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Shrapnel

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I.

Never trust something that bleeds for seven days and doesn't die.

She would have died to bleed like a woman, just one more time.


II.

When she didn't have enough hands, she'd clamp the smaller pieces in her teeth. Her lips would twist with concentration and the head of a screw would tip back to meet her tongue, and the taste of metal [copper-tang despite not an atom in the alloy, bitter and sharp] would flood her mouth.

When she learned to bite down hard to stifle tears, it tasted the same.


III.

They said you got used to the sound, but he never did. Every time a shoulder shifted, an elbow stretched, a finger flexed, he'd hear it, right there in his ear. The grate of metal on metal. Of metal on bone.

It was like cracking a knuckle that never quite cracked.


IV.

It was probably worse when your entire body was made of metal. When your entire soul was a membrane stretched thin, resonating echoes unto eternity.


V.

He was a walking weapon, ruin crafted in flesh and stone. Even never firing a bullet himself [and never giving anyone else the chance], it was only right he left the scent of blood and gunpowder in his wake.

Eau de Morte.


VI.

Revenge wasn't a recipe, and he didn't serve it cold. It was a star knocked from the heavens, a meteor with just enough mass not to be consumed in its descent, a wave of white heat and molten core that destroyed anything it touched.

He didn't go into the light; he was the light.


VII.

Some men liked to watch the world burn, and some men were the world, and burned themselves.


VIII.

She liked the dog because it was loyal; because it was obedient, and would follow to the last command.

Every time it looked up, tail wagging for a treat, she saw herself reflected in its eyes.


IX.

When she created life, she did it the old-fashioned way - the everyday magic of woman and man; two volatile elements that met with a spark and a crash and combined with perfection to produce something that, despite carrying the hallmarks of both, would be altogether new.

When she met death, she understood at last why the alchemists did it their way.


X.

Let there be, he said, and the nothingness replied, Let there be what? Let there be light? Let there be the heavens, the earth; let there be the garden and the trees and the fruits of good and evil?

No. Let there be me.


XI.

It went before a fall, they said, and he knew that to be ridiculous. He didn't go anywhere. He waited for them to come to him. For them to fall on their own.


XII.

Men aged and called it a flaw, and gnashed their teeth and wept and offered the wages of their life for Death to stay his hand. He aged and knew that it proved him perfection, and folded unshaking hands on the war-board and dared the inevitable to come.


XIII.

He slept but did not dream, for dreaming required the most motivation of all.


XIV.

Simple creatures were driven the most fiercely by their instincts: Go. Sleep. Breed. Eat. He had only the one compulsion, so perhaps it was fitting he could neither comprehend it nor sate it.


XV.

She was the only one never to suffer her own nature, but to see it suffered only by others.

She wondered, now and again, what it would feel like to know - herself.


XVI.

He was a funhouse mirror gone wrong - a perfect reproduction, showcasing nonetheless the very worst of whoever it captured. Revealing the deepest secrets, the most hidden truths.

And that, he knew, was what made them hate him most.


XVII.

When you came to dust on a regular basis, and rebuilt yourself from it every time, that alone was probably enough to qualify you as God.

Why should Father have all the fun?


Author's Notes: Most of these should be fairly obvious, but anything that's not - take it however, and for whoever, you like.