Tainted Rose

The thrum of machinery is a constant companion for myself as I work. My laboratory is dank for I can't be bothered to care for it. I have far more important matters to attend to than to care for these types of things. The smell of my body odor permeates my surroundings. I am so close to getting a breakthrough for my dear beloved. There is no time for rest. My eyes burn from staring at my monitors.

        Deciding to go see my love, I stand. I dodge cable wires hanging from the ceiling like treacherous snakes and cords littering the floor as if to trap me in their wake.The walls seem to have images floating in their murky depths as I pass on the way to her chamber. Suddenly stopping I stare at the flickering image of her I caught in the corner of my eye.

It's when we first met. Her pale skin gleams in the light of the sun as her burgundy hair drapes over her shoulders. She wears a smile brighter than the sun and she looks at me. She sees me as I am. I am laid bare before her.

That was when I realized we belonged together. I introduced myself. We chatted. We became closer and closer as days turned into months and I truly thought she reciprocated my feelings. That was when I discovered her illness. I must save her. I won't let her die in agony or pain. I can't let her leave me. She won't leave me ever!

Breathing heavily I realize I punched the image to oblivion. Red encases my fist leaking in between my knuckles and smearing the fragmented wall. I need to see her. I need to feel her. She is still here. It is going to be alright. She is not leaving me. Taking deep steadying breaths I push off the wall and stumble all the way to her door.

Behind this door lies my love. I turn the tarnished golden handle. The wood moans to life as I start to hear the steady hum of the machines. The machines that keep life pumping in her veins. The room is of modest size. Dim lighting causes the machines to cast monstrous shadows flickering on the walls. Clunky machines litter the room recording data or performing a certain function.

On the only furniture in the room lies her lithe frame. Her hair cascades down around her like a serene waterfall. Plump pink lips the only shade of her cold pallor.

Her eyes open revealing brilliant emeralds. My shoulders relax. She's here. Everything is okay.

"Hello, lovely." I croak out of my rarely used vocal chords. I can almost feel tears coming into my eyes just from the mere sight of her. She squeaks a response scrambling closer to the wall. I tilt my head confused. Why is she moving farther away? Oh, I get it! " Don't be nervous I will always love you no matter what you look like love." Her shoulders shake as she looks at me. " You must be cold, here," I say as I grab a blanket to wrap around her shoulders. " No!!!" She shrieks as I touch her. " Don't touch me! Not after what you've done!"

" My love, what have I done wrong? I would never hurt you." I try to reassure her and try to touch her shoulder slowly. " Never hurt me?! Being near you hurts me!" She yells in fury as tears pool in her eyes. Speaking in a calming tone I say " Love you must be confused. It may be a side effect of your medication. I'll look into it for you." I beam at her as I reach for her hand. " You have nothing to fear or worry about my dear. I'll always take care of you!" Her face streaked with fresh tears I rub her cheeks hoping to comfort her. " Cendred, please... Please just let me leave! I... I just..." Her angelic voice sounds like bells chiming in my ears. I barely register her words as my heart pounds like a thunderstorm inside my chest. " Love is it too stuffy in here? Did you want to go outside for a bit?" I ask caressing her cheek. Her movements cease. She stares at me as I await her response.

" Yes! Yes please Cenred!... I want to go out." She shakes her head enthusiastically making my heart swell with joy at being able to please her.

    Taking her arm I pull out her I.V. and start detaching all the various monitors from her. Once finished I grab her hand and carefully pull her up and off her bed. We walk slowly to the hall and down a bend to see the courtyard in sight. The sound of her bare feet hitting the scuffed marble, the sound of the thin nightgown swishing around her all I hear in my head as I smile down at her. Her eyes seem to gleam as she stares ahead at the door to the courtyard. Laughing at her excitement I kiss her head. It's almost like she is a restless child.

    Finally reaching the tall oak double doors I let her hand fall with a little sigh to open the door. Pushing the old wooden door open to the courtyard before us. Dead brush litters the area as the cobblestone path is cracked and filled with popping weeds in the space. A tree in dead center is blackened and whittled beyond belief. At the base of this tree is the only one of it's kind. Toughened branches lay a complex twinning bundle with brilliant red decorations. The rose's petals spread wide vividly as I walk towards it and pick a single rose off its branches. A thorn stabs my thumb causing blood to well up as I turn happily towards my love.

    " My dear look! It will look so lovely in your hair. Though this rose will never be as beautiful as you are!" Bounding to her I tuck the rose stub behind her ear. She shakily smiles at me sending my heart aflutter once more." My love, are you feeling better now? The fresh air seems to be doing wonders for you." I ask as I start to reach for her hand.

Suddenly I feel as though a fire is burning a pit in my stomach. A gasp escapes my lips as I see red. Red staining the white of my shirt. A shirt once white and so pure now defiled. " You should have let me go!" She cries out covering her mouth with her hands as she backs away from me taking my shattered heart with her. She's leaving me. Groaning a tear falls down my face. " ... You would rather I die than be with me?" I manage to say while gripping my abdomen and keeling over. Tears streak her face as she shakes her head no. " I might have been with you if you didn't force me! I liked you! But you just couldn't handle the fact that I wasn't going to be here much longer, could you?! Instead, you kidnapped me from all my friends and family and held me, hostage, here! Playing dress up and science experiments on me as though I wasn't even human! You are crazy Cenred!" She cries out turning to flee from me. She's leaving me. She can't leave me ever. She can't... She can never leave me ever!

Everything flashes and blurs.I hear her screams. They pierce my eardrums and torment me.She doesn't love me. She fears me. She hates me! My arms tremble.More red. Dripping in between the stone path, watering the dead plants. My throat burns. My abdomen scorches my insides as though it is molten lava flooding my veins. Her hair fans out on the path laying as though she is sleeping. Her eyes like glass stare up at my face. A cry can be heard as I gather her into my arms. " Amelia! Love, please!... I can fix this. I can fix you! Don't worry my love I've got you!... I've got you..." I feel hysteria bubbling in my lungs. Spilling over in fits of laughter. My mind is speeding a mile a minute. I know I can save her. I will save her. I somehow make it to my lab with her still cradled in my arms.

Time blurs together. Red tinting the edges of my vision. Red on her. Red on me. Red staining the floor. Red dripping off of the monitors and onto my keyboard. It's scarlet brightness a sheer contrast to everything else in this dark hole I live in. A permanent reminder that I must make haste. The mechanical aesthetic body is near perfection. Her eyes twinkle in the light making me smile. Everything is finally going my way.

I am so close. I just need to transfer her mind to the automation body. Then I will save her. My love won't you grace me with your smiling face? Turning from my nearly completed love and I take in the true beauty. Even now my work is nothing in comparison. Her skin so much paler now, her lips a lighter shade of pink with a slight blue twinge, her eye lashes still as long as my thumb.
    She truly is like a doll with her beauty. It seems so unreal. I just can't come to terms that she is truly mine. Soon she will be better. She will be healthy and happy. We will finally be together. The rose still rests behind her ear. Gently I grab the wilting flower as a few petals float their way down to the marble floor. The rose truly was exquisite before it started to wilt. Now it is just a mere reflection of its past beauty.

I must continue working. To save my love I must. Dropping the rose I carefully lift my love off the ground placing her on a table beside her new self. Her new body is nearly completed. All that is missing is my love's very soul. I connect all the necessary equipment to each of them as I ready the system for the transfer. I'm so so close. My love and I shall be reunited. Taking a breath I prepare myself. Pulling the lever and literally almost feeling the volts passing through my bones. My hands shake violently as I wait anxiously for my love. My love is so close to being better.So close to...






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