The Tainted Love
The young woman whom the Barrowman refered to as Mistress walks daintly down the stairway with great purpose. The clock is nine in the morning, and when the clock is nine in the morning, people eat breakfast. Atleast normal families do, she thinks to herself.
She walks into the kitchen where her family has gathered, just like she ordered. She looks at her baby-brother, who is picking his left eye with a finger. A left eye which has grown irritated and shot with bloody webs.”Simon! Not at the kitchen table!” Grey eyes, copies of her own, meet hers. He nods once, slowly, before sitting down. She turns to her parents.
“Mother, you look as dashing as ever.” Her step-mother glances at her with a strange, paused expression. Like there is something she should remember. Eventually she gives up on trying to remember and she too sits down. Her black skin is sallow, like it’s been washed out and she scratches an oozing wound on her right forearm in a repetitive movement. Her dreads are oily and fat, and needs to be dreadballed again.
Her father isn’t even looking at her. His neck is turned at an unnatural angle, and he is watching out the window, his hungry gaze transfixed on a crow. “Father.” He doesn’t hear her. “Father.” He stares at her. “Sit down.”
She buzzes around the kitchen, the perfect image of domestic blizz, taking out utensils, and various food-stuffs. She hands her brother a bowl of cereal and milk. She butters up a sandwhich and puts some cheese on it. “Here father”, she says, and he humbly takes it.
She pours down bananas, blueberries, milk, sugar and whole other host of fruits down a mixer. A few seconds later she empties the pink sludge in a glass, which she hands to her mother.
Finally she sits down and starts to eat her own breakfast: a small bowl of porridge, not too hot, not too cold. For a while everything seems perfect and tranquil. The first crack in the facade of the Hallmark card appears when her brother starts to drool. “Simon. Stop drooling.” He shakes his head, mutely. “Simon, do as I say. Eat your cereal without drooling.” He resumes his chewing, this time without the drooling.
She takes up a newspaper, and starts to read. Midway she squeals. “Father, the Red Carnivals, they just won the league.” When he says nothing, she looks up. He is biting on his nails, have bitten on them til they’re raw and bloody. She can even see the beginnings of white fingertips. “Father?” He keeps on biting, chewing. “Father, stop it!” He stops and lock hollow eyes with her. She can’t stand it, so she glances away.
A noise draws her attention to her mother, who has poured the glass of smoothie all over her mouth, in her hair, her clothes. The Mistress sighs in the manner of caretakers all across the world. She gets up, walks to the bathroom, grabs a couple of towels, and walks back to the kitchen. Her mother hasn’t moved. In fact, she just sits there, covered in smoothie.
The Mistress slowly removes the goo. “Mother, mother. You mustn’t be so lax in your appearance. If you don’t take care of yourself, then who will?” Her mother frowns at her, before nodding.
She resumes eating her breakfast, as if nothing has happened. Some minutes later, she stops, interupted by the feedback from one of her creatures. Her left eye is looking at the quaint scene before her, while her right eyes is kilometers away, high up in the sky.
There is a caw, and the bird’s view focuses on a red building which radiates magic like a stove radiates heat in the winter. Ochre. She instructs it to move down. It perches neatly on a lamppost. From the bird’s point of view, several freshmen are exiting Ochre, going somewhere. She makes it follow them.
As the dead crow passes the column of freshmen, she sets her sights on one in particular. One with an eye-patch, olive skin and long black hair. Ah, little Rune. If only Alexandra could see you now….
I wonder what she would say about my revenge. Would she be on my side? Or would she oppose me? But there is no way to know, is there.
She stops. Or is there… She drums her fingers on the table in a terrifying melody that foretells abominable thoughts. It’s been close to a year since she died. Her body must have decayed something terrible. And restoring the animus will require a special kind of magic-source. Although, there are ways to remedy that. And with an actual barrowman to experiment on…
Simon has dunked his head in the milkbowl, and he is slowly drowning. “Simon!” He drags his neck up from the bowl. His eyes are filled with a wish, a wish for everything to just end. She ignores him and tells him to finish his cereal.
She takes upp her phone and starts to write down things she’ll need.
Her mother screams suddenly, startling her. She drops her phone in the porridge. “Mother, please be quiet.” The Mistress fishes the phone up from the grey mass. She continues to scream, like a cat that has had its tail cut off. “Mother, please.” The screams reaches a crescendo. “Mother!” Her mother stops, given no other choice by the commando-magic. She opens her mouth. “We’re dead.” The words comes slowly and painstakingly, forced from a cut throat. The Mistress sighs. “Yes. You’re dead.” “And you killed us. You killed us… then you brought us back. Why did you… why did you do that?”
The Mistress places her hands on the respective chins of her mother’s face. She leans forward, forehead to forehead.
“Because I love you all so much.” She clears away a black oily tear that is moving down her mother’s face.”And now Death itself cannot take you from me. This way we’ll be together.” She smiles widely, a grotesque facsimile of the real thing.