It was a splintery thing, broken into misshaped pieces with sharp edges. She wrapped it in a cloak–a smile, twinkling eyes–and fooled the world, but cut herself.

It walked about the world, with its smile and bright eyes, but within the fleshy mantle it wore, it disintegrated further still, broken and breaking, and sometimes the jagged pieces would cut through the cloak, and frighten the world.

That’s why she drew the cloak so tight, and bound the pieces, tighter and tighter, till to loosen the bandages and tend the wound would have proved the fragment’s utter undoing. That is, if any healer would have dared touch the razors that were hidden within.

But there was a Healer, both fearless and most skilled, who saw not only the fragments that poked through, but the entirety of the facade, and reached through the cloak. His touch shattered what remained of the poor, broken thing, it’s true, but after it fell, helplessly dissembled, He knelt down to it and put the pieces back together, in a shape more beautiful and strong than ever before.

No, it would never be what it was before, before the breaking, before the pain began. But while before it had mirrored thousands of others, it now stood apart, unique: Broken, rebuilt, lovely in the fiercest way. And somewhere, far within that recreated heart, the Healer had placed an eternal, unquenchable light.

Now the smile didn’t lie, but when it smiled its brightest, it told the world it had been destroyed to be made stronger. And the light in those twinkling eyes? It shone straight from the center, where that eternal light had been stored.

By Rachel Lianna

 (Read more of Rachel Lianna’s works at Robin Hood West)