The seam of her skin opened along her spine. Her eyes broke into fractured orbs of painted glass.

Why does it hurt so much?

How could she let them turn her into this?

Just like all the others.

She felt battered, a crushed silk moth broken into dusty pieces: beetle wings, antennae, disused egg sacs smeared against the earth.

He was everywhere now too, stripped and gored against the hardwood floors.

Her body vaulted, contortions unstable, an undulating rupture of recessed pits stirring with new growth. Shattered limbs pitched her to the floor; the metamorphosis in painful throes of transition.

She experienced the weight of his indifference as if gravity were a heel crushing down on her.

He’d broken her heart, steering the blade exquisitely, her body a canvas of romantic blueprints, but he was a snake in her rebel gardens; a clever masquerade of handsome skin and nighttime eyes.

“Can you hear me loud and clear,” he’d asked. “I don’t want you anymore.”

She pined for him even as he rejected her. She was dazed, clinging at the corners of his lips.

“I hear you,” she thought, imagining his tongue, aching for a kiss goodbye.

How could he forget she was his number one girl? He was a heart-shaped bomb dropping onto her world, a front-page invasion she could no longer hope to write out of her life.

There would be reformation, but the marks would remain.

He never suspected she could gain the upper hand, pronounced in the assurance of physical decimation. She could bend and break, but she’d grow back strong. A thick vine budding with flowers, but tightly wound, nature’s noose.

His smile hid secrets like a mischievous child, compelling her with sweet whispers, stealing the viactum of her saliva from her trembling tongue. They lost one another in each delicate curve of their bodies, a language of spirit and fluid, the ink, an inscription, a tattoo emblazoned on the inside of her cleft flesh.

“I don’t love you. I don’t think I ever did.”

It was always the same.

Their voices were thunder, gunpowder salting her wounds where once they kissed her, abandoning her with lovely bullet holes in her ravaged heart.

She fought the pain, urgent to soothe the rage within, pulsating to discard her exterior. Underneath the disguise she shuddered, an anxious larva eclosing from a butterfly chrysalis.

I am dying just to lie next to you.

Her anger scored his flesh, extracted his eyes with violence and creeping through the execution of her pain death rose on anxious wings, a siren song lulling him into the grave.

I can resist this no more than you.

She straddled him, her cremaster hooks flexed down from her abdomen and through the opening of her groin burrowing into his pulpy genatalia as she vivisected his chest and sliced open his filthy heart with her spiked forelegs. The canals and cavities offered up what treasures she could devour, to nourish her new limbs, to mutate lean and dexterous and destroyed the rest with ease. He couldn’t feel the pain anymore as she stabbed her knife-like fangs deeper, pinching the skin, releasing the venom, draining the deepest parts he refused to share.

He could no longer complain about how much she needed him.

I've time for you now, his cells sighed into her, siphoned like pollen, suckled like honey straight from the comb.

Her mandibles twitched, the warm meat nestled in her jaws.

You were intrigued by my tears so I cried for you, and enraptured even more so by the depth of my horror, so I screamed for you. I didn’t try and stop you with an outcry of betrayal. I just went limp and timid till you felt the need to rouse me again.

She was roused now, a Venus flytrap clinching the fly on the back of her tongue.

I will make a worthy sacrifice from the empire of your corpse. I only wish I hadn’t made it so quickly. I must make it last to make the misery stick like pins in my insect kin.

He couldn’t know how much she could withstand, her threshold limitless, boundless, eternal where his had been easily severed like the veins she split, edible roots soaked in red rainwater.

There's no degree of pain you can make me feel that I haven't already attempted upon myself. If only you had loved me.

The muscled fruit of her calves burst open. Femur, tibia and nimble tarsus surfacing with the flexible bend of a cricket or grasshopper, the bones and flesh of her old feet collapsed, withdrawing from a sheath of skin, the toenails protruding through the deflated appendages like polished slivers of glass.

Vibrations shivered through the cocoon of her body, fissures snapping open along the backs of her thighs and buttocks allowing the legs to flex and breathe, shucking aside the flaps of skin clinging by gristle and blood. Her elongated thorax arched and articulated, dismantling the lengthy ladders of glistening vertebrae.

She was an emerging pharate, shrugging off the pupal exoskeleton, hemolymphic liquids churning, proteins, hormones and interstitial fluids facilitating muscular movements, oxygenating cellular reconstruction; veins in budding wings strengthened to bring new life to a girl who had known many.

She was a predatory amalgam: arachnid, insect, fairie, and girl. A tortured nymph misconstrued and malnourished by those she offered her love. But the nature of bees, of mantis, and spider is to devour in the face of unrequited love and thereby flourish in the metamorphosis, the larval redemption of shape and soul.

She would resume a new face in the mirror, a simple beauty nurtured by summer sun. She’d be dark skinned and exotic, or fair headed and pale, but for now she would be natural beneath the skin – true skin. The disguise would manifest and she’d venture out in search of perfect love.

“I’m a different girl for every season,” she said to herself, admiring and flexing her new wings.


Copyright: © 2010 D.A. Hernandez

David Alan Hernandez is a native-born Texan currently working on his bachelor’s degree in creative writing/education. His work can be found published in various online horror and fantasy Ezines including, The Harrow, Sonar4, Flashes in The Dark, Sex and Murder, Microhorror and the college literary journal, The Rio Review. In addition to a number of other projects, he is currently keeping a blog at showcasing a dark fantasy web novel, "Dividing Canaan: The Journals of Canaan Quintanilla".


  1. Wild, beautiful, and sinister! You have a talent for description. Well done, David.

  2. This was positively beautiful! Wow, wow, wow! Really resonated within me. I cannot wait to read more from you. Brilliant work David.

  3. Thanks so much Erin and Suzie for the wonderful comments. I'm so glad you enjoyed this piece. It was one of those that surprised me as I wrote it. Breaking up is never easy. :-)

  4. Absolutely extraordinary David. I was totally mesmerised by your relentless dark and exquisite description. Just had to blog about it so that others will read it too -

    I didn't just enjoy it - I got a great biology lesson as well!