There was once a glowing young girl named Vera. The starry luster she radiated was so bright that she could serve as the moon when it dissipated into the sky. Vera sat down and singed the wooden chair, wisps of golden hair cloaking her cheeks. She slowly sank to her knees, pleading refuge from her life of eccentricity. Slowly she tumbled forward, clutching her knobby knees to her chest. She imagined herself framed to the floor, lying recumbent until the ground began to sizzle. Her mind set was far too dazed to be conscious of the kindling flames that forged her through the face of the earth. Gradually, she picked up speed as her whole body combusted. Vera’s frail body wobbled from the lack of gravity. When she awoke from her reverie, Vera found herself standing on top of an indestructible, invisible surface. A door emerged from the dark abyss, jolted forward and acted as an apparition only to leave Vera unscathed. Subsequently, she heard an obstreperous slamming noise, loud enough to make her ears crumble. A booming voice echoed “Do come in”. The words were plastered on the ceiling perfectly. “Odd” Vera thought as she slowly crept in. “Draw near” a malevolent voice whispered. This time the words engraved themselves into Vera’s palm. She found herself full of astonishment. “Climb.” the voice exclaimed in a profound tone. The word became life-size. It circled through the air and wrapped around her neck as if to consume her but choked her instead. All logic Vera knew had vanished. She did not climb. The ladder before her was lopsided. “I can’t.” she thought, her pleading crimson eyes wandering. A gust of roaring wind swirled her upwards “Lies” croaked the voice. Vera felt the rolling of a tongue on the roof of her mouth. Her mouth gaped and she clasped for air. “Breathe” she heard and watched as a quill appeared from thin air and vigorously wrote on the ceiling. From the corner of her eye she spotted the word ’breathe’ and then glanced up at gargantuan throne. Her almond shaped eyes darted sideways. The throne stood ten stories high, towering over Vera’s petite body and drowning her in a shadow as immense as her state of turmoil. She stumbled backwards but then quickly jerked forward, her body limp as a marionette on strings. The same voice cackled. A stunning women drenched in flames illuminated the throne. All glistened but her massive eyes, dark as a raven, taunting and gaping. “You think I pry on the weak do you?” She’d read her thoughts. Vera tried to shake her head but her neck was constricted. “Do you?!” her sinister looking face grew in size and her neck extended while Vera found her neck to no longer exist. A hushed whisper began to escape from Vera’s mouth but her thoughts had already been painted on her face and deciphered. Vera had questions screaming in her head. The mysterious women behind the throne pressed her grimy, burgundy finger to Vera’s quivering lips and spoke in a less patronizing tone. “I’ll tell you the truth,” she said. Repressing a sob, Vera nodded her head slowly. “I have created you,” Utter silence fell across the room. She continued. “You’re derived from my own flesh and blood. The heat that runs through your veins runs through mine. Call me frigid. Call me sinister, cunning, mad, cynical or psychotic. But my name is Alora,” The words slid through gritted teeth. Pause. “Have you ever found yourself inundated with tears, laughing, aching, enraged, and suffering from twinges of pain all for a reason beyond your explanation?” Vera felt her lips trapped together with paste. Speechless; a feeling she knew all too well. “That is because we are connected. We experience the same emotions. When I speak, do you feel the tongue reach the roof of your mouth? You have encountered me before. No?” Alora said in a melodic tone. “Y-yes; in a dream, I suppose but n-not-“Vera stuttered. “No not in a dream…in your lifetime. You are here to receive your utmost punishment” A maniacal laugh burst over the both of them. They were convulsing, acting more linked than ever before. “What have I done?” asked Vera, earnest and frightened. “I AM DISTRAUGHT!”Alora shrieked. Vera’s heart beat was so loud that the room seemed to have a pulse. “I had placed you on planet earth to be a monstrosity, to destruct all in sight with the heat from your gleaming skin. What have you done instead? You’ve elated everyone. I admit to being sadistic. I do derive pleasure from inflicting harm upon frail, helpless humans. I have been torn out like the pages from a book and all I seek now is vengeance. Allow me to enlighten you with my story. Will you? You can witness all that has plagued me. You deserve to know why I’ve become this creature you see before you.” She absorbed Vera into her hollow eyes and narrated the flashbacks of her life. Vera stood, immersed by the mind of Alora. “Long ago, I lived. I walked the cruel earth’s surface. I was homely… but I was raised with a heart so kind and pure that gold would bow meekly before it.” She pursed her lips. Suddenly it became difficult for the words to escape her. Vera was struck by Alora’s fervent cry. Alora sucked in her flustered cheeks which had once been doused with tears and picked up from where she’d left off. “Then one day, I fell in love,” She choked upon the last word. “Jasper was all I aspired to be and more. Sadly, like most men his age, he was superficial and on planet earth, the beauty I’d possessed within meant nothing.” Alora could hear the echo of her own booming voice. “He degraded me to the extent where I’d become disheartened. I ran as fast as my legs could carry me, stumbling upon forests upon forests until I reached a castle. I’d heard rumors of the secret witchcraft that occurred inside and reluctantly ambled in. Everyone appeared warm, amiable and physically attractive. ‘Hello. I’m Grace’ said a woman with piercing violet eyes. ‘How may I be of service to you?’ she asked. ‘Will you make me beautiful? On the outside, evidently’ I pleaded glumly. My whole body shook with tremendous fright. An adrenaline rush had surged through my veins. ‘Yes but at a high price’ Grace tossed her dark ringlets and edged her glasses to the bridge of her nose. She clutched a clip board and wore a blank expression painted across her face. Her beauty rendered me to feel helpless. I was entranced. I gulped. ‘Any cost is one I’ll be willing to pay.’ I said intrepidly.” Grace bit her lower lip and spoke grimly. ‘Please know that the transformation will be permanent. You will become immortal and your aging cycle will cease. I do have a warning. If there is a malfunction and you are given God-like powers, you will leave Earth, never to return. Your creations however, will remain under your control, free to roam this world if devoid of your power to create life-forms. Your agility will sharply increase and elegance shall be thrust upon you. You will also become your alter ego. Your pale blue eyes will morph into dark eyes, black but mysterious. Every inch of you could very well be subject to becoming the opposite of who you are. You are at risk of becoming as repulsive on the inside as you are on the outside.’ I hesitated for a moment to think. I soon felt my incessant love for Jasper. It acted as a veil across my mind and brought upon my impetuous behavior. I forever feel remorse for that single word I said meekly. ‘Done’ and I sprung head first, hoisting myself on top of the machine. My spidery long legs spread across the machinery, anxious to see my transformation. Fire caught a hold of my legs. All I remember is being doused in excruciating flames. Yes, I was that malfunction for I remain that way today. The element surrounds me and provides me with vexation and burns skin deep. That is why you are present today, to abolish all love, all on earth that drives us to grave mistakes. I’ve been spat upon for my deeds, both generous and murderous. There is one characteristic that has remained from my former disposition. I am by no means egotistical. I’d developed such a low opinion of myself that no one can touch… even by means of witchcraft. Though a God-like creature, I cannot alter who I am today or even extract myself from this prison that factory calls an alternate universe. How do you think it makes me feel to know that you’re subject to the horrors of my past? The ridicule and derision is what we’ve come to know quite well, Vera. As for me, in some ways, I’ve obtained a sense of pride in the person that I once was, the person that is now my alter ego. I now wish I was the girl who battled with her reflection. I am now less appealing than she ever was.” Alora released Vera from her memories and she assumed her former position, frozen, listening intently. “You may be intrigued by my exterior but what lies within me is nothing but a tainted heart and malice that seeps through my permeable skin like claws, penetrating my mind viciously. Now I must take you with me. You shall go into the back of my mind, never to return again. You have made as much of an impact on earth as I had previously.” Alora had never felt so exasperated. She threw her hands up in frustration. “All I can create is a replica of my former self with different features. Come closer. Let me absorb you again, you weak girl. Your life depicts nothing but selflessness when I am looking for a malignant bolt of lightning to strike all that comes near.” Vera submissively lifted her head upwards. Her vision became blurry and her speech slurred. All she could make out was an intricate grandfather clock in Alora’s dark pupils. As soon as her attention was grasped, Vera was consumed into the hollow eyes of her creator and plummeted into a room with a labyrinth of clocks. They hung from the walls and from the ceiling. Gradually, they caved in making it harder for Vera to glow. She sat for hours watching the clocks tick. Vera soon realized all her future held. She was to watch time slip away for the rest of eternity. Time was forever to be wasted and life had merely slipped past. Life was gone.