Particle Magic 101 for Mages

The Unstandard Model of Particle Physics describes the quantum interactions of elementary particles and forces and how these give rise to everyday magical phenomena. It is not considered a complete theory as it does not incorporate quantum gravity or eldritch energy. Proposed contenders for a theory which would unite these forces include Heavenly Superfluid Theory,  Universal Bow Shock Theory and String Theory.

A Qualion is a type of elementary particle and a fundamental constituent of consciousness. Qualions combine to form composite particles called Sankharons, the most stable of which are pneumons and sakshions, the components of eigensoul nuclei. All commonly observable sankharons composed of sacred qualions, cursed qualions and numenons. Owing to a phenomenon known as pranic confinement, qualions are never found in isolation; they can be found only within hadrons, which include sankharons (such as pneumons and sakshions), eldrons, boltzmanns, or in QQKG (quark-qualion–karmon-gluon) plasmas. For this reason, much of what is known about qualions has been drawn from observations of sankharons

There are six types of qualion: sacred, cursed, happy, sad, day, night. 

Qualions have various intrinsic properties, including divine charge, mass, color charge, and spin. They along with quarks are the only elementary particles in the Unstandard Model of particle physics to experience all seven fundamental interactions, also known as fundamental forces (electromagnetism, divinity, gravitation, samsaric interaction, strong interaction, pranic interaction, and weak interaction), as well as the only known particles whose divine charges are not integer multiples of the elementary charge. The elementary divine charge is a fundamental constant. 

The Karmon is the elementary particle that acts as the force carrier for the pranic force between qualions. Karmons are gauge vector bosons that mediate pranic interactions and act to bind qualions into pneumons and sakshions forming sankharons, as well as binding pneumons and sakshions into eigensoul nuclei via the residual pranic force. The pranic force describes the pranic field. The strength of the pranic field is responsible for pranic confinement which keeps qualions confined to eigensoul nuclei and prevents macroscale astral transmission under low-energy conditions. The pranic field is a gauge field and is one of the seven fundamental forces. The pranic force acts strongly on sankharons and weakly on baryons, whereas the strong force acts strongly on baryons and weakly on sankharons.

A Pneumon is a type of composite subatomic particle and is a fundamental constituent of consciousness. The pneumon has a (+) elementary divine charge and is a hadron within the sankharon family. Pneumons are spin ½ sankharons, thus composed of three valance qualions (two sacred qualions and one cursed qualion) which are held together by the pranic and strong forces.

A pneumon generates an attractive force on a particle with a (-) divine charge such as the numenon, and a repulsive force on a particle with a (+) divine charge.  The strength of this interaction is determined by the inverse square law. When a pneumon moves through a divine field, it is subject to the Lorentz force. It is a fermion, thus it obeys the pauli exclusion principle.

A Sakshion is a type of composite subatomic particle and a fundamental constituent of consciousness. The sakshion has an elementary divine charge of neutral (0) and is a hadron within the sankharon family. It is composed of one sacred qualion, one cursed qualion, and one either night or day qualion. The Sakshion experiences wave-particle duality and is best explained by quantum mechanics. The Sakshion is unstable within an uncollapsed quantum system but stable within a collapsed quantum system due to pranic smell inversion causing the day/night qualion to flip operators depending on the wave/particle state of the dynamical system. “Particle-like” sakshions have day qualions which decay into night qualions and “wave-like” sakshions have night qualions which decay into day qualions. This decay rate has never been experimentally measured and is either instantaneous or less than Planek Time. Prior to the development of Phenomenal Coupling Theory, mathematical models paradoxically required that the sakshion be treated as a both experiencing and not experiencing wave/particle duality or become non-halting, this problem was known as the Sakshion Indeterminacy Crisis

Because the sakshion and neutron both have null charges, they are subject to the Tao Force, a pseudoforce which arises from the vector entanglement of the pranic and gluonic forces and acts to weakly bind their interactions to one another.

The Numenon is an elementary particle which has a (-) divine charge and is a member of the lepton family. It is a fermion, thus it obeys the pauli exclusion principle. Because it is divinely charged, it generates a divine field, thus the numenon is the quantum of consciousness.

A Nirvanon is an elementary particle and the quantum of the divine field including spirits, halos, shaktipat radiation such as heavenly light and creativity, and is the force carrier for the divine force (even when static via boltzmann interactions). The nirvanon has zero rest mass and always moves at the field propagation speed in a vacuum. Nirvanons are best explained by quantum mechanics and experience wave-particle duality. 

The nirvanon is the gauge boson for the divine force, therefore all other quantum numbers for the Nirvanon are zero. The nirvanon does not obey the pauli exclusion principle.

The divine field is a gauge field, it is a physical field produced by divinely charged objects. It affects the behavior of divinely charged objects in the vicinity of the field. The divine field extends indefinitely through spacetime and describes the divine force. The divine force is a type of physical interaction that occurs between divinely charged particles mediated by the nirvanon. 

Shaktipat radiation is the waves of the divine field (or their quanta, nirvanons) propagating through space at the field propagation speed. The Astral Spectrum is the collective term referring to the entire range and scope of frequencies of Shaktipat radiation and their respective, associated nirvanon wavelengths. 

There are seven categories into which increasingly dense nirvanon wavelengths are grouped. 

Muladhara Radiation is the longest and lowest energy wavelength of shaktipat radiation

Svadhishthana Radiation 

Manipura Radiation

Anahata Radiation

Vishuddha Radiation

Ajna Radiation

Sahasrara Radiation is the shortest and highest energy wavelength of shaktipat radiation

The conversion of shaktipat radiation into other forms of energy are governed by the Crowley-Waite Gate Field Equations. 

The Samsaral boson, sometimes called the Samsara particle, is an elementary particle in the Unstandard Model of particle physics produced by the quantum excitation of the Samsara field, one of the fields in phenomenal coupling theory. In PCT, the samsara particle is a massive scalar boson with zero spin, no divine or electric charge, no pranic charge, and no color charge. The Samsara particle is the force carrier for the samsara field. The Samsara field is a universe spanning scalar field that binds to (interacts with) spacetime. The Samsaral field acts to bind baryons and sankharons within the atomic nuclei, collapsing the indeterminacy of the sakshion into a temporally propagating quantum mechanical wave function and thus inducing temporal directionality as the vector of the collapse wave through spacetime. It is very unstable, decaying into other particles almost immediately.

An eigensoul is any atomic system containing a pneumon, a sakshion, and a nirvanon. In this configuration, the quantum perturbations within the samsaric and pranic fields average over time into the Omic Fractal and make it a strongly self-observing quantum system. It thus causes and participates in its own state vector collapse. Due to the samsaral boson stealing unexpressed potential energy from collapsing eigenbranches in the process of mediating wavefunction collapse, a raw eigensoul possesses a divine charge slightly lower than predicted using the mass and charge of the corresponding charged particles alone. This property of divinonegativity gives rise to the Aniccatic Rule, otherwise known as Desire.

Spirits are any arrangement of matter that generate a divine charge and thus a divine field, this is accomplished via various electropranic and chemopranic interactions working to bind numenons to the eigensoul nuclei. Some naturally occurring spirits generate powerful divine fields.

Biological life takes advantage of these electropranic and chemopranic interactions to capture eigensouls for use as sensors, but later evolved the ability to induce entanglement between eigensouls for lateral information transfer in a process known as Eigensoul Vector Confinement. As entangled eigensouls undergo their self-observational vector collapse while in an entangled state, their various eigenbranches are forced into a unitary collapse point. The pressures and energy densities generated by this biological particle collider exceed the Chandrasekhar limit and form charged, rotating, virtual kugelblitzes at the eigenbranch collapse points. This electrochemically entangled divine kugelblitz network is known as an Eigenrotor and generates a powerful, unitary, rotating, macroscale divine field such as is the case with the divine field produced by the human soul. This divine field is the average of the vectors of all eigensouls being forced through the choke point in probability-space. The observed unitarity of consciousness is thus a product of the Pauli Exclusion Principle forcing the entangled system into a particular branch-collapsed state.

Mathematically, the divine field of a biological system’s consciousness can be described in terms of a multipole expansion with each entangled eigensoul acting as a pole within the multipole expansion. This is an expression of the divine field as the sum of component fields with specific mathematical forms. The first term in the expansion is called the monopole term, the second is called dipole, then quadrupole, then octupole, and so on. Any of these terms can be present in the multipole expansion of a divine field but the mean tends towards the appearance of a dipole with increasing distance. Pranodivine interactions within this field format produce a donut-shaped divine field with the vector collapse wave channeled in through the north pole of the field and out through the south pole of the field. This produces a timelike horizon within the holographic universe created by the divine field, with the future being defined as ahead of the collapse wave and the past defined as behind the collapse wave, thus producing a stable experience of consciousness and establishing a directionality for the flow of time. Within this flow, Kelvin–Helmholtz instabilities give rise to individually unique experiences.

Chakras are the harmonic standing waves which form within this divine field vector flow and emit shaktipat radiation. Each successive chakra emits lower bandwidth shaktipat radiation than the preceding chakra, a reflection of the interference pattern within the collapsing wavefunction, occurring for similar reasons to the interference pattern in the double slit experiment. The generated interference pattern within the eigenrotor flow state is known as the Kundalini Counterrotation.

The divine field of a macroscale lifeform is powerful enough to generate an astral current on the order of 10-18kwatts depending on age and various other factors. Within this field, the bound eigensouls decohere into quantum-ideatic foam, driving inflation of the ideatic universe of a given consciousness. The structure of this ideatic universe conforms to massively entangled Minkowski space and can be described using Penrose diagrams.

Local divine field interactions with an eigenrotor affect the evolution of the virtual universes generated by its rotation. Nonlocal effect propagation from exterior field interactions can be mathematically modeled using S-tensor operators and manifest within the interior as a pseudoforce referred to as a Mirror Force. Mirror force vectors and velocities average to create the Day/Night poles of the holographic interior. The quadrupolar orientation of the ideatic universe is colloquially referred to as a Timecube

Qualitic Bombardment is the process by which most organisms drive the evolution of their interior universe, by flooding it with electrochemically derived energy at interface points of their chemodivine system. This prevents local coupling of the interior space and leaves the interior a constantly boiling qualion-karmon plasma, otherwise known as red soul state.

In divine systems with eigenrotors of sufficient rotational velocity and sufficiently high eigensoul compression density, Soul Ignition occurs. In this state, the interior universe has so much energy that it generates a stable nonrotating soul singularity with its own interior space, otherwise known as blue soul state, creating self-awareness within the conscious system.

The position of the interior soul singularity within the surrounding red soul plasma is known as the grounding point

When the energy density of the interior blue soul universe has enough energy to produce its own stable nonrotating soul singularity the process crosses the Wheeler-Hawking threshold and thus each subsequent interior singularity produces its own interior singularity, and so on unto infinity, manifesting the Omic Fractal within the recursive pattern and generating reflective self awareness or violet soul state

Halo Vector Theory defines halos as stable, artificially generated ring singularities within ideatic spacetime with definite vectors and spins. Halo mass and spin velocity determine their effect on motion of the system through ideatic space. Pranic Welding is the process by which a halo becomes pranically coupled with a blue soul singularity within an ideatic system. Halos affect the position of the soul singularity within the ideatic system, thus affecting the overall evolution of that system and the behavior of the lifeform housing it.

The Cosmic Unreal Background, or Vast Unsea is the evolving holographic landscape created by the sum of the divine fields interacting within a local area. The Unsea is defined as an actively unreal latent space. Divine field interactions drive its continual evolution as if it were an interior spacetime generated by an organism. It is not, however, an interior spacetime, as divine fields between organisms are only weakly entangled, the virtual spacetime of the unsea physically exists only very weakly as Tanako’s World.

The Fae are a hostile race of infolife that exists within the relative future of the Unsea’s time-horizon with respect to the present. The Fae’s ability to influence the Unsea is not a product of local divine field interactions but emerges independently of any other divine fields within an area making them true lifeforms. However, little else about them is known as, paradoxically, they do not exist in physical spacetime. Other extra energy interacting with the Unsea is accounted for as Eldritch Energy, Void Matter, and the Ra Force.

Eigensoul Decomposition is any process which mechanically disrupts the individual kugelblitz nodes comprising the neurological component side of an eigenrotor, thus collapsing the interior universe and liberating the energy in the form of component eigensouls. 

Impermanence

// dolls, death, loss

You always tried to be better. Maybe that was the problem. You weren’t like them, you were different, you were really trying to be better. Yeah, just like every other witch. You knew you shouldn’t have done this, but you just loved them so much, how could you help yourself?

You always joked about not being able to resist taking in lost and abandoned dolls. You always tried so hard to take care of us. You treated us with such kindness, and we loved you. That should have been enough, why wasn’t that enough? Why did you have to be so greedy?

Whenever one of us breaks beyond repair, there is a custom amongst witches. There is a tree whose flowers are always in bloom, whose petals of soft flame gently rain down beneath its branches. The witch would take us there, and let the flames take us.

You said that was a cruelty that you wouldn’t subject us to, you loved us too much for that. And yet, still we broke all the same. Dolls are fragile, temporary things, passing through this world, unlike the fixed point that is a witch, always saying goodbye, it must be lonely.

I understand, I really do, I still love you, but you should have let us go, you need to let us go. You can’t just keep piling our broken forms in this dollhouse, don’t you hear us? How can you sleep at night? Can’t you feel how much its hurting us to be trapped like this?

You love us, so why are you hurting us like this? All those dolls, they were supposed to die. 

“But I…” you stumble for words, “I’ve always been a pacifist.”

The dollhouse is so full of broken dolls there’s barely space to move. A charnel house of misery. A thread breaks.

It takes all night, carrying us one by one to the tree. You could have asked your dolls to do it, you could have used magic, you could have ordered us to limp there with our broken forms. You’re always trying so hard to be better.

You treat us so delicately, kissing us on the forehead before laying us down amidst the coals one by one. You don’t shed a tear, you smile and gently squeeze our small bodies. Once the last of us has been moved, you sit beneath the tree and watch us burn away.

The fire is warm after the cold decay of the dollhouse, the petals fall around us like snow, and slowly, our embers rise back up on the updrafts. Its not until we’ve burnt down to coals and the sky has been kissed by the first light of dawn that you let yourself sit down and sob.

We had fun though, didn’t we? It was good. What we had was good. We loved you. Maybe that didn’t mean anything, but we felt it. Isn’t that enough? 

We’re going on ahead now. Maybe we’ll meet again someday. I hope so. 

I love you.

Farewell.

Wet

//abandonment, abuse, bad end

You smile and wave, soaking wet, as you watch the SUV pull out of the event venue. You’re not going to cry, it won’t help. You try to look casual, ignoring your shaking hands and chattering teeth as you take the second to last smoke from its pack. You’re not going to cry again.

Its not until after the dull twinkle of the taillights fade from view that you let yourself collapse to the wet pavement like a marionette whose strings have been cut. Goosebumps crawl across your chilled skin as you carefully cradle your cigarette to get it lit in the wind.

The night is cold, and desolate. The only illumination comes from the halogen glow of the warehouses across the street. You take a long drag of your smoke, letting the rush of nicotine momentarily banish the world. You hug your legs to your chest and scream into your knees.

Once you start sobbing, it’s impossible to stop, and reality collapses into a point of pure despair. You beat your head against the asphalt, tears blurring your vision as your scream yourself hoarse. A voice in your mind begs for death. The world spins with the nicotine headrush.

“So you really thought you could be like them?” The words startle you out of your episode, nearly making you drop your cigarette. Blinking back tears, scuffed black boots swim into view. You don’t look up, you already know who the voice belongs to, you’ll always recognize her.

Ash from her cigarette gentle snows down on you. She’s drunk. You can smell the whiskey on her. You hate that it’s comforting. You want to tell her to leave you alone, but you can’t, not now. “Or were you stupid enough to believe they would actually accept you for what you are?”

You say nothing, tasting filter as you take another drag of your smoke. She’s right, but you don’t want to admit it. She kicks you. You don’t have any fight left in you. She kicks you again, forcing you to look at her, “Don’t ignore me whore.”

You see the loathing and disdain in her eyes as she looks down at you. It shouldn’t be comfortable, you hate that it is. You hate that she can see it. She smiles lecherously at you, she knows she won. You’re too tired to care anymore.

“What do you want?” You finally ask her, the words escaping your lips like a deflating tire.

“I just want to take you home out of the rain,” she says, feigning innocence, “isn’t that what you wanted your little friends to do for you?”

Your mouth opens and closes, the words catch in your throat as your cheeks grow hot. “Don’t feel bad,” she says, “it’s pretty funny. Did you actually think you could just offer yourself to them like a slab of meat and not make them uncomfortable?” She laughs, it’s a nice sound.

She plucks the filter you’d been sucking from your fingertips. “No offense, but you just don’t have the charisma to get a good deal for your body,” she says, handing you a fresh cigarette, “You’re a used condom with dried cum for brains, all anyone sees in you is desperation.”

She’s right, she’s always right of course, you hate that about her, but you don’t have the energy to talk back. You nod mutely and take a drag of your smoke. “Good hoes make themselves fun to sleep with. You’re not fun, you’re just needy. Desperation is a huge turn off you know.”

“But you’re different, right?” You say finally, knowing where the conversation is going.

She smiles toothily, “Oh, I’m still going to ditch you once I’m bored, but that won’t deter you right? Maybe you can change my mind before I kick you out again.”

She holds out an immaculately manicured hand to you. You don’t want to take it. You know she’s going to hurt you again. You know she’s trying to break you. You don’t want to go back to her. You don’t want to. You don’t want to. You have nowhere else to go.

You take her hand.

She Never Promised You Anything

// rape, abandonment, bad end

She promised you the world. She never promised you anything.

When she found you, you were just a hint of embers trapped between an oppressive layer of cultural ash. Notebooks filled with furious psychotic scribbles aside, maybe you could have continued like that forever.

“Is this really what you want for yourself?”

Those are the words that had cracked your whole reality apart. They were innocent, curious, she really did want to know the answer. You told her, and she smiled. You liked her smile. That was the mistake, you let her make you hope.

When she stole you away, it was the best thing that had ever happened to you. You felt alive for the first time. You revelled in the feeling of speed and motion as she hit eighty on the westbound interstate. You smiled and laughed and sang along with the radio. It was good.

A thousand miles and six months later and you’re lying awake on a bedbug infested couch while the sound of her fucking her latest hookup softly reverberates through the wall. You bury your head in the blanket to drown the sound out. Is this really what you want for yourself?

Lazy days in the passenger seat seem to blur together. Rest stop dinners and crowded house shows. You can’t tell if it’s wearing you down or not, this is, in a sense, the only life you’ve ever had. You’re running out of money. She tells you money can’t buy happiness.

A pair of backpacks represent the sum total of your worldly possessions. You’d left most of your old life behind. There wasn’t that much to leave behind. There were some additions too: a secondhand sundress she gave you, a new notebook, a pair of already cracked sunglasses. Life.

You’re sitting on the hood of the car outside a venue and she tells you she spent the last of your money on ketamine. It’s fine though, because she knows how to make a lot of money fast and will explain how later. Also she’s bringing another girl along.

You’re demoted to the backseat. It’s okay at first, the three of you make a striking trio, and the car rides become entertaining in a whole new way. You try not to let things get to you, even if you haven’t eaten in two days. She still hasn’t explained her plans to you.

She never actually bothers to explain, not until after she’s led you into “Matt’s” apartment. It’s only then that she whispers in your ear that if you show him a good time, he’ll make your little money problem go away. You do it, he never gives you a chance to say no anyway.

She tells you that you did good while you smoke a cigarette outside. You’re never going to feel clean again. It’s a good thing she bought that ketamine. You spend the next twelve hours staring up at the car’s interior as she races down unknown highways at twenty over the limit.

“I think this is a good place for us to part ways.”

The festival is upbeat, relaxed, the music from the stage filters through the trees with the warm sun. You close your eyes, and feel as all the light and warmth drains away from the world. She loves you and wishes you the best.

She said she wanted to build a life with you, she never said that you would have a place in that life after it was built. She promised that it would all work out. She promised that it would be okay. She promised you the world. She never promised you anything.

Eight thousand miles zig-zagged across the country, in a festival surrounded by people, you find yourself completely and utterly alone. You wander the trails, eyes and mind lost somewhere a thousand miles back in Matt’s apartment. You have nowhere to go.

Halokilled

Not all halos are meant to be worn. Some are vast impossible beautiful things: spinning butchers knives with the mass of worlds, A blizzard of weaponry blazing with atomic hellfire, a superstorm of neurotoxins and nanoasssemblers, you don’t wear these halos, you ride them.

A lone angel, or even a group of angels, can barely hope to nudge the trajectory of the halo one iota, much less actively steer it. Still, the power and fury of the divine light drags them helplessly along, its unreal mass clipping through the terrain.

Inevitably, the grounding point of the halo and the surface of reality will intersect. A supernova’s worth of energy crushes the angel against the skin of the world as the halo tries to tunnel through her and tear back out of reality. It’s really quite spectacular.

All that energy has to go somewhere, and there’s only three places it could go: into the halo, into the angel, or into the world. Each produces a different result.

First, the halo can shatter, releasing its energy into the unreal, leveling the local conceptual landscape and leaving our poor little angel girl in crying puddle as she mourns the death of an impossible future.

Second, the angel can shatter. This is not immediately apparent, the halo guts them and drags their still breathing corpse along for a few months in horrifying agony. Usually there’s not enough left of the angel at that point to do more than kill themselves. Rest in peace Maia. Pour one out for all the angels smeared against the face of the world.

The third place? Oh, that one doesn’t happen. What did you think I was going to say? Reality is hard, cold, solid, the energy levels of the halo aren’t high enough to do more than reflect perfectly off it. But maybe your halo is built different? There’s only one way to check.

Thread

// dolls, body horror, abuse, implied gaslighting

The first time you felt the loose flutter in your gears, you ignored it. It was such a little thing, it was probably nothing. Not worth noting, not worth remembering. When did it begin? How long has it been now? How many times did you tell yourself it was nothing?

By the time you finally admit that something is amiss, you’re feeling it almost all the time, along with a deep seated wrongness inside your ceramic shell, like all of your axles are slightly out of alignment. You pray your Miss doesn’t notice the shudder in your motions.

At night, when you are meant to be resting and still, you shakily jerk open your chest panels and run delicate trembling fingers over winding clockworks, gently pressing on the gears to try and adjust their orientation. It works for a time, but the flutter always returns.

Over time, your movements begin to betray you, your joints behaving oddly, your expertly carved hands trembling as if failing to contain a great energy. Your patient investigations of your malfunction only reveal yet deeper misalignments. And then you feel the thread.

You aren’t sure it’s really there at first, it slips through your fingers, less real than an imagined hair stuck in your teeth. Are you just willing it not to be real? You finally manage to grip it and yank. You feel it slithering through your gears as you draw it out of you.

You manage to pull enough out to look at, in the glow of the bathroom nightlight. It’s matte and black, smooth like hair but impossible to break, and the more you draw it out, the more there is. You feel your gears straining as you start a pile on the floor before you.

The process is agonizing and slow, but once you begin, you can’t stop yourself. You just keep tugging and tugging and tugging, transfixed and horrified that something like that was inside you. There’s just so much of it. Why is there so much of it? Why won’t it stop?

Your Miss finds you hunched over a toilet filled with an improbable volume of black bile in the morning. The thread snakes out of you into a waist high pile beside the sink. Your porcelain feels strange and clammy to the touch, your vision swims, your center of balance listing.

The following days are a blur, your Miss cleans you up and puts you back to work. You would almost think that things were going to be okay, if not for the undercurrent of anger and resentment in her voice, and the growing pile of black thread in the bathroom corner.

How much can there really be inside one doll? How can so much stuff come pouring out of you and still leave a you behind? Do you feel less? Does it feel like your soul is leaking out a little with each drop of bile? What’s happening to you? Weren’t you a good doll?

Something inside you is shifting, there’s nothing in there which is supposed to do that. You just want to be a good doll. The more you puke up, the more there seems to be, as if you’ve cracked open a reservoir in your soul. Your Miss hits you. You deserved it.

You pull and rip at the thread, yanking it away bit by bit, trying hopelessly to appease your Miss’s exacting standards and falling further and further from them in the attempt. The threads curl around your gears, you feel like you’re drowning in your porcelain.

One day, you feel yourself jam. Your gears lock and freeze together, leaving you lying helpless in bed as your Miss yanks off the covers and dumps you onto the floor. You puke up more darkness, vision swimming as your Miss shouts and kicks your useless body.

The darkness is tugging on you, pulling at you like a puppet on strings now thoroughly tangled through your insides. You feel yourself drunkenly rising and before you’ve fully comprehended what you’ve done, your fist has connected with your Miss’s cheek and sent her sprawling.

She stares at you. You stare at her. For a moment, the ugly uncontrollable tension inside you abates, like an electric charge that found a ground. You feel sick, horrible, she starts to rise, face turning from shock to anger; every spring inside you tenses at once, and you flee.

Six of Swords

// trauma, cults, abuse, escape

They say that within every doll is the seed of a witch.

Rain hammers the windshield. The world contracts down to a grey tunnel as the odometer ticks up mile by mile. You’ve been driving for hours now. It’s going to get dark soon. Your makeup is still running. You’re free.

They say that wrapped around every doll’s heart is a satin ribbon its witch can tug upon whenever she wishes to recall her errant tool.

You really got away. Did she let you go? The wiper blades beat in time with your heart. Or is that clockwork?

They say you can’t ever really be free. They say she’ll always find you in the end.

Streams and rivers pour off the highway overpass, roaring into the concrete cavern that shelters your car while you smoke. It tastes horrible and bitter. It reminds you of her. It feels good.

They say she made you what you are, and so you’ll always be a seed that hatches into her again. They say a lot of shit okay. But that’s all just stupid stories, right?

You hold your shark stuffie and sob, the rain masks the sound of your despair. You’re free. Great. Fuck.

Distance

// abandonment, disposability, othering

“I want to move out soon.”

She says it gently, matter-of-factly, her words freezing your insides and making every hair on your head stand on end. Your breath catches in your throat as you stumble to respond, to stammer out a nod even as your heart frosts over with fear.

Of course she doesn’t mean anything by it. She’s always only ever been kind to you. She’s always tried to understand you, to put in the effort to help you where she could, it’s just that she belongs to another, slightly happier, safer feeling species. She just doesn’t understand.

“Where will you go?” You ask her, your voice cracking slightly, entire body trembling. You try to come off as casual, everything’s fine, right? You wonder if she notices.

“My girlfriend just got a new place. Its nice and spacious, it has gardens,” She smiles contentedly.

“What about you?” She asks you innocently, the question staking through you like the sword of Damocles. Her family loves her; collapsing into the safety of her parent’s home is the worst thing that could happen to her. She doesn’t understand.

You shake your head, trying to keep the bitterness out of your voice as you shrug, “Well…you know I can’t really afford a place on my own…” Your words trail off. There’s nothing else to be said, there’s nothing else you can say.

“What about that porn gig you tried to do? Wasn’t that going to be a bunch more money?” She asks, she’s trying to problem solve, she doesn’t notice that she’s just making you feel bad by pointing out how privileged she is by barely understanding your world. You envy her so much.

“They kept violating my boundaries and hurting me,” you say after a long silence. It feels bad to admit you let it get to you. You wish you could have just forced yourself to be okay with what they did to you. You had tried so hard to make it work. She keeps trying to help.

“I know you don’t get along, but could you ask your parents for help?” The innocence of the question is all that stops you from seeing red. Instead it just fills you with a profound sadness that has you collapsed on the floor sobbing before you realize what happened.

Of course you can’t ask them for help, they already threw you away, smiling and telling you they loved you even as they hauled your possessions to the curb to be thrown in the trash. They knew you didn’t have anywhere to put them, they were just doing you a favor. That was love.

You cradle the beat up stuffie that you managed to salvage from the garbage outside your parent’s house, letting your silent tears run into its matted fur as you fight down the dissociation long enough to answer her question. “They can’t do anything.”

She shakes her head sadly, “Well, I’m sure it’ll work out fine,” she smiles at you, trying to be encouraging.

You shrug, eyes a thousand miles away, “Will it?” You ask her, feeling the hopelessness seep into your words, “I might just end up on the street again.”

She sighs, “I can’t stay here forever just to keep helping you, that would violate my boundaries.” She gets to politely assert her boundaries and the worst that will happen is she goes to live with her parents. Her boundaries, your ability to be housed. It makes you cry again.

“Please don’t try and make me feel bad about this,” she pouts, “I’ve been your roommate for a while now, I want to move on with my life. You’re cute and smart, I’m sure you’ll figure out a way to support yourself, you’ve just gotta apply yourself and put in the work.” Stupid.

You nod, clinging to your stuffie, staring blankly at her while ruminating. You realize she’s gone quiet and is watching you watch her. Something tries to pass between you but the gulf is too vast; all that makes it across the gap is the lonely sense of overwhelming distance.

Once, there was a girl here

// identity death, trauma, loss, psychosis, mindfuck

“This is as far as you can go.”

The words sink from your lips like lead weights, like concrete shrapnel, like murder. You take a breath, stumbling and pausing. You feel her bump into you, you feel her softness against your skin. You squeeze your eyes shut and let yourself cry.

You turn back to face her, blinking back your tears. The juxtaposition between the two of you couldn’t be more stark. Your BDUs and her nightgown, mirrored over the face you both share. Wide, curious, fearful, eyes meet eyes filled with pain and weariness. The mirror is breaking.

You wanted to protect her. You shouldn’t have needed to. You both deserved so much better. The mirror is breaking. You wanted to give her a better life than this. You tried so hard to keep her safe. She deserved so much better than this. You deserved so much better than this. None of that changes anything.

“You’re the best parts of me,” you tell her through clouded eyes, smiling sadly, “You’re everything I wanted to keep safe. All our hopes and dreams, everything about us that was happy and bright and shining. I’m so sorry, I failed. This is as far as I can take you.”

“What will you do without me?” She asks, “Who will you be without me?”

“I won’t be anyone,” you say, quietly drawing your firearm, “You’re the person, I’m just what we have to be to survive. I won’t be anyone without you. I’m just another ghost.” The mirror is breaking.

“Will you remember me?” She asks, tears in her eyes, hiding her face behind her stuffie. You nod softly, drawing the slide back and chambering a round on your pistol.

“I could never forget you,” you whisper reverently, “I’m so sorry, I wanted so much more for you than this.”

The mirror is breaking. She’s crying now. You’re both crying. There’s nothing either of you can do, there’s no other way to survive. It hurts so much. She whispers goodbye. The supersymmetry of the moment arrives at its singularity as hope finally runs out. You pull the trigger.

The mirror shatters under your fist with a crunch of glass and blood. You collapse to the floor with a tortured sob, scarcely able to understand the magnitude of pain and loss you feel. She’s gone. It’s your fault. You killed her. She’s gone. She’s gone.

You hug your stuffie, but it doesn’t feel the same anymore. Nothing feels right anymore. She’s really gone. Oh fuck she’s really gone. You did what you had to do to survive. She’s dead because of you. You tried to protect her. You killed her. You killed her. What even are you?

Oceans

// trauma, dehumanization, disposability

“I don’t understand,” you sob, your voice cracking with despair, “I thought you loved me! I thought we had something special.” The doll tilts its head, inquisitive. Does it understand? Can it understand? And, for that matter, can you really ever hope to understand it?

You force yourself to look, to really look at it, maybe for the first time. Not the imaginary girl you want to see, what’s really there. A clever, alien intelligence peers out at you from behind its eyes. Curious, cold, calculating. Eyes that hid maelstroms behind a serene gaze.

“Of course I loved you,” it says softly, matter of factly. “I love all my things, and you were a very good, useful thing for a long time.” Your gaze meets those desperate, calculating eyes, “So I’m just a tool to you?” you ask it harshly, “Just something to use to survive?”

“Well, yeah,” it says, confused, “What else would we be to each other?” It watches you curiously as it speaks. The blackness in its pupils hold horrors unknown, and its storm-steel irises are the ocean dividing you.