Mother's cogs started spinning again, but her lips didn't move. She seemed to be slower than ever these days. The Lord Mayor had tried to make her faster by pulling out her eyes, for eyes were pointless distractions for a mathematical computer, but doing so had seemed to hinder her calculations even more.
"It's dark. It's so dark Jasper, nothing but darkness, nothing but darkness and numbers Jasper, one two three one two three one two…"
The Mayor sighed. This kept happening now, and it was best to leave her until the error sorted itself out.
"…one two three one two three one two three twelve two three…" she said, her voice quivering as she looked blindly around the the room with the holes in her face where her eyes had once been. The Mayor remembered when he had ripped them out with his clawed hands. He remembered how she hadn't even flinched as her warm blood had speckled his arms and the lenses of his wire-framed glasses. He remembered trying to clean his glasses later on using a silken cloth, but the blood had dried onto them, and had to be scraped off.
"Our girl, Jasper?" she asked.
"Yes the girl! What of her?" snapped the Mayor, his temper rising. He looked at her stupid face, at the places where he'd clawed and ripped out Mother's silver eyes, at the ripped up roses of torn skin, the two tattered hollows from where the blood had poured down her face and had dried onto her gaunt cheeks like permanent, crusty tears.
"She's escaped, my son…"
"The girl has escaped…"
"E-Explain!" stammered the Mayor, his legs all taking a step back, what little colour there was in his face draining away.
The cogs began spinning as Mother prepared her answer, as she played daydreamingly with the few strands of hair she had left, feeling the sweaty clumps with her hand, which was covered in scars and had long metal needles instead of fingers. For some reason, her hair had never lost its colour, and those few strands that wormed their way out of her vein-covered scalp were exactly the same colour as when she was a little girl, hair that was flowing and bright red, as red and as flowing as fresh blood.
"Explain!" he bellowed.
On the bloody roses that had been her eyes, droplets of watery tears had appeared, sitting on those tortured petals like cool drops of morning dew.
"Our girl, Jasper, our little Lily Droplet. She is…she is free…and she must be caught…"