littlewonder2

Little wonder we stumble in life.


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Permanent Loathing

“Why did you do this to me?” she asked herself, crying in the mirror, body full of fat and blood, thick, solid, thumping heart in her chest. “At least let me diet first. This body is too hungry, kills too many. I’d rather starve on a hospital bed than be this.”

And she had. For ten years before being bitten, she had gone between a hundred kilos and forty, bloated body and frail one, a life of self-hatred at extremes, a life both starving and full, in a desperate dissatisfied longing to find a perfect medium and passing it constantly. She had gotten used to the misery. It felt like she had spent less than 1% in that satisfied state before she lost it again, before her feelings, like a black pit of nerves and fear and disbelief, possessed her again and that hate bubbled to the surface again, convincing her she was ugly, that she wasn’t enough, that she had to eat less and exercise more, until her ribs poked out and her eyes sunk, and they had to feed her through a tube again. Feeling so sick, she swore she’d never do that again, and she ate and ate all her body back… until she couldn’t stop. And the process started over again.

She would never be back in that bed again. She was fat forever, a vampire thirsty for blood. Perhaps the vampire who bit her knew that, had a sadistic fascination with bloodlust, liked killing, liked corrupting her. Maybe he was like a soldier, or a serial killer, and wanted her to feel the same fury.

All that blood in her memories, dripping, soaking the ground, soaking people she had known… what was satisfying about that?

He walked up behind her, skinny had she had once been, thin waist, flat stomach, and wrapped his hands around her protruding one. “Because I love you, Stephanie. I hated to see you suffer. I want you to see yourself as I see you: beautiful.”

“I’ve killed people,” she said.

“I know,” he said. “But don’t you love me too? Isn’t this worth it?”

“No. Not anymore. I loved you too. But I can I love someone who made me this?”

“Because you just do. I can see inside your soul, Steph, I know you’re in pain. But love is forever, and I think you know that.”

“I feel no love here. I don’t think you ever have.”

“Stop lying,” he said, “it hurts, you know.”

“Now you know how I feel.”

“Please,” he begged, “just love yourself. Please,” he cried, silent solitary tears sliding slowly down his face. “Please.” He put his chin on her shoulder, looking at her reflection.

“I don’t know how,” she said.


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Defying Magnetism

To say his skin itched wasn’t quite accurate. There was something going on beneath his skin, but it wasn’t quite like that, nothing so obvious or sharp as itching. It was a growing urge, a painful lack of pressure that lifted his skin from its proper place, leaving him… unsatisfied, hungry in his own skin. He needed contact, and he quit caring where or how.

He let go, breathing out into the hot mouth he was pressing into. He squeezed his eyes shut, closing off his mind, trying to forget who he was kissing. But suddenly his whole body was alive with sick ripples, spreading disgust and fear to his privates.

He gripped the shoulders tighter, trying to hold onto the image in his mind of a beautiful blonde bombshell, hair flowing past smooth shoulders, round pink breasts bare before him…

His hands softened, drifting down… to a bare chest. The fantasy shattered, he opened his eyes, pulling away to meet Eric’s kind, seduced gaze. He held his body tight, trying not to give himself away.

The fear that came over in Eric’s eyes gave him away. He was busted.

“We’re best mates,” he said, cutting off Eric before he could humiliate him further. “I’m sorry.”

“Yeah,” said Eric, averting his eyes, suppressing a smile.

Oh god, he liked it. His heart sank.

“I’m not,” said Eric.

“What?”

“I’m not sorry.”

“Stop it.”

“What, you are?” said Eric. “Have some pride.”

“I… can’t,” he growled out, rumbling from her throat. He felt it deep, deep, squeezing his heart harder, squeezing the life out of him.

Disgust, fear, anguish, breaking him apart. Falling, that’s what it felt like. No amount of sunny optimism could save him. He wiped savagely at his mouth, legs wobbling under him as he stood up, glaring down at his friend with a hatred he’d never shown before. All he saw was desire reflected back, and it just made him angrier.

“Forget it,” he spat.

“Wait!” cried Eric, getting up as he made for the door. He caught his shoulder just before the doorframe. He jerked out from Eric’s touch, turning to him with a disgust crawling in his skin, shivering with a fear that pervaded his entire body, making him a stranger in his skin.

“I hate you.”

Eric’s eyes watered, as if a needle pierced the centre. He dropped his hand. “Please.”

“Never again.”

“Then why did you?”

“Because… I just couldn’t take it anymore.”

“You don’t have to be ashamed of your sexuality.”

“I’m not gay.”

“Sure. That’s why you kissed me.” He stepped closer, grabbing his sweater. “Please,” he repeated.

“No.”

Eric kissed him, pulling him closer. “Please,” he said. “Don’t leave me this way. You don’t need to be ashamed anymore.”

“I’m not sure I know how. I mean, I’m straight.”

“No, you’re not.” Eric kissed him again, and this time he pulled him deeper and deeper. He remained stiff, following blindly as Eric led him to the bedroom.

He felt everything. That thing inside him haunted him. Led him to the bridge, led him over.

He couldn’t live this way.


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The Symptom of Individuality

The lobotomy was created in the 30s and later gained popularity for patients displaying things like anxiety, among other things. This was the part that hit me hard; I’ve suffered from anxiety from a young age, and imagining being giving a lobotomy for such a minor problem in comparison to its solution is horrifying. If I had gotten one before I turned 14 (I sincerely hope they didn’t give lobotomies to children), I’d have never become a writer, because it would’ve cut me off from all kinds of creativity or even identity. Lobotomised victims even lost interest in their own lives, not surprising since they were also cut off from being itself.

Lobotomies were used for depressed patients, but it’s little wonder that the treatment didn’t make that problem worse, since both depressed and lobotomised people perceive no point in functioning. It’s likely that the times the treatment was popular in reflected attitudes of behaviour; instead of embracing individuality, it seems as though people prized good behaviour and civility. Anybody who didn’t conform had to be fixed.

This is a terrible attitude to have. I personally find it horrific that people would go to such extremes to control others. It seems to glorify ignorance (seen but not heard) and punish rather than treat those who struggle to fit into society. I personally prefer the idea of shaking the world up and promoting open-mindedness.

That’s why I’m a writer. I want people to understand people, which is the exact opposite of the effect the lobotomy had.


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The Words I Can’t Say

#1493 – Asexual Awareness Week. Today I’ve been reading up on my old favourites on wordpress, ithinkincomics and onlyfragments, when I found this.

My first impressions, the first thing I wanted to say is this:

Oh honey, you’re not ugly and unacceptable. You’re beautiful. There’s no reason to feel ashamed of yourself. And I know no words I can say, or write, will make up for that feeling if you really feel it in your chest…

I’m not asexual, or anything like that. But I feel you. Or I think I do. There was perhaps a point when I felt like that, when everyone seemed interested in that and I didn’t. I was only a teenager then, but now I know that wasn’t true. I was just repressing my interests, and I didn’t even know I was doing it. I did it for years, and when I finally woke up to myself… I felt a bit like that too.

But I don’t anymore. Even if I never say it aloud, how I feel, what I want, I am far more at ease than I was when it started. I’m at ease with myself, even if I’m not with other people to the extent that I tell no one these things. But I do feel them. I’m far more the adult now, who knows herself. At 25, you’d think I would be.

So I hope anyone who reads this who is unsure knows it can get better, whatever your personal struggles are.


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The Second World War Two

The two women were talking with such familiarity that it was hard to believe they were speaking another language.

“Do you know what they’re saying,” Matt asked, nodding his head towards the two gossiping Indians.

“I don’t speak Indian, I’m afraid. But I do speak Japanese.”

“You speak Jap?” he said, as though he’d been dragged out of time from the second world war. “Me and my brother have one. If I bring you along, can you translate some of the things he’s been saying?”

“Sure. Yeah, sure, maybe. I mean, I don’t really know; I only speak basic Japanese, so I’d only really be able to understand so much of what he’s saying…”

“Well okay,” he said. “I guess that’s close enough. Come with me.”

I followed him, and met up with his brother. “This girl says she speaks Jap. She might be able to translate our perps words.”

Sam looked at her. “Okay, but don’t get freaked out by what you see in there. It’s all for a higher purpose…”

When the boys walked me in, the room was dank, dripping, black and darkest grey, rotting. The Japanese man was tied to a chair in the middle with rope, his face bleeding and eyes piercing. Under him, there was a huge pentagram in what I considered to be his blood.

Shocked, I moved forward towards him emphatically. “Doshita no?” What happened?

Bitterly, he spat out a response. All I heard was, “Anata no tomodachi wa…” before a string of words punctuated by anger spewed from his mouth.

“What did he say?” asked Matt.

I turned back to him. “I don’t know,” I admitted. “All I caught was, ‘your friends’…”

“Yeah, right, okay…”

I turned back to the man. “Anata wa… nani ga hoshii desu ka?” What do you want?

He spoke again. He repeated ‘your friends’, but one other word stuck out particularly. “Shinu?” I cried.

“Shinu!” he repeated adamantly.

“What’d he say?”

“He wants you dead,” I repeated, still staring at shock at him before I turned to Matt.

“That’s it, he’s dead –”

I spread my hands out, protecting the Japanese man. This was not World War Two, and this man was not evil.

“Get out of the way, Emily,” said Matt.

“No,” I said. “You brought me in here to translate his words, and that’s what I plan to do. You really wanna go ahead and kill him just because he wants you dead? Look at him! You’ve obviously tied him up and tortured him, what do you expect from him? You wanted information, right?”

“She’s right,” said Sam.

“I don’t give a damn!” cried Matt. “She can’t tell us anything anyway, so barely speaks it! Get out of the way, Emily. I promise you he deserves it!”

“She was able to tell us he wants us dead,” said Sam. “Maybe she still has some use.”

Matt looked between Emily and Sam resentfully. “Fine,” he said, “I’ll give it one more shot. But that’s it, alright?”

“Got it,” said Sam.


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You’re All Different: A look at fiction and society

Recently I was thinking about a documentary I once saw. It was about Merlin, that wizard of myth originally created by Geoffrey of Monmouth. Towards the end of that documentary, it talked about JRR Tolkien and CS Lewis. It said that the two famous authors used to meet in a pub and talk about Merlin; and that characters in both their writings had a character based on him, the one Aslan, and the other Sauron.

I have since wondered whether the documentary got it wrong, and they were really talking about God. I know at least one of them was a Christian man, and by assumption, so is the other. But that thought didn’t sit well with me, so for a while, I pretended it really was Merlin.

I realise, though, that the reason Merlin sits better with me is because I know he isn’t real, and I’m also assuming other people do too. After all, I watched the documentary; I know he isn’t real. But the fact is, other people won’t have seen it. If those people suddenly started saying that Merlin really was the one who created Stonehenge — Geoffrey’s most famous tale, and one he invented to give Merlin some credibility — it would piss me off. Because I know full well (from another documentary) that Stonehenge was actually created in the late Stone Age by early man.

Another popular story about Stonehenge was that aliens helped. That one pisses me off even more; what does it say about how man sees himself? Do we think we’re capable of nothing? Stonehenge was a great human achievement, and far from the last. And we did it all by ourselves.

But I digress: what I’m really trying to say is that I don’t think people believe in Merlin, but they do still believe in God. And that worries me, because stories have power, especially stories people think are true but aren’t. I write stories myself, but I would never try to pass them off as the truth. And yet, at the very least, the writers of the bible have done just that, in order to persuade — manipulate — people to act and think a certain way. They use fear of hell at the very least to inform this.

What pisses me off about God is that it gives people an excuse not to think for themselves. Like those stories of Merlin or aliens, it gives people something to alleviate either responsibility or pressure, and makes them complacent. Perhaps they want to relax, and maybe that’s understandable, but it pushes down our potential, it takes away from us what we could do, it takes away from us self-belief and puts it into something else, so we become little more than sheep or cattle, following a grand master. And I’m not okay with that.

I’ll admit once I thought I was worthless, when I was a kid I even imagined a God and thus believed it. And then when I was a teenager, I continued to struggle. But the point is, I wasn’t worthless. And the fact that we have to make up ridiculous stories just to cope with ourselves or our lives is insulting to me.

Monty Python’s The Life of Brian put it best:

Brian: You’re all individuals!

Crowd: Yes, we are all individuals.

Brian: You’re all different!

Crowd: Yes, we are all different.

Crowd Member 1: I’m not.

Crowd Member 2: Ssh!

Brian: You’ve got to work it out for yourselves! Otherwise–

Brian’s mother ushers him from the window.

Crowd: Ooh, that wasn’t a minute.

Brian’s Mother: Oh, yes it was!

Crowd: Oh, no it wasn’t!

Brian’s Mother: Now, stop that! And go away!


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The Final Trifecta: In The Cold

I can’t believe Trifecta is finally ending! Well, after all the entries I’ve contributed to our community, it’s only right I should come back for just one more. I wrote this back in February, but now I’m repurposing it for this final hurrah.

She huddled against the cold, clinging to the one tiny pocket she had in front of her and chilled to the bone everywhere else. She had been forced into this corner, once having all the luxuries of a bed and now forced into the cold hard floor in the middle of winter. Just outside the door, she heard voices. Full of bitterness, she listened.

“Do you think there’s any hope for her?”

She could see his face, just imagine it in her mind. Her brother. She felt nothing but hate for him, something he would never understand through all his little denials of the weight of his guilt. Nothing would ever be enough, not anymore. Her hate for him was the only thing that kept her strong.

“There could be,” explained a stranger. Could he have brought her some doctor to take her away? “I mean, from what you’ve told me… that is, she won’t agree with me, but I feel like I can understand…” A shuddering breath. So maybe not a doctor.

“What she said about… hating you being her only strength. I mean, yeah. I can get that. I think right now, her family’s her only hope. She doesn’t know it now, but there can be more… if she can find the strength in hate, maybe she can find a different strength. Not in you, perhaps, she hates you far too much for that, but her family… if she can find some love in them, maybe there’s still a chance for her to one day… forgive you too.”

The very thought made her furious. Forgive him! There was nothing in all the world to make her forgive him, not if she lived for a hundred years! She would never forgive, she never could, she refused! He had taken everything from her, her entire life! And there was nothing shameful in strength from hate. She would do anything, if it meant that she would be strong; anything, if it meant she would never be weak again! It was worth it in the end…

“I hope so,” he said, and she wanted to tear him from the earth. “But even if she doesn’t… it’s okay. I just want her to be happy again.”

He had everyone else fooled, but he didn’t fool her! He had all the strength of luxury, while she suffered in the cold! And even if she suffered it all, he remained blind to what it truly felt for her. He would never understand, so she could never forgive him. Just the very thought made her stomach turn.

He could never be forgiven. Her mind was too far gone for forgiveness. It rose like bile in her throat.

She curled harder into herself, desperate from that little bit of warmth to spread just a little further. She was freezing.


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BlogFestivus #4 – Christmas Future

Scrooge had somehow been saved.

He had almost been a statistic; suicidal rates at Christmas skyrocket, everyone knows that. But he wouldn’t have thrown himself off a bridge or jumped in front of a car. He would’ve just walked out into a world he had grown to hate until it buried him.

It wasn’t that he had been particularly touched by the little boy who had talked to him once, or suddenly believed in the kindness of strangers. But as he thought of the sight of him walking away, something had risen in his chest. A bright little ball of hope, that he didn’t even have the spirit to damn it the way he always had.

It wasn’t just some cheesy line, no, it had been somehow real, and not anything like he’d ever assumed. Scrooge was nothing if not ambitious, and that hope turned into a new goal in his mind.

He still hated his family, but they weren’t the only ones that existed. There were people out there that might understand him. And he had found them.

“Pass the turkey,” said Scrooge, sitting at the dinner table.

Familiar old hands complied. After five years, he had met that special little boy again, after Scrooge had pulled himself out of his slump, and now he had a whole new family.

“Of course,” said Tim.

Note: This is a little late, but I got stuck without internet for about half a week. Better late than never, I say!

happy-blogfestivus-2013

Linda penning at linda vernon humor
Tom over at Shouts from the Abyss
Maria-Christina blogging at MCWhispers
Dylan of Treatment of Visions
Sarah from Parent Your Business
Dawn blogging at Lingering  Visions
K8edid from k8edid
Eileen from Not The Sword But The Pen
Lindsey at RewindRevise
Kandy of Kandy Talk
Theodore from This Blog Needs A Title
Sandra writing at In Love With Words
Natalie from So I Went Undercover
Jen at Blog It or Lose It
Amelie from In the Barberry
Cee Cee blogging at Cee Cee’s Blog
Ashley from LittleWonder2 (this is me)
BD writing Blogdramedy


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A Sombre Drama… My First Funeral

Recently, my nanna died. I’ve been tossing up whether to write about this or not, but I feel like I just had to.

A little backstory: Because of something my dad did years ago, we’ve been cut out of his family’s lives. It was a stupid decision, one felt not to be in nanna’s proper interests, and one that made him — and the rest of us, by association — hated by them. They didn’t even tell him four years ago when one of them died.

So recently, we travelled down from the Sunshine Coast where we live (except for my sister, who lives in Brisbane) to go to nanna’s funeral. Gladly, we weren’t hit by outright abuse; two of the women closest to nanna (known hereafter as V and A) simply treated us civilly. One of them, though, an old friend of nanna’s, slipped dad a hate note just before the service. So now, at least we’re clear on their feelings against us…

For clarity, I’ll be keeping certain members anonymous, by referring to them by the first letter of their names.

This is my story.

We were the first behind the hearse. After everyone had arrived, it was now time to drive to the grave site. Aunt A and K were there, and they’d seemed civil enough, but all I could help thinking was how Anne must feel about us being first. Dad had arranged the funeral too; no doubt she probably thought that was her area.

“Are we going the right way?” asked mum out loud.

“I don’t know,” said dad. “I think the driver must be a little confused… I don’t think we came through this way before…”

Actually, we had. I recognised the rows of Jewish graves that we had passed, now out the left window.

I was just wording my response in my head, sorting out the markers in my head when mum exclaimed, “Oh, yes we did! We passed that Russian building before…”

It was more like a huge gazebo, with pointed dome shapes for window frames. It was blue and white, with a bench inside the middle.

And she was right, of course, we had passed it. But I could’ve told her that we had passed this whole section if I’d told them earlier. Speaking of which, why didn’t I? What was it exactly that I saw before…

We arrived soon, and parked away close by. I took the bouquet we’d bought earlier, half carnations and half yellow roses, and carried it over.

The reverend, who was now there and dressed in his long white garb, looked at me as I arrived. “Will you be placing that with the coffin?”

I looked around at my family and mum filled in the question. She then took the flowers away, and opened up the wrapping. She wanted each of us to take a flower. Dad and I took a carnation; mum and Kristi took a yellow rose.

Mum hastily or messily wrapped the bouquet up again and placed it on a field of green tarp where a number of other bouquets had been placed. It looked haggard compared to the others.

As we stood around, waiting for everyone to arrive and the service to start, nanna’s old friend V slipped a note into dad’s suit pants pocket. “To be read after ther funeral,” she said. It sounded important.

Casting the odd sight aside, I took my position facing the modern line of graves, where the reverend would be addressing an intimate audience of those seven of us and nanna’s nurses at the home where she’d spent the last years of her life.

“Mina lived for 91 years. Now, looking around at all the faces here, I can see all kinds of people who knew her. She was a wonderful sister, mother, wife, grandmother and friend. Everyone here will have different memories of her, but I doubt that everyone here will have known her for all of those 91 years.”

“Hm,” I agreed, nodding.

“I give my deepest condolences to those she left behind, Ken, Tami, Kristi, Ashley and –”

My attention perked up at the mention of my name, and as I finished listening to the names he gave, I noticed he didn’t say A’s. She wouldn’t like that, either I thought.

I looked over at her. She was leaning into K, an open frown on her face, her eyes rimmed with tears. That made sense, at least. She loved nanna, it was the whole reason she hated dad, and what was a funeral without tears and mourning?

The reverend had now started on a list of meaningless events that had happened on the year she was born, 1921. I didn’t think that would help anyone, certainly not A, with her memory. I tried to listen anyway, but these things meant nothing to me. I don’t know so much about the 20s.

Then he handed it over to dad, who took charge as he always does. The first thing he said was bring up one of those events, the only one I really heard, “because Mina really liked that. In reality, she was just like The Little Rascals too…”

And proceeded to tell a story I never knew, that nanna had apparently told all the time, about how she or someone else had lopped off the toe end of someone’s shoes…

As the service went on, and the reverend started to speak again, I remained silent, even through the prayers, playing with the leaves of my flower, looking over at A a few more times, who didn’t change much.

Then finally, “I see that some of you have flowers. Would you like to place them on top of the coffin?”

I had seen it happen, that the tarp with everyone’s bouquets had been laid aside and that the coffin had been placed on two flat bars over the open grave and looped through with rope.

Dad went first then, nervously, me. Everyone else with flowers lined up after and had their turn, and my family grouped up on the other side.

When all the flowers had been placed against the coffins bouquet, the coffin was held with the ropes, the bars removed, the coffin lowered.

“Ashes to ashes, dust to dust.”

Finally, the tarp, placed over a metal grate, covered the grave. The service was over.

People gathered in groups now, talking. I saw A take her and K’s bouquet off the tarp and offer it to the nurses at nanna’s old home. In turn, others also took their bouquets away. Only ours remained. Mum thought, and I agreed, that nanna should have at least one bouquet for herself. Messy as it was, it was hers now…

A soon cheered up after the service at least when I saw her talking with the others, and eventually she made her way to us. She learned that Kristi had gotten married last year, to great excitement and congratulations on her part. Then she asked me what I was I was up to. Great.

“She’s currently looking for work right now…” mum filled in for me. “And she’s also writing a book.”

“Oh, what’s it about?”

I looked down. In the first place, I was too embarrassed to mention the book. In the second, I always had trouble with that question, even if I knew.

“Vampires,” said mum.

“Oh…” said A, distaste in her voice.

I shrugged. Whatever. It didn’t change the fact that Dawn’s a lot like Anne.

A hugged Dad and Kristi when we left. I was afraid to go in for a hug in case she didn’t want to. “Do you mind if I hug you?” mum asked.

“I do mind, actually,” said A, seeming to hug herself in discomfort.

I nodded. Fair enough.

In the car, though, we found out what V’s letter had been. “I can’t believe that she lumped me in with you,” mum fretted. Soon I learned what she meant. “The letter. She told us both to rot in hell.”


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Character Freewriting – #1 Dawn

Something OnlyFragments has called Emotive Freewriting.

I’ve wanted to try this for a while, and OnlyFragments did encourage me awhile ago to do it.

Recently, I’ve become a little obsessed with reading OnlyFragments. I’ve been reading entries she’d written back in 2009, and a quote occurred to me; “Write with haste.” It occurs to be that OnlyFragments does that, has always done that. And you can tell just reading her, her emotions, fragments of her, come through.

Inspiring as her pieces even in 2009 are, it inspired this piece about Dawn.

Dawn is the character I’m most obsessed with. Dylan is otherwise my favourite character. In the future, I might write from Dawn, Orion, Brenda, Dylan, Seth, Andrea or Melody. But don’t worry, I’ll definitely mention who I write from if I do this again!

Expect more pieces to come, though I’m not sure when. I intend to try this more regularly.

My version is probably more accurate to call Emotive Character Freewriting. I’m not sure if I could do it otherwise; but I almost take every post OnlyFragments does as Emotive Freewriting; its all emotive, and its all spur of the moment.

I’m probably not doing this right. Oh well.

There is haste in powerlessness, and there is acceptance in all that is ugly. When you finally stop thinking, you are not slave to these desires… When you stop thinking, you can’t finally become yourself, who you were meant to be, who you really are. But you cannot stop chasing what you think you need, can you? Can’t stop because, without this fierce pursuit, you realise you can’t deal with all that’s happened to you, all that’s in your heart. This ferocity has become as much a part of you as that other part, hidden behind that layer. You can’t escape you own consumption now, can you, Dawn? It will burn through you like everything else. It will burn your heart out – unless you find a way to stop it.

Can you? Can you, Dawn? Or will you just keep consuming until there’s nothing left, and everything you love is dead?