The woman in the mirror is frowning, brow creased and biting her bottom lip. A quarter-turn to the left, then to the right, appraising with a critical eye. I look up and meet my own eyes, counter the expression of anxious self-doubt with a wry roll. Let my tummy relax from its tense, defensive, held-in stance. Allow the truth to seep in and expand before me. I may never regain the smooth flat planes of my teenage shape. A sigh.
This is part 6 of the tale of the Governor’s Wife – you can catch up with the story so far at the links below
She runs her fingers lightly across the welts and bruises blooming on her pale skin, luxuriating in their heightened sensitivity, their vibrant colours. She has never felt so alive and so much at peace; bound and beaten she was finally freed from the constraint of corsets and conventions which had thus far imprisoned her spirit.
Tonight she is hunting, prowling the narrow dim-lit, littered backstreets; with jaguar stealth and reptilian intent. As she passes, dead leaves and empty cardboard takeaway boxes crumble to ashes, conversations fade to uneasy silence, streetlights flicker. In her wake, wholesome desire becomes ravenous depravity, admiration darkens to slavish worship, human eyes dilate with human lusts. She ignores their tiny whispers, mere nibbles at the edges of her awareness; tonight she is stalking bigger game and has no time for these insubstantial morsels of mortals. She likens them to the cheap fast food they seem to enjoy so much; dead consumables made of fat and starch, produced by an industrial slaughterhouse for degraded tastes.
This is part 5 of the tale of the Governor’s Wife – you can catch up with the story so far at the links below
Why is she not afraid? Is it the reassuring presence of Elijah Blackstone, the man who has vowed to come to her rescue should she ask for surcease? He leads her by bound wrists through dark wooden passageways to his cabin, the largest room on the ship. Her tread is sure, her back straight; at a glance her bowed head would appear a stance of resignation or of fear. But no, it hides a wicked exhilaration – flushed and wide-eyed, there is an exultant smile twitching at the corner of her mouth.