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You've been counting stars, now you're counting on me
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Kimberly chuckled at Erik's response, but only briefly. Leave it to school to ruin a good book. Leave it to teachers to miss the point.

She turned away from Erik and just stood, looking out over the island. From here, she could see almost all of it, just by rotating. It was a good place to be, as good as any. A good place to die, perhaps. That was some solace.

"Too bad," she said. "It's worth a read. Frankenstein is this scientist, you know? And he creates a monster. He doesn't try to, it's just, he has this life in his hands and he's too much of a fucking coward to realize, so he gets scared and he hurts his creation, and he drives it away, and that's when it really becomes a monster.

"And this monster, it doesn't die off like it's supposed to. Everywhere it goes, it can't escape from Frankenstein's memory. They're drawn to each other, feedback loop or some shit, and they haunt each other, destroy each other, and they just keep going, and it looks like it'll never stop, and then one day the monster takes things a bit too far and Frankenstein bites off a bit more than he can chew, and he ends up dead.

"And you know what's funny? The monster, he realizes that maybe they were never so different after all. He realizes that, fuck, that maybe things could have been different, maybe better. And then he realizes that maybe there's not a place for him anymore, and so he goes far away from everyone and he burns himself on a pyre."

And Kimberly withdrew the matches from her pocket and pitched them as far as she could, off the side of the mountain.

"Fuck that, you know? Fuck not learning from your mistakes. Fuck giving up. It's like... Erik, I've fucked up so many times, and I don't even know what's right anymore. I think I did the right thing, but I can't know, and that's awful, and I don't even know if I care, and that's worse. But I just want to stop all this shit, break out of my cycle, you know? I just want things to be better, and I know they never will be."

She sighed. Erik seemed a little out of it still. Probably fucking lying about being fine. Probably she would have to patch him up later. She didn't care, not in the slightest. She could almost smile again. She could talk to someone, could interact without hating. She could live with everything she'd done again. No regrets, not now. Never again.

"I'm sick of this mountain. Let's find some shelter or something."

It didn't take long to pack and get moving. Kimberly didn't bother with the weapons strewn around. She didn't really expect to need them anymore.

((Kimberly Nguyen and Erik Laurin continued in Everybody Knows))
Juliette Sargent drawn by Mimi and Ryuki
Alton Gerow drawn by Mimi
Lavender Ripley drawn by Mimi
Phillip Olivares drawn by Ryuki
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Burn On · The Mountain