She crouches on the cold, steel chair, eyes scanning every inch of the grey room. From mirror to door. Door to mirror. Just as He taught her. A door slams in the building and her ears prick. Footsteps. She knows them before they reach the door, before he steps into the room.
He looks her up and down, taking in her ragged attire that used to be a nightgown. The satin cloth is torn and soiled. Dark patches stain her skin and her blonde hair is matted.
“Do you know your name?”
Does she know her name? It’s on the tip of her tongue. It has been years since she heard her name said aloud. He wouldn’t allow names after the first time she tried to leave.
Her tongue protrudes from her mouth as if she is trying to catch her name just as it escapes the tip of it. She licks the tangy, iron taste that stains her lips. Mermaid. Hard to catch; easy to swallow. She begins to salivate. There is no joy in the scents that fill her nostrils. There is no salt in the air, no rotting leaves underfoot. There is no smell of boys. No smell of boys?
“Where are my brothers?”
Her eyes search the blank room, she is not in the nursery anymore. She is not in the Neverwood. She is not in her Wendy house. She flies off the chair and drops to her haunches. Backing her way to the wall, she whimpers.
“Where am I? Where are John and Michael?”
He crouches in front of her. His childish face level with her own.
“They’re gone, Wendy. You’re the only one left now.”