I sometimes feel inclined to ask them their names, but then I remember it’s not really important, and they would never tell me. I had so much loathing for them and the way they acted around me, but at the same time they fascinated me. I would wish them away if I didn’t know I’d miss them the moment they were gone. I find myself calling to them when they’ve gone quiet, they never call back. They’re never here when I want them to be, they’re only around when it suits them.
There are three, sometimes four, of them and they are all female. At least, I think they’re female. It’s really hard to tell with their sort. They have bright orange hair and dark, wooden skin, like a campfire. They are very cruel creatures, when they arrive they bring a sense of emptiness and despair with them, their idea of greeting you is by pulling the air out of your lungs and leaving you hopelessly clawing at your chest. You are breathing just fine, but they make you feel like you’re drowning in the air around you. They will talk to you, they will speak your secrets and whisper your greatest fears and insecurities in your ear. You’ll bat them away, you’ll cry and clutch your pillow, you’ll tell them they’re lying but they know they’re not and you know they’re not. They are bound to the truth, and only the harshest form of the truth. They will remind you of every sin and regret you have ever had, recount the ways you’ve hurt someone you love and question every faith you used to hold so unwaveringly. Perhaps what hurts the most is their stories of the ones you love that have passed into the abyss. And though you despise them, once you’ve met them you could never be without them, you know that when they leave you – for they surely will, knowing that that would torture you the most – you are likely to go insane. And when days, weeks or even months go by without hearing from them you will begin to long so feverishly for them, because you know that you live in a world where lies intertwine with deception and reproduce with deceit, and in that world that spins so fast you feel nauseous half the time, you know that only they will tell you the truth.
And I hate them for that.