I cracked last night, and my soul oozed forth.

A world unto myself, only the vegetation upon my crust is visible to others. And like any warm-blooded world, I have a crust. Thick in places, thin in others, ever moving and shifting and cracking and oozing.

I cracked a doozy of a fault line. And I don't know why.

Can planets get scared?

Of course they can. That's my problem, isn't it?

I'm an angry person. I freely admit it, because to deny such an obvious fact puts me in a position where I can't even begin to cope with my feelings. But why am I so angry? Why does my anger rise forth, hot and deadly and seemingly infinite, a massive swell of unending rage, pouring over the landscape of my skin for all to see like a malevolent flow of smoking magma?

Why am I my own hell?

Because beneath that magma, that defensive pyrolithic flow, the small, fragile core of me is terrified. Scared to death. I know life and love and happiness, you see, and I am frantic to avoid losing them again.

"Again". That is the key. A burned child is chary of the stove.

A horrific fear grips me daily. Because lightning does, in fact, strike twice. And what is it that I fear, what is it that drives me to rage so dramatically over seemingly insignificant things?

The dichotomy of character in a predator drives its victims to desperate anger. How can no one see what really happens? Why does no one know that, in secret, this person is actually perpetrating acts of hatred and abuse? How can such a secret even exist? Does no one care about me? Does no one really love me? Where are all the Good People? Shouldn't someone have saved me from this?

Yes. Yes, they should have. And I'm sorry.

But in some cases, as in mine, the rage does not stem from hidden secrets. In some cases, the terror happens right under everyone's nose, out in public, where others can see. This is a special torture. Everyone sees, yet no one believes. You are trapped in a glass cage, where everyone can see you bleed, but no one can see the knife. Everyone can see you're trapped, but they never notice that they constructed the cage at the direction of your torturer.

Now tell me, in such a situation, who is the crazy one?

It's not who you think. It's not me. And despite the instinct to rage against naysayers, it's not you either. It's him. It's always him.

Putting people in glass cages for the rush of it all. Watching others enlist themselves unknowingly.

When the victim is finally freed, broken, stumbling, weeping and bleeding from a hundred invisible wounds, everyone turns away. No one lends a hand. No one realizes what they've done, how they've contributed, unaware. Everyone blames the victim, because they cannot see anyone else on the suspect list. They cannot accept that said list is a mirror handed to them by the real perpetrator, so all is cast aside and the Label Box is fetched.

Bitch. Slut. Crazy. Liar. False friend. Manipulative. Arrogant. Whatever sounds worst.

All the bad things that drive friends apart, make them turn their backs on each other, these reside in the magic pouch on his belt. A bit of dark powder in the eyes, and they see what he wants them to see. What's in that powder, anyway? Words. Skillful words, honed by practice.

They get better with age, you see. Like wine or cheese, but far more foully fermented.

Sometimes, I dream I am back in that glass cage. It steals my breath with fear, and then the cage melts with the fervent heat of magma. Yet, I am no less trapped, for what does magma form when it cools?

Such rage is dangerous. It can destroy. I don't want to. I don't mean to. But the living are flawed, and this is my flaw. A diamond, I'll never be. I am hot, seething basalt, pooling, waiting, far beneath the cool, sheltering trees and the serene winding rivers. I feel helpless within my own gravity field. Because in the end, magma only destroys itself, recycling melted rock over and over again.

This is not a cry for help. I gave up on that idea last millennium, when no one heard me.

This is just a geothermal survey.

Status: active. Hopelessly, endlessly active.

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