Sun down.

What would the story look like if I scrapped everything that reminded me of you?

Scrap Stray.
Scrap Akai.
Scrap the story arch that centered around the choices you and I made.
Erase the whole thing.

Charcoal would, naturally, be exactly the same.
Haha. It’s almost funny.

But what would it do to Carbon? And what would it do to Ciclakumei? And what would it bury in the wasteland sand? What would it mean to track back over time and take out all the pins your mind had hammered in?

Can I reclaim it all?
Make Kopia mine?
Take Vioreta and take Stray for what each one of them is?
Can I write without the one I was writing for?

Vonnegut once said something I wasn’t sure that I agreed with: that you always write for someone. Whoever it is, write for them well.
Did I know I wrote for you? Did I somehow think it was myself?

Oh what a complete fool I’ve been.
I’ve lost my only important readership.
This really is the end, then.

What more do I have to say?
If no-one reads the words, what’s the point?

Can I shift who loves these tales? Can I make them for someone else? Can I write the same lines and curves without your fingertips tracing across the surface? Can I make imprints without your suggestion of where to place the lines? Can I make paper cranes without a pattern to attend?

Do I want to?
Or is this it?

Have I scribbled my last words after having found such purchase?
Have I writ my last napkin. My last sentence, image, metaphor, and phrase?
Did it sound remarkable or thin?

Did you read it in the moment? Or did it go stale over years unturned?

I have no voice I cannot half-ascribe to you.
I cannot sing with those torn vocal chords.

Is this how you felt, Kopia, moments before the end?
Is this how you found Lithium?
Am I close to failure or success?
Am I close to a new life or death?

Death or Devil — I can’t tell.
Toss me in the fire. See if I burn well.
I might make a paper fire, after all.


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