I folded this letter as many times as I could to make it really tiny and I gave it to the big guard man at the fence next to your unit. He pinkie promised me that he wouldn’t tell anybody about it so I hope you get this letter and that nobody else does.
I don’t understand what’s going on. Has anyone told you anything? Mum took me to the centre today. It’s so horrible and chilly cold in there. Everything is really white and clean and shiny. It has a really funny smell that doesn’t fade away no matter how long you are there. It stings my nose and makes it itchy, like when you really need to sneeze but it just doesn’t come. Have you been taken there yet? Mum was crying when she took me in and she told me it was for all my own good and that I wouldn’t be safe until I had it done. I wanted to believe her, Milly, but because she was crying, it made feel bad, like something was wrong, you know? Nobody is telling me anything and I get smacked if I ask those people too many questions. I haven’t been outside the unit or at school in ages, none of us have. I asked Katie and Holly and Harry and Thomas and Jenny and nobody knows what’s happening. They aren’t telling us kids anything. I don’t really think the mums and dads know too much either.
I thought I should tell you about what happened at the centre. I had to warn you, Milly! We were called into a doctor’s office and Mum had to leave and she was crying real bad and trying to hide her face from me which made me feel worried. I didn’t want her to go and leave me alone in there but someone took her arm and kind of pulled her away. I wish she could have stayed. The doctor told me what was going to happen but he used so many big fancy medicine words that I couldn’t really understand. The doctor rubbed this cold brown stuff on my hand. It smelled just like the weird coffee that Dad used to drink with ice and no matter how many times I ask for a sip, he always says no and that it’s a grown up drink. It made my hand go yellow as if I had a big bruise.
After that, the doctor took out a little knife-looking thing from his drawer. On the side of the knife thing, there was a little glass box attached to it with something inside, like a small white tube. I didn’t know what it was but I knew it was going to hurt. He told me to take a deep breath and look away. He told me it wouldn’t hurt, it’d only nip for a second. Liar! It was the worst pain I have ever had in my whole entire life, Milly, honestly! I don’t want to scare you but yeah, it hurt. It was like a little gun that shot this little tube into my hand! My hand bled and bled and he gave me cotton wool to press on my hand to make it stop. When it stopped and I took the wool away, I could see a little red light flashing inside my hand. It’s the little tube! It’s inside my hand, flashing! It’s still doing it, even right now as I’m writing this letter. I tried to pick it out but it’s too sore.
After he shot the tube into my hand, big men in white coats came in and they took my dress, tights and bangles into another room and gave me this big, baggy, mucky-looking dress and a big black coat to wear. They’ve taken all my dressing up and kiddie makeup stuff from the unit too! All I have is mucky clothes. But the worst thing was still to happen though, Milly. I wasn’t sure if I should tell you but I’m pretty sure it’s going to happen to you too.
After the doctor shot me with the knife gun, another man came with a big razor and it was growling and shaking in his hand. I knew what they were going to do and I tried to run away but they had me trapped in that little room! I ran round and round and even tried hiding under the table but they grabbed me out from under it. The other big men held me down and I was real scared, Milly. I kicked my legs as hard as I could and I even managed to wriggle one of my arms free and punched the biggest big man on the chin but it didn’t seem to hurt him. I threw my arms and legs around like mad, as if I was in the swimming pool! But I wasn’t strong enough to get them away.
They held my head still and the man with the razor started shaving away my hair! He shaved my whole head. Every single hair is gone! I tried to pick the hair up from the floor and put it back on but it just fell off again. I only did that for a second before they put it all into a clear plastic bag and took it away. I’m totally bald now, like a baby or an old man. I’m so ugly, Milly! I cried the whole night long after I got home and I wouldn’t talk to Mum at all because she let it happen. She didn’t even try to protect me, Milly! I start crying every time I see the mirror. Do you think my hair will grow back? I heard that after your head has been shaved, it never grows back! I really hope it does though. I look like a boy.
Mum says that it’ll keep me safe and keep me looking like all the other little ones. But why do we all have to look the same? This has happened to all us kids in my unit now and every night all I can hear is all the kiddies crying themselves to sleep. Mum’s right, we do all look the same. Has all this happened to you yet? I hope it doesn’t have to happen to you, but well, I think it probably will. I hope you’re safe at least. Another kiddie from our unit went missing today. They’re trying to act like it’s no big deal and keep it ‘hush hush’ but I can tell Mum is worried. All the mums and dads are.
I’ve been keeping count low down on the wall in our room by drawing little lines every time another kiddie disappears. I’ve got up to 33 lines so far, I think. I’m worried about the lines though. I think I’ll get into trouble if they notice them. Do you have an idea why kiddies keep disappearing? If you know anything at all, please write back and tell me.
I’m not even sure this letter will get to you because they’re being really mean about us all talking to each other. I hope nobody finds out about this letter. But if they do, I hope I don’t get into too much trouble. I hope this, whatever it is, all ends soon. I want my hair to grow back.
Remember, don’t tell anyone we’re writing to each other! We’re not allowed to and I’m scared, Milly. I’m scared that I’ll get in trouble with, well, you know who. Please stay safe and please please please write back as soon as you can! Your letters are the only thing keeping me happy sometimes and I really want a letter since you didn’t reply to my last one. Why didn’t you reply, Milly? I miss you! I miss the old times.
Lots and lots of love, hugs and kisses from Angelica xxx