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into the river of voices

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She's still a bairn, the first time she kills a man with her voice. He dies so suddenly, so entirely, that it takes her nearly an hour to realise that he really is gone, and an hour more to realise what she's done.

She's killed a man. Screamed until something inside her broke and all that awful pressure behind her eyes flew out and made something in him break instead.

Rey had never known she could scream so loudly. She isn't quite sure what to do about it. She tries laughing, but that's not right: it just makes her sad. She thinks about propping him up at the table, but making him sit up on the floor where he landed is hard enough for her small body.

Rey lays herself down on the floor and looks up at him. He's not so scary like this. She's not sure she remembers why she screamed in the first place. She was just ... surprised.

"I'm sorry," she whispers. "You didn't belong here."

She doesn't belong here either, but the space is hers, moss crawling up through the concrete and sunlight falling in lacework patterns across everything she can see.

It falls across her closed eyelids now, black and white like she's staring up through a canopy of trees. She misses seeing trees, her few excursions for Plutt have kept her too close to the city centre, even though she's nearly nine and plenty capable.

But there's a man on her floor and he's dead because of her and ...

There should be an ending to that, and her brow furrows in concentration as she tries to think past the hunger knotting in her belly. There's a man on her floor and he's dead because of her and Rey is hungry and ...

Rey can feel the urge to scream building again, and she smiles.

Maybe this time,if she screams loud enough, she'll find someone like her.