was like a sword. My skin would have parted at its touch. It would have let it through to reach my veins and muscles. I lifted it high and gazed at my blurry reflection with my blurry eyes in its gleaming surface. My clothes were no barrier and this I knew well. My stomach would swallow this also, as it had swallowed dirt and tears; for as long as I could remember I had swallowed nothing but fear, and it never occurred to me I could fight it instead.