Paper doll

Shreya Vikram

Paper dolls and mannequins. Smiles sliding down molten plastic.

There is an art to being hollow. I do it better than most.

For ritual, there must be sequence. An order, a series of events.

So listen, and listen carefully. Like all art, the process is simple, but a single misstep can kill you.

First, you remove yourself from the call of the sirens. Some rope, you say, to tie yourself to the mast as Odysseus might have?

Child, wipe that smirk from your face. You may have played with fire, but the void will suck your breath from you.

So prepare yourself for the call. The songs of the void are sweet but deadly; they’ll cut through rope and twine and strike only at the heart.

And the heart, you see, is a deceitful thing. Its blood will choke you as fast as it gushes with life. In the end…

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