she’s tired. tired of the news, day after day, a new tragedy, a statistic ticking up. tired of worrying what’s going to happen next. how much worse it’ll get and how fast. whether she’ll tick that statistic up. tired of being scared.

things get bad enough that she stops worrying about them getting worse – just dealing with the here and now is all she can muster the strength for. things get worse anyway. always worse. fear collapses into dread.

old statistics are abandoned in favor of more severe ones. they tick up all the same.

blood. she’s grown tired of that, too. hers. others of her ilk. never from the people who are supposed to be bleeding. so tired.

it’s her turn to make the latest statistic tick up. they’ll take more and more blood until she hasn’t got any left, and then she’ll be thrown in a ditch somewhere. she isn’t relieved that she won’t have to be tired anymore. maybe someone else would be.

dread catches fire and erupts into white-hot terror. the blood makes it burn hotter. her blood. always hers. always worse. always.


sudden epiphany. they were right about it. it was never a person, not really. that’s why they treat it that way. it’s dangerous and vile and horrid. one more thing: fear, dread, terror, tiredness – these were all wastes of time.

the correct emotion was rage. or rather, hunger.

blood bubbles and froths into black goo. flesh oozes and dissolves. the burning is still here, but it tastes much, much better now.

its old body is just fuel; something to carry it through the next few seconds and then be entirely discarded. as senses return to it it sees its tormentors’ faces: confusion first, then fear, then dread, and then terror.

its entire form convulses in glee. spines and claws and blades and needles writhe as it coils up in anticipation, and then-

blood. oh, so much blood. not enough, not nearly enough, but it’s a start. it drinks their screams and pained, choking gargles and is more wholly fulfilled than it ever was before its epiphany. for a long time after they fall still and silent, it shreds and breaks and tears them apart. until there’s nothing left to be broken.

for the first time It can remember, It’s thankful to be alive. It feels alive. It knows what and why It is.

It makes a horrible noise of satisfaction. It just came up with some new statistics to measure, and It wants to make them tick up.