I had lighted on the ground and felt as if I might burst with feverish pride. All by myself, I had stopped Freakshow and saved reality from remaining warped forever. Wrapped cozily in my reveries, I barely noticed my dad sternly commanding me,

"Danny, get that thing off your arm."

The reality gauntlet was still perched on my arm, though I scarcely heard him through my fog of recollection.

"Danny? Remove that gauntlet this instant!"

The words finally shattered the glassiness of my mind, and all I could say was simply, "No, Dad, I can't."

"Danny!" A warning note had entered my Dad's tone. "Take it off! It's too dangerous to wear like an accessory!"

"No!" The panic that had risen in my voice startled even myself, and before I knew what was happening, my dad had seized my arm, and began yanking on the gauntlet. Clenching my fist in defense, I pulled back, the strain upon my arm throbbing with an almost tangy burning.

Finally, feeling a release in my dad's grip, I freed my captive arm and had swiveled around to make a dash in the other direction when Jazz unexpectedly snatched the gauntlet off my arm, raised it above her head, and slammed it on the ground, demolishing it into many metallic pieces. Her eyes blazed with a savage emotion foreign to my sister.

I was stunned. My only hope of erasing everyone's memory of my ghost half shattered like the gauntlet, and I knew with a sinking feeling in my core that my life was officially ruined, also like the gauntlet. I gave a sob, tearless and empty.

"Danny, what's wrong with you?!" Jazz knew the answer to her question, but her face betrayed triumph and contempt nonetheless. I didn't say a word.