"This is just today. Yesterday is meaningless and tomorrow will never feel right until it has been deserted," Mary said in a rush. She rose her arms over her head and screamed. The surrounding mountains seemed to tremble with the sound. Billi shivered. Mary had never been this angry before. "I don't understand anything," she whispered, gasping for breath. "Anything understood is not easily forgotten. I'd hate to hold everything inside of me like that. It wouldn't feel right." Billi looked away. Mary had just gotten back from her father's funeral in London. She had come to his home unexpectantly and threw him in her car. He wanted to talk to her, but she turned the car radio up real loud and his voice got drowned out. Mary yellled again, filling the entire valley beneath the mountains with her anguish. "What's wrong?" Billi asked, knowing it was a stupid question, but wanting to say something anyway. The hoarse whisper of his voice felt so small compared to hers, like it was hiding and worried about being found. "Shut up!" she shouted. "You never see anything. Never." Billi felt stabbed. Mary never spoke to him like that before. He didn't like hearing the coldness in her now. "I want to leave now," she said quietly. Billi followed her into the car. They sat for a long time in an awkward silence. Mary closed her eyes. "I'm sorry." "I know." "It just gets so hard sometimes." "I know." They drove off and didn't speak the entire way home. But the mountains were still screaming.


"...I want to be beautiful. i want to be amazing and full of grace and have people stare at me in awe and wonder. but most of all, i want to be completely unfulfilled." Everyone in the classroom looked at Mary oddly. Except for Billi, of course, who sat in his seat in the back of the room, grinning. He loved it when they had to write stories or essays and read them aloud, because Mary's were always the most interesting. Especially to see the dumbfounded looks from their classmates. "Why do you want to be unfulfilled? What the hell does that mean?" one kid called out. Mary smiled. "Well, this is about everyone, so I would think it would mean a number of things." She sat down, still smiling as iff she knew something that no one else did. Another student went to the front of the classroom to speak. The topic of the essay was, "What do you think is the meaning of Life?"

The sky was ugly that day. I didn't completely understand why until I looked over at Mary and saw the look in her eyes. She seemed to be choking on something intangible. Something she didn't quite understand. She had gotten so strange since her father died. It made me frantic and restless all the time. I hated seeing her unhappy like this. "Billi?" she asked. "Yeah?" "Do you ever wonder sometimes why people scream? It seems so strange. The scariest sound that a person could ever make, I think, is a whisper barely heard. As she spoke, her voice became softer and softer, as if to illustrate her point. I shivered. I heard a crack of thunder from outside that made me jump out of my seat. Mary didn't seem to have heard it. "I think a thunderstorm is just a way for the sky to let out Her anger at the world," she whispered. I closed my eyes and wished for sun, for calm rain, for bright, colorful autumn, for... Mary gave me a feral smile and flew out the door to breath in the storm.

She had dressed herself up as an Egyptian priestess. An exotic figure, accented by dark eyes and gold bracelets. Mary hummed and danced in a way that made Billi think of the Nile. He had never loved her more. Mary glanced at herself in the mirror and the spell broke. She began laughing uncontrollably. "Do I really look that ridiculous?" she asked. "No, you look beautiful," Billi said quietly. Mary stared at him in a way he couldn't quite figure out. He felt like she could see right through him then, could pick through his skulls and see the secrets inside its walls. Then she smiled, the moment forgotten. "Let's go," she said and took his hand. "Tonight you will be Marc Antony and I will be Cleopatra." She grinned again. "Happy Halloween."