Chapter 50: The Birth of Kimoji

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Ash made graceful waves with her hands and arms, conducting the spell while Cassio shouted things--at Kim? at Ash? just shouting in general?--that Kim couldn't even be bothered to hear beneath the waves of electric pain that coursed through every nerve in her body. It was like every single cell in her body was getting its period and having the worst cramps of its entire life, all at once.

She felt the spell weaving itself into the threads of her magic and then pulling, tearing, ripping her own magic away from the seams of her heart. As horrible as it was, it was also a familiar pain. It was the same pain she had experienced back at Taylor's castle, when the witches had cast the items into the flame to search for the lost boys, and she had felt a power much more vast than her own trying to peel back the layers of her skin, intent on pulling her heart out of her body.

But this time was that she wasn't the only one in pain. Willow and Rani and Maria and the others screamed in pain, struggling helplessly in their chains, as the spell tore their magic away from them.

The spell threatened to take away everything that defined who Kim was. It threatened to destroy all the woman she loved and admired in this world, and it threatened to destroy everything sacred and beautiful about the world of KKHollywood itself.

Kim thought about everything that had happened to her since getting pulled back into this world--all the pain, all the destruction. All the dumb, pointless fighting with Kris and Khloé and Kourtney about their misguided but ultimately well-intentioned plans, and the way the world had fallen apart despite all their best intentions. The way everything had become ruined between her and Willow. All the sacrifices that had been made in the course of trying to save this world - possibly destroying her relationships with Kanye and Nori, the deaths of Tiny Ghost Monkey and Calum Woof and even the Demon Banana.

So much pain and sorrow and anguish, all resulting from the actions of one man. Cassio. One man who was insecure about his place in the world and worried about how cool he and other men were perceived to be. So many worlds ruined, so many lives upended, because of the emotional weakness of one man.

Cassio was taking the witches' magic, and turning it against them, taking by force what he had no right to, simply because he wanted to. Simply because he didn't see why he shouldn't. Simply because it had never occurred to him to have to act otherwise.

Kim thought of all this, and thought: Nope.

Kim thought of all this, and thought: Nope

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She could not let Cassio have this magic. But she also couldn't let Ash have it. One way or another, her world and everything she loved would be destroyed forever.

Kim was sick of men turning women against each other. She was sick of men trying to control her. She was tired of men telling her what to do. She was tired of people taking her phone away from her in an attempt to control her. She was tired of men trying to determine her fate on her behalf.

Kim thought: Let the Fates scratch my face out of every selfie I've ever taken if this is to be the end of me.

As if her story would ever end here, under the power of a man who took by force whatever he wanted, because he wasn't interesting or creative or original enough to create anything special of his own.

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