We held each other every night. All of us cold. All of us hungry. Sometimes the bigger ones would eat and pick at the flesh of the little ones. When the sun shone, We were scared. When the moon rose, We were scared. We were always scared. It was what We were.

Sometimes, when one of us fell still, We would curl around that one. We would wrap fingers in the one’s hair, We would press kisses on the one’s skin. Then, when the one grew cold, We would throw it from the group. It wasn’t a We anymore. It was a Them.

No one liked Them.

They said things to us. Told us we were not We. Sometimes They would pull us apart. And We would scream. We would kick and scream and cry and shout. But They would not listen. They were not like us, They didn’t feel the same.

So We would throw the still and cold ones out, before their skin peeled and their bones stiffened and the ones became Them. If they were out of the nest, We were safe. We would miss them, like a little hole in our fingers where We used to touch them. But We wanted to be safe. We wanted to be warm. And if They were here, in our nest, We were not safe. We were not warm.

We warned each other, whispers against skin and touches to mouths, about Them. If We can spot Them, before They grow still and cold, maybe We could make Them leave before They change. We wouldn’t have to be sad if We made Them leave before They grew cold.

When We start thinking by ourselves, when We start feeling happy and not scared, that is when We are no longer We. That is when We start to change. So We stay close, bundled against legs and arms and noses and hairs. We are scared of the sun and We are scared of the moon and We are scared of Them.

Sometimes, We are even scared of We.

Sometimes, I am scared of We.

Sometimes, when We are sleeping, I think of Me. I think of how wonderful it is to be Me. Not a Them or a We, but Me. I would like to see my fingers as my fingers and my legs as my legs and my arms as my arms. I would like to be a Me.

But We cannot be Me. There is only We and Them. So I am scared, and I am We. I pretend that My fingers are not my fingers and My legs are not my legs and My arms are not my arms. The sun and the moon scare Me. I want the warmth from We.

When I am very still, not moving and grasping and screaming like We, I can feel Me. I hold My breath and curl into Myself. I try to feel only My skin. I want hair to be Mine, and I gather it in fists and pull each strand close. If We cannot touch it, it can be Mine. I hide My fingers in the hair, let We touch My skin. I hold very, very still. And I can be Me, for a few seconds or moments or ages. I get lost when I am Me.

We wraps fingers in hair, pulling gently. But now I am Me. I want to always be Me. So I am very still, hoping We will not notice. Hoping that We will wiggle and squirm and not notice that I am small and still and very Me. I don’t want We thinking I am Them. I am not Them, I am Me.

Kisses against skin, each one wet and warm. It is a nice feeling, so I am still. I like all the thousands and millions and hundreds of kisses from We. I let We hold hair and kiss skin. I think of the parts of fingers that are missing from We, from all of Them that We throw from the nest.

Fingers and kisses and hands around Me. And I feel like Me. I don’t feel like We. We push Me and shove Me and I feel cold whistles and falling. But I am Me. I am warm, not cold. I am warm because I am Me.

Zetetic separator

—George Spisak has always been attracted to the weird and the bizarre. It could have to do with watching too many horror movies as a child. It could also have to do with the fact that she functions on fragmented sentences and caffeinated tea instead of sleep. She publishes under both Kyra and George Spisak, depending on mood. Follow her on Twitter @GeorgeSpisak.

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