It’s actually Thursday night, and I’m hoping the time stamp thing will work and not publish this until Friday. We shall see. But I’m leaving town about 4 in the morning, so have to do this now…
Copyrighted, do not reproduce, material liable to change. You know. Etc.
Today’s contribution from the Blurb File:
She had no knowledge of exactly when the headaches began plaguing her. They had become such a fixture in her life that she could almost mark time by them. Over months and years her mind began to be numb to the pain, as it was an almost constant companion. As she grew older she could almost—almost ignore it. But the pain was always there as witness to life’s joys and sorrows.
Her entrance to puberty saw a worsening in the headaches. Almost as if it tired of being ignored and thrust into unconsciousness, the pain began its reign with renewed fervor and clarity.
Her brain was its palace. Her temple and frontal lobe were the throne room where it resided by day. Her occipital and parietal lobes the bed chambers where it retired at night. And of course it roved about the other regions of her brain for sport whenever the inclination seized it. The worst headaches, however, seemed to be when the pain invited its relations to a riotous party which encompassed the whole of her gray matter and rendered her utterly incapacitated with agony until the celebration faded.
Anyone who knew her even remotely gave her wide berth during what was commonly referred to as her “episodes”. She generally remained locked in her chamber with the thick brocade curtains blotting out any semblance of light and God help anyone who accidentally made a sound above a single decibel. She usually wore a heavy hooded cloak to mute sound and light if she left her chamber, and the servant who served her afternoon tea claimed that she kept it on even in the shadows of her room. The darkness was kept at bay only by a single candle, the flame of which gave birth to infinitely more disturbing shapes in the dark.
It was on one such afternoon—dark and rainy without, which naturally added to the foreboding atmosphere inside her chambers—that she sat in the darkness trying vainly to ignore the pain that gnawed with the persistence of a deranged beaver at all the corners of her mind. A soft knock sounded at the door. Some small fireworks exploded behind her eyes.
“Enter,” she growled.
A young woman with dark hair and eyes too big for her pale face entered with the tea tray. She was not the usual servant.
“P..p..please my lady, your tea.”
Her trembling hands rattled the contents of the tray.
The figure in the enormous wingback chair motioned with one hand to the table before her. The quaking servant advanced, her eyes all white around the edges as she neared the hooded woman. She settled the tray with a clatter that ignited an explosion that set her mistress’s teeth on edge.
The words were softly spoken but carried an authority not to be disobeyed.
“Y..y..yes my lady.”
In her rushed and terrified attempt to curtsey, the girl’s apron caught the edge of the tray and sent it crashing to the floor. If the young lady was frightened before, her heart bolted like a mortally terrified animal and then, she was certain, thudded to a complete standstill. For the figure in the chair snapped her head up, which threw the hood back.
The face was pale, almost ghostly, and pulled taut against the bones of her face. Veins visibly pulsed at the temple where a few locks of flame escaped the coif at the nape of her neck. But the most frightening, the most blood chilling sight were her eyes. The colorless shade of ice and every bit as glacial. The room’s temperature seemed to fall several degrees as those frigid eyes bored into her.
The servant tried to gibber an apology and clean the mess but could not seem to tear her gaze from those eyes. They were not human. No one’s eyes could captivate and paralyze in such a manner. And as she stared, they began to change colors, prismatically shifting through every hue in the spectrum with an ethereal glow that illuminated the sallow cheeks.
It was barely a whisper, yet it bore all the power of a roar, humming underneath with a tremor of pain.
The girl left the tray and the dishes and this inhuman mistress and fled.