Strands yanked out by their roots dangled from contorted fingers. Someone's hands clamped down on her wrists to stop her from ripping her own skin to shreds.
Eventually the hands on her ceased to be iron and once again became flesh. The people around her, distorted into demon lovers with boiling eyes and bestial claws, shrank once more into mere Yata crumpled in grief.
Zai had been here before: the stranger caretaking the lamenting, her hands possessed of Yata calm. She had gazed into twisted faces and called demons out into the vanquishing light. She had been the friend who st