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She chews on the tip of her finger. There’s no nail there to bite on. But she needs something. Cigarettes aren’t helping. Booze isn’t helping. Nothing helps. She knows she shouldn’t. She knows it’s wrong.



But motherfucker it feels so good.

Bringing such happiness with such destruction.

It makes her feel powerful. Like a god. Able to give and take at her whim.

How many times have people said if they died, they’d want to go down fucking? That blast of powerful euphoria, catching them up in its wave, a volcano of pleasure and ecstasy and then nothingness.

The elation drains away to just… nothing. Ever again.

Joy presses her thighs together, bracing her hands down on either side of her, gripping the thick wood of the park bench to try to ground herself. Her heart leaps around inside of her chest, punching the walls of its prison as if trying to claw its way out of her body. Cold sweat beads in the hair at the back of her neck and slides down her spine, almost in slow motion, caressing each vertebrae and sending shivers dancing along her nerves.

But not the good shivers. She knows good shivers intimately—she used to be able to chase them down, envelope them to her like a babe to a breast.

But now, only emptiness. Only that desperate need remains, having sucked everything else out of her. She’s an old discarded tube of toothpaste, squeezed and folded and mashed until every last glob inside is used up.

When she closes her eyes, all she can see is the light fading from eyeballs, the smile of pleasure freezing, forming an o of surprise at the sudden release of death. She feels the hot pulsing skin beneath her small fingers, compacted windpipe struggling for oxygen, sweat-slicked skin bulging out around her murderous hands.

Her lips part in an audible moan.

It’s going to be dark soon. The dark is when the monsters come out to play. They prowl the streets, the bars, the casinos, the underbelly of the city. Seeking prey, sniffing out the desperate, the weak. Seduction is easier at night, when everyone is at their whim, foggy, fuzzy, in the fuck it stage of their day.

She knows she shouldn’t.

She knows it’s wrong.

Just one more. Just one more, and then I’m done.

Just one.

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