By Yen-Rong Wong

He didn’t think anyone would notice. It was just one more chocolate, one more pen, one more minute. He couldn’t control himself – and he didn’t want to. So it crept up on him, as it always did. It crept up on him because no one cared. Or at least, that’s what he thought.

But freedom is dangerous, and he was young. He couldn’t resist it, though to be honest, he didn’t try very hard to look elsewhere. It controlled him from their first touch, whispering sweet nothings into his ear, showing him a world full of adult secrets. It all seemed so fun, he thought.

He would have given anything to have more. One more bite, one more embrace. He needed more of it every day.

He needed more time.

And they waited. Waited for him to grow up. Waited for him to see it for what it actually was – but they were too late.

It was a day like any other. His hands trembled slightly, but he didn’t think it important. There were other warning signs, there always are. A crack in the wall, the soft rumble of the ground beneath his feet. But it was too strong; the need. And on this day, instead of a friendly embrace, or the flash of a colourful cartoon, it stared back at him. It just stared. It ripped his eyelids apart, and then he couldn’t take his eyes off it. He felt his insides crumble, and time slowed as the crashing of all he had stolen echoed within his chest. He couldn’t move, couldn’t cry for help.

NO, he thought. The desperate word of dying boys. Save me. Please. It’s all your fault, he cried silently. It’s all your fault. You did this to me.

The screen smiled back at him, its bleach white face pulsating gently. He heard its words as the last of it collapsed.

“I didn’t. You did.”

Author Bio: Yen-Rong is a Brisbanite who is currently attempting to write an Honours thesis. She has written for Semper Floreat, Brain Mill Press, and Rambutan Literary, and spends an inordinate amount of time making sure her cat doesn’t totally ruin her couch. You can find her on Twitter @inexorablist, or at her website at


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