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Saturday, 4 April 2015

Fawn: Living in Fear

This is the second part of the story "Fawn", you can find the link to the previous piece of the storyline by clicking on this link and finding it on the list. 

Living in Fear

It was dark. She was running. Running through that forest again. This time she knew something was waiting for her. This time she knew. This time she’d turn around, she swore she would. And then, too early for her to truly have expected it, it was on her. It was at her throat. It had ripped her throat. She was bleeding, bleeding out. It looked at her. Its eyes were filled with pity. Pity and sorrow.
Her eyes flew open. She was back in her bed sweaty and panting. She felt like a deer in headlights like she had so many times after that night. She was just happy that it was the night instead of what followed. She shuddered just thinking about it. She got out of bed and walked to her kitchen. Thirst was the only thing she felt in that moment. Her throat felt like it had been full of sand, and she could still feel the blood running down her neck, even though there never really was anything there. She wanted nothing more than to wash the filth off. There was a glass and another and another of water. She tiptoed through her apartment still shaking. She couldn’t quite remember what she’d set out to do but looking at the time, she knew she should’ve been asleep. Should being the operative word, she chuckled. It was three in the morning and she was getting ready to hop into a burning hot, cleansing shower. One that would wash away her sins, her foolishness, her murder, her death and her grave. It would wash away her fear and the feeling that blood was slowly trickling down her body. The water would make everything better and perhaps she would be able to sleep again. She might become whole again.
She looked into the mirror with intent as she walked into her small bathroom. She needed the mirror in order to imagine the space larger. So her claustrophobia wouldn’t overwhelm her. Her grey eyes looked tired, so tired that the small golden dots seemed to have faded into beige. And her hair wasn’t the sunrise anymore. No, it was more akin to the orange of Autumn leaves. Her skin had become nearly translucent and her previously rosy lips looked like someone had smeared blood on them. As she stripped away each piece of garment she’d slept in, it became more and more evident to her that she was no longer fit and healthy looking, but rather malnourished and bony. She looked literally like the thing she was; Someone who’d died.
Perhaps she should’ve been thankful. She had received a fresh start. A new name. A new life. A new job and a new world. But it didn’t make her happy. She hadn’t slept a full night undisturbed since. She hadn’t been able to eat because she didn’t quite understand the new demands her body was expressing when it came to food. She craved things she wouldn’t have even thought of eating previously – Mostly they were things her sense of self and sense of right wouldn’t allow her to consume under any circumstances. It was clear to her that she was going to die.. again. Death made her think of coffins, and that caused the size of the room to get to her. Her pulse became upbeat, she sweated more and couldn’t breathe. She could feel the panic creeping and taking over her. It made her feel more alive, but she needed to calm down. Snap out of it! she thought and focused on her own eyes in the mirror. She breathed slowly. In. Out. In. Out. Her heartbeat slowed. She smiled triumphantly at her reflection and stepped into the shower. And with a swift, singular movement she turned on the water that she hoped would purify her.
She ran the water boiling hot and as it washed over her, she slowly fell to the floor. She just sat there. Deep in her own misery for hours upon hours. She’d been a successful wedding planner, damnit. She had made something of herself, something she had been proud of. And now … now she barely left her bed. Barely made a living. Rarely saw other people. She was nothing, a nobody. It was like she didn’t exist. She didn’t recognize herself from a reflection but old photos of who she had been didn’t really show her either. She was different but accepting that was very difficult. She’d rather starve than eat what her body demanded now. And she couldn’t see people if she was to hold on to her resolution. The water had been ice cold for a while when she finally stood up and turned it off. She didn’t feel pure. She felt even more troubled and tainted than she had when she’d gotten in.
She looked at her reflection with its tired, sad eyes and pale, sickly skin. Anger flared inside her, and she smashed the mirror with her first. She let out an otherworldly scream as her reflection shattered to thousands of little pieces - like her, it was nothing but an illusion created by someone else. She looked at her first and those small bloody cuts that would be gone in minutes and felt pain that told her she was still alive when she thought she didn’t wish to be. Then fear struck her. What have I done, she thought, this isn’t going to go over well with Her.  She knew her monthly visitor would come in a few days. She knew everything needed to be pristine for Her. “God, She’s going to destroy me for breaking this”, she muttered. She had this unspeakable, odd, even terrifying, need to please the Woman in any way she could but at the same time she was afraid of Her. Afraid of what She could do to her. The Woman had given and taken everything Lola had. Her old career, her old life and her old self were just the few things that had been taken away by this beautiful, merciless creature. And what she had now and what she could have… all given by this very same creature, who could either choose to make her existence miserable or better.
Lola… No, her name wasn’t Lola anymore. The Woman had given her a new name. She was Catherine Gretton and alive. Lola Fray had died. She picked up a shard of the mirror from the floor and looked at herself one last time. “I am Catherine Gretton”, she said to herself with the silky, soft voice of a stranger and the words terrified her more than anything she had ever heard. Even more than they had terrified her when She had given her the name. Fear, misery and disgust had ensued from there on.  She had been told how to dress, what to eat, who to talk to, when to go out and what her place needed to be like. But she hadn’t adjusted to it very well. She’d refused to eat when others weren’t around.
She didn't feel right. She felt completely off about her life. She didn’t feel like herself. And she didn’t feel encouraged to discover who she really was. She hated the name Catherine. She felt shackled by it. She felt imprisoned by her apartment. She felt lost inside her own head… but most of all, she felt terrified. Fear was a part of her daily life. She felt hunted and only managed to keep moving and living in this existence by sheer willpower. Like a deer in headlights. She chuckled at the thought as she dressed in the clothes given to her. Black had never been her colour. She loved greens and blues. She enjoyed red. But black, she felt, was boring and dark. She cleaned the mess she’d created, added bathroom mirror to her shopping list, and put away the little she had moved from their rightful places. Her life had a certain routine to it these days. Nightmare. Drink. Shower. Clean up. Watch TV. Attempt to workout. Stretch. Attempt eating. Throw up. Resign to bed. Read. Draw. Sleep. And start over. This was what she would do if she wasn’t informed of some obligation she had been assigned. She jumped when they told her to. Hell, she’d roll, sit, run and fetch like a good little dog with an electric collar around its neck – Afraid for her life and for the pain that might be delivered should she misbehave. Needless to say, the days between the shattered mirror and Her visit were a haze of making sure everything was perfect. These visits seemed to be what Catherine lived for. The only thing keeping her somewhat alive and obedient. And perhaps, on her toes and scared.

Nothing was ever perfect enough.

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