An albino girl with pink eyes brimmed with tears, a deaf and mute boy with his hands crossed over his chest in the symbol of love.
The sky was grey, and the clouds were dark, and the entire scene had a heavenly blue tint to it.
Mabon. Couldn't be any older than nine years, but he tried so hard to act older. He'd felt so much... Too much, perhaps, but he never really experienced. He was deaf, and losing his sight in one eye. Currently he sat, hands clutched in front of him, on a swing in a playground, next to his more-than-friend, Maeve. She was special and just as different. Pink-rimmed, brownish eyes, hair that was too close to being white and too thin to be pretty... Skin that looked like it burned all too easily. Not like the sun ever came out in this dreary, forgotten excuse for a place.
The playground was almost as grey as the rest of the world, it seemed. No one really played there anymore, because the only children in this neighborhood were the spoiled children of the rich, posh parents who'd moved here for a taste of 'city life'. Stupid parents. Neither Mabon nor Maeve could see why they'd want to live in such a place... And it showed. The playground became their sanctuary because most of the parents regretted ever moving, and were now too broke to move again... So obviously, they never let their children outside.
It made sense really, what with the goings-on of certain people on the street. Gangs. Raves. Drug deals. Robberies. Drive by shootings. Yes, all the fun stuff.
The two of them looked like angels in the rundown playground. Not in the beautiful, graceful, long haired, perfect faced sense... But they were radiant against the cold background. Mabon with his messy, pale blonde hair, creamy yet not unhealthy skin, unseeing yet functioning glossy blue eyes. Maeve with her shoulder length, perfectly cut, near to white hair that Mabon was so jealous of... And her eyes. Her sweet, innocent, caring eyes. They were perfect in their own way, different in their own world.
Mabon, rocking back and forth slightly, reached over to tap the albino girl beside him on the arm. Once he'd gotten her attention, he made a few gestures with his hands, and smiled blankly. How's your head feeling?
Better, she signed back, reaching up to gently touch the dried trickle of blood that ran down the side of her face and stopped in a smear on her right cheek. She didn't know English, and probably never would, but Mabon had taught her sign language a few years ago. He himself was actually supposed to be learning French, but that really didn't matter. They could communicate.
You should see a doctor, he replied, but before he could continue, his hands froze. Maeve had grabbed his wrists. She'd heard something.
Gunfire, she told him once letting go. She turned her head to the building across the street, where they both saw a man climbing out of a basement window, and sprinting down the street. No doubt he was in trouble, but it didn't look as if anyone really cared. He could be running with a grenade held up in the air, and the most people would do would be to step out of his way as he ran by.
Squinting slightly, Mabon took Maeve's hand and began to walk across the dusty gravel with her. There was no sand here, like in most playgrounds, but instead a sharp, rocky mix of whatever remained when they made streets, buildings, sidewalks... Concrete, mortar, cement, pavement. It certainly hurt quite a bit more than sand if you fell on it. Just another reason why the parents wouldn't let their children come here.
The streets were empty of cars, and the few dark-clothed, paranoid people strolling around generally ignored the two children. They were able to pass by unnoticed, through the playground; across the road; and crouch down by the window the strange man had previously crawled out of.
The thin, metal wired screening across the window was torn and bent, perhaps from the man's escape. What was left of whatever glass had once been there stood out as jagged, sharp edges. The pair glanced at each other, in a sort of silent confirmation. Caution was a forgotten memory to the two of them.
Maeve went first. She crawled expertly over the window ledge, landing with a near-inaudible 'thud' on the hard floor below. Mabon followed, not nearly as gracefully. Part of his coat snagged on the screening, causing him to lose the original range he'd intended for the jump, and hit against the wall. As he fell, he bent his knees, keeping his balance as he landed. However, now not only his coat was ripped, but so was the skin on his hand. He practically ignored it. Maeve certainly had greater problems, and they'd find help later.
The sole source of light was the dreary half sunlight falling from the window like a foggy mist. But it was easy, all too easy to see the contents of the room with one glance.
A small chair, children's size, laid on its side in the middle of the scene. The bright yellow, hard plastic looked surreal at least in the dusty basement. One lonesome little girl, apparently having been knocked off said chair, lay beside it. Her pretty face was covered by her pretty hair, and those oh so pretty locks were covered in blood. Apparently the sickening liquid was coming from not one, but two gunshot wounds... One in her arm and one directly through her head.
Usually silent Maeve emitted a small squeak, carefully covering her mouth with her hand. Mabon looked away, squeezing his eyes shut for a moment. After a moment, he glanced over his shoulder, as if to make sure the corpse wasn't an illusion.
The girl was still there. Hair strewn across her face, eyes still open wide, she was a perfect picture of horror. Maeve covered her eyes with one hand, an expression of both fear and remorse, and took Mabon's fingers in her other. Without so much as a glance in his direction, she knelt down, pulling him, unresisting, with her.
Slowly, Maeve uncovered her eyes, looking through her fingers like she'd seen a ghost. Just as slowly, the same hand was lowered onto the girl's open, blank eyes, where she carefully pushed the lids down. Even so much as a glance into those clouded green orbs was like looking directly into the eyes of death itself, and death could drive a person insane.
Choking back a whimper himself, Mabon slowly let go of Maeve's hand and placed his palms on the girl's shoulders. He closed his eyes, but not before seeing Maeve sign to him, This would be a good time to say a prayer.
The shake of his head said more than he could. But we can't say anything, he'd thought, eyes closed. Silently, he began to pray anyway, even though he was scared whatever god he was praying to wouldn't hear him. No one listened to a mute boy anyway.
The two of them left with watering eyes. They climbed out the window, Maeve first again, and ran. Through the streets, brushing by people, running past broken homes. They didn't get a doctor and they didn't tell anyone about what they'd seen. And as they'd left, the only thing they'd remember seeing for a long time afterwards was a man screaming 'Noel', and the clouds closing in over the sun as the snow began to fall.