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Shredding Veils

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Chapter 20

Red, shiny against white against black. Flowing out and over, darkening the white, gleaming. Reflection of despair.

Another line appeared against the pale white, and another, an artist’s brush splitting the canvas. More lines, more shrieking pain, then giddiness. The red overflowed, spilling everywhere. Farther down the frail expanse of white the lines continued to appear, bringing with them release.

Danny was incoherent to her own thoughts. The only importance existed in raising, dropping, and dragging her right hand against her left. With each pull reality faded, melting away as she lost the strength to keep her mind running at its usual capacity. She could only focus on the drive, the compulsion to keep lifting, dragging across the beautiful white surface. The urge burned within her at first, but then receded, swirling away in a fog of fatigue. Her heart stammered. Lift, drop, drag. Lift, slippery with the red, miss, cold, cold…

Danny sat in the dark on her bed, the only illumination given by the moonlight streaming through the window. The shaft of light fell first upon her rumpled bedspread, then, as it progressed upward, upon a leg, whiter than the moonlight. It was trembling. Perhaps it was an effect of the sharp contrast between black darkness and white light, but the leg seemed to be paler than usual.

Higher up the ray of ethereal glow, two arms were shown. One was suspended in midair, quaking, gripping something shiny in its hand. The other lay upon the bed, completely still except for the steady dripping of blood.

With a flash the raised arm descended, propelling the slim, metallic, glittery object for an instant to a speed at which it could no longer be seen except as an arc of cruel light. Then the path of the arc was intercepted by the lethargic arm, stopping its progress instantly but dangerously close to the bulge of a large blood vessel.

Blood spurted from the new wound, glistening black and occasionally red in the moonlight. This time, unlike the previous incisions, the stream did not slow. It remained as strong as ever, draining Danny of her strength, her vitality, her life. Still it did not end. The crimson flow did not cease, nor did her good arm halt its motions.

Again the arm raised itself, now holding the razor with less intensity, merely supporting it in its grip. The razor reached its zenith above Danny’s head and a drop of blood fell from the soaked metal, splattering across her forehead, running down into her eyes. The eyes did not blink. They gazed ahead, wide and red in great dissimilarity to the rest of her face, which was chalk white. Danny was on autopilot, neither thinking nor acting with logic.

The razor fell, leaving droplets of blood in its wake. This time it moved with less speed and more sporadically, as if whatever sinister master who had control over it was losing the will to continue.

Danny’s hand holding the knife was coated with her own blood. Her strength was lessening. When the blade hit, it had a different feeling. There was no pain, and the blade continued to sink through its target. For the first time in minutes Danny felt a vague twinge of fear and uncertainty, thinking that she had gone too far. With an enormous effort she looked down.

The razor had imbedded itself in her mattress, severing the material until only the handle remained exposed. Danny felt no relief, only numbness. She was cold, colder than she had ever been in her entire life of sleeping outside, exposed to the elements. She tried to yank the blade free of her bed. At least she thought she tried, but she was so weak that her hand may not have moved at all.

She tried once more to remove the razor, but nothing happened. Emptiness was filling her. Her heart stammered. Everything was freezing, slowing, stopping. She collapsed on the bed as a pool of blood crept farther and farther out from her mutilated arm.





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