I’m meant to be finishing Blood Wars. I’m not. As naturally as the writing buzz comes along, it has swiftly left me and to take my mind off of the fact that I’m not writing Blood Wars, I am writing something else entirely. So in the words of the great Monty Python…..and now for something completely different…….
It was one indiscretion.
One small blink-and-you’ll-miss-it indiscretion.
A least that’s what I told myself. Of course, it was way more than that but I never wanted to believe it was anything more.
Four years of marriage and before that two years of dating and not once had I ever strayed. In fact, I had barely cast a glance in another man’s direction. After all, why did I need to? I had everything I could possibly want with the first man I had fallen in love with when I was just seventeen.
But maybe that was the problem.
When someone is all you’ve ever known, isn’t it just a natural thing to let your eyes wander? To let your head get turned? To feel that small tingle of excitement flitter up your spine when someone else – someone new – looks your way?
And that’s just what happened. My eyes wandered. My head turned. My spine tingled. And the moment it happened, I knew deep down that I would regret it. I knew it would cost me.
Little did I know it would cost me my life.
I awoke to pure, undiluted darkness. It covered me like some cold claustrophobic bind, pressing down, shrouding every inch of my skin in a way that made me feel like it was crushing my limbs and torso in its great powerful hands; gripping, squeezing, grinding me into the dirt in which I lay.
When I tried to wrench open my eyelids, intense hot pain stabbed at my eyes until I was sure they must be boiling in their sockets. The first thought to hit my conscious brain burned me almost as much as the pain did.
My eyes! My eyes! He took my eyes!
Darkness swam all around me like some impenetrable blackness that seemed to move and shift; undulate and writhe. I sucked in what little breath I had. When I somehow managed to raise a trembling hand to my face, the fact that I was still in possession of my eyeballs did nothing to lessen the panic that was sweeping through me in waves, crashing over me and pulling me under.
Great spasms of pain made me want to scream, but no sound would come out. The howls got stuck in my scorching throat and I choked on them, spewing out a vile torrent of acrid vomit that pooled onto the ground beneath me. Just when I thought there would be no more, my body twisted uncontrollably and out it gushed again, until I lay panting with my face in the foul liquid and unable to lift my head.
I didn’t understand the agony. I was burning. I had to be. No other affliction could be this torturous. Maybe I was nothing but a charred, blackened thing; writhing in the dirt and monstrously scarred. Did the flames still lick at my body? Did they still dance over my skin?
Yet as I burned, I felt the brush of cool air all around me and the darkness continued to consume me. There were no flames. There was no fire. Just me, endlessly aflame.
Snapshots of his face flickered furiously in my head; like the blinding flashes of paparazzi cameras, shutters clicking again and again and again, making me blink erratically and whimper with terror. That smile. That beautiful smile, I know knew to be false. Fingertip touches so light, so sensual; that he made me ache for more, luring me in until I destroyed everything that I had once considered unbreakable. His face changing; becoming something else, something that tugged at the memories of my childhood nightmares. A monster. A myth. Nothing but make-believe. Hammer Horror films and Hollywood fantasy. Graphic novels and goth dreams.
Except this face was real. The monster was real.
A noise emanated out of the blackness; a shuffling, hissing noise and there was a shift in the air that sent my panic into overdrive because I knew it meant only one thing.
He had returned.
A cool hand touched my bare foot. Spider-like fingers crept quickly up my naked legs and then a body above mine – upon mine – turning me skilfully onto my back. When his harsh, shallow breaths tickled at my face, I finally found my voice.
Even when he covered my mouth, I could still hear my screams.
Copyright (c) Lindsey Clarke 2013. All Rights Reserved.