A little free read for you guys… The first chapter of Sleeping Beauty And The Damned Demon…
I don’t write normal fairy tales… I like my princes dark and my princesse’s dangerous… If you have never read a Demon Tale before, then be prepared for a dark and twisty ride xx
Madness moved around her mind like a slippery snake, haunting her dreams and writhing through her thoughts. Obscuring reality with insanity, twisting the pair together like a pretty braid of imaginings and happenings, until all that existed wasconfusion.
Fact or fiction, the meaning different, the outcome always the same.When madness occurred for so long within the same place, madness became the answer.Madness became the escape.
“Is she awake?”
Selma heard the whispered voices outside her cell and turned her head to the side. She stared at the solid metal door and blinked rapidly as even the minute speck of light that fed through a rust hole at the top burned into her retinas. Swallowing past her dry, tight throat, Selma struggled to rouse from her heavy, suffocating sleep.
“I don’t know, you go and check,” another voice snapped and Selma brought up the image of a round woman with grey hair, with eyes so full of malice they made her chest go tight.
Selma fisted her hands and did the slow, excruciatingly painful check to her body she always did after rousing. Her muscles were always stiff and locked up, her eyes always stung and felt as if someone had rubbed sandpaper over them, repeatedly. Her neck screamed from being stuck in the same position for a long time. No one ever helped her, it was always her waking agony.
Selma turned her head very slowly and glanced up to the grey clock on the wall, she read the time—six o’ clock—whether that was Am or Pm, Selma had no way of finding out. Other than that pin of light, there were no windows in her cell. What day was it? Selma never had any clue. If Selma fell into a sleep, it could last between one hour and one month, nobody knew for certain. Though, Selma could tell by just trying to lift her leg that her muscles had been asleep for a while this time—a long while.
Rotting in this cell…
Though ‘they’ called it her ‘room’ Selma had long since known it to be her cell. She remembered the cells in the castle she grew up in and—“Stop!” She croaked through her tight, pained throat and cringed at the pain it caused to speak. She had to getcontrol of these stupid, made-up stories in her mind. She had to gain control of her brain, she had to tell her mind to stop giving her images of castles of such beauty and size, and of a king and queen with smiling faces and loving, gentle hugs—she had to, or she would never get free from this place.
Selma heard the rattle of a lots of keys and turned her head towardthe door again, her chest sunk a little, knowing that one of those cruel nurses was coming in. Yet hope rose as thoughts of going into the sunroom where she could watch the scenery, the birds and the ever moving sky.
Selma swallowed back the fear and plastered an uncomfortable smile on her face.
Bad things happened when Selma allowed her fear to rise. Bad things that she could not explain. Bad things that could never be attributed to her—but Selma had known it hadbeen her. It was a deep, unsettling knowledge that made her wary around her captives.
The day the lightning struck and knocked the tree down that killed the head porter, that had been the day Selma had wished him dead. Selma breathed through the memory of his roaming hands and forced her mind past the flash back of his smoke scented breath.
The day that she received her tenth bout of shock therapy, the machine had exploded, shocking three members of staff and starting a fire that closed the west wing for a month—they haven’t had the funds to buy another shock ‘therapy’ machine since.
Though Selma was nowhere near either of these incidences at the time, being locked in her cell, Selma had a feeling she had been a factor each and every time.
Maybe just another facet of her madness—or maybe it wasn’t…
The metal door opened on a loud creak and a tall, thin nurse with wrinkles all over her face stepped into her cell.
Selma held that awkward and painful smile into place, cleared her throat and said, “Morning.” As she always did. She needed them to start seeing her as a person, albeit, a person who sleeps more than is awake, and a person with a temper that only drugs couldreduce, she was still a person, a woman who was going mad—all right, madder—locked up day and night.
The woman lifted her lip in repugnance and Selma felt her heart jolt. Laid on the bed, dressed in hospital whites, hair scraggy and messy, her body railthin, she must look a sight.
Selma couldn’t remember a time in the last fifteen years when she hadn’t felt disgusting, hadn’t felt ashamed and embarrassed. What she wouldn’t give for a hot shower, a plush spongy bed and fruit—actual fresh fruit. An image popped into her mind of her sitting on a bench in a light beautiful forest, surrounded by wild flowers. She was eating a plum, a soft, juicy, dripping plum plucked fresh from a tree.
Selma felt that familiar and torturous jolt of hunger and forced her mindback to the present. Thinking about fresh food and a life that never happened, never helped her quest to fight the madness.
The dull strip lights on the ceiling flickered, making the nurse glance upwards nervously. Selma saw fear blanket the old woman’s expression even as accusations filled the woman’s cruel eyes. Selma tried to manage the sudden jolt of fear within her stomach.
“No, I didn’t—” Do that.She began, her voice cracking and failing before she even managed to finish her words because she couldn’t be sure she hadn’t…
The nurse shook her head and crossed herself.“Satan himself made you,” the nurse hissed, her bent fingers curled around the edge of the door and Selma watched with climbing desperation as the nurse took a step backwards.
Holding that smile in place, Selma tried her hardest to look kind, to look un-threatening, but the old nurse still backed up and out the door.
Selma sagged within, the heavy weight of rejection yanked on the temper in her flaky and weak mind. Distraught, she tried tolift her arms, but stiff weak muscles meant she could barely move on her own. Selma tried to sit up, but managed only halfway before her body gave up with a pathetic shake that knocked her onto her back again.
Selma shook her aching, stiff head, “Please, no, don’t close the door again…” Tears stung her eyes and the lights flickered on the ceiling. The door closed with a hard, metallic
sound and Selma’s tears ran free and fast down her face. “Please, come back” I just want to see the sky, I just want to feel the warmth of the sun… I just want nourishment. ”Please,” she said again, knowing that the nurse wasn’t coming back, could no longer hear her through the heavy metal door.
Selma stared at the one pin of light, the bright ray of sun, so perfect and pure as it reached its finger of warmth towardher. She lifted her hand, gritted her teeth against the effort it took to do so, and ran her hand through the beam of light.
She imagined warmth, though she knew such a paltry amount of sun couldn’t offer any, still, she imagined her skin soaking up the brightness with every breath she took. She closed her eyes and allowed herself to imagine the place from her dreams, the place she had sworn to try to forget. She imagined, green grass, blue sky, and sunshine so bright she would have to squint.
Selma smiled, this time not a forced stiff smile, but one born of happiness as she slipped further into her madness and allowed it to stroke her flesh and warm up her soul. This place of sun and bright colors might be a figment of her imagination—a cruel figment from her insanity—but this place was all that Selma had. In this place, where her physical body lay, there was no comfort, no ease from her agonies. Only cold, dark hunger, so deep she felt it to her soul.
Once upon a time, madness was her illness, now it was her savior, her peace from reality.
In the distance, past her clouded mind, Selma heard the door to her cell open again,she lifted her heavy lashes and watched a tall male dressed in a doctor’s lab coat walk over to her. She knew she still had her smile in place, and her hand was still reaching for the sun. She knew her mouth was tipped in a perfect smile, and that if someone was looking for insane, then surely she was the perfect specimen.
He stared down at her and frowned, his glasses covered in a sheen of dust as he breathed over her.
Skin. Selma thought randomly, Dust was human skin floating in the air.
A voice rang within her mind, not hers, but the voice of another woman, Humans were put on earth to be our servants, never to be our equal…But Selma lost the confusing trail of thought when the man spoke to her.
“You are awake?” he asked, his tone deliberate and slow as if he were talking to someone who was missing a few brain cells.
Selma nodded and tried to bring herself back to ‘normal’. A normal person locked in a cell would not be smiling. A normal person locked in a cell would not be calm as she was while being assessed by yet another stranger.
Then again, Selma had been told she was not normal so many times, that maybe she had no idea what a normal person wouldactually do in this case.
“How long have you been awake?” the doctor asked, as he took a pen from his pocket and began to scribble on a note pad.
Selma turned her head, looked at the clock and blinked through the hazy light. “About an hour,” she answered through her parched mouth, though it had felt a lot longer. These days, her time awake was more torture thanthe deep, dark hole of sleep.
The doctor frowned at her, glanced towardthe clock and back at her. “You can tell the time?” he asked, as if the idea of her knowing something like that was insane.
Selma nodded and tried to lift her head to peer around the doctor to see if she could see any more light—a window, a skylight—anything.
“Attention on me, Ms, Black,” he snapped, his tone cold and unfeeling, even as he snapped a name at Selma that was not hers. She had been named ‘Black’ when she had arrived in theinstitution. Unable to talk, unable to do anything, but stare at the staff in her first weeks, they had named her after the cloak she had been wearing—a black cloak with black lining. Selma hated the name, had told them time and time again, she hated it, but because she could not remember her actual name—other than Selma—they had kept it. It was on her files, on her door—even stitched into her every piece of clothing.
“That is not my name,” she said, as the ever present anger boiled within.
The doctor raised an arrogant brow and turned his head a little as if looking behind him. Selma glanced that way and caught the nervous expression of the old nurse as she twitched from one foot to the other.
Selma schooled her own expression and tried to force her anger back. She had learned a long time ago that her temper got her nowhere. The only thing it succeeded in doing was to get her drugged, which was as much a nightmare as her comatose sleeps, or beaten…or electrocuted.
Yeah, life was fun.
Selma breathed deeply and attempted to sit up. The doctor laid a heavy, cold hand upon her shoulder and shook his head.
“You stay lying down, missy.”
Selma tried to talk, but the doctor flicked his fingers at the nurse and she scuttled forward. She held out her hand and showed Selma a leather strip of material and Selma shook her head vigorously, knowing what it was. “No, please, I will be quiet, I promise.”
“I will be forced to gag and bind you if you try to escape again,” he said, again his tone devoid of any feeling.
Selma nodded and bit back her reply, which would have gone something like, I wasn’t trying to escape, just sit up, maybe just to see the sun—the sky,because she knew it would do nothing to help. So, Selma just laid stiff, feeling frustrated, frightened and soul tired as this new doctor, studied her like a bug under a microscope.
“Do you know how long you have slept, Ms Black?”
Selma shook her head.
“Six days and seven hours,” he said. His eyes tracked over her with a ruthless light and Selma curled a little into herself. The doctor raised his hand to touch her face and Selma flinched. She didn’t like this doctor at all, his eyes were as cold as his voice. His fingers, as they tugged at her eye lids and pinched at her hand, were cold, almost wet, and they left her flesh chilled.
After the doctor pinched her hand, he turned to the nurse, “This woman is dehydrated, fetch her some water please.”
“Sir, this patient is on very low rations of liquid and food,” the nurse replied, obviouslyput out by the doctor’s request.
Selma recalled the last time they had pushed a tray of ‘food’ through the hatch in the wall—all she had received had been strong coffee and a boiled egg—they might as well have given her shit water and a turd—she hadn’t touched it. That had been over afortnight ago. But for some reason, Selma hadn’t died. Though she had wished to on many occasion, her system would never just pack up. It just wouldn’t.
The doctor stood tall and stared at the woman. “This woman needs liquid, see to it she has some.”
He turned back to Selma and stared at her once more. “It is not possible for someone to sleep for such periods of time without death or ill health. The same goes for nutrition.” The doctor was almost murmuring to himself, his eyes never leaving Selma as heseemed to have a debate internally.
When the nurse returned with a full glass of water, the doctor took it and Selma instantly felt her thirst. She glanced at the glass and her throat closed, while her stomach rolled in desperation. A stampede of need erupted like a volcano in her mind and every cell in her body ached and strained towardthe drink.
But the doctor held the glass close to his body and didn’t offer it to her.
“Tell me, MissBlack. Do you meditate into yourself? Or do you simply black out?” heasked. Selma took a moment to tear her gaze from the glass of water, blinking as she tried to remember his question.
“Uh. I don’t know” She replied truthfully, her voice a little weak as thirst threatened to make her cry, to scream, to throw up violently.Selma swallowed past her parched throat and tried to look directly at the doctor—sane people kept eye contact, didn’t they?
“See, she can’t follow a train of thought for long, sir,” the nurse said, her tone full of mocking as she watched Selma with malice.
The doctor nodded and touched his chin thoughtfully. He slid his eyes to the glass of water and held it up. “Do you want this, Ms Black?”
Selma nodded without hesitation, her hand reached for the water without conscious thought, but the doctor snatched it away, spilling precious drops on the floor as he did. “Then answer my question. How do you sleep for so long?”
Selma began panting as the thirst became painful. So odd that she hadn’t thought of water or needing it until she had seen it—now, now though, she had to have it. She blinked as her vision clouded, her head swam as she tried so desperately to listen to the doctor, who was now barking orders at the nurse.
“Please,” Selma begged, so far past caring how pathetic she looked as she did so, “Please, I –just a drop,” she asked. Her hand reached blindly for the glass the doctor now held the drink high.
“Answer my question,” he barked, “Answer, and you may have the water,” he said, his tone now mocking like the nurse.
Selma glanced downwards when she felt cold hands close around her ankles, her panting picked up pace and Selma’s anger rose higher and higher. “Please,” she begged again, though this time Selma wasn’t sure she had said it aloud through her parched throat.
She looked up through her dizzy vision, the doctor stood still, while the nurse was a flurry of action around him. Selma knew the nurse had tied her hands, though Selma was too weak to fight.
The doctor’s words still filtered into her ears, but the buzzing sound within her mind had gotten stronger, sharper until Selma cried out in desperation.
She just needed water, a sip and the noise, the confusion, the utter desperation would go away. Buzzing, ringing and begging all fought for control in her mind and Selma knew the madness was coming…
Aherd of wild horses over the horizon threatening to trample over all and every rational thought. Their metal hooves and mighty bodies would forcefully collide with her grip on reality, shoving her restraint down forcefully, until all that was left was Selma’s dark nature.
Selma opened her eyes, focused upon the doctor, breathed deeply and spoke.
“Give me the water,” she said.
The doctor raised both brows and shook his head. He glanced at the glass and wiggled it—taunting, teasing…
”Give me the water!” She bellowed. Selma strained toward the glass, her back bowing off the bed as her hands and feet fought the bonds that held her firm.
The doctor moved forward and held the glass just out of her reach, he bent down, so close that Selma could smell his breath—his warm whiskey, bacon breath.
“Tell me, how you do it,” he snapped and Selma whimpered, aware that her anger was as high as it could be. The emotion coiled within like a snake readying for attack. Her stomach felt solid, full of hate as she stared at the doctor.
“Water,” she demanded and she knew it would be the last chance the doctor got.
The doctor stood tall and threw the glass at the wall. The water—precious, precious water—splattered against the stone wall and soaked into the parched ground.
Selma’s panting halted as her eyes watched the liquid disappear into the many cracks on the ground. The liquid making the floor shine as her insides would have if she had been able to have just one drop.
She turned her head back slowly and eyed the doctor with all her anger. Her hands fisted and Selma threw back her head and screamed.
In the distance—outside of her mind—Selma heard other screams, not hers, no, hers were recognizable, a sound she heard daily from within her mind. The screams she heard past hers were full of shock and agony. Her body shook with the force of her anger, her muscles straining against the bonds. Her screams seemed to go on and on, her throat tearing with the very effort it took. But Selma didn’t stop, couldn’t stop as her anger pulsed from her like an energy that bowed her back and pulled her tendons taught.
Sometime later, she felt a sharp pain in her arm and then her screams died like a wilting flower in the sun. Not a sharp end of the sound, but more a sad loss of energy that ceased her screams and dragged her into a dark nothingness.
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Have a great day xx