The clock struck twelve, and she awoke screaming. Beside the canopied bed, the nurse, Edith, jolted awake and half threw herself over Helena keeping the young woman from either bolting or thrashing about and hurting herself. Helena’s eyes were bloodshot with white showing all around her dark irises. Her fingers clawed into the sheets and bedding as she continued to scream. Edith slapped her lightly.
“Stop that, Helena, you’ll wake the house.” The older women sighed, as she sat up. Edith and the mad girl had been placed in the opposite wing of the house for that very reason. Her charge’s screams cut off into whimpers and unintelligible mumblings. Edith found the basin of water on the side table and dipped her cloth into it. She wiped down the feverish girl’s face and arms. “Don’t cry now, love, everything will be fine-everything will be alright.” She said the words over and over more to have some noise to pit against Helena’s pathetic whimpers than any real belief in them. Helena grabbed Edith’s hand.
“He’s going to kill Isaac,” Helena gasped her lips were cracked and white.
“Isaac’s safe, Helena.” Edith spoke the worn words again.
“No,” Helena’s eyes roved wildly around the room and fastened on a dark corner, “he is going to do it. Isaac is going to come home. He’s going to protect me. You can’t have us!” Her frenzied cries grew in intensity as she shouted at the shadows. Edith sighed and pressed on Helena’s shoulders.
“Isaac has gone away. He won’t come back,” these instructions always bothered Edith as they never failed to upset her charge, but she had her orders from both the lord and lady of the house.
“No, no he’ll come for me, and take me away. Away from him and the shadows and the dreams.” Helena tossed, straining away from Edith’s hold. “Isaac promised. He promised.” Helena muttered the words over and over and Edith sighed again. A glance at the fire had her grumbling. The scullery maid had failed to restock the box of firewood, and the flames were getting low. Helena at night was tense and uncomfortable. Without proper light she’d have raging fits. Leaving Helena to her mumbeled sobs, Edith slipped out of her chair to go procure more wood.
“You can’t have Isaac.” Helena muttered. Would you protect him? The voice asked low and subtle. Helena stilled, her eyes wide and searching for the speaker. He’s in danger now.
“No,” she breathed tears gathering. There is the way. The voice breathed a sigh, and Helena shut her eyes tight and then opened them wide as a black glittering path spread behind her eyelids. Helena wept and whimpered. He was there of course as he was every night, standing in the corner. His eyes glowed and is body merged into the house, his house. He hated Isaac, hated her, would kill her. You could escape, the voice continued spinning down the eternal black path. He couldn’t catch you. He pushed himself away from the wall gaining a suit and skeletal hands.
“Such a disappointment,” he sighed his cold eyes assessing her, and Helena screamed again scrabbling to push herself up. He didn’t smile just watched her. The shadows danced, and at the end of the black path Helena caught sight of her half-brother. With a scream she twisted sideways and threw herself into the darkness. Her body gave a last shuddering breath, as her broken spirit fled into the darkness.
I’m late, and have been robbed. Machete Diplomacy stole the first line to write “Very Blue Eyes”. Check it out!