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The night I was beaten and exiled from the shop was a new form of despair I didn't think possible. Truly it was a feeling of rejection so intense that no one should have to feel such an ugly thing. Failure was punished harshly. I understood that completely now. The words that filled my eyes as the door shut behind me were simple.

"Reflect upon your failure."

I tried to, but I didn't understand at first. It wasn't my fault I had failed, was it? An outside entity was the reason for my failure, not because I couldn't or wouldn't do the job. It was such a simple phrase he left me with, but it held so much meaning behind it that my young brain nearly exploded when I tried to make sense of it.

There was no sleep to be had on that night. I became obsessed with trying to understand why it was my failure. Part of this obsession was also stemming from the corruption happening to my soul. By this point I had devoured upwards of almost twenty pure souls for the tasks I was able to complete thus far. The mental anguish I was experiencing and the corruption beginning to eat my soul were finally starting to drive me insane-into madness.

--

I returned to the shop the next day to try again. Of course I returned. I was fed, clothed, provided knowledge and souls for doing good with that man. Why would I not go back to try again? It wasn't just that I felt I owed him, though I did certainly feel that immensely. There was also the growing desire to consume more and more souls. It was small - a whisper. It was growing stronger with every pure soul.

The task was the same this day, just as it was the previous. Deliver a package. It was supposed to be so simple. The destination and client were exactly the same as well.

--The idea was to teach the girl, harshly, efficiently. To make the girl learn by herself. To make her understand how to survive perfectly.

I proceeded to the task. I felt broken and battered as how my little body actually was. I hadn't eaten for nearly a whole day now and I was getting light-headed.

--The first lesson in survival: Feeding herself.

There was no possibility of me being able to even deliver a package across town without eating, so while I walking I managed to steal a hotdog from a street side vendor when he wasn't looking. It was simple, too simple in fact. As long as I wasn't seen, I was completely fine.

The moment came when I was soon approaching the same area where I had failed the first time. This time, I was actually cautious. Taking a different way hadn't even occurred to me yet, so I had taken the same route as before. At least this time I tried crossing the street and walking on the other side. I spotted the two who caused me to fail once already. I tried to remain unseen in the thick crowd, but it was no use.

The two men saw me and chased after me. I ran as fast as I could, as quickly as my child legs would carry me. Getting through the crowd was easier for me than it was for them since I was smaller. However, in my panic, I lost my sense of direction and didn't even think about where I was going. I was just running for the sake of running and that wasn't good.

It didn't take long for me to make another fatal mistake. I turned down an alleyway, hoping to find a labyrinth of passages or somewhere to hide and hope they didn't find me. What I got instead was a dead end blocked by the joining of two brick buildings.

I panted heavily, looking around frantically as I tried to figure out what to do. My mind was in such a jumble and the words that lingered for so long in my head finally snapped me out of shock. "Reflect upon your failure." Again! The words rang in my head, like a disease or sickness. What did I do wrong this time?! It wasn't any use. The two men found me and even took their time closing in on me.

Running through their legs had occurred to me, but I was quickly tripped, grabbed and thrown against the wall. They laughed, insulted me and once again, beat me to unconscious.

I had failed yet again and the single phrase continued to echo throughout my being as my eyes closed.

--The girl still hadn't learned. This harsh lesson would repeat until she arrived at the answer herself. Until she learned how to survive.