Chapter 0:

The Flowers Are No Longer in Bloom - Part One

My Fantasy is Just a Mirror

『It’s cold, Bismuth. Let’s go home.』Bookmark here

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Falling through space, its mind played like a broken record. The static from that record shook it to its core, but wordlessly it didn’t wobble, nor make a sound. Instead, giving up on the color it couldn’t stop from fading, it let the disappearing world take the reins.Bookmark here

The Abyss it stared into seemed to harrowingly welcome its submission, taking control and playing on repeat the endless loops of wasted opportunities that burned in far too deep. Bookmark here

Once a certain pain cuts so many times, the mind would become desensitized to it. Throwing itself away, it almost seemed to finally understand that. Being forgotten time and time again… Now the act of forgetting didn’t phase it.Bookmark here

It felt as though it had found its purpose situated in the eye of the storm it created—long past the event horizon of a melancholic greyness. Alone, beyond the knowledge or cognition of those harsh winds, the scars they caused bleeding quietly, unnoticed.Bookmark here

Within that darkness, it was hard not to find the faint gust the Abyss replicated chilling, seeing it as the only thing separating deafening noise from its very absence. The wind blew against its disconnected and disheartened face, but as the breeze took a heavier sensation, it started to sound less like the wind and more like a breath. A familiar light breath whose nostalgic wisps brought the words, again, to the surface of its mind.Bookmark here

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『It’s cold, Bismuth. Let’s go home.』Bookmark here

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Even here—even in a place like this—it simply couldn't escape those words. Bookmark here

Replacing its failures with one that could never be erased, a few splitting, unsettling images rose up in defiance. It fought against it but the overwhelming emotion that those images brought to it were cripplingly tempestuous.Bookmark here

A field. Beaten, suppressed, and driven to darkness.Bookmark here

The waving of grass. Beaten, suppressed, and replaced.Bookmark here

A flowing sundress. Beaten, suppressed, and replaced.Bookmark here

Falling through nothingness, having thrown away its one opportunity at life, those images violently flashed in its mind without consent, settling on a face that it was simply unable to suppress. Being confined into a monochromatic Abyss, it was only natural those colors had wished to break free. Bookmark here

But those hues, those blurry wisps of life… No matter where it went, why did they have to follow?Bookmark here

Almost as if there were no other colors to exist in that former world, any attempt to bury them down was fruitless. Those fruits instead burst at the seams like splatters of hostile and vivid paint, and as the blowing lustrous spectrum of hair came into view, its mind could only utter one static message finally seeing the face it hoped to bury under its capitulation.Bookmark here

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『It’s cold, Bismuth. Let’s go home.』Bookmark here

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That voice… It felt painfully familiar.Bookmark here

The paints on cracked canvas splashed more, as her face came into view. She was beautiful.Bookmark here

Descending down in two parallel spectrums of hues which mirrored each other brilliantly, her pigtails blew softly against the wind. Those colors morphed themselves from a cyan, to sapphire, to violet and orchid, before humbly fading into a bright pink and ending with gold.Bookmark here

These colors, which gradiented themselves on her hair, beamed with every color in the rainbow. Nested above her vibrant curls, a white sunhat sat over her, one hand holding it steady while the other held the ivory sundress against the artificial breeze.Bookmark here

These colors were meant to be soft and loving, but what was left could only be called petrifying.Bookmark here

Despite her colors, which now turned their luster from bright and exuberant to oversoaked and hostile, the rosy lips plastered kindly over that girl’s porcelain skin wore a genuine smile.Bookmark here

That girl…Bookmark here

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All it could do was reject the answer. The bright colors in turn burst away in the form of sparks and dying embers. Such lit the once vivid images of her visage like short-lived fireworks, before those hues, too, disappeared from the artificial Abyss.Bookmark here

At this point, it was clear… that even here, running away from those memories would never be possible, no matter how hard it tried.Bookmark here

This decision had been its nepenthe, a final escape from the world that had thrown it away.Bookmark here

But the cruel truth was—nothing could save it from those memories. Not even an eternity of silence…Bookmark here

The cost to receive that cruel answer—it was everything. Everything it had left. Every breath. Every ounce of its dying hope.Bookmark here

But that word… Hope…Bookmark here

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“…”Bookmark here

Overwhelmed, it had nothing left to give.Bookmark here

Not a single tear, not a frown, not a splash of color left to envision for her.Bookmark here

It could be content throwing away the world. It didn’t need it.Bookmark here

But what cut so much deeper than that…Bookmark here

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I threw you away… I forced you to suffer alone, for so, so long…Bookmark here

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The flowers had wilted months ago.Bookmark here

Her colors had faded months ago.Bookmark here

Her smile, as well…Bookmark here

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And that’s why…Bookmark here

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Why it couldn’t accept this fate.Bookmark here

Why it could never be satisfied.Bookmark here

Why, no matter how much it will suffer, and how much it could have won in the end…Bookmark here

It will never have meant a single thing.Bookmark here

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Forcing himself to open his eyes, enveloped in the blackness of his fading consciousness, he stated the truth so blankly, and so candidly, as if he had already abandoned the self that would have to hear it…Bookmark here

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『You’ll always hate me. You’ll hate me long, long after I die…』Bookmark here

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