By morning, the strange boy whose presence was dreaded had bled to death, his skin piled neatly in a corner of the temple. Most presumed that he somehow found it within himself to order his madness, however a blind man claimed to have heard a sobbing girl in the temple. He was dismissed as having been dreaming. Not one person in the temple had been healed that night, though usually most of them emerged happy.
The marketplace was curiously subdued that day. There were glances at the statue, at the void that enveloped it. A little girl was the first. She placed down a rose on his favourite spot. Then a merchant placed a scrap of blue cloth next to it. Soon enough everyone was contributing, every merchant, every child, every haughty woman and prideful man who had been humbled before this peculiar, insightful child found themselves paying tribute to him. Though they had wanted him gone, though they had strived to stay away from him lest he reveal their inner thoughts, there was an emptiness now he wasn't there. Children who had shunned him, made fun of him, spread rumours about him, now felt rueful in their glee at his expense. He talked to himself, they knew, but they had just thought him odd. Never could anyone have anticipated the depth of his insanity. Never did anyone suspect that the seed of his madness was none other than the 'self' he had been talking to.
" It came from living without parents," people speculated. "He shouldn't have been raised by siblings, no, he should have been given to a family."
"What about his brothers and sister? Do they even know? Did anyone think to tell them?"
"They'll know by now, everyone in Athens knows."
"Poor things indeed."
"I wonder how they're holding up."
"Probably not well. What do you think, you know them better than me."
"It depends on how you define 'well'."
The next day, the hustling, bustling marketplace hummed with the stink of humanity. Boreino lay in the shade under a cloth stall, her milky tears forming a pool around her. Another one gone.