The Tower's WindowOnce upon a time, in a kingdom where the land was filled with skyscrapers and apartments, badly maintained roads choked with traffic, there lived a couple, a teenager and his girlfriend. They were just out of high school and had barely enough money to survive, so when they discovered they were about to be parents, they knew that they'd have to put the child up for adoption, no matter how much they wanted to keep it.When the child was finally born, she was named Sara. Sara was graced with ten fingers and ten toes, sparkling eyes, distinguished nose and fully functioning brain, everything anyone could ask for, except maybe hair or teeth which would obviously come later. The morning Sara was to be put up for adoption, her mother, trembling with sadness, cradled her close and read to her from a small, scruffy book. On the faded, red cover it read 'Rapunzel'. The tale finished just as the father reached for Sara to take her away, "...and they lived for a long time afterwards, happy and contented." That morning a shrill cry echoed though the halls of the hospital but gradually faded and was forgotten.Sara was eventually adopted by a little woman who was desperate for a cute, little child of her own. The woman's name was Helen and she had lost 2 of her own children in childbirth and her husband had recently passed away. Under the woman's tutelage Sara learned to walk, talk and read. The old woman was quite poor but made up for the lack of money through affection, and kindly raised Sara as if she was her own. Little by little, Sara forgot her parents until all she had ever known was the woman who brought her up. As a small child, around 6, Helen lavished her attentions on Sara, buying her toys and clothes when she could afford it, talking to her, playing with her, sending her to school and helping her with homework, everything a good parent should do.But as Sara continued to grow, so did Helen's protectiveness. She would give Sara all sorts of reminders and warnings 'be careful', 'don't talk to strangers', 'remember to look six, not five but six times before you cross the road' and so on. The woman would constantly call the school to check up on beloved Sara, leave notes in her lunchbox and sometimes follow her to school. Eventually, protectiveness crossed the line into possessiveness and Helen decided that home school was the next logical step in a long line of illogical ones. Next on her list was the outlawing of friendships. Isolated from the rest of the world Sara began to despair at her 'mother's' increasingly strange behaviour. Sara eventually accepted this dramatic turn of events, being so young her mind was easily malleable.Helen began to lose interest in Sara as she lost that cute infantile look small children possess. Helen's disposition towards Sara became cooler and she spent progressively less and less time with Sara and more time brooding on her own thoughts. This change in attitude didn't go unnoticed by Sara and by her twelfth birthday she had grown into quite a nice girl, not as radiant as the dawning sun but just a normal girl. Sara celebrated another year of life by putting a single candle in a small cake she had made. Closing her eyes, she blew as hard as she could, wishing that her mother would remember her and everything would be as it used to be. But upon opening her eyes, the little candle still burned, flickering in front of her, casting dancing shadows upon the walls. It was at about this time that Helen decided that Sara had grown too old for her liking and felt that she needed to cast her out, like a person would an unloved pet. Sara discovered too late that her 'loving mother' was completely deranged and had been living a disturbed fantasy for the last 12 years. Despite this Sara begged her mother to let her stay, not to abandon her to the world. Dragging Sara outside, she turned her back and staggered into her house. Sitting down in the lounge, Helen struck a match, and weeping for the loss of her family, years past, she dropped it into a spreading pool of liquid under her feet. Thinking of her family, memories flowing through her mind as the flames hungrily engulfed her, her last memory was of her younger self, playing with Sara, when the world was a better place.Sara was out on the streets, not a single cent to call her own so she walked to take her mind off of the horrendous events of the day. Occupying her mind with walking so she wouldn't have to think, answer the questions she would have to answer, where would she go? What would she eat? In general, how would she survive on nothing? Her aimless wandering had brought her to the richer part of the city, people bustling to get home from work. Hoping that someone would take pity on her she resorted to begging for money. All sorts of people passed by, rich, sophisticated businessmen and women carrying armfuls of bags filled with designer clothing and food but to every single one of them she remained invisible, pretending not to see her so they wouldn't have to think about a poor lost girl. As the day ended and the night cast its' long shadow across the city, Sara sat down on an old park bench and rubbed her hands against the cold. She closed her eyes and longed for sleep and the escape it presented from the cold, harsh world.On the next day upon waking she was greeted with the rumble of traffic and the bustle of bodies, clamoring to escape the cold. For poor Sara there was no escape, she just watched as people in their fur coats, thick, warm jackets, their comfy boots scrambled up to and then past her, not even glancing back. For more then a day Sara hadn't eaten a thing and she was feeling exhausted and starving, so when she approached a wide-girthed fellow wearing a great, fur coat to ward against the chill, she was surprised when he turned and acknowledged her. Her hopes were brutally dashed when he replied "Sorry, I've got no change." For the rest of the day her desperate pleas were met with the same "Sorry, I've got no change" or "Maybe tomorrow". Settling down on her familiar bench, once again she drifted to sleep hungry because 'maybe tomorrows' and 'got no changes' would not fill her stomach.When Sara finally summoned the strength to open her eyes and look around it was once again morning but she could no longer feel the sharp bite of winter upon her face. She no longer felt hungry, just tired. So very, very tired, she felt like she could sleep forever. Losing her battle with fatigue Sara closed her eyes for the last time, unbidden her earliest memory faded into her food deprived brain, the end of a story a long time ago."Maybe I can finally go back to it" she thought. "Maybe I can go back to that story, when the world was a better place'."...and they lived for a long time afterwards, happy and contented."Someone passing in the cold, dark winter threw a couple of coins in front of a small figure, covered in tattered clothing. The merry jangling of coins rang in the brisk air, but there was no one to hear it.