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If I were a lesser girl, I’d balk at the prospect of watching my friend get shot as I walked off with her unsuspecting father. Cry, even. But I’m not. I’m strong. And because I’m strong, all I had to do when Viola’s father broke down sobbing and threw his arms around me was give my sweetest smile and cry: “Oh, Daddy! I missed you too!”

It was at arms’ length that he held me and whispered, “That golden hair. Those eyes…like your mother’s. Viola. I would recognize you anywhere! Did you know, when you were little, I was so scared I’d lose you in a crowd, but I made a point to look for the little girl with the golden hair, and you came back to me…”

All the while, Viola is bleeding the color of her stupid enchanted roses, soaking into the dirt. I’m glad she’s dead. That was a sorry state she was in. No eyes, no legs. A bloody mess. She’s much better off now that I, or rather, her father, put her out of her misery. And so am I.

“Viola,” her father pleads. “Let’s go home.” His eyes are very blue and honest. He must have loved his daughter a lot. Lucky for him, she’s still around.

“Daddy,” I said. I proffered my arm, and my father clung to it. Was he trembling? Was this the kind of man I had for a father, so open and weak? I could always leave during the night. Escape into the beautiful darkness under a pearl-black moon. “Of course we’ll go home.”

And so we walked out of the forest together, perfectly in step, his tears soaking into my pinafore as my corpse lay rotting, darling Viola all but forgotten.