You Are Not a Man

His name was Troy. He was going to be thirty-five in twenty-three days. Golden-haired boy, that’s what they called him. Golden-haired boy who had all the luck in the world.

Until I stamped it out with my boot.

“You’re not a woman,” he told me with blood oozing out of his mouth. “You ain’t fit to be here.” I hit him again. I made him lose five teeth. Then I pulled out another three with my dragon tattooed arm and a pair of pliers. At the end he mumbled, “Bitch.” I have no idea how. Willpower, if I had to guess.

If I’d been Claire, I would’ve hurt him more for that last comment. Kept him alive just a little longer. Taken him out to the mines and shot his parents. But I didn’t.

I didn’t because they’d already told me what I was. They’d told me I was a monster in grade school. They’d pulled my hair; said I didn’t belong there. That I was nothing to them. I was a demon from the abyss.

And you know what?

They were right.

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