Fiendish

Back the, my life was mostly pieces-tire swings and lemonade, dogwood petals drifting down and going brown in the grass. Cotton dresses, bedsheets flapping on the line. An acre of front porch. A year of hopscotch rhymes.

Davenport stood in the middle of it with her arms out from her sides, her fingers spread as the creek churned around her. She was crying now, long sobs that made her whole body shake.

I had always thought the world was good, that everyone could find the beauty in themselves. Everyone could honor, and forgive, and live a full and gorgeous life, even when the hands they'd been dealt weren't easy.

But what Davenport had been born into had taken so much from her, leaving her with just the wickedest and the worst. Her father had given her life, and then taken every scrap of joy or freedom, and even now that he was dead, all he had left her with was a deep, abiding hatred for what she was.

Her power was tremendous, working through her, but it had gone to rot, and without someone to help her and to love her, she did not know how to take it back.

"Yes," I said to the fiend, water spilling out of my mouth. "Yes - whatever she needs. Give her whatever she needs.

Fisher twined his fingers with mine and when he did, the feeling was the best thing in the world, like it was always better to be this tangled up, to always have a piece of each other.

He'd been old, and I'd been little, but still, it seemed wrong that someone so comforting in his dailiness could simply stop existing.

He was a whole mess of almosts, of mismatched pieces.

His eyes were softer now. When he smiled, the shape of his mouth made my blood go hot.

History was a tangled thing, people were resilient, and the one constant law of the world was that it would heal.

I'd been living on dreams so long it was hard to know if any one of the fifteen things happening inside my head was real.

I fell headfirst into a sinkhole of pretty things, and the world inside your eyelids is just as big as the one outside.

I has always thought the world was good, that everyone could find the beauty in themselves. Everyone could honor, and forgive, and live a full and gorgeous life, even when the hands they'd been dealt weren't easy.

But what Davenport had been born into had taken so much from her, leaving her with just the wickedest and the worst. Her father had given her life, and then taken every scrap of joy or freedom, and even now that he was dead, all he had left her with was a deep, abiding hatred for what she was.

Her power was tremendous, working through her, but it had gone to rot, and without someone to help her and to love her, she did not know how to take it back.

It seemed so hopeless, so impossible that a life could rest on such a small thing (the human heart).

...it seemed to me that some things were ugly enough that fixing them was worth trespassing.

I was too little to think a miracle could be anything but good.

Sometimes it doesn't matter how dark the world gets. You can be saved by the smallest thing.

The first thing I saw when I opened my eyes was a burst of light so warm and red it could have been the sun or someone's beating heart. I stared up at it, waiting for the room to come clear.

There was so much about our past that I still didn't understand, and I wasn't one to tell the future. I could only tell the way the world worked. History was a tangled thing, people were resilient, and the one constant law of the world was that it would heal.

The things I had were mine and some of them were broken, but they were real. They were so very far from nothing.