She doesn’t talk to people like she should. Right now she’s talking to the sidewalk. Her mother leans out the window just to hear her voice.

She missed the bus again. Didn’t care. She was busy listening to the beating heart under the sidewalk.

He gave her flowers, and she cried. Horrid dead things ripped up by their hair. He returned with a paper heart. She taped it to her ceiling.

He’s not surprised she doesn’t cry, but the doctor wonders. “Don’t you understand, Ma’am? You can’t have children.”

He’s gone now, and she’s too weak to take his paper heart off the ceiling. She goes outside to watch the children climb on the school bus.

Ruby Welsh is an artist and writer who wants to create books for very strange children.