Once upon a time, many years ago, there was a little princess. This princess was one that was loved throughout the land. A beautiful little thing, with violet eyes that shimmered under the moon and hair that blended with the blackest of silks. Such a pretty child. But the people of the land loved only in looks alone. Many of them actually knew very little of their princess. They knew of her in paintings and speeches but knew nothing of her being. One of the many things that they did not know was the princess's deep love of flowers. Every day, without fail, the princess would attend to her garden, despite it already being filled with every colour one could think of. It was at these times that the princess would smile the most. It was then she was at her happiest.

Each snap was louder than the last. The sickening cracks could probably have been heard for miles. An arm. A leg. Her back. Her neck. All of them broke, one after the other, as the giant wheels of Octavia's fury crashed down upon the defenceless girl. The only thing louder than the cracks was the screams. Oh, the screams. Even as her spine was crushed under the metal, she kept on screaming. A shrill, desperate plea for help that never came. Then there was silence. Homura could not tell what was louder. The silence danced around her as the labyrinth faded away. Mocking her. Laughing in her face. Then, a new sound filled the air. She turned, trying to find it. It was a tortured sound, far worse than any scream. A weeping rasp, like whoever it was no longer had a voice. She kept turning, but she could find nothing.

Her broken leg shifted as she tried to pull herself up. No use. She felt herself fall forward and her face crashed against the ground. Her splintered nails dug into her palms as she pulled her head up. Madoka… She… She had to get to Madoka. Madoka… She looked so sad and lonely… Her neck bent and odd-looking, bone sticking out of her leg, face frozen into a permanent scream. Homura could feel her own shaking hand rise and outstretch itself. But Madoka was too far away. She was always too far away. Homura could never get close enough. Close enough to take all the bullets and spears herself, close enough to be eaten alive screaming instead of her, close enough to stop the contract being made.

She could feel her hand pull back and move towards her shield. It took her three tries to put her shaking hand on it properly. As she felt the shield click and begin to turn, she only noticed now that her throat was moving. She realized then that only a truly damned soul could make the sounds she was hearing.

One day, while browsing through the bushes of her garden, the little princess noticed something. In one of the flowerbeds, just behind the little snowdrops that surrounded it, there was a beautiful rose. The princess's eyes widened. She had never seen such a rose. The outer petals were a dark strong pink but the centre of the rose formed a pink lighter than cherry blossoms. The princess was enchanted. She would sit for hours and gaze at it, talk to it and confine in it, as if it were a real person. As if it were a real friend. One day, the princess rushed out into the garden to check on it as she always did, only to stop. She blinked in horror as she saw the rose beginning to wilt. The head had fallen to the side and its soft pink petals slowly began to fall around it.

"You know you're just hurting yourself."

The wind picked up behind her as she tucked her hair behind her ear. She kept a determined stare on the landscape of the city, despite the chill picking up around her. She would not look at it. She would not even glance at the disgusting little thing. With its sugary sweet vocals and its angelic like appearance… it was sickening. Like a messenger sent to taunt her. Every time it appeared, it bought with it all the memories. Though even those memories were becoming fuzzy. Timelines blending into each other till it was impossible to tell which were real and which were nightmares. Maybe it was because both were the same anyway.

"Since when did you care?"

She could practically feel it grin.

"Oh, I don't. I just noticed the irony. Madoka now has the potential to be the strongest magical girl since the dawn of time. And I have only you to thank for that. So, thank you for making things easier."

Her fist tightened and she clenched her teeth. "Madoka is not going to become a magical girl."

"Oh? And why is that?"

She felt her lips curl into a sneer. It felt foreign to her.

"Because if I have to throw you on a train track, I'll do it. If I have to burn every last bit of you, I will. I don't care how many fucking times you multiply. You will never get near Madoka."

It really showed how damaged she's become. Before Madoka, she never would've spoken like that. She never would've sneered like that. She would've looked it in the face. But now… she wasn't as she was before. And even worse was the realization that she couldn't even remember before Madoka. She didn't remember the shy, stuttering, silly girl who could barely string a sentence together anymore.

"We shall see, then. However, I wouldn't go making threats such as that. It's not very polite."

And with that, it bounced away, no doubt looking for new lives to ruin. As it left, the thought occurred to her to shoot it. But it wouldn't matter. Not a lot mattered anymore. She could feel her lips curl again and a shrieking laugh filled the air.

No matter how hard the princess tried, the flower would always die. She would water it, replant it, try every thing possible to revive it. But it was no use. The poor plant kept on wilting. The princess was distraught. She didn't want to see her beautiful flower die! And so, the princess locked herself away in the top of her castle, never wanting to see her rose die, never wanting to see her flowers again. Every time someone would bring her news, she screamed and shouted for them to get out. She didn't want to see them! She didn't want to see any of it! She just didn't want to see!

Two bodies lay on the railroad. The cold air did nothing to disturb them. One would've looked like a sweet girl, simply sleeping, if there wasn't a small pool of blood beginning to seep out onto the tracks. Despite this, her eyes were closed and her lips were turned up in a smile, put there by someone else. She must've looked like a little angel.

The other, however, was in a far more horrific state. Slashes adorned her body, along with bullet wounds in her legs and arms. And, unlike the other girl's closed, peaceful eyes, there were simply two black holes. Her fingernails were splintered with blood and her fingers, the ones that remained, were covered in the stuff. As if the girl had just kept digging and digging till her eyes were no more. Like an eyeless puppet. How disgustingly fitting.

This girl also wore a smile. But it didn't hold the angelic grace that the other did. It was unnaturally wide, so much so that it looked like her face had split. Her body laid directly on the tracks, almost as if that was her intention, waiting for the train to come. She must've looked like a sick little demon.

When the little princess learned that there was nothing she could do to save her beautiful flower, she went down to the garden for the first time in years. She picked up her poor, poor rose and broke its stem. She then carried it up to her tower and opened her window. And, with no other thought, she felt herself fall out into the open air and plummet down towards the ground. And as she hit the ground, she smiled. It was okay. She was going to be with her flower. Everything was okay. Thus ends the tale of the tragic little princess.

And as the train thundered over the tracks beside the two, Homura Akemi was no more.

A/N: So… yeah, that was dark. I seriously have no idea where this came from. It just popped into my mind one day and wouldn't leave it. See kids, this is what happens when you study too hard for exams… your mind just goes nuts. Well, I hope you enjoyed this little piece of 'what on earth did I just read' and hopefully I'll write something new soon. Reviews are greatly appreciated and, to all of you reading, take care.