Else

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Sometimes I write.

Firelight

It's growing cold, little one.

The fratricide-gorged false-sun miserly hoards its warmth, and its cold red light barely offers enough of a spark to light a fire. The sky is dim and grey, winter draping across the land with all of a funeral's finality.

What warmth there is comes from the earth: the swelling blooms of hydrothermal vents and frost-encrusted geysers, the self-destructive pulses of volcanoes popping like angry pimples. The last reserves of coal and oil, those old ghosts conjured up to suffer one last time.

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Afterbirth

There's something wrong with the sun. It hangs in the sky like a cell caught mid-mitosis, embarrassed to be seen in such a flagrant state; the nighttime secrets which it has always hid in its lair beneath the sea finally dragged out into the day.

Doll stares up at it through a sheet of smoked glass, a jagged-edged thing salvaged from a wrecked limousine. It's already streaked with blood from the false-flesh that coats her carefully woven fingers, little candy-colored droplets fanning out in painful rivulets.

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Entrails

Doll has always hated the subway. Each time she descends into those fetid, intestinal depths her skin prickles and her stomach roils; something deep in her unbeating heart recoils from the trains' steady rhythm.

But it's raining today, so she has to.

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Bone

"Stop touching that!"

"But missssss, it's so much fun, all nice and smooth with those jagged edges, and it's oozing! Look at it ooze!"

"That's fucking gross."

"You're just jealous that no one wants to break your arm!"

"Why would I—ugh, dolls …"

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Bile

"Hey, do you have anything for stomach aches?"

Doll, sitting behind the counter, doesn't glance up from her sketchbook. She's been doodling in it for hours, painting with the blood that still hasn't stopped dripping from her gums. She's having fun!

"Try aisle 3. Uh, the one with the big light-up skull. Don't listen to it, it's lying."

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Blood

Doll rinses and spits just like she's always been told to. Not too aggressively, not enough to drain her mouth of the taste of cold mint; just enough for comfort. Comfortingly routine.

But (of course there's a but) the sink growls at her as she spits.

For a long moment she doesn't realize that she's heard it. Her mind is so far away, yet not far enough to catch her eyes and hold them fast; her gaze sinks down as inevitably as any sunset.

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Light A Candle

Doll stumbles as she rushes home, one fine little foot caught in the cracked sidewalk, stone-teeth gnawing at protective leather. Her bag's too heavy today, rattling and clanking against her bruised hip; each step brings a fresh gasp of pain to her tightly sealed lips. Oh, if only she didn't have to hurry, if only she could take her time—!

But the sun's grasping rim is already teasing against the horizon, so far off across the sea that Doll's eyes can barely see the superheated steam which always veils those nightly indulgences; the sea is reaching up towards it and every clock in the city is about to chime out out the 19th hour's song and there's no time held in wait for her belated need.

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You're Invited!

When doll slips from the confines of her bed-box and stumbles downstairs, there's an odd rectangle waiting at the table: a folded sheet of thick, creamy paper. It's for her, obviously—why else would her miss have put it there, next to her oatmeal and tea?

But doll isn't sure.

"Miss, what's this?"

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The Dream of Meat

You are dreaming.

The oddity of recognizing this does not impede your progress forward into the dining hall's elegant vastness. Nor does it permit you to deviate from the path the dreaming part of you—the part that weaves the world—has chosen for you.

"Oh, you're finally here!"

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That The Seasons May Turn

Her lips press against your skin like sun-warmed feathers, soft and gentle, lingering only long enough for the poison to soak in. Each kiss leaves you shivering against the dead field below you, fingers twitching against soil rendered cold and lifeless by winter's harsh grip—

You don't look at her.

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