An extract from a novel that I will never write

by Alice   Dec 4, 2017

“But what is it that afflicts you, child?” The doctor sat down softly on my bedside chair. He looked straight at me when he spoke, it was as if those kind brown eyes were trying to penetrate my flesh, trying to peel back all the surface defects to find the root- the core of my troubles. His questions were not badgering, his gaze did not pierce but it invited. I truly wanted to speak to him. I pursed my lips, staring down. After a long and ringing pause in which the medic's eyes remained fixed upon me, I breached the silence. “I awaken and I am fettered still. The haunts of the night do cling- and I am shadowed by all of their demands. Despite the eagerness with which I performed last twilight’s tribulations, I am still plagued, the sickness bubbling cooly through my veins as if it wishes to spike and malign my helpless blood. And this strain does not slacken, but only ever hangs more insolently upon my bones. To all my kin, my days seem pleasant- idle even- yet their eyes are bleared to all my torments. This demon has enveloped me- has snatched away my virtues and collared them like dogs- my goodness is now warped in his formation. Oh- how I am enthralled by him- how I am sucked ever downwards in to that choking gyre! Although I see a way to scramble from these depths, once my tender eyes meet that cruel and omnipotent sun- what will I do then? I will be scorched! I have no drive, no keen white spark of agency, no will, for I am heartless, cancerous in how I allow a poltergeist to jolt my form eternally. Each night I lay upon my bed, tossing as if wrapped up in a tempest. And I pray all night- such a grievous plea! It is a hollow prayer, half-felt and narcissistic, for I am close to parting with my hopes. Oh- Sir, let me up out of this! No more will I rot in mud and mire- no more will each of my breaths be pained- no more, no more, no more!”


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