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The end of the world

His hand catches in limine, and he hesitates, turning to pull his finger free and examine it. There’s a splinter, long and dark, just under the dim translucence of his outermost skin.

He tries to pry it out and succeeds in snapping off the end. Tension mounts his lower back, draws his shoulders together. He sits down to worry at it; each attempt makes the wound a little more raw.

It’s driving him like a trapped animal. He gnaws at his finger, casts about for a needle, whimpers and curses and kicks the wall and why can’t he remember his name