It took time– a summer, a day, an age– time enough to learn that life couldn’t make magic for her. That she was the sole author of this story. These things they didn’t teach her in school, that her parents never voiced for fear of breaking the spell of innocence they wove from her birth. And she wonders if it might have been easier, if things would’ve been sweeter without the amaroidal pill she swallows every morning as she wakes to a world in which illusion is currency. A measure of the trade-off only accurate when taken from point zero, point alienation. When she hits the bottom of that cliched barrel she knows the richness of the piece of sky shining down on her, understands the value of the dark as the veil to be parted and torn. One more step and all is illumined and all fades until the next hurtle down into the deep.