He eats ladybugs.
They're round and crunchy in his mouth. The mush is cold and burning, but he swallows it anyway regardless of the repulsion he feels. He swallows again and looks at the remaining moving red dots in his hands; they're full of ladybugs.
This is what duty tastes like, the dirty flowers tell him. You hate it, don't you? That horrible taste, that awful sensation. What a good boy you are, doing what you hate just because you have to.
He doesn't listen, because he knows that the flowers might be right. Or they might be wrong. He doesn't know which but he knows that he shouldn't listen. Listening to malice is a mistake, and mistakes are hands that could pull him down. Mistakes can trip him, can fool him into failing, can make a wrong man out of him.
So he eats ladybugs and says nothing.
He vomits butterflies.
Their wings fill his throat, almost choking him. He opens his mouth and they fly out. He tries to breathe through his nose but stray ladybugs crawl out fro