I spent my life folded between the pages of books.
In the absence of human relationships I formed bonds with paper characters. I lived love and loss through stories threaded in history; I experienced adolescence by association. My world is one interwoven web of words, stringing limb to limb, bone to sinew, thoughts and images all together. I am a being comprised of letters, a character created by sentences, a figment of imagination formed through fiction.
It’s the core of monster making, actually. Wanna make a monster? Take the parts of yourself that make you uncomfortable—your weaknesses, bad thoughts, vanities, and hungers—and pretend they’re across the room. It’s too ugly to be human. It’s too ugly to be you.
R e m e m b e r ?” he asks. “This is where you kissed me.” So the heavy dose of morphling administered after the whipping wasn’t enough to erase that from his consciousness. “I didn’t think you’d remember that,” I say. “Have to be dead to forget. Maybe even not then,” he tells me. "Maybe I’ll be like that man in ‘The Hanging Tree’. Still waiting for an answer." Gale, who I have never seen cry, has tears in his eyes. To keep them from spilling over, I reach forward and press my lips against his. We taste of heat, ashes, and misery. It’s a surprising flavour for such a gentle kiss. He pulls away first and gives me a wry smile. “I knew you’d kiss me.” “How?” I say. Because I didn’t know myself. “Because I’m in pain,” he says. “That’s the only way I get your attention.”