Surrounded by a sea of creatures of the night, the starless dark sky all around me, I stood on a stone column rising high above in a white shimmering lace nightgown, watching as they clawed at the air, their disfigured, rotten faces melting to the floor. I had no emotion, didn’t fear, didn’t want for anything, the hunger in my belly satisfied.
As I watched, my head turned down without my will and I saw my once pristine white gown dripped with blood congealing as it rolled down my front. My face wet, sticky as I touched with my hand, red as I looked, cracked, and dried on my fingers. My focus fell to the floor far below, the creatures had parted, were spreading wide, each running away from the naked body lain at the base of the pillar. My vision zoomed and as it did, I saw the creatures had changed, screams raising from their voices, they were human now, real, alive and were running in fear from the body surrounded in a spot of light I couldn’t look up to see the source.
Dumbfounded, unable to find breath, I could only stare down, unable to look away as I saw a woman on her back naked, her white pale skin perfect in every way, her mound of hair neatly trimmed to a line, her breasts the perfect size, not too big or too small, her arms spread, hands upturned at her side. I knew it was Toni despite not being able to see her face, the skin missing, leaving just the sculpt of her bones and a ragged mass of flesh. It was Toni, her scent undeniable, thick, strong, shivering down my spine and I stood there on the pillar now less than a foot high, the darkness empty of all but her slain body. I wanted to stare on, wanted to take her in, but something drove me forward, my hands stuck behind my back and I felt as if pushed from the plinth. I screamed with anger, with pain, tears rolling from my eyes as I opened my mouth. With no breath I panted for words as I lunged, my face forced to her fleshy stomach as she called out my name.
“Jess,” her voice said and I opened my eyes to the darkness. My hands were bound around my back as I lay on my side. “Jess,” she repeated and I opened and closed my eyes to take in more light. My legs were free, but I was on the bed, the shadowy shape of the room coming into focus. “Jess,” she said one more time.
I nodded, afraid I would have no voice.
“They’re here,” she said.
“Where?” I replied, surprised at my voice. “Who?” I added as I processed. “My hands,” I said as my thoughts evolved.
“How you feeling?”
I sat up, my abs aching as I pulled up to sit and I remembered laying on the bed, remembered the fat fingers doing up my buttons and looked down not able to see anything, but knew from the tightness at my chest, she’d covered me up.
“Hungry,” I said, realising they were the wrong words as the shadow I could only just make out, stepped back pushing out something square in her hands. “Thirsty,” I said. “Eggs, bacon, that kind of thing,” I said, not knowing how else to express myself. I watched as she relaxed and drew in close. Her scent had gone, the powerful elixir only a dreamlike memory.
“Good,” she replied. “It only took half the time,” she said with warmth in her voice. “That’s good. It means it’s having an effect.”
“What time is it?” I said.
“One,” she replied.
“Can we have some light?”
“Power’s out,” she said.
“My hands,” I said, shaking my wrists to make sure it hadn’t been part of the dream.
“Soon,” Toni replied. “I had to be sure.” I nodded in the darkness.
“Who’s here?” I said, remembering her words and for the first time I could sense someone else close.
“I am,” came a woman’s voice pulling at a memory, sending the blood from my face as I twisted around to the doorway.
“Toni,” I replied. “What’s your mother doing here?”
A rumble of laughter came from the woman’s throat and I struggled to turn my legs, shuffling to the side of the bed, bright torch lights beaming at me from the doorway as my feet found the floor after too long. The lights were moving and figures were around me, the cuffs grabbed firm, pushing my arms up my back, forcing me to move towards the door.
“Toni?” I said, pleading.
“Come quietly,” Toni’s voice breathed from somewhere in the room. “I told you we had to find her.”
“And here I am,” said the woman, the smile obvious in her voice.
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Reading out of sequence, here’s the rest of Season Two.
Not read Season One? Here it is.