I was disappearing again. I could feel it. I could feel the sterile white walls slowly sucking all the colour out of my skin. I could tell that the iron bars covering my window were slathering at the curve of my body. They were tired of always having to stand up straight; they too were slowly taking a part of me. They were taking my outline. The fluorescent light was burning the colour from my hair and the whispers were carrying it away strand by strand. I screamed and screamed for them to stop. I tore at my skin, trying to cover it in blood. Red! I needed to be red. I knew they couldn’t take that away. My fingernails sliced into my neck, my ankles. I bit my tongue and threw myself at the wall. A trickle of blood raced down my forehead and around my eye, eager to join the pool at my feet. The whispers enjoyed this. They didn’t care about taking my hair anymore. They wanted me to do the job myself – wanted me to disappear. I scratched and scratched at my wrist and could tell I was getting close because the voices broke free and ran riot. They weren’t whispering anymore but screaming and swearing and demanding more blood. They were ravens fighting over a corpse. They were villagers demanding a witch be burnt. They were my long absent mother telling people she only had a son. They were the full weight of her words when she screamed that the only place I belonged was somewhere far away from her. My last coherent thought before the blackness overwhelmed me was that at least I had the satisfaction of knowing she was wrong. Because I had gone away from her and hadn’t belonged there wither. The voices had followed me and I’d ended up in here. At least the rejection didn’t hurt now. ************
“Was it the bugs again?”
“No. Apparently she was disappearing.”
“You mean like turning invisible? ……. I always wanted that super power.” “Greg, she almost died.”
“You don’t need to tell me! I saw all that blood. I didn’t know you could lose so much and still live.” “She...