by: Calvin Kauffman
Her eyes and body felt like lead. She let out a torrent of violent coughs, feeling the burning pain in her throat. She heard faint conversation. James, bring me the medicine…?”
She didn’t hear the rest of what the man said. A piercing pain shot through her head as she remembered bits and pieces of memory. The sound of metal shrieking on metal, fire roaring louder than a lion, sheer pain and heat. And a face that blazoned brightly across her memory…
Her eyes shot open as she painfully gasped out, “Samuel?”
She remembered all that had happened; the crash, the hospital, her husbands chattered face. She sat up, and instantly fell back to the bed. Not only was the strength in her body gone, but the pain from her body overwhelmed her. She writhed in pain, letting out small gasps as her breathing grew labored. She calmly laid over on her back again, taking her time as not to awaken the pain sleeping inside her. Once she was in a comfortable position, she looked around the room she was in, slowly remembering the cool stone walls of castle Memorian. Samuel had inherited it and a great fortune from his great uncle when they had first met. After many years, it had become there near and dear home. She slowly felt around her. The familiar softness of the red velvet sheets filled her with a calmness she only ever felt on rainy days. She looked around the room, taking in the familiarity of the room. The window, the dark oak dresser in the corner of the room, the mirror.
Sarah looked around her quickly, then back to the mirror. Something to her seemed off about the mirror. She looked around again, and saw a pair of crutches. She mustered up her strength, and dragged herself slowly off the bed, the silk dress sashaying around her feet. Her legs, despite the excruciating pain, would support her. She grabbed the crutches, put them painfully under her arms, and slowly made her way over to the mirror. She stood in front of the mirror, taking in the reflection of herself and the room. Her face was paler than she remembered, her blond hair whiter than usual. She looked from cheek to cheek, forehead to chin. Her eyes finally landed on each other, her and her mirror self staring each other down. She finally deduced her mind was playing tricks on her, and went to look away. She found she couldn’t. Her body was paralyzed, as if her reflection was a basilisk, turning her into stone. Her vision around everything but the mirror began turning black. She watched in mesmerized horror as blood began spilling from the eyes of the reflection, feeling it happen to her as well. The reflection brought up her arm, and Sarah’s followed. In her hand was a needle and thread. The reflection let out an evil smile, a black liquid oozing from her mouth like pitch. Sarah watched in horror as the reflection brought the needle closer and closer to her mouth. In her voice, but not her voice, the reflection spoke, “All his failures are silenced forever, all on the road to return his lost treasure…”
The needle pierced her lower lip, then her upper lip. The pain felt so real…
There was a knock at the door. Sarah looked around her. She was still upright, looking at the mirror. The door opened, and Samuel walked in. His long, black hair shone, even in the dark room. His lean face looked tired and worn He had a tray of various liquids and some food. Surprise crossed his face, “You’re up?”
She let out a weak smile and crutched back to the bed, setting herself down easy, “I am.”
He smiled back at her, setting the tray down, “How are you feeling?”
“Tired,” she replied.
He took her hand and rubbed it softly, “That is to be expected. After the accident, you were left pretty beat up. The doctor says you will need to be bed ridden for months with your wounds.”
He walked over and pulled up her sleeve and the gown up to her knee. The various bruises, scars, burn marks, and stiches ran up and across her arm and leg. She curiously felt the rest of her body, feeling the stiches everywhere. She shuddered, and Samuel got up, “You stay here now. Try not to strain yourself. The doctor says you need your rest, and we wouldn’t want any of your stiches opening. I have some work to return to.”
She nodded at him, “Okay.”
He leaned down and kissed her, then left the room. She had grown used to his aloft nature. The nature of his work was of the upmost importance to mankind. As it has always been. And as it was for the weeks to follow. She passed her time reading readying her legs for the demand walking would inflect upon them. Finally, after a month, her legs were strong enough to travel around the castle.
. . .
Sarah walked through the library, taking in the smell of the books. She flipped through page after page of the worn books. She had gone the entire month with no incidents, both physical and mental. She absorbed the story, when she heard a rustling from the door. She looked up and saw the end of a dress fly by. She grabbed her cane and walked out the door, looking down the hallway, catching the dress going down the spiral stairs at the end of the hall. She followed heading down deep into the bottom of the castle. They followed a pattern, her seeing the dress and following. She took a final right and saw a door closing at the end of the hall. She slowly walked over to the door slowly. The air became cooler and cooler. She felt as if the walls were closing around here. She stood at large door. Something about the room beyond the door seemed dark, ominous…evil. She grasped the handle and pulled. The door opened easy enough. The walls, floor and ceiling were painted black. In the center of the room was a stone altar. Laying on the altar was a book. The books cover was a dark red hue, with a black pentagram on it. Sarah slowly walked to the book, reaching her hand out. Her finger touched the spine, and a piercing pain shot through her mind. Memories spilled through her, of another life. She remembered who she was before, her body, her mind. Her abduction, the torture, the cutting and surgery…
She turned around and walked out the door. The walls were oozing a black liquid. She quickened her pace, leaving behind her cane. She retraced her steps, a darkness creeping up behind her. The walls seemed to be closing on her faster than before. She broke out in a sprint, ignoring the pain. Tears streamed down her face as laughter and moaning penetrated her head. She took a right at the end of the hallway and saw the main door. Between her and the door was Samuel and another man with a mask on. S vicious grin was splattered across Samuel’s face. He let out a deep and evil laugh, “My, my, my. Another failure stealing from me my treasure. James, if you would?”
James nodded his head. He walked towards the girl, “Do forgive me. This is not how I would wish this to end.”
“You are all monsters!” she shouted as James pulled off his mask. She let out a scream as the horrifying creature moved in over her.
“James, the needle.”
James handed Samuel the needle, and he finished the last stitch to the woman’s scalp. His face became plastered with a wide smile, “Do not worry treasure. I will always be here for you.”
His maniacal laughter bellowed throughout the castle as a heard of people crowded around the balcony above the laboratory. Each man, woman, and child watched in silence at their master. A new vessel would join them soon. The stiches around their mouth prevented them from shouting to this poor woman to get out. There was no escape. No freedom. Only eternal suffering. Eternal Silence.