Franz liked going through the pile of pretty little dresses in the attic. He liked the silk and satin, the lace and ribbons. He adored the frilly little bonnets, and felt so beautiful when he looked at himself in the antique mirror, flecks of grime only partially obscuring his view of the white stockings pulled tight up around his legs. “You’re such a pretty little girl, Fran,” he chirped merrily to himself.
There were bags under his eyes from weeks of sleepless nights. There were scars along his forearms where tiny fingernails had dug in and left deep furrows. A piece of his earlobe had been bitten off. He had taught that one a lesson, he had. He had spanked her until long after she fell limp on his lap and stopped crying. After all, he had only been trying to play, but they always resisted him. None of the scars or defects changed how pretty he felt when he saw himself in his favorite little blue checkered dress, though. This one had belonged to sweet little Betsy.
He knew they were always laughing at him, making fun of him behind his back. He knew that mothers and fathers knew his secret and would tell their daughters. Their innocent, beautiful little daughters. It made Franz sick to think of how these young minds were being corrupted by the grown-ups they respected and admired. The truth was that growing up did something terrible to them, to all of them, and he just wanted to save the little girls from that fate. So he took them, and told them how pretty they were, and kept them in a room where they would never have to grow up.
He was setting them free, but none of them seemed to appreciate it. This one screamed, that one kicked, another bit and cursed. When he saw an angelic little face twisted in fury and hate, his heart sunk, and he knew he had been too late. If he let her go, she would just betray him to the grown-ups that had already claimed her, so he took his frustrations out on her little body, added her dress to the pile in the attic, and added her ashes to the urn in the cellar. For every thing, a place and a purpose.