Note: This is a bit darker. I wasn't in a good place when this was written at work and I just needed to get it out somewhere that wasn't Discord so I wouldn't lose it. Tamara, my literary alter in so many works Rynne and I used to write together, goes through hell and back in a lot of stories made since Rynne died and if you couldn't tell, Raine is her alter. So, overall, this is the consequence of too little sleep, loss, and being stranded from home at a time you desperately want nothing more than comfort.
Primary Character: Tamara Riddle

An Overdose Fixes Any Addiction, Technically Speaking

Tamara was a living, breathing bad luck magnet. After all she had seen and been through, after all she had endured, she had come through the other side of it all somehow miraculously intact, despite the continual best efforts of the universe to correct this oversight. Obstacle after obstacle was thrown in her way, trial after trial placed before her, and while she had stumbled and even fallen a couple of times - because of course she had; she was still human - she was still standing.

Perhaps not defiantly, but standing. That was what counted. No, she had learned not to challenge life or the power of Worse. It could always get Worse. Tamara's losses were proof of the heavy price one paid when they failed to account for the cosmic schadenfreude.

{So many broken souls; too many sleepless nights; tha that seemed impossible to quell where once her—}

It was almost as though the green-eyed woman were cursed. The constant flow of ill fortune took its toll, as it would on anyone, and she had grown wary and nearly paranoid. After the tragedy at Harritol, she lived her life on the edge of her nerves, ever dangerously close to falling from that precarious precipice headlong into a breakdown she quietly knew there would be no returning from.

The voices that used to whisper warnings to her - vestigial remnants of some animalistic instinct for danger - were never silent now, and the cacophony in her mind tugged at her already frayed patience and nerves, vying for attention over one another for what each felt was the more pressing threat on the eternal horizon.

This was a very dangerous and slippery path, she knew. Ohh, she knew this intimately; she had been the caretaker of the addled man she used to know for long enough before the Incident to know that hearing those whispers so distinctly was a bad sign — even more so if you tried to argue with them. And, unfortunately for her, she quite often lost the fights they started.

It wasn't that she disagreed with them in their curious wisdom. She was simply tired of being so tense from the always-present need for alertness and caution. She was weary in a way she had never known possible and it went down through her bones to her very core. It seeped through every pore and sinew, wound her muscles taught to the point of restless energy coiled tight with no way to release.

More than anything, Tamara wanted a break from the edginess that she had lived with since Harritol.

{Since rivers had flowed with the life essence of loved ones; since the night her Magic had left her; since the only person she had really opened up to had grown cold in her arms; since the light had—}

Her arm jerked away from the counter she had been leaning against and she determinedly pushed that line of thought away and packed it into a box tied tightly with string to be unpacked again perhaps never, but more likely sooner than she'd like. This was a trail of thinking that got people killed, and not in a glory-filled and heroic way.

A pitiful whine threatened to spill out from her throat but she clamped down on it, choking as her reward. When the coughing subsided, one hand carded through her long, fiery locks, unsure where to turn her attention that wouldn't just lead to yet another distress in the making. What was it Raina had said once?

Oh. Well, that was a short respite.

A soft part of her mind whispered in a somber tone, You're already here. You had might as well buy a few souvenirs from it to display on the mantle of regret.

She twitched again. Her fingers drummed on the counter top, and her teeth tugged at her chapped lower lip. Did she really want to go down this rabbit hole and uncover memories she had worked so hard to bury when she knew how her scarred heart and warring mind would respond?

"An overdose fixes any addiction, technically speaking."

Her eye twitched as the words tumbled out. Her voice echoed in the utter roaring silence around her and she shrank in on herself, wishing she could swallow them back down again. Yet there they hung, taunting her with their dark humor in a voice they didn't belong to. Frustration coloured her words as she forced herself to speak them again, struggling to familiarize herself with the feel of them on her lips rather than her friend's and the coppery aftertaste they left on her tongue.

{No, not copper. Spit out the blood and keep fighting. Don't stop. Never stop. If you stop, he wins. If he wins, all those broken bodies—}

Tamara was what most would call lucky, despite her opinion and experiences. Where she felt she had fallen short with fate, others said she had been blessed. She was still alive, after all, and the universe continued to keep her that way. And what is a miracle or a blessing, after all, if life itself is not? Why, then, was she so miserably alone in this hellhole she had carved out for herself?

Green eyes cast a longing look to the clock, noting it was still relatively early. Would her young ward begrudge her an early rest if she turned in before she came back? After all, the girl was in good hands with the boy she had taken a liking to, and he had more than proven himself a kind and considerate individual with strength enough to defend her from the dangers she might find here. This was a quieter city, a smaller street, and none of the monsters that lurked in the shadows of their Harritol home dwelled here.

A soft hum filled her mind as her eyes closed, heavy from sleepless nights and so much strain, and she let herself be calmed by it, her head slumping onto her arms on the table. If she focused in on it, she could almost convince herself it belonged to Raine, the fingers carding through her hair those of the friend she had put to rest those many years ago that still haunted her visions and danced through her dreams under the moonlight.

The sad sigh that ghosted over her skin almost pulled her eyes open once more, but the humming resumed, and she instead let herself be lulled into a fitful slumber. As she faded into the black oblivion of her dreamless sleep, a last caress brushed through her hair and across her cheek, and then she was out.