Thursday, May 23, 2013

Aretha Tesla: Gaslight

I woke up inside the box again, and went straight back into panic mode. I was still in the dark, and covered in my own blood, but the pain had gone. Suspicous... Why would he...? I pushed myself up off the floor and tried to think. There had to be something I could do, some way I could get out... But the darkness caved in on me and made me feel as though I was drowning. I was breathing too hard and too loudly, the blood was pounding in my head, and everything was far too quiet and far too loud at the same time. I can't take this anymore... But I know no one's coming for me now.

All of a sudden a song popped into my head, and unsafe as it was, I couldn't stop myself from singing softly- it was the only form of comfort I could give myself.

The wheels are turning, broken machinery
It grinds below us, and all around I see
The crooked ceiling, the old familiar halls,
The dirty paper that's covering the walls
The shattered staircase
The bed I'm bleeding in
We've tried to fight this, but we can never win

And in the gaslight
That brings both life and death
If it's like last night,
This could be my last breath
And so I hold tight
To any hand I see
But nothing's alright
They're always watching me
And no one's coming
Coming to take me home
No one's coming
Coming to take me home


The sound echoed off the walls and gained a light metallic undertone. I laid myself flat against the floor, taking some comfort in the soft vibrations. But almost immediately I recognized that what I was feeling wasn't comfort- it was numb. Somehow that scared me to pieces. My realization instantly broke the spell of calm.

I scrambled to my feet and backpedaled again, pressing my back to the cold wall and digging my fingernails deep into my arm. It was a bad habit I'd picked up a long time ago, but I only did it when I was really terrified. It made me feel grounded, somehow.

The barks and snarls that had become familiar to me started up again in the distance, and I took a deep breath to try to brace myself. Of course, that didn't work- it never really had, I knew I was doomed anyway- so I started singing again instead.

He's at the window. He's always looking down
As we are beaten. How can this town
Not know what's happening to all their little girls
They've got the pirate, they're cutting off her curls
And she is screaming- they won't leave her alone
And I am dreaming of joys I've never known

And in the gaslight
That brings both life and death
If it's like last night
This could be my last breath
And so I hold tight
To any hand I see
But nothing's alright
They're always watching me
And no one's coming
Coming to take me home

No one's coming
Coming to take me home


The dogs came and cut off my last note. If I'm honest, I could have stopped myself from screaming- I could have stopped the pain, if I'd simply willed it all away. But somehow the idea of that, of desensitizing myself, set off every red flag I had left, so I screamed and thrashed helplessly as the dogs tore, bit, and scratched.

Somehow every growl and scream, every rip of flesh and crunch of bone, seemed to echo off the walls to the tune of the song in my head. It was about a victorian asylum- those were really, really messed up, but no one would believe the girls, of course- after all, they were 'insane'. So you're a doctor and I am just a crazy little girl. Who would you believe? It wasn't really applicable to my situation, but for some reason I felt more connected with it than I ever had been.

I guess some parts of it made sense. I still pitied the asylum girls, though- even in my situation, I wouldn't want to trade places with them. Then again, maybe I would, and I just didn't care to belittle their pain by saying it. Everyone has their own worst fear, and theirs was different from mine.

Rather quickly once I got into that train of thought, however, I caught myself- I was desensitizing again. So I welcomed the pain, the panic, the desperation, the helplessness- anything was better than not feeling. I thought of a line from my favorite Evanescence song- As much as it hurts, ain't it wonderful to feel? And I wouldn't call it wonderful, but for some reason, I had to keep feeling. It felt like I would die if I didn't. Then again, I was sure I would die if I did.

Another bite, and I reached my hand out to confirm what I could already feel- my right leg was gone. Apparently checking was a mistake, too, because the moment I exposed it a pair of jaws clamped down on my hand. I felt one more set of teeth sink itself further up on my arm. And just when I least expected it, Niccolo's voice whispered in my ear again.

"Had enough yet? Wouldn't you rather feel- oh, I don't know, nothing?"

Suddenly it hit me. "You're doing this?" I gasped, "You want me to stop feeling! Why?"

"Oh, I'll tell you- and you'll love it- but not now. Not while you're like this. Call it a game- we'll see how much of this you can take before you surrender your emotions."

"Go die."

"No, I'm afraid not. My time will come, but it's not here yet. You know what the best part of this is? The only way you can resist me is to suffer. The only way to resist suffering is to surrender to me. But I want to see you suffering anyway. No matter what you do, I win."

"I can get out. I could escape. You wouldn't want tha-"

"No, I wouldn't, but that, my dear, is not an option. As I've said, you are never getting out of this box."

Something sharp tore into my neck and my mind went numb.

12 comments:

  1. NO! ARI! NO!

    I REALLY, REALLY HATE ALICE! GRRRRRR! I HAVE KILLED THE MIGHTILY HOOK I CAN KILL YOU TOO! I WILL, I SWEAR THAT I WILL!!!!! Don't like you, I will make sure that you feel the pain... I hate you so much...

    Amazing chapter by the way!

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  2. If you need an angry army to attack Alice the extremely un-awesome, you have at least two.

    ALICE, YOU ARE A FLY-BITTEN CORPSE ON WHICH A VULTURE HATH MADE HIS NOONTIME MEAL FOR FOURSCORE AND A DAY. STOP TORTURING ARI. I DON'T CARE IF YOUR NAME BASICALLY MEANS TORTURE TORTURESON, JUST STOPPIT!

    Good to hear from you again, Ari. [hugs]

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  3. I give up! Im scared thank god Niccolo isnt near me

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    1. Wait, let me get this straight- you're scared, so you're giving up? You're just going to give up? I'm sorry, but you're the Grand Mage. You're not allowed to give up. It's your responsibility as a leader to always be the last man standing up for what's right. Yes, Alastair is scary- terrifying, in fact- but we'll find a way to take him down. If I can just get out of this box, I think I have a shot at getting Niccolo back. It's not much, but that'll have to suffice for now. All in favor of Angry Army Against Alice should join up and take him down.

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    2. I'm totally for attacking Alice.

      Except there are other plans for FabiTC, so she can't really help... [stuck between evil laugh and frown]

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  4. Of course you're afraid. You'll all give up eventually. Emotions, particularly the so-called 'negative' ones, are so exhausting, aren't they? That's fine. Perfectly human. And that's exactly why I can't loose. Understanding of emotions goes a long way. Fear is distressing, immediate, pure, and impossible to run away from. Once it takes hold of you there is no escape- only surrender. And to surrender to fear is to give up. I can tear down the whole of humanity quite easily by exploiting that fact. First inflict fear, then when everyone has given up everything, they'll practically die on their own. So be afraid. Run away. Don't bother rallying against me. Everyone has a breaking point, and I have all the time in the world to reach yours.

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    Replies
    1. Honestly, I don't really care, Alastair. I like annoying arrogant jerks, it's fun!

      SO what if their pastime is torturing people? In fact, the fact that you mess with my friends makes me want to attack you even more!

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    2. Yeah, there is actually a reason I'm called Death Rose. Think about it Alice: I'm not afraid of death, I'm stronger than even you are. I'm just beautiful as I do it too!!! I swear, I truly swear that when I get my hands on your arrogant neck, I will kill you.

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