The Lady’s Embrace

The man writhed in the sublime agony of the fever, slick with pearly beads of sweat glistening on his tortured visage. His gaze was empty and unfocused, searching restlessly for something in the distance of the poorly lit room. The veiled lady stood above him and chuckled slightly.
“My poor dear Will,” her voice a cold, ghastly whisper, “why do you torment yourself thustly? What is it you are trying to accomplish?”
The man turned his gaze towards her slender figure, trying and to recognize face beneath the veil.
“I… where’s… Layla…” he muttered, in the firm grip of delirium.
“She’s not here, Will. She never was.”
“You… lie…” Will accused her, “she… was… right..ther…” he said pointing towards an empty spot. “I… heard… her… voice…” he caughed and for a moment his eyes rolled back into his skull. The veiled lady enjoyed his suffering immensly. She loomed over his prone form on the bed and smiled with an ugly smile behind the dark veil.
“Aah yes, her voice. The damned echo that keeps me apart from you, my dear Will. How I loathe it,” she screamed in jealous rage and clenched her fist above him, “how I wish to throttle the life out the throat which births it!”
She was furious, mad with rage and her eyes burned with the red of arterial blood, like twin firestorms beneath the veil. It was Will’s turn to laugh but he could only manage  a rictus grin.
“You know… you can’t keep me… away… forever…” he sighed.
“Look at yourself! Look at what your misguided emotions are doing to you at this very moment. You are burning and burning and burning… caught in a merry-go-round which brings you only suffering,” the veiled lady yelled, spitting venom with each shriek. “End this foolishness Will, let it all go,” she pleaded with mock compassion.
The man finally managed to exhale a laugh.
“You… you can never…” he caughed and inhaled deeply, “be what she is, bitch. If only a creature like you could…” he paused, “feel such… empathy just once in its wretched existence… you’d know.”
The veiled lady burned with fury, an aura of red glowing around her form.
“Fool! Moron! It is you who are consumed by the force of your own, disgusting, misguided ‘love’! You know you aren’t capable of such things! Not then, not now! If you were, why are you perishing even as we speak? Where’s cure for this madness,” she demaded furiously and paced from his bed to the far wall and back.
“Where it has always… been. On her heavenly… lips,” Will answered, with fervor in his eyes.
The lady’s cackles echoed like a death’s knell around the room making Will shudder in disgust, yet he finally managed to pull himself upright.
“And what happens if the medicine doesn’t ever meet your lips, idiot. What then?! End this now, please,” she pleaded as she held her head in amazement and fear of his expression.
“Then I shall burn to cinders, and rise again from the ashes like a Phoenix,” his voice thundered and he lunged at her, grabbing her by the throat. For the first time, the veiled lady stood stunned in absolute horror. This was not how it was supposed to be. He should’ve seen the folly of his love and subjugated himself to her yet again! But this, this was new! His eyes burned the with same crimson fury, with pupils of purest white.
“Even if I never taste medicine, even if everything crumbles to dust and withers and dies, you are my mistress no longer, witch,” Will yelled and his hand tightened around the lady’s frail throat.
“I won’t let you ruin me for a moment longer,” he exclaimed and with a final clench, broke the veiled lady’s neck with a nasty sound of snapping bones.
She disappeared in puffs of black smoke and he fell to the floor, heaving. The crimson light in his eyes died out, yet they still burned with the purest white of a caged sun.
He smiled as darkness overtook him.


Photo by Peter de Vink from Pexels

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