Author's Notes: CW: Verbal abuse (parental), Attempted Sexual Assault, Sexual Harassment, Bullying

The tickling of piano keys followed by a haunting soprano that filled the dark, heavy air is what came first to her. Then came the pair of shadowy figures with long, spindly fingers. That was all she could make out. They moved in such a way that was unnatural. A simple wave of the hand looked like it took an eternity to move. It was like stop motion. That was the best way to describe it. The flapping of wings boomed across the abyss.

Let us play a game... It’d make my experiment much more interesting.

A voice made of gravel that rumbled at the base of the spine.

Then a crackly, breathy voice made her hair stick up on its ends spoke.

You’re not usually one to arrange such things... Very well. I accept.”

She didn’t know which one was worse.

Here are the rules...

The two whispered. Or maybe they shouted. It was in a language she could both understand and not make out. It made her head throb. It wasn’t something she was meant to hear.

...Oh my my, are you going with that?

The breathy, nasally voice laughed, as if whatever its owner’s choice was an obvious one to make.

Of course. This one... will awaken... eventually.”

The deep voice rumbled with laughter.

You were always a strange one. Very well. Here is my piece.

Very interesting... Let us begin the game.

With a harsh, shuddering gasp, Rin Amamiya woke up. Ice water pumped itself through her veins as sweat dripped down her back. Dark grey eyes flickered across the room to search for something. Anything. All that greeted her was the soft pastels of her Beautiful Maiden Planet Pilot decorated walls and the Pilot Moon plushies on her bed. Her heart was going a mile a minute.

Badump. Badump. Badump.

Rin’s fingers brushed along her sweat-slicked neck and touched her pulse. The vein twitched and throbbed as that earlier panic came to an excruciatingly slow stop.

Remembering what she dreamt about was like trying to grab sand underwater. The tiny grains slipped through her fingers and floated around her in a muddy haze. The more she scrambled to keep it in her hands, the more it fell out of her shaky grasp.

“What the fuck?” she said, laughing nervously, before wiping the crustiness from her eyes. She squinted as she turned towards her nightstand where a super-deformed version of Pilot Moon held a large clock. It was about the time she’d wake up anyway, give or take twenty minutes. “Fine. Fine.”

Her joints popped as the teenage girl stretched. Then off came her clothes. The open-air felt almost refreshing on her sickeningly wet skin. Similar to the breeze against your skin after you get out of the pool or lake. It was nice. She peeled herself off her sweaty sheets—also PMPP-themed, thank you—and decided to take a quick shower. She’d have to skip a bath tonight but that was fine. The idea of going to school all sticky with sweat was unappealing as hell.

Once out of the shower, Rin ran to her room, still dripping with water. In a rush to get into her room, the momentum had the door slam behind her. She winced.

“RIN! IT’S TOO EARLY FOR THAT!” an all too familiar voice screeched out.

“Sorry, Mother.”

Sighing, Rin dried her hair with her towel. Her eyes squeezed themselves shut as her stupid, obscenely huge tits sloshed and slapped around in front of her with each motion of her arms. Satisfied that she wasn’t going to drip all over her blouse and blazer, she dressed up in her uniform. A simple plain black pleated skirt, a white blouse with a green tie, and a black blazer with a red-green shield-shaped emblem on the breast. She yanked on her knee-high socks and headed into the kitchen.

At the table sat her father, a grizzled man in his late forties named Shousuke. Rin swallowed as he felt his steely gaze upon her. “Good morning, Father.”

He simply grunted.

“Eggs and ham okay?”

Another grunt.

“’ight,” Rin muttered with a click of the tongue. She got to work on preparing breakfast and her lunch for later. Quickly, she washed some rice and threw it into the cooker. Six slices of milk bread were thrown into the toaster. The pan was heating up on the burner. She scrambled to grab her bento, eggs, butter, and slices of ham before the pan got too hot. Luckily, she had the sense to save some of the protein from last night for lunch so she wouldn’t be rushing too much.

“Oh, I was going to cook,” that earlier familiar voice said. “It’s fine though.”

Rin blinked. There in the doorway stood her mother, Rui, maiden name Asou, with a glass of something. ‘I don’t leave for an hour and she’s already...’ Rin shook the thought from her head. “Sorry, I’m just...”

“I said it’s fine. Make my eggs hard.”

“Yes, Mother.”

As the ham fried in the pan, Rin couldn’t stop shaking. The sound of deep, rumbling laughter vibrated at the bottom of her spine. Swallowing thickly, she tried to ignore the feeling. That dream really freaked her out. It would’ve been silly if she hadn’t just washed away all evidence of her fear a few moments ago. Her hands clenched onto the shell of the egg. ‘Please don’t break it yet.’ With twitching fingers, the girl tried to steady her breathing. This wasn’t like her. She had scary dreams before, sure, but they didn’t stick with her for that long.

“Are you going to your part-time job today, Rin?” Rui asked.

“Huh? Oh.” Right. It was Thursday. Thursdays were when she went to Okina for work. “Yeah. I’ll be home late.”

Her mother simply took a long drink as her father turned the page of the newspaper.


That must have been it. It wasn’t just any regular Thursday. It was the Thursday that the big boss was coming in. That made sense. It was a stress nightmare. Yeah. Okay, she wasn’t stupid then.

As the egg fried atop the ham slices, the toaster dinged. She grabbed plates for each member of the family and placed two slices onto them.

“Father’s...” she mumbled to herself as she slid the first egg ham slice onto a slice of toast. He liked his yolks runny. He also ate two slices normally. She also would’ve liked two slices but learned to stop doing that pretty quick. She cracked another egg onto a ham slice and waited for that to fry then slid it onto the plate. Then came her mother’s over-hard eggs and ham. She only ate one. Rin would also only eat one with runny yolks but she’d wait to eat until her parents got their food.

Once they were all ready, she placed the food on the table. She sat between her parents as usual. Her hands stayed on her lap as they started to munch on the toast and eggs.

“Rin, tell your father to pass the salt.”

“...Father, can you pass the salt to Mother?”

A grunt followed by the sound of ceramic sliding against wood echoed in the room.

“Rin. I want the salt back.”

“...Mother, can I have the salt?”

“Your father can speak for himself. Go on, Shousuke. What is it that you want?”


“Was that so hard? Here.”

Quickly, Rin nibbled on her food and rushed into the kitchen again. She held her breath as she scrambled to make a few rice balls and tamagoyaki for her lunch. As she rushed to finish up in the kitchen, she forgot the fried chicken she saved in the fridge.

“Oh, you usually have such pretty lunch boxes, Amamiya-chan,” a light voice said with a laugh. “Did you wake up late this morning?”

Rin squirmed in her seat as a blush tried and failed to creep up her neck. It was lunchtime at Ichinomiya High and here she was, sitting alone in the stairwell. Above her was her homeroom teacher, Mr. Odagiri. A young man in his early thirties and the cutest crinkles near his hazel eyes. He ran a hand through his grey-ish locks—whether it was dyed to be grey or he simply greyed that easily, he just made it work. He looked good today but it just wasn’t doing much for her. At least right now. Not when that deep laugh continued to thunder in the back of her mind.

“Y-yeah... Heh. Slept right through my alarm.”

“That’s a shame. I was going to ask if I could steal one of your karaage if you had any. I’ve been craving for some for the last few weeks.”

“...Why don’t you make some?” she asked.

“Ah, well, you know...” He rubbed the back of his neck. “I’m useless in the kitchen. That’s best suited for girls—women such as yourself.”

Fighting back an eye roll, Rin held out a piece of tamagoyaki for her teacher to take. “This is all I got for ya, Odagiri-sensei. Take it or leave it.”

Chuckling, the man took the egg between his fingers and popped it into his mouth. He chewed once and swallowed. Satisfied, he went his way down the stairs. “Thank you, Amamiya-chan.”

She waved him off.

A couple of girls came down the stairs and shoved Rin with their legs. Sighing, Rin shot Odagiri’s posse a glare as they muttered to themselves.

“Her stupid cow tits weighed her down, Yumemi.”

“She knows he doesn’t actually like her, right?”

“Like anyone would even like a weirdo like her, right?”

Another sigh, one that burned her throat, escaped the girl. “Are you trying to be heard or are you just fucking stupid? Just hit me or something. People’d respect you more that way.”

Yumemi, or whatever her name was, simply settled for kicking the bento out of Rin’s lap. The girls cackled as they ran down the steps and turned the corner. All Rin could do was watch as her half-eaten rice balls and the rest of her eggs went flying and then landed on dirty linoleum with a splat as the box clattered across the ground.

Whatever. It’s not like I was in a good mood anyway.

Dread swam inside of Rin’s stomach. If she felt sick and scared this morning because of that nightmare, it didn’t compare to the turmoil inside of her right now. Sweat pooled in the palms of her hands as she gripped her tights-clad legs. Before heading on the train to Okina, Rin stopped by home to change out of her uniform and into her casual clothes. Inside the bag that sat by her feet was her ‘dressier’ clothes for work; a tight pencil skirt, frilly blouse that ‘covered’ her chest, and a pair of flat Mary Janes.

As the countryside melted into residential areas which melted into busy streets and skyscrapers, Rin tried to calm herself down. It’d just be a normal day. She’d meet the Big Man a grand total of once. Realistically, she wouldn’t have to say a single word to him. It’d be fine.

“Okina Station. Okina Station. Please use the doors on the left.”

Okay, let’s just go...’ As she made her way through Okina’s business district, Rin tried to ignore how her stomach painfully twisted itself into knots. Nausea washed across her insides. Her limbs felt as if they were encased in concrete. She really, really, really didn’t want to be here for this. Maybe on a day when she didn’t have such a horrid awakening, she could deal with this. Just not right now.

A hand landed on her shoulder. Panic pulsed through Rin’s overworked system and nearly forced her to jump out of her own skin. Whipping her head towards the owner of the hand, she sighed at the sight. A young woman in her early thirties with long, shoulder-length brown hair and even browner eyes. Moemi Sakaguchi, her coworker and senpai.

“Sakaguchi-senpai...” she said with another sigh.

“Sorry, Rin-chan,” Moemi said with a giggle. She gently rubbed the girl’s shoulder before she started to walk. “You looked so tense. Are you sick? Maybe you should go home?”

“...Y-yeah, maybe... But my parents wouldn’t be too happy about that.”

A sad smile flashed across Moemi’s painted lips. “I see. Well, take it easy today, alright? If you feel too ill to do anything...” She paused to pump her fist and flashed a wide grin at the girl. “Your Moemi-senpai will pick up the slack. You can rely on me for anything.”

The corners of Rin’s lips tugged upwards. She tucked a curl behind her ear. “Alright. I’ll hold you to that, Senpai.”

With that, the two walked into the office building without a word. Once in the changing room, Rin and Moemi changed into their work clothes.

“Let’s get this bread,” Rin huffed. Her hands smoothed out the wrinkles in the tight skirt—god, she really didn’t want to have to buy another one of these. “I’m counting on you, Senpai.”

Moemi gave another fist pump and the two went into the main office.

Flyers and posters upon posters were stacked up high on various desks. Employees were on the phones yammering about the upcoming campaign. It was so loud that you could barely think. Rin’s fellow interns dashed between desks. Some had more stacks of papers, others were carrying drinks and others were just struggling to find something to do before the Big Man came in. Things had been hectic in the office since she got the internship. What with the election happening later on in the year and all. Rin’s eyes flickered up to the ceiling where a banner that read ‘FOR THE FUTURE’ with the rising sun in the background.

She didn’t really know how to feel about that. Politics were not Rin’s forte at all. Her mother seemed to like this guy and an internship for this sort of thing was impressive... apparently. Part of Rin wondered why she was pushed so hard and so fast this early. She was only just not finishing her first year of high school. Just a few more weeks until break and her second year would start. The other part of her wondered why she cared so much. It wasn’t out of the ordinary. Life had been this way since middle school. The goal post had been moved from ‘good high school’ to ‘Tokyo University’.

“Rin-chan! Coffee for Ushiromiya-san!”

“’ight!” The girl called out as she rushed to the break room to prepare the cheap instant coffee. It didn’t taste good but it fuelled both her and the office. If she got a cut, she was sure that coffee would ooze out of the wound instead of blood. As the coffee poured into the pot, Rin got to work on pouring cups of steaming green tea on a tray. It was like a repeat of this morning. If a bit less tense. Just a bit.

Her hands trembled. She sucked in a shaky breath. Her eyes fluttered closed as she tried to centre herself again. She didn’t really know what that meant in all honesty. She just copied what the protagonists in her favourite manga did.

I don’t even remember what the fuck happened in it! Why am I still shaking?!

“Heeeeyyyaaaa, Rin-chan~” Rin blinked and looked beside her. A heavy-set man with an admittedly cute smile greeted her. Something Matsuda. She didn’t have to remember everyone’s first names here, but, still. She couldn’t help but feel a little guilty that she could never remember this guy’s name. “Such a hard worker. Remember to take it easy at the party tonight.”

A dry laugh escaped the girl as she scooped a teaspoon of honey and placed it into her own cup. “I’m not going.”

“Whaaaat? How come?”

“I’m still in high school, remember? I won’t be allowed into the izakaya.”

“Oh. Right. Right... Moemi-saaaaaaaaaaaan~!” Matsuda called out as he turned tail.

Rin rolled her eyes. He was so obvious. She wasn’t really attracted to the man—he dragged his vowels for too long, he used up all the good coffee all the time, and was a little too touchy—but the attention felt... regrettably nice.

Older men were the best but she wasn’t about to act on those preferences. Not with her mother orchestrating her whole life.

The laughter from her dream cackled once again. Her eyes squeezed themselves shut as she sucked in another shaky breath. Her heart was pounding so hard that she couldn’t hear that the room next door had gone dead silent. The cups on the tray that were now in her hands clattered. She placed the tray back on the ground and tried to gather herself.

The door behind her opened. The sound of footsteps went unheard.

Okay, it’ll be alright. Let’s go.

Suddenly, she straightened herself up, grabbed the tray, and swung towards the door…

Right into a tall, handsome yet incredibly imposing man. Tea and stale scented coffee crashed and splattered all over the front of his designer suit. Washed-out greens and browns splashed across the formerly crisp white of his shirt. Ice water pulsed through her veins for what felt like the eighth time that day.

Dark eyes bore into her skull as she watched his hands clench into tight fists. Veins bulged out in the tops of his hands. Rin gasped as she felt her knees give out under her. Her ass crashed against the linoleum below as she stared up at the tall, bald man. His gaze was intense even behind his glasses.

Masayoshi Shido.

The leader of the campaign they were all working so hard to promote. Her boss’ boss.

Her mouth went dry as her pupils shrunk to pinpricks.

“You. Get the hell up.”

“I-I-I’m so sorry!” Tears pricked at her eyes as she scrambled to get off the ground and bow. Her glasses nearly flung off her face from how fast she snapped forward. Her body was at a ninety-degree angle and her arms were flat at her side. “I’m so sorry, Shido-san! P-p-please, forgive me!”

He huffed and turned towards her boss. “Who is responsible for hiring a child? You?”

“I... Yes but...”

“You’re on thin ice. You. Get the hell out of here, brat.”

Bile rose in Rin’s throat as she nodded. Tears dripped from her eyes in fat, salty globs as she rushed to the washroom.

“Someone clean this up!” Shido shouted. His voice was loud and icy enough that it was like he was right there in the bathroom with her.

Rin’s knees knocked against the toilet as she more or less hugged the bowl. Her lunch spewed from her mouth and burned her esophagus. Her glasses fogged up as she cried. Her body lurched forward with each hiccuping sob. Tears landed in her thick lenses, obscuring her vision even more, and into the bowl as she threw up again.

How was she going to explain this to her mother?! Was Father going to be disappointed?! Would her university prospects be messed up because of this?! What if they called Shido himself? What if he told them she was a complete and utter failure? Then Tokyo U told the other schools to not let her in?! What if her mother found out about that?! Would she be thrown out!? What good was she if not for her grades? Would everything she went through up until this point be a complete waste?

Sobs and sniffles filled the night air. Rin was hunched over on a playground bench as she tried to calm down. She had been trying to calm down for hours. The sun had melted over the horizon hours ago. If it weren’t for the light pollution from all the street lights, signs, and other things, the stars would be twinkling above her right now. Her throat ached as she wiped at her eyes again. Every time she thought she was done, another wave of tears would come.

Maybe her dream was a warning. A warning to not come to work today. Whatever that dream may have been.

That was of little comfort, however.

Her phone dinged.

Are you OK?
I’m sorry I didn’t do anything for you.
I was so shocked.
I guess I’m not a very good Senpai, am I?

its alright
i was the one who messed up moemi-senpai
i just wish he wasnt such a dick about it tho
there wasnt anything u could do
unless you get fired too LOL dont do that

I can’t enjoy this party knowing that you’re probably at home and upset.
It’s worse because Shido is here as well.
I just think about what he said and did and get so upset.

im not home
im kinda dreading going home
oh shit its almost 10 i should head back to inaba
thanks for chekcin up on me

Yeah, you better get home.
I’ll probably going soon myself.
I can talk to your mother for you tomorrow.

u dont have to
appreciate it tho

With a sigh, Rin slipped her phone into her bag and got up. She took off her glasses and wiped her face again. Her eyes still stung. They’d definitely be red and puffy tomorrow morning. That was fine though. Nausea lipped at her throat as she wiped her glasses clean. It’d be fine though. She just had to make sure to sit on the right side of the train.

Her limbs once again felt like cinder blocks as she dragged her feet across the spongy playground rubber. By the time she got outside the residential area, it had been twenty minutes. She swallowed. If she missed her train, could she sleep in the station? Would she have to get a hotel room? Would Moemi possibly let her stay the night?

Chewing on her bottom lip, Rin continued down the street.

The sound of an argument brewing drifted its way towards her. She stopped in her spot. Reluctantly, she looked up from her phone’s navigation app and turned towards the sound. A man screamed something over and over again. Following that was a woman asking him to stop.

Something panged inside Rin’s chest.

She looked in the opposite direction. The station was a couple of minutes away if she made a mad dash for it.

Once again, she looked toward the source of the argument. Hesitantly, she stepped towards the couple. They were tiny steps. Tiny, wobbly, shaky steps. But she was making them. The sound of their arguments grew louder as the darkness melted away the closer she got to the couple thanks to the high beams—what a dick—that the car beside them had.

“Please! Leave me alone! S-stop!”

Moemi. That was Moemi’s voice.

Despite her sickness, despite her panic, despite everything, Rin ran towards the couple.

“I-I’ll call the police! Please... just stop!”

Moemi was in trouble.

“The cops are my bitches in this town. They won’t care. Get. In. The. Car. Do you think you’re worth all this effort?” the man sneered. He staggered as he grabbed at Moemi, his fingers brushing against her collar as he gripped it tight. The buttons on her blouse popped open as he gestured to the car. “’Cause you’re not. You’re nothing. Just get in the car.”

Moemi choked back a sob as Rin made her way towards her. Her heart was inside of her throat. Sweat dripped down her neck as she reached out for the man.

“L-leave her alone!” Rin cried out. “She doesn’t wanna—”

“Shut your damn mouth!” the man screamed as he let go of his main target and turned towards Rin. Masayoshi Shido. He stumbled as he went to swat at the girl.

A small squeak escaped Rin as she ducked. Shido overestimated how hard he’d have to swing. The momentum carried him further. His body swung forward as his long limbs tangled themselves in his fall. With a loud tumble, Shido crashed to the ground. His forehead dragged across the pavement as his glasses snapped in half.

“You damn brat, I’ll sue!” he shouted as he stood up. A long scrape had dragged itself across his forehead and into his scalp. He stared at Rin before something flashed in his eyes. His lips tugged into a smirk as police sirens grew closer and closer. “You.”

Moemi blinked as she stepped backward. “H-huh?!”

“Make this report to the cops. This brat was mad that I fired her and she suddenly attacked me, got it?”

“N-no!” Moemi flung her hand forward. “I wouldn’t! I won’t!”

Shido took a step towards the woman. “You can and you will. You know what’ll happen to you if you don’t, right?”

Moemi’s face blanched.

“S-senpai...” Rin whispered.

A police car pulled up to the trio. Two officers stepped out. “What seems to be the problem—Oh, it’s you, Shido-san.”

Shido sneered towards Rin as the officers made their way closer. “This young woman attacked me. Isn’t that right?”

Words were caught in the woman’s throat as Rin stared at her with wet eyes. “...Y-yes. That’s what happened.”

Rin gaped at her.

“Strike my name from the record. I’m still pressing charges against this... delinquent.”

As the officers grabbed Rin, she kicked her feet at Moemi. “What the hell?! Moemi! Senpai! Senpai!”

“Do you have any idea how humiliating this is?! Where did I go wrong!” Rui’s voice bounced off the office walls. Her steps were heavy and uneven as she paced back and forth. “Do you not love me? Is this my punishment? What did I do to deserve to be the mother of a delinquent? Physical assault? What’s next? Are you going to turn out to be a knocked-up whore too?!”

Rin wanted to wipe at her eyes as her mother tore into her.

“I put my all into raising you, Rin. Your father and I did our best to raise you but I guess an ungrateful little ingrate doesn’t respect that—”

“Ma’am, we’re going to have to ask you to calm down—”

Rui sighed as she took a long swig from her water bottle before pointing at Rin. “You know what? I bet this isn’t even you. This isn’t my little girl. You aren’t my daughter. Give me back my Rin. My little Rin-Rin. My shining jewel that was going to be top of her class at Tokyo U. You’re not her.”

Rin’s head tilted forward as she sucked in a shaky breath. “I... I’m sorry...”

“You’re lucky I have a heart. Otherwise, your father and I would let you rot in juvie until our daughter came back. Come on. Uncuff her and we’ll head back to Inaba.”

Hours of paperwork passed before Rin was allowed to go home. Her wrists still stung and were painted an angry red thanks to how tightly wound the cuffs were. On the car ride home, she watched as a large, strangely coloured moth struggled to keep up with the car in the night.

A week had passed and Rin didn’t dare leave her room. Her court case was settled within an hour. She was guilty and would be on probation for the next year. She wasn’t even allowed to go to her school anymore.

It’s within Ichinomiya’s best interests that... we don’t let Rin attend her second year here. Five years ago there was... an incident with one of our former students five years ago. We’re still trying to repair our reputation. Surely you understand, Amamiya-san? We just can’t have a repeat of Mitsuo Kubo. It’d ruin us.

“At least I didn’t kill someone for fucking attention,” she muttered to herself before burying her face into her damp pillow. “Even the bullshit reason the court came up with is a better motive than that.”

Rin rolled over in her bed. Her principal was a fucking jack off. Everyone was a fucking jack off. Her mom, her dad, Moemi—Sakaguchi, Shido... Everyone. She didn’t have anyone.

Suddenly, her door swung open. Here came Rui with a large suitcase and an even bigger cardboard box. “Start packing.”

“...Are you seriously throwing me out?” Rin asked, biting back tears. “I’m only on probation—”

“No one in Inaba is going to accept you. So, your father called in a favor from a friend in Tokyo. You’ll be staying with Sakura-san.”

Rin squinted at her mother. “...Who?”

“A college friend. It doesn’t matter. Get packing, you’re leaving next week.”

Rin got up from her bed. “Seriously?! I don’t even get a say in where I’m going? Did Grandma—Grandmother not want me either? W-what about Aunt Emiri in Iwatodai?!”

Rui sighed. “The arrangements have already been made, Rin. Just get packing. Your clothes and a few other things are fine. The rest can stay here.”

The girl grit her teeth. Her chewed-up nails dug into her palms as she balled her hands into tight fists. “I’m not gonna come home next year and see my room’s been turned into an office, am I?”

“Excuse me? Why are you taking that tone of voice with me? I knew it, you’re really not my daughter. My Rin-Rin would never—”

“Shut the fuck up!” she screamed. She pushed her mother out of her room and slammed the door shut. “I’ll pack! Just leave me alone!”

Sniffling, Rin threw in her clothes. Most of it is plain, baggy but comfortable clothes. Some were flashier costumes that’d never see the light of day... but she wouldn’t dare to part with them. The risk that they would be thrown out as petty revenge from her mother was too high. Then came a few plushies and trinkets... just in case.

After a couple of hours, Rin threw herself onto her bed and slept.

There stood a little girl. Alabaster skin and hair were so light that Rin almost couldn’t tell where her hair began. It was like she was sculpted from marble or plaster by a master. The girl turned towards Rin. Her pale hair spun as her zaffre blue dress billowed out. Her eyes opened revealing liquid gold.

Butterflies whose wings matched the intense shade of blue as the girl’s dress fluttered out of the ground. Their wings flapped. There were so many butterflies that Rin couldn’t even think. She watched as the creatures flew towards her and surrounded her. The lush green grass that suddenly appeared around her feet died. Out from the ground, rose a large floor of smooth grey bricks. Bricks rose from the ground and surrounded her.

The flapping of wings turned into stone crashing against stone. Iron drove itself into stone as she turned to the side to see herself being locked behind bars.

Beyond the bars was the same little girl as a pair of hands with long spindly fingers grabbed her shoulders. A scream tore itself from her throat as she was torn into two and an explosion of blue butterflies filled the room.