I ran down the hall of my apartment as though ten thousand devils were hot on my tail. I high-tailed it into the bathroom, slamming the door shut and then stopped; leaning my body against the door. Listening, straining to hear over the frenetic thudding of my heart, to see if I'd woken my roommate. The night would only get worse if my desparate flight had disturbed her rest.
I blew out the breath I hadn't realized I'd been holding, turning away to gaze at myself in the mirror. A pretty girl looked back. Many people had commented that I was beautiful. I'd scoffed in reply; saying that my eyes weren't the right shade of green, that my lips weren't full and pouty enough, that I was still beleaguered with acne. Pretty girl, but nothing extraordinarily special. Someone who would be forgotten seconds after she was noticed.
I left the safety of the door, to lean closer to the mirror; clutching the sides of the sink with white-knuckled hands for balance. I stared at the pretty girl looking back at me until the face dissolved, becoming just bits and pieces. Abstract bits that mean nothing until they are a part of a whole.
What would it feel like to die?
"It doesn't take much to find out." I stiffened, watching my lips form those dreadful, horrifying words. Tears rose, unbidden, to overflow my lashes, carving crystalline tracks down my face.
"No," I whimpered. Hating the mewling, petulant word. The voice was silent. Waiting, gloating, knowing that if she pushed, just the tinest bit, that I would capitulate and do whatever it was she wanted.
"I don't want to die." I sobbed, trying desperately to find my way out of this.
"Well, isn't that just too bad?" the voice soothed, mocking my pain.
My left hand felt heavy. I looked down, tearing my eyes away from the pretty girl in the mirror. A pretty girl that I no longer recognized, let alone knew anymore. My hand was wrapped lovingly around the .38 I kept under my pillow. It was an antique, a show pistol. I couldn't use it to actually shoot someone, just used it to intimidate people... should anyone break in.
"Run a bath, you don't want to make a mess for Rhae to clean up." The voice pointed out patiently. I nodded in acquience. Run a bath so all the blood fell into the water and not on the floor. Wouldn't want Rhae to slip on it.
Mechanically I started the bathtub, comforted by the sound of the old pipes groaning. I sat on the edge of the tub and unlaced my boots, pulling them off and setting them neatly by the door. My jeans followed, folded neatly over the toilet seat; followed by my plain Jane cotton panties, my vintage Hendrix t-shirt and my most comfortable bra. All folded into a neat little pile, pockets emptied of change and reciepts and sundry other things. I didn't wear socks today.
I leaned over, turning off the taps and lighting the cinnamon scented candle and sat, once more, on the edge. My hand clenched and unclenched around the pistol. I didn't want to do this. I want to throw up. I want to go home. I want my mother.
Tears were once more flowing and the voice spoke again.
"Place the barrel in your mouth."
Sobbing loudly, I tried to keep my hand in my lap. My hand, my enire arm shook as I fought to keep my hand where it was.
"Don't worry, I'll be there to catch you." The voice promised.
"Liar." I whispered, but gave up fighting. The barrel passed my lips, my teeth and I squeezed my eyes shut as my finger curled around the trigger.
'It's a show pistol, it's welding it place, it isn't even loaded, there's no possible way...."
Far, far away there was a burst of noise, then a pop. There was a splash and I opened my eyes to see swirling pink water with little gobbets of flesh floating it in. My hair was caught in the whirling and I died. And the angel laughed.
I became aware again sometime later. I knelt in a dark place, shivering, wet and naked. There was no light, no angel, no Heaven, and no Hell.
After a time, I became aware that I was whole again, my brains weren't leaking out of the back of my head. I was still naked and wet, but my skin wasn't covered in diluted blood. My eyes slowly adjusted to the darkness and I noticed that I knelt before a chair.
It was a heavy, gothic carved monstrocity. On it lay a thick black robe. Suddenly cold, I stood on trembling legs and looked about furtively before wrapping the robe around me and curling myself into the chair.
There was a 'click' and a light came from nowhere. The angel stood before me, wearing my face, my skin, my tattoos. She looked disdainfully, opened her mouth and sang:
"There's a chair in my head, on which I used to sit. Took a pencil and I wrote the following on it; 'Now there's a key where my wonderful mouth used to be..."
My eyes widened in horror as I realized where I was.
I was trapped inside my own head, unable to cry for help. I had no mouth to cry with. Tears flowed down my face as I sat, frozen, on the chair and watched that cursed 'angel' walk away. Leaving me in darkness, helpless, to watch her walk away with my life.
My body opened my physical eyes. The pistol had vanished, no blood, no mess, just the sweet smell of cinnamon and a warm bath waiting....