The opinions of the characters are their own, and do not necessarily reflect those of the author. Based on Sam McBratney's Guess How Much I Love You.

#insert 'stddisclaimer.h'


watch his flesh burn

by Incendiarist


"I love you as high as I can reach," said Little Nutbrown Hare.


"I'm sorry," he says, and something within her snaps like so much dry twig; a colourblind girl sees the red of blood and falls not-quite-into love, but more rather out of it instead. The dagger that she's always carried but until now never used, dripping of blood, seems the most beautiful thing she's ever seen.

She'd always assumed that it would be harder to take a life, that a little failure daughter of Aphrodite who couldn't even keep a guy without him cheating - someone like her - wouldn't be able to do it. But it was frighteningly easy, though that was the farthest thing from her mind, in the wake of the dark ecstasy her rage had become.

Moral guardians always say that if you kill someone, you'll never be able to live with yourself for the guilt, and though she's not been a murderer for long yet, she's not felt guilty in the least, and finds herself wondering if she's surprised they're wrong. No, she decides. She isn't. After all, they've hardly got any experience in the matter; they simply dislike the whole idea out of hand and want to implant the same opinion in the younger generation. Not a bad goal, really, she concedes, because if everyone went around killing everyone else, the human race would soon find itself on the brink of total extinction. People are like that.

She has, at some point, begun to cry, tears rolling silently down her cheeks and soaking into the collar of her t-shirt. She wipes her eyes with her sleeve, gaining a coating of blood on her tear-stained face. As she stands, she whispers, "I love you this much," a little nutbrown hare whose innocence has been shed like a winter coat, matted with blood.

Her shoes clack dully on the vinyl floor as she crosses the tiny studio apartment. It's moulded to look like tiling, and the indents where the grout is are courses followed by the blood, creating a pattern akin to the systems of irrigation used by farmers around the world and throughout history.

Click, clack, click. Little Nutbrown Hare might once have been conventionally beautiful, but bad choices weigh heavily on one's appearance. She's haggard and half anorexic, but then, beauty can be found in anything, assuming one looks in the right way, and her beauty is in her new-found power.

Snick. Strike a match, Little Nutbrown Hare; see the smoke curl upwards? You watch his flesh burn with a smile on your face, dear one; you're not half so harmless as you look. The smell makes your eyes water, but you were already crying.

Little Nutbrown Hare laughs, voice hoarse from weeping and smoke, and crazily tinged. She sounds almost drunk, drunk on power, and when the fire spreads to her clothes, she doesn't react but to cough.

Across the river and over the hill goes her love, but the smoke will never reach the moon. Little Nutbrown Hare is getting sleepy; she's out of breatheable air, and she falls asleep and she doesn't wake up.