The first thing you do is burn your boats. Now, whatever happens, you’re committed. It’s a symbolic thing.

You don’t stick around to watch them burn, but you feel the heat pressing against your back for miles, one last goodbye from the old, beloved homeland. You do your best not to think about it.

You think about training, how they made you grow out your hair – your hair! that had once been so beautifully short! – and took away your clothes, your books, even at the end your language. You know it’s still there, somewhere, but try as you might you can’t remember a word. Vague proverbs flit at the edge of your mouth. Your heart longs for taller trees. The new words do not shape the phrase right.

You are come as a plague to this new world, a dutch rat let loose in the Old Town, dysentery, cholera and smallpox. This is a war you are fighting. Though you are sick at heart, you will kill and kill and kill until there is no one left to kill, until the entire night side of the world is wiped clean and safe. You have been driven to it, this you know, though not how, not why. So much is gone, gone, fading and gone.

Lights up from behind. A car, strangely shaped and long, glides in behind you. A man leans out, smiles with the wolf in his eyes, says, “Hey, honey, you need a lift?”

You let him help you into the car. What choice do you have? What destiny awaits the bullet?