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Magical bears in the con.., p.8
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       Magical Bears in the Context of Contemporary Political Theory, p.8

           Jenna Katerin Moran
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  Terrence opens his eyes. The air is blindingly bright. It’s full of swirls of color. In the center of it all there hangs a girl, her body limp, her eyes closed, and nothing in her expression that is human.

  A symbol shines upon Terrence, falling from far away upon a cloud: the lipstick mark of Transgression Bear. In that spotlight he stands, frozen. That is Transgression Bear’s purpose: to teach children and sinners that they must pay for their crimes.

  Ann’s eyes snap open.

  “It’s time,” Terrence croaks. “It’s time to take the belt back off. You’ll run out of stardust soon. You won’t have a heart. But it’s good, right? You saved the world. You proved that you’re a true and glorious rainbow.”

  “Oh, Terrence,” murmurs the goddess at the rainbow’s heart. “You have lied to me again.”

  She takes off the belt. She drops it. It lands, below her, with a clunk. She smiles at him. It’s fierce. It’s predatory. She does not fall.

  “You see?” she says, softly. “You lied to me. I never lacked a soul.”

  She is silent for a moment.

  “It is not a thing I deserved,” she adds. “That my fuzzy magical companion should be so cruel.”

  A length of rainbow lashes out to stroke under his chin.

  Once again, Terrence straightens. He glares at her. “Then kill me, Annie. I’ve been waiting more’n ten years for you to wake up and put that rainbow through my heart. I won’t be afraid of you. Make an end to it! Make an end to it, Rainbow!”

  “No,” she says, and smiles. The rainbows around her slither faster and faster through the air. He feels his mind drifting away into the shifting colors; and it is beyond Terrence the sprite to speak or move or be thinking now.

  “It’s not my job,” she says, softly. “I’m not here for revenge.”

  The rainbows merge and twist, and the rope of them plunges endlessly into Terrence’s eyes. He shivers. He opens his mouth to scream, and another rainbow plunges in. The gray fades. The white returns, and his fur burns like a star. The trenchcoat whips in the wind and rips away. His hat flies off. He sinks to the ground. The rainbows withdraw.

  “I name you Glorious Servant,” she says.

  Glorious Servant bounces happily. “All right, Ann! Thanks for chasing my gloom away. I bet it’s time to bring some color back to the Rainbow World!”

  Ann smiles.

  In the alleys, a girl gropes on hands and knees to find her knife. She’s drunk. It’s hard to find. But there are only so many places it could be. So many garbage cans, so much waste-strewn ground. She finds it. She brings it to her wrist. “I can’t stop just because I had a moment’s hope,” she says. “There’s so much more despair.”

  In the distance, beyond the city’s edge, a tide rises.

  In the high towers, a bureaucrat sees the tide. He chokes on his coffee and staggers back away from the window. “Heaven and Earth.”

  The tide crests.

  The girl cuts. Her white arm begins to trickle deep black blood. She cuts again.

  The wave-edge falls.

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