Sometimes I visit my dear mother, come to sneer at her from the top of the cabinet where I used to watch my brothers argue. Older now, frail and untrustworthy. How could she not have changed? Surely remorse is an emotion people feel when someone close has been killed. But she does not remember. I do not know why. I can hope only that what she feels is not shown on the edges, but close to the centre of her wrought core. My mother was never an exactly kindred spirit, preferring to take the back seat and watch as my father raised me. She was weak, her façade of power slowly slipping. We were rich, dressed in silk and linen petticoats by our chamber maids. A vast house and grounds imprisoned us in their beauty. We were permitted to leave this place only when we turned twenty. Never look back as you leave, or the iron masks will draw you from your path. I did not reach the finite age before those creatures of the night were upon me.