Um also oops I accidentally tripped and um a setting? <.<
It had become a bit of a thing among the teens, the dispossessed, and the disillusioned, those hiding out under bridges, under water, under rafters from the things that called themselves The Deities.
They called it the Fall from Grace, the kids did. It involved a small bottle of something sold on the black market as Angel’s Tears, a kystka-stylus, and the patience of saints. But these kids had patience, or at least they had desperation, which can serve in its stead.
The bottle of Angel’s Tears, applied carefully with the stylus, would burn the skin and then evaporate, leaving behind it perfect thin lines of scars. It did not burn everyone – that was the odd part – but it had become a rite of passage under-bridge and under-rafter, and those who had successfully scarred themselves showed off their patterns, elaborate and plain, swirling and sharp, as badges of honor.
It was, of course, illegal, forbidden by The Deities and their Voices. Angel’s Tears themselves were verboten, along with thousands of other substances, some of them seeming quite benign, but that did not stop the black market in them from moving product rapidly and constantly. Most of the forbidden items could be disposed of into a canal or a dumpster quickly, if a Deities’ Eyes happened to be passing by, and often they were.
The Deities’ Eyes did not swim, as far as the citizens of the city could determine. They did not swim, and they definitely did not dive. Nor did the Voices; nor did the Deities themselves. Thus, of course, swimming and diving, too, were outlawed.
Swimming did not leave a mark, and was itself a means of escape from capture. Bootlegging could be hidden. Falling from Grace…
Falling from Grace marked you permanently. It said to all who chose to see, here I am, the disenfranchised, the displaced, and I defy your laws. It said to anyone who chose to see you bare that you had stuck your chin up, gritted your teeth, and applied Angel’s Tears to your skin.
And it said that you were such that the caustic Grace of the Deities, their distilled essence, their sweat and spit and piss… all that Angel-effluvience that went into the thing called Tears… that the distilled Grace of the Deities burned your very skin.
It wasn’t so much Falling from Grace as jumping, but had become quite the thing in recent nights.
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