O ___ how weak the flesh! O ______ how frail the bones! O ____ how horrid your stench! O ______ ____ _____ your gibbering goes on and on!
Is now the bill due? Is this my punishment for pursuing Mademoiselle Ren? For prodding Ms. Sparks? Are you lashing back because I have let the mask drop about being more than human?
Or is it what I suspect, that this body is too fragile a conductor of the current I draw from your realms? That is how I feel, how I look: like an electrical cable whose rubber coating has been nearly burned off.
Jesus Fucking Mary, what if it scars?
When my nose is not pouring blood, I smell only one thing: the silicate-calcium-carbonate-iron-iodine and sulfur reek I imagine permeates the superheated waters around hydrothermal vents on the ocean floor. I smell liquid minerals and blood.
I stain all I touch, like a split, rotting plum, like a crushed grenadine. Everything hurts. Every movement hurts. Writing hurts. Bathing hurts. My tongue hurts. Even when I lie perfectly still, my sores are alive and wriggling with those worms that should not be.
The only thing that doesn’t hurt is thinking. That, I can do. Expand the mind. Compartmentalize the mind. With one part of the mind, memorize this diary entry for future records. With another, make progress on the diagrams LelantosTech sent me. With another, plan the clean-up.
Like a snail, I left a trail of slime behind me. The pool needs draining. The patio needs scrubbing. The chaise needs hosing. The carpets and rugs need washing. The sheets need replacing. All very useful things for Letitia to oversee. Give the girl enough work, and she will not have time to ask too many questions. We have read this story before, haven’t we? The ending is the same: You stay busy, busy, busy, and soon the world seems normal again, and all is in its place until it goes inside-out again. I adore her ability to distract herself from with menial tasks from encounters with staggering truths.
Sydney witnessed nothing, I think. Except perhaps the mess. One can never tell what that one notices and thinks. I will have to learn how to distract or otherwise maneuver her.
But, now, Zoe Andrews, what must you be thinking?
The irony of it! In the midst of playing a drowning game, it is me who almost drowns!