He stood. He stood like a fallen angel with charred, broken wings, abandoned and unwanted and terrified, with nowhere to go. He stood with abject shame, tears silently cascading down his cheeks. Cars whizzed by into the distance, hardly acknowledging his existence, and he stared, his eyes unfocused. He felt utterly neglected, terrifically abused. Still he stood.

Then he ran. His footsteps were the rhythm of his heart, his arms swung in tandem, and his body and soul and mind were one. Raindrops mingled with the tears against his face, embellishing his pallid complexion and saturating his existence with something inexplicably surreal. He ran and he wanted to scream, he ran and he wanted to fall, he ran and he wanted everything to end. So he ran.

At last, he came to a bridge. He sped up, running harder and harder and harder until his surroundings melded into an unrecognizable blur, and the stars against the deep blue sky seemed to shoot away from him in a frenzy. The stars were exceptionally bright tonight. He felt as if he were dreaming. He felt as if he were flying. For the first time in his life, he felt as if he were living.

The bridge approached him ominously and invitingly. A fleeting scream escaped his lips, barbaric yet elegant, feeble yet powerful. He hurled himself over the edge and his limbs flailed piteously and the sharp wind cut into him and his eyes watered instinctively and he couldn't, couldn't breathe and though all his thoughts left him, his feelings became clearer than ever –

His body hit the water and he was plunged into the cold depths of the river, microscopic needles scalding his every orifice. He was drowning and he couldn't resist. He was dying but he was already dead. As his vision dimmed, he could see the stars rippling through the water's surface, winking at him and tantalizing him with their startling brightness and beauty. He stared, transfixed, his mind swirling, his thoughts fading into black.

The stars really were remarkably bright tonight.

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