She leans against the sink and stares at the message scrawled in the dust on the mirror. Thank god it’s just dust this time, and not blood. Her arms and thighs are criss-crossed with the scissored scars of past blood-lettings. She breathes deeply, heavily, though whether in relief or panic she isn’t sure.

The words etched in grime stare back at her, mocking her with their scorn and accusations.


These first two indictments are nothing new to her. She has read them before. Once, they may have shocked her, but no more. Now, they only weary her. It is the third, though, that brings her up short, the third that is new, the third that causes the panic to bloom in her belly again.


She can’t remember what she has done to merit this judgment. She can never remember. She only knows that it will cause the blood to flow freely again, is surprised, in fact, that it hasn’t already.

She chides herself for sleeping, then gives herself a pass. She, unlike her other, is only human, after all.

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