Chapter 1:

1. in which almost die but a magical girl rescues me except she doesn't because she sucks so she turns me into one of her kind like a zombie in a zombie movie but without actually dying and also there's more sparkles and i'm not the one with pink hair

the color of shattered dreams

My parents must've misunderstood me when I left a note at the door saying bye forever. don't miss me so that's probably why they called the emergency line—the good one, not the one where you queue for hours just for some teenager to pick up and tell you to turn it off and on again. 

That's why, as I'm about to take the midnight train going anywhere, a maelstrom of pink, blue and yellow swirls amidst the gray of the train station and its people. Other passengers hasten their pace or pretend to focus on their phone because they don't want any part on this. Flattered as I am about their misplaced worry, I don't feel like missing the train, so I walk past the portal.

This prompts the still-teleporting magical girl to scream, "W-wait! No!" which sounds distorted, like a scream from underwater. Needless to say, it doesn't help. 

Aside from this disturbing wail, the clack clack of foosteps and sparkle sound effects, the night is otherwise silent. The train is about to depart. The only other passenger my age is some girl with earphones attached to her skull, eyes glassy, hands inside the pocket of her hoodie, standing right next to the tracks. From the distant expression on her face, it almost seems as though she's about to...

Wait, surely, she won't...?

Not too far away, the magical girl (finally) spawns. "Saki, wait!" She croaks. "It's not over until it's over! You still have a lot left to live for!"

Other passengers board the train. The glassy-eyed girl doesn't. She's waiting for it to start. 

The magical girl takes my arm. She's short, so I stumble a bit. "Listen to me! No matter how dark the night is the sun always—"

"Not me," I tell her. "You're from the magical girl hotline, right? Then help her. Or else she'll jump."

The magical girl blinks, then follows my hand as I point at the girl who isn't magical. From the way her mouth drops, one would think she was the one who just witnessed a random portal dropping in the middle of a train station, except thirty years ago, when her kind hadn't been invented yet. "That's..." She trails off. "That's not, um. I'm surprised you can see her."

The train's door closes. Great. "What, is she a ghost or some shit? Just—can't you do something?" Slowly, the magical girl moves away. She ducks her hand into the pocket of her overdecorated dress. "Hurry, or she's going to..."

The train's about to move. 

I begin to move. To run, specifically. Towards the glassy-eyed girl. As she glances at me, she smiles, though I can't quite catch its meaning; she could be telling me die with me for all I care. If she's a ghost? Whatever. If she's about to be a ghost? Then she won't be. I'm a pretty fast runner and I was closer to the station than the train anyway, so I should be able to catch her in time. 

What I'm not expecting is for her to suddenly sprout leathery bat wings from her back, or horns, or... claws. Well. I try, and fail, to pivot mid-sprint, though I manage to slide under her as she lunges at me. Had other people been around and they would've screamed, but the only non-magical entity outside the train itself is the guy selling tickets, who's probably used to this shit. He doesn't call security or anything. Why should he? There's a magical girl around. Besides, one of them will show up sooner or later.

What the magical girl takes out of her pocket is a pencil that grows into a staff. As it does, more sparkle sound effects ensue. "Saki, stay back!" She says, like an imbecile, like I'm supposed to teleport or something. "That's a fiend! It's dangerous!"

What's next, her telling me the sun is hot? By this point, I'm more annoyed than anything else, and it doesn't help that this Dangerous Fiend(TM) tries to slice my face in half. I roll away in time, but I'm not fast enough to jerk my legs away from the ensuing slash, so her claw cuts me up to the knee. The magical girl screams something I don't care to listen to because I'm too busy writhing in agony and rage. I notice, only then, that not only has the train not begun to move yet, but several people are filming the fiasco with their phones.

I don't blame them, though; I'd be doing the same. If there's a magical girl around, then so long as nobody dies, damage is meaningless. All the self-respecting magical girl companies have a satisfaction guarantee that includes damage reparation. Anyway, this one's a dumbass, so I'm beginning to panic at this point. She just kind of aims at the monster girl with the staff, hyperventilating. 

...well, perhaps she's just new. I'll cut her some slack. Speaking of cutting, the monster girl lunges at me again. "No!" Squeaks the magical girl, then unleashes a series of sparkly bubbles that fail to capture the monster girl, for the latter just pops them. Beautiful.

From the stairs leading to the upper part of the station arrives a security guard. Oh, dear. "What's going on?" He calls out. "Who's—"

The monster girl lunges at him. Tries to, anyway, because I grab onto her; we land on the floor with a thud. She thrashes. I hold onto her for dear life (literally). The guard is about to scream when he notices the magical girl, wherein he tells her, "What's you waiting for? Kill that thing!"

The magical girl is shaking at this point. I can't see her, for obvious reasons, but it's easy to tell from her voice. "I-I'm on it! I'm on it. Um. C-can't you call the emergency line real quick?"


The monster girl holds the strength of a powerlifter. Nothing but sheer adrenaline keeps me holding onto her. The train being delayed over a fight taking place outside of it seems nonsensical to me, until I hear the security guard tell his portable radio, "There's another one here. There's a magical girl, too, but she doesn't seem to be... oh, they're on their way? Good."

"Oh, thank goodness," mutters the magical girl. 

"And what're you waiting for? Why aren't you saving the kid?"

The monster girl breaks off my grip, because it was either letting her go, or snapping my wrists. Predictably, she lunges at the security guard, but this time, the magical girl swings her staff in lieu of a bat, with the monster girl's face being the ball. 

The staff breaks.

"Oh, for fuck's..." The guard talks on the radio again. "Hello? How long until the magi—what do you mean there's a delay? There's a delay because they're taking too long! This thing's gonnAAAH!" 

Even if the staff broke, it was enough to render the monster's girl movements feeble and slow. Still, at this rate, it'll be enough to kill the three of us, if not everyone else. What does 'delay' mean in this context? Can't magical girls just teleport, anyway? What even is this monster? Why halt operations? Could it be possible that there's more of these nearby?

The security guard managed to dodge the first strike, block the second, stumble away from the third, but it's a matter of time. I can't stand because of this damned leg. If I had anything to throw at that monster... a shoe, maybe? If I drag myself, I could grab a piece of the staff...

"Okay," says the magical girl.


"I guess I'll use it."

Good. Have fun. Enjoy. Just do something. 

As for me, I'm taking off my shoe when she kneels next to me, to then announce, "I choose you."

And I stop. As does everything else; it's black and white, unmoving, like an old picture. The monster girl stops an inch away from the terrified security guard's neck. The only thing to retain color is, indeed, the magical girl. "What," is all I can say. 

"I, um. Just say 'I choose you back'. Hurry up."

My guess is whatever time-stopping shenanigans are going on won't last for long. "What'll happen if I—"


"No?" Then again, is this the best position to be selfish? "Ugh." I'll just sue her company if anything weird happens to me. "I choose you back."

And then I, too, gain color.

And a skirt.

And boobs.

And I lose other things.

And, with an unfamiliar voice, I scream.

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