That is what they called her as they threw stones. Heinous laughter filled her ears and she vomited onto her ragged clothes. They dared to move closer, but gagged from the smell of her nappy hair. She didn’t blame them, but accepted the stones that hurt. Her fate had been sealed from birth and she was tired of waiting. Neither tears nor laughter reached her throat. She was indifferent. The stones stopped hitting her for a moment, letting her take a normal breath. They had run out of rocks. There were a few seconds when she could almost feel peace, but the blood sliding down her arm pulled her back into reality. She stared at the crimson line, following the path it chose over the ripples of her skin. The red line raced over her elbow and dripped onto her yellow and brown dress. Her dress hung on her body like an oversized blanket, too thin for warmth. A small boy ran and shoved her. Her face hit the dirt. The boy kicked her in the ribs and on the head. She heard screams of encouragement as she felt more join the boy. They found more rocks as they continued to beat her into the dust. She thought of trees as blood trickled down her cheek. She used to run through the fields full of switchgrass and marvel at the vast forest. The trees never ended, but stood firm like guardians. Silent, they watched her play as a child, but she feared to go near them or cross their borders. She thought it silly now, as she pictured those green sentinels. She wondered if her life would have been different if she had passed by those guards and wandered into the unknown. She started to feel numb as the stoning continued. Her back and arms did not feel as they once had. A cool breeze lifted her eyes to the ones who despised her, filling their nostrils with the approach of death. She smiled as the trees remained in her memory, never glancing back as she looked up at her protectors and passed through them.