Markers on paper. Markers on paper. Drawing everything she knows. From the way her dolly sits and stares at her to how the bathroom door can never close. 

Her space consists of walls and door, her space is what she calls home. She never learned how to write so instead she draws.

There’s the stained mattress on the floor to sleep on. She’s never tired though, what could wear her out? There’s the picture with green trees and lilac flowers on it. The picture seems so real to her like someone made it with their eyes, and it’s the only way she knows now that it’s real. There is also her favorite part of space, the photograph of her mama and papa. They don’t live with her in her space. She doesn’t get to see them a lot.

Markers on paper. Markers on paper. She is drawing her hand now. It’s grown since she last did this, and her fourth finger has a little bump from the markers she holds.

Her hair sometimes gets in the way of her markers. It’s curly hair and looks like gold and brown mushed together, just like her papa’s hair in the picture. Mama’s hair is covered by a hat and it’s dark brown. The hat has always fascinated her, it seems so big and fancy, mama and papa were sure wanting to look nice in their space.

Sometimes she wishes she could see their space. It seems so beautiful. Her space is dark usually, besides the lamplights. She can’t envy their space though, she should be thankful for hers, for she has all she needs here, right? 

The memories of being in outer space are so faint, when she was so tiny that she could fit in her dolls clothes, Papa would take her to see colors. She was never really sure how Papa managed to conjure so many colors. Her best way of trying to is by using her markers. She never really saw Papa again after the last time he took her out and she feared still, that she made him angry that day.

Even though things seem bad from here, she is always so happy to have a mama who brings her markers and paper. When Mama saw her though, she never seemed as excited as the girl, but that’s okay to her, she’s sure Mama was just ready to get back to her beautiful space.

Markers on paper. Markers on paper. This picture is of the door that leads to outside space, it’s got a blue and purple fog coming out of it like she believes outer space should, and in comes the greenery that she knows is out there. There was one time where she tried to open the door, but it seemed stuck, then she was told going into other people’s space is rude, especially when Mama gives her so much to be thankful for in her space. When Mama found out she was really mad, the girl got to see her again though and she really hoped this wouldn’t be the last time like with Papa. She wanted to remember how Mama looked then so she drew her with all her wonderful clothes. Even though she hit the little girl then, she forgave her because she believed what she did was bad to Mama, Mama must have felt like she didn’t appreciate her markers and food. The little one told her that she did appreciate it and that she promised she would never try to leave her space again.

She’s finishing the greenery coming in the door when there are a series of loud noises. She hears some people asking questions and loud stomping sounds that remind her of Mama. 

When she thinks she hears Mama’s voice sheruns to the door to listen, on the way though, she trips and instead of leaning her head against the door, she bangs her head against it. 

Her vision is blurry for a second as all the noise around her goes silent. She can feel form in her eyes.

She hears more urgent questions, but they sound more muffled than they did. 

The door is rattling and tears are streaming down her cheeks as she holds her head, the slamming of the door sounds like it’s inside her brain. Someone shouts at Mama and that makes her cry more. Her nervous yet still controlled voice agrees to whatever the person said and the door is opened.

It floods with the purple and blue, but no green comes out. In fact, all the colors fade as the little girl falls unconscious.

When she opens her eyes again she is in outer space. A place she had always wondered of since her Papa showed her the colors. A place she had thought might not be real anymore. 

Whoever it was that put her in the car took her from her space, and from Mama, and most disturbingly, her markers and paper. She decides she doesn’t like them.

However, outer space is wonderful, better than she remembered, and when she chooses to open the door to get out of the car she notices people in blue. She carefully exits the car, her feet feel hot on the new pavement that caresses them. She tries to run from the heat with slight “ow” noises, deciding the grass might feel better on them and it does.

The people approach the little girl with warm eyes. These must be the people, they had just come out of a building with the same color and letters their clothes have. They ask her a few questions and then tell her exactly what is going to happen next. First she’ll be seeing a doctor, which is a person that keeps other people healthy, then before she leaves the doctor the police will have to ask her more questions, and lastly she will visit a new home that will help her find new parents. She had never really wanted new parents though, she wanted Mama and most importantly, Papa.

The outer space truly bewilders her, the action and people, but mostly the colors. Colors galore just as before, colors her markers could never make. So many shades of green and when she looked up she could see the most pretty blue with white puffs, and there were the deepest purples and the brightest yellows. They pleased her in such a way she felt she could just look at them forever.

She also couldn’t understand why the people she saw seemed to constantly be in each other's space. Maybe the rudeness was just a thing Mama thought up to keep her out of Mama’s space. Maybe Papa too.

As the sky went black and the white dots shown through the little girl had no idea where she was, but she knew she hated this darkness. It was too much like her space. She was on her way to her new home with the social worker they assigned her to, where they would find her new parents. They had been in the car for a long time now. They hadn’t talked much.

They came upon a sprawl of houses, each of which amazed her radiant mind, even if they did all look remarkably similar. 

They went to one of the few houses that still had lights on. The social worker knocked hard enough to make the little girl flinch. The lady to welcome her inside was a middle aged woman with frizzy black hair, a big button nose, and a pair of glasses that laid on the tip of them. The kind lady welcomed her inside and the social worker said his goodbyes. She asked the little girl if she would like anything to eat or drink and she wasn’t sure what to say so she quickly shook her head no. The lady, however, insisted that the little one at least tried some hot chocolate.

“What is that?”

“Oh, why it’s one of the most savory drinks in the world, have you never had any?”

She looks at the lady with a tilted head and eyes filled with curiosity and confusion. The lady is already getting some cocoa ready when she asks another question, “Deary, please do tell me about yourself, I am always so eager to learn about the kids who come to live with me, I only get to have such a lovely guest two or three times a year.” 

She finishes up with the cocoa and gestures towards the couch. The girl is so overwhelmed by her kindness, her acceptance, so grateful she is letting her be in her space that instead of sitting down, she teared up.

“What’s wrong, what’s wrong? Child, have I scared you or something?”

She shakes her head violently, sloppily wiping  tears from her eyes. Then she feels something warm around her body that brings her back to a memory of Papa and she starts sobbing.

“There there child, come on over here and have a seat, okay?” She leads her to the couch where she cradles the girl until she’s calm.

“Why did you cry honey?” 

“I-I, y-you, you did not a thing wrong. Thank you for not rudeness.”

“Oh, dear, you are welcome, beyond welcome. Please, make this place home.” 

“Where is my space in home?”

“Why, it’s right down the hall, would you like to go to bed now?”

She shakes her head.

“Well, would you like to drink some of your cocoa?”

A nod.

She takes the cup from the coffee table in front of her and goes to sip on it, but a lot of it winds up on her dress. The lady chuckles and tells her that they’ll be able to fix that up, right after they finish their cocoa. 

The lady’s name is Marge and she’s a temporary foster parent for special case children. The girl has no idea why she is a special case, she had a mama and a room and markers and a papa and that always seemed like enough to her.

Marge leads her down the hall to her bedroom. The room is filled with colors, and she immediately falls in love. A squeal escapes her throat and she bounces over onto the twin-sized green bed, it has dark wood framing, and on top of it lays a load of outfits. The first one being a really soft pink nightgown, then a white and pale blue dress for day time, a thing called leggings that are lilac and pink with a rosey shirt to match, and lastly a lovely red pair of leggings, a white and red blouse, and an adorable red hat to match.

Her current dress is gray, now with brown stains it, dust, and some holes in it. It doesn’t fit her anymore as her legs have grown, and she was just given a pair of undies at the police station.

She jumps around with excitement and hugs Marge, “Those are mine?!” Marge nods. After the thrill settles within the girl, she gets very sleepy and Marge puts her to bed. She lulls off reflecting on her new life and what it may bring.

The next morning greets her with a wonderful smell that makes her tummy grumble. It takes her a minute to get used to the warmth and brightness of her space.

Marge has made food consisting of something called pancakes, syrup, and strawberries. The little girl chooses not to have syrup after licking a bit off her finger, too sticky and sweet. She gets a whole pancake and about six strawberries and inhales it. She doesn't think to  use her fork and when she tries to get another pancake Marge has to stop her so the little girl doesn’t get a bellyache.

Next up came the learning, Marge learned quickly that the girl had no idea how to write words, so she taught her and the girl listened with all her heart. She learned about the alphabet and As, Es, Is, Os and Us and sometimes Ys. She was very good at writing them because she colored so much. 

This is when Marge begins to ask about her.

“Honey, where did you come from?”

“My space. It was below Mama and Papa’s space.”

“Oh really, what was it like?”

“It was dark, but there were lamps, and it had all of my colors, markers, papers, and pictures. I liked my space, but I like this space way more.” She never really thought about what she liked, she just knew she loved colors and wanted Mama and Papa. 

“What made you draw so much, dear?”

“My papa. He would show me the colors of outer space, and drawing helped me remember them. I think I made him mad though. I haven’t seen him in a long time.”

“What about your mother? What did she do?” The lady seemed so intrigued by the little girl’s every word that the girl felt a little shy, but continued. 

“Mama would come to my space sometimes to give me food and water and markers and paper. One time I tried to leave my space and she got so mad because that was so rude of me, but I only wanted to see Papa and the colors. She would hit me when she was mad. She hated when I drew outer space. I always felt so bad for my rudeness, but I really loved the outer space.”

She feels a hug around her again and sinks into it. She feels wetness on her cheeks and knows not the cause of it. Marge is shushing her and stroking her long golden brown hair, she decides to change the subject, “Deary would you like a mini makeover?”

“What’s that?”

“Come on to the bathroom, I’ll show you.”

Her hair is brushed and Marge braided it beautifully down the middle, tying it off with a big blue bow, the little girl is adorned by her blue and white dress and a big smile. She got her teeth brushed for the first time that she can recall, Marge told her she’s very lucky they’re still so perfect. Her big brown eyes seemed to sparkle as she looked in the mirror.

“I have never seen me before, I’m beautiful! Just like my Mama!”

Marge smiles and shakes her head, “If your mother is beautiful honey, then you’re about a hundred worlds more so. You know why? Because you’re beauty is on the inside too.”

“Woah…” The child says with a slack jaw. 

“What exactly is your name hun?” 


“Your name? What do people call you?”

“My Mama would call me Brat. I always thought it was a pretty thing to be called, but she never made it sound pretty. I don’t remember what Papa called me.”

“Well, why don’t we call you Honey?”

Her eyes widen and she makes an O with her mouth that turns into a smile, “I love that name! I am Honey!”

“Want to learn how to spell your name?”


Months go by, Honey has learned so much about the outerspace, she can’t even believe it’s real. Life used to be so different and less exciting than it is now. She never wants to go back to her space.

And that evening, Honey is drawing an “H” in yellow with a bee flying about it using her new huge pack of artist markers. Marge shares her latest findings with her. She had been trying to learn about Honey’s father. 

As it turns out, Honey came from an extremely rich family that got wealthy off of her grandfather’s inventing and investing career. Her mom is famous for her modeling, and possible small porn career that Honey does not know of, and she is little-known for the fact she is a functional addict to alcohol and cocaine. 

Her mom and dad got an arranged marriage, her dad’s parents practically sold him off to her mom so her parents could pretend she is in a regular marriage. He was always known as a quiet pacifist so he was perfect for the job, not to mention the threats laid upon him if they found out he messed something up. During one very drunken night: him because of sorrow, her because of addiction, and both because of desperation for flesh, they had sex and concieved this beautiful baby girl. The mother hated the kid and kept her room in the basement, locking it when the baby learned to walk, her father would be sent down to take care of her, he was down there all the time, and he was in love with his newborn baby. He never thought he’d love someone, especially not of that woman’s creation, but oh how he did, and he would take her out every time the mother was away, showing her the sun or the stars, the rain or the rainbow. He couldn’t let the mother know because she would never blame him she would blame the infant, she couldn’t stand up for herself, and that is who would be punished.

That is exactly what happened the last time Honey saw her father. It’s beautiful how she remembers the colors and her Papa, and not the brutality of her mother high on coke or the police. After that, to cover any evidence on her part, the parents bought her the best lawyer and had her father framed for abuse, sentenced to 30 years in prison, and the child got a good mother for a couple months before life went black. Papa worked and worked to get out and save his little girl, but the court never cared about the not-so-rich convict. That is until complaints and concerns were filed about the same home.

So three years passed and the police received the final call that there was a disturbance in the area near the house Honey was trapped in unknowingly for 6 years, and her father and mother finally switched places in prison.

But Honey doesn’t know all of that. She just knows her Papa has contacted Marge and she will be seeing him tomorrow for the first time in so long.

Markers on paper. Markers on paper. The doorbell rings. Her hand feels slippery. Marge opens it and a tall man walks in. He’s thin with long golden hair too, like Honey. He has nothing with him, but keys and a tube of chapstick. He has a bit of stubble, an angular face, and a thin nose. Not a muscular man, but still a man, the man the little girl always saw in the photograph, and when he sees her tears immediately form in his deep brown eyes.

He runs to the little human he loves so dearly, he strokes her big brown curls and holds her so tight, more than she could have imagined someone could. Tears well up in her eyes and she hugs him around his neck.

“I’m so sorry baby. I’m so sorry you were left in the dark. I’m so sorry you had to suffer. I’m so sorry you couldn’t see all the glorious colors this world has to offer you. I won’t be leaving this time, I’ll protect you, and I’ll show you the world. I promise.” He sobs into her small shoulder. 

“I thought you were mad at me after the last time and you d-didn’t want to s-see me anymore.”

“Oh no honey, goodness no, gosh you’re too good for this world darling. I was never mad at you, not even for a teeny tiny second, okay? Never. I have loved no one more in my entire life.”

“Papa,” she sobs at his niceness, “I missed you.”

“Honey, I missed you too, you have no idea.” He does his best to compose himself, “I have an idea and I really hope you like it. I have been living about 30 minutes out from Marge for a couple months now, it’s a small home with so many colors you wouldn’t believe it. Will you come live with me? I promise I’ll make it up to you for all those years you were in the dark tenfold.”

“Of course Papa, b-but what about Marge?”

“You can come see her whenever you want honey, thirty minutes is close.”

“O-Okay Papa.” She rubs her eyes in an attempt to dry them, “Papa?”

“Yes, honey?”

“W-What’s my name?”

“Your mother never picked one so I always called you Honey because of your hair.”

The next day involves goodbyes and traveling. They have to buy a whole new pantry of food because her papa hadn’t gotten much yet. She learned he was a painter under a new name. 

They would make their pictures outside, these days Honey prefered that a lot more. She hated the dark and would often get nightmares of being suffocated by it. Her papa was thrilled to learn she loved making pictures, so he bought her all the markers and all the crafts she wanted. She was so filled with joy, and as they draw and paint away at the same scene she thinks of her markers and papers. Colors and Papa. Honey and happiness. And her picture came out with the greatest magical aura about it, it held the power of a million golden butterflies. It was love. It was forgiveness. It was happiness. It was her freedom. It was honey.

December 19, 2019 18:48

You must sign up or log in to submit a comment.


Bring your short stories to life

Fuse character, story, and conflict with tools in the Reedsy Book Editor. 100% free.