Raining Daggers both fell and rose like a spiteful ribcage refusing the lung its peace. At the same time she was suspended and perfectly still. She could see no sky, no ground, only the walls of a ravine. A wound that had outgrown her body. She was bound to this spot by cracks in glass she was smeared on, like a fly on a windshield. The fine wires that pulled her towards the walls, in addition to the gravity and momentum. It prevented her from ever reaching the ground.
She strained against the seams. With great force, the bleeding sinews loosened but it soon re-anchored itself with new strands shooting off. Raining Daggers kept struggling, muscles fraying until the glass in the wound went nearly opaque. Soon the web became too weak to hold her weight and she fell through. She was ready to meet the ground but a friend caught her instead. She could only imagine what it would have felt like to let the rock grate off her skin. Push the metal fully through.
She looked up through the wound one last time before it closed forever. The longer she stared, the closer it got. She rose past the torn web and poked her head out. The hole filled her vision and the meat walls vanished under her eyelids. She suddenly felt sick and confused.
“Hello? Hello?” a voice said.
Rain tried to move her head towards it. “Haah?” Rain tried to speak but her jaw hardly moved and her lungs barely held any air.
“Oh thank god. Looks like you’re pulling through.”
Rain’s head finally pointed the right direction, more by accident than by will. She looked at a woman with immaculately straight dark hair. “Huuh.”
“You’ve been in a car accident. Everything’s still attached but your body has been through hell. Give it some time to recover. We’ll help you through it.”
The nurse carefully helped her drink. Her mind flowed to the ends of her nerves.
“I wasn’t alone in the car.” Rain remembered, needing many pauses to form the words. The nurse listened patiently.
“Yes. I’m afraid you were the luckiest among them.”
Rain remained silent for a long while.
“Well… if you need anything else, you can push this button.” the nurse prepared to leave.
“Excuse me?” the nurse turned around, shoes squeaking on the skin spanned over the floor.
“I’m afraid I’m going back.”
The bed disappeared and Raining Daggers was plunged once again into the wound. Again, the sensation of impact, but this time the shrapnel had already been removed and did not dig through her body. The body that had been prepared for her was gone. This mangled mess was what she brought back here.
The pain finally set in. Her skin was swollen, the stitches itched and her heart barely kept up with what was demanded of it.
A wretched creature found her there. A malformed idea of a machine made out of organic parts. Every part was at its right place and slightly off. Bones poked through the skin, skin failed to cover the muscle and the muscle acted more as a string to tie the beast together than help it move.
“Hello, friend.” it spoke, like a song being played, out of tune and half-remembered.
Rain grunted as she rolled onto her back.
“My name is Twisted Spike. What are you? You look so familiar.”
“Rain… ing… Dag… gers.”
“Is that quite right? Rain, rain, rain, you fell from the sky… the sky.” Twist’s eyes trembled. “No, I saw you there. Behind me. It isn’t, it isn’t, isn’t it? Oh, the, I, saw, blood, window, light, night, rocks, no, no, fate, faith, find, find me, fear, food, ate, it ate us, cross, across, rust, fuck what, just, us, must-” Twist began speaking with three or more voices at once. It sounded from her throat, her arms, her intestines.
“No, it’s wrong! Again. Where is she? I can’t. So many. Failure. Break. Broken. I’m broken.” Twist stomped her hands on the floor.
“Calm… calm.” Rain begged.
“Right, right, calm, collect. My friend.”
“Where are we? Home.”
“I didn’t come home right.”
“None of us did. But you did again. No, no, you’re playing your part wrong, you cannot remember. I remember. I shouldn’t! Piercing Pins & Needles will… help?”
“Is this hell? Home.”
“It can’t be.”
“You know it. Page made it for us. Pierce. Pierce the page, make a hole. Here’s the rage, make them whole. It tasted delicious. Oh, that must be it. Pierce makes such wonderful treats. I’m sure there’s some left. I’ll go fetch them.”
Twist shambled off, like a locomotive mimicking an undead insect. Rain was left to wait there.
Her hands felt over the smooth skin. Felt where the feathers had been plucked. That sure sounded like her. Rain sat up. She realized this place would not allow her to die, so there was no need to wait to heal. The pain was a false alarm. She ignored it. She had to find Piercing Pins & Needles.