Apr. 17th, 2007 03:25 am
arsenicwaltz: (Default)
[personal profile] arsenicwaltz
There is, of all things, dust on her eyelashes. Forcing them apart is a struggle, but she fights them.

Her feet are cold. That is the only part of herself she can currently feel, and although it is uncomfortable, the tingle at the end of her limbs is a reassuring reminder that her body is still alive. She flexes one leg, experimentally.

Inside the Great Hall, the Shadows start from their reverie. For four months they have sat in patient watch in the cold marble room, ever since the night of the Massacre. The Gallery had flickered, sigils and frames fading in and out, and some only out - not to return. There had been a great weeping, and then only silence as the girl disappeared. In the following night-day, they had scoured the Palace, only to find their mistress in the Great Hall, folded into half-lotus and wrapped in kimono, her back to one of the living marble pillars. And there she sat, silent, unmoving, for months. As the night-days passed in the City, welts appeared across her body, cuts across her hands, bruises across her face, as she weathered whatever events came from within. And then they stopped suddenly one day, the browns and purples trickling away under the onslaught of time, the red lash marks fading to a dull raised lattice across her arms and back.

But now her eyes open, and she topples forward, weakened by her struggles and the passing of time. Eddie is there almost immediately, a soft cushion held out before him to catch her fall. The girl swallows past her dry throat and coughs, arms twitching limply against the softness of silk damask. There is a mug of something warm near her face now, and she drinks like an invalid, like a man grasping at the last rope that could break his fall. She sighs, and collapses deeper into the pillow, eyes fluttering shut. With a thought, she is back in her own bed in her apartments above the Ballroom. The tinny waltz that plays below comforts her as she reaches for Eddie's spindly arm.

"I shall... be well," she croaks. "Only... give me... time."
She rolls over, burrowing deep into the coverlet.
"The battle was long," she gasps, "I did not succeed. I fought alone. My foe was armed with trickery. I could not... prevail."

As Eddie creeps from the room she whispers into the dark.

"I am alone, all alone..."


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