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Reaching out his hand, trying to grasp onto that blue, blue sky— rays of light shined through the gaps in his fingers and he just— stopped.

Freezing where he stood, he darted his gaze to the side.

No movement.

To the other—

no breath.

He lowered his arm, fisting his hands with frustration he couldn’t name.

In a sea of faces, he stood alone.

The sun shined its light down upon him, but he was still so cold.

Found on precipe,


he stepped back— one foot, then the other.

He ran in the opposite direction.

Shoving past the crowd, breath coming in fast, legs pounded familiar pavement onwards to an end he didn’t know. He didn’t know why. He didn’t pause, didn’t even hesitate in his stride until all his horizon reflected was a place no one dared near.

It was quiet.

Hands resting on his knees, breath slowing, he raised his gaze. This place was far too silent. With his breaths quieting, that fact was only too clear. From the start, there had been unnerving silence; yet the utter void of sound here was deafening.

Straightening, he rested a hand on his hip. He didn’t have time to wonder for they— called out to him. Quietly at first and then not at all, voices rang, loud and true, roaring in his ears.

He couldn’t still.

He couldn’t still.

Hands trembling with the slightest, but most insistent tremors; still he tried— covering his ears. Yet, they couldn’t, wouldn’t be silenced. Blind Euphoria. They couldn’t quiet. Frame lightly shaking as if plagued by a chill that couldn’t be divested, he curled his hands into dark strands, pulling— trying to— gain any kind of—

A bit-off curse, sensation— so electric, so arresting in its entirety— exhilaration that wasn’t was his own curved his spine. Spasming once, a respite, and then again it struck; this time a full-throated scream resounded—

it was so empty—

no one heard.

The solar star inside him meant everyone had.

Air seemingly thinning, derailing his thoughts further, and with throat threatening to close, he choked on air.

Solid ground slipped away. His chin harshly collided with earth. Startling wasn’t his loss of balance, but the way he felt nothing at all.

He felt everything. All at once, he felt it all.

Closing his eyes, he loosened his clawing grip, slumping fully into the cool embrace of the ground, a balm to the feverish touch afflicting his skin.

The voices only grew in volume and he didn’t know— he didn’t know what to do. But this wasn’t.

None of this was him.

This was always him.

Gritting his teeth through hacking coughs, he managed to make it to his knees. He didn’t mean to pause his ascent there, but the sensation riding his spine stole all attention.

He just didn’t have words.

Whiteness became him (as if this fleeting dream was and was not).

All he knew, rushing through every vein, racing with an ever-speeding pulse, it only spread farther, rose endlessly higher.

All he knew, what was unspoken, didn’t even know had been yearning, fighting for a fullness that only now had been acquitted.

All he knew was the way a new melody sang in his ears.

He knew; learned it as if always known and only now coming to fruition.

This song.

He’s always known this song.

Alighting through furious flames flaying nerves, building anew, fire carved its path, reawakening something long-forgotten.

Breathing didn’t hurt at all. Nothing even hurt at all. Finding his feet, raising his head, it twined around him, twirling to and fro, a wondrous kaleidoscope of colors; a sight unable to be imagined was what breathed.

Lio Fotia extended a hand.

Whispering through the slant of his fingers, it beat softly, happily in his hand. Staring into its depths, he knew exactly what to do.

Lighting up that endless sky, it was all finally his.

He burned.