Skin Deep by Ryocha
Prologue

The darkness is Fuura's biggest fear. The sunlight is her life source, her bedside lamp her battery, and the night her worst enemy. She grips the blankets a little tighter, willing her eyes not to open with all the might in her body. Her darkest fears ran their bone-like fingers over her body. She resists, wanting to live in the light for one more day. A day will come when she gives in, and the rope hanging from her ceiling will become her lifesaver. For now, she plays pretend; everything is all right.


The next morning, everything is better. The house may still ring with silence in her ears, but the birds outside her window quickly make up for the lack of commotion. Another school day, another day with her Mr. Despair. She couldn't wait to start!

Her eyes move to the ceiling, where the rope hangs with a loop at the end. It tempts her forth, to stretch out her pale neck in sweet surrender; but she refuses, for today was too promising to make herself taller. Come again at night, and per chance her opinion may change. For now, she smiled sweetly at herself in the mirror and set off down the cherry blossom path to school.

Tonight, she will tempt fate. Today, she will bring forth new hopes for a tomorrow she will never see.