of bangs still hung in her eyesight. Her black reading glasses sat at the end of her small slender nose, but she made no move to push them back up. She had no company at the small table she resided at, but she didn't mind. She was relaxed with her legs stretched out before her, entirely at ease. She was completely comfortable in her brown slacks and beige blouse, with the little green broach on her chest. She fiddled with her collar with one hand as she held up her prized book in the other. Warm sunlight flickered in through the floor to ceiling window, but the sound of the cars, people calling for taxi's, and the general murmur that always accompanied the vigorous walk from building to building deep within the large city. The strong aroma of coffee and the loud hustle and bustle of the crowds were virtually non-existent to the 23 year old as she continued reading her book, 'A tale from a Childs Heart'. That is, until one small sound broke her from her near a coma like trance.

It was a small girl giggling, and the smack of a ball bouncing on the floor; as clear as if it had been a playground deserted for the night. Shannon blinked and looked up. The crowed seemingly parted, revealing a young girl in a white dress-no older then 4. She had a pink bow in her blond hair and beautiful green eyes looked at Shannon with curiosity. The girl clutched the red ball in her hands and slowly walked to her. She stopped a few feet from Shannon, her white boots scuffing lightly on the floor, as if she was expecting Shannon to find out that she had misbehaved in some small way, or if she wanted to ask her a insignificant-at least to Shannon-question. No one seemed to notice the girl, as they walked past her, around her and looked through her. But Shannon paid them no head; her entire attention was on that white clad girl. Something was very familiar about her, but she couldn't place it. It was like grabbing a penny with chopsticks, if you thought you snagged it, it slipped out of your grasp again before you can revel in the triumph.

Green eyes locked with hazel. Shannon's breath, and all coherent thought stopped at that moment. The room seemed to darken, so only she and the young girl could be seen in the black apathy of space. Sound could no longer be heard; taste was gone like the spring rains earlier that year. A thought flittered through her mind; of playing in the flowers, of spending time with her family, of living the life she loved. But as soon as it came, Shannon pushed the treacherous ideas far from her. That kind of thoughts did not pay the bills. Those kinds of longings did not help keep her well fed and sheltered in her one room apartment in midtown San Francisco. She roused herself back to the sight before her eyes once again.

Subsequently, the girl started to silently cry. Tears formed and then fell down her delicate face. But that wasn't what terrified Shannon, no; the thing that scared her was that the girl cried tears. of blood. Fear, purer then Shannon had ever felt before, shot though her heart. Then, as if a damn was broken, a sped up process of decomposition started, transforming the little girl right in front of the naked eye. The girl's dress turned dark with dirt and tears creped along the arms, helm, and torso. Her pink bow became tattered before disappearing completely. Cuts and gouges formed on the girl herself, and her face became caked with dirt and blood. The cuts winded, bleed and became green within seconds. Her eyes were still crying blood as they glazed over before caving in on themselves, leaving empty sockets. As if sucking the air out of a balloon, the girls face and body became shrunken. Her cheekbones protruded abnormally, her skin ashen and dark. Her skin on her figures clung to the bone till it looked as if there was no flesh at all, only skin colored skeletal hand.

The once red ball was now a deep earth brown, before it deteriated into a pile of dust. At the girls' shoes, which now had holes in them, showing off the mutilated feet. A gasping whinny sound crawled its way out of her throat and she opened her mouth. Flies, maggots, beetles and hornets wriggled, flew and wormed their way out of the dead girls body. Blood was still being cried out of her once sparkling green eyes.

This all happened within a minute. She went from a pretty little girl to a corpse right before Shannon's eyes. Empty holes still froze the 23 year old from moving, or screaming. But then, a customer passed before the girl, and she was gone the next instant, releasing Shannon. She had come back to the café and nothing was different then when she left only moments ago. But she didn't notice, all she saw was the spot where that girl once stood. She scream and scuttled to the large glass window, everyone looked at her like she was insane. They had not seen the mortifying sight that befell the young woman. Nor would they ever.

That girl, was Shannon's future.. A future, which she hoped would not come true.