Melodia curled up, her legs drawn in and her head down.

"Nobody loves me... nobody."

She felt dead and hollow. It was as though her body were once a doll's, supported and brought to life by a spinal cord of light, back held erect by a sparkling vein. But then the unthinkable happened: the spine disappeared. Now she was slumped over. Half-dead. Afraid that if she were to move, to advance toward progress, that her body would be wracked with the raw, searing pain that the emptiness left behind.

"Malpercio, I miss you, my darling."

She was incomplete. Her other half, her dearest love, was missing. She had helped to destroy that which had caused her to live, and now she sulked in remorse and senseless dreams. She stayed indoors, in her room, hid in her closet. She refused to sleep in her bed. The maids would come in, fret, try to coax her out, and then send for Duke Calbren. Dry-washing his hands anxiously, the duke would enter next, peering into the darkness. "Melodia," he wailed, "Melodia, please come out of there!"

Let them suffer... They deserved it. They would never understand.

The only truly kind thing she ever tried to do in her life was entirely ruined. She remembered feeling herself go against a giant force, the force of Kalas, and failing. She remembered Kalas seizing her, shaking her, and causing her to betray her love.

She and her love had a very strange relationship. She was sort of his caretaker, and mother. Yet, at the same time, Malpercio was his own master. He had been born of the limbs of others, but hadn't the will to live originated in his own hideous, sculpted heart? It gave her twisted pleasure to think of herself as Malpercio's mother, though. Her actions had given life again to that sweet, dark being. In those first days, beside Kalas, she remembered initiating her manipulations and seeing the blood flow, and thinking that this was only the beginning.

Melodia shuddered in her closet, hands balled up into fists at her sides.

"...Kalas. I hate you. What made you think that the world needed to be saved?"

Hands clutched together and placed on her knees, Melodia watched as Malpercio's chest ruptured in a brilliant burst. The opening sealed itself quickly but, alarmed, she sensed a new presence inside her god. Kalas, her old friend. He was there. Emotions stormed her heart.

At that time, she truly did not know which side she was on. Confusion, heartbreak, emptiness; she suffered mixed, terrifying emotions. Malpercio, her life's work and own divine creation, offered revenge against mankind. Yet Kalas called her name so earnestly, let me save you, and strained to clasp her fingers. Kalas, her only friend.

Or so she thought.

Melodia, I've come for you, he was shouting. Let's go home together.

Oh, my dear, dear Kalas, she wept suddenly. She tried to resist him.

He gripped her trembling hands. The walls of her castle began to give in all around. Desperation shook his words. We can go back and be happy. We can forget all this and start a new life. Melodia, please!

...Kalas. I love you. What made you think that I'm not happy?

A crash, and she realized that he had been shaking her. Melodia, can you hear me? We have to leave! Kalas' words rang in her ears; another blast and she felt herself grasped and snatched away from her perch.

She felt a sickening snap in her heart then, and she was torn from Malpercio. For good.

Melodia never reflected on that day without disgust — how foolish she had been! That liar, that betrayer, Kalas... Promising her happiness with him and planning only to steal her from her real true love. She belonged with Malpercio. She rose from the dead to complete a wronged god, not to be saved by a cheating mortal.

Kalas made his promises, but he had...

No matter, she thought sternly. Her mistakes were unforgivable; the weakness in trusting Kalas and seeing him as a friend, pure madness. The initial concern he showed for her terminated in abandonment. He would never pursue her again. Never.

Oh, if only a scream could contain the pain in her heart! She screamed anyways, and groaned against the closet door, if only to feel the vibrations of her slumping, frail body. Malpercio, her love, her child, her creation...

"Why did you bring me back to life?" she sought disconsolately.

Her life had meaning, she thought it did.

She had given it meaning. To aid the resurrection of Malpercio. And now that he had died... Really and truly died... Why was she given one last chance?

Malpercio, her darling... All her work, her dreams, and love. Lost. She despaired.

Coldness once again crept around her heart, and she leaned into a corner of the closet. She closed her eyes and pretended to sleep, pretended to die her death in peace. She was a little girl, her body pathetic and her soul like a wilting flower, it didn't matter anymore. Mommy and Daddy weren't there stroke her burning cheeks or hold her little, heaving frame. She said, it's okay, but couldn't smile. She somberly coughed her last, and the breath finally left her throat, and her lids closed, and she went pale.

Light blazed in her vision.

"Melodia... Melodia. It's Xelha."

Melodia sat up in her bed, mouth dry and head whirling. "Xelha..." The blond's hair was dimly golden in the morning light. "Where am I?"

Xelha shifted awkwardly on Melodia's bedside. "We're in your room. You passed out in the closet, Melodia. What happened? How are you feeling?"

Melodia turned away. Slowly, her senses returned, but one feeling was quick to stand out. She didn't want to stare at that face. It was too... too...

"Why are you here?" Melodia demanded frigidly.

"It's been almost two weeks already..." Xelha said. "Duke Calbren and all of Mira are worried about you. Ever since... well, you have been in such a state that everyone is on the edge of their seats. I wanted to come to you..."

"Foolish girl," she snarled. "You are but a traitor, like Kalas. One who would prevent the will of the gods."

Xelha hesitated. "Melodia..." She began falteringly, "I understand that these past few weeks have been hard for you. It's been difficult for all of us. But I can be a shoulder for you through the pain." The look on her face added a helpless I think.

"I... I don't need your help!"

Xelha looked pained. "I wish I knew what to say to make you feel better. You've become so... So much like you were before Kalas saved you. And when he died, you became this way..."

Melodia nearly shrieked. "I despise Kalas! He interfered with my dear Malpercio; he destroyed my dreams after standing at my side and building them. I will never forgive him..." Melodia glared at Xelha and once again felt loneliness and anger battering her heart.

Kalas... He...

He promised to stay with me... to build new dreams and a new life. I thought that I would forgive him for the death of my child, Malpercio. I thought that I would live together with him... heal from the madness. He promised me love, and then he selfishly took his life. Did he know that in extinguishing his own, he was tainting mine? I hate him. Hate him for leaving me. Hate him for lying to me. Hate him for loving me.

Now nobody loves me at all.