Triple Visual Dare, week 2


She came to me for the same reason they all did. When the physicians said there was nothing to be done, or the judge said the appeals were exhausted, or a lost love left them bereft, they stopped treating the rumors as fairy tales and ascended the stairs to my laboratory. But Marette had a secret even I couldn’t have anticipated.

She was surprised, as they all were, to find out I was a woman. Those whom I’d helped knew not to tell, and it afforded me anonymity. Marette was a beauty, to be sure, and perhaps she had hoped to use the hint of a promise to convince me to lower my price. But she agreed, as they all did.

As I painted the lines on her face that would call forth the illness from her body, she was calm. But underneath her artifice, I knew that her fears were the same as any woman’s – the fear of the unknown that lay beyond the veil of death, and I whispered to her the rites of calming. That the rites of calming opened the door between worlds was something few knew, and even fewer knew how to sound the call for a traveler to come through.

The critical time came, and I drew the symbol for sleep on her brow. But Marette did not sleep. She rose from the divan, casting aside the traveler I’d called as if she was the demon prince, not he, and spoke words of power unknown even to me.

When the mood comes upon her, Marette draws my prison from the bag at her side and gives me a glimpse of the world we once shared. Trapped in the tincted glass, I reflect no light and speak no words, but I am hers to command.


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