Alex is back on the bed, wondering what the next step is. Teg doesn’t look too comfortable when he left. Maybe he doesn’t know about ‘periods’ or he does know and he’s just old fashioned. Six thousand years is a big age gap. She cannot stop about thinking about all this magia talk. Perhaps she can ask Teg to bring her a book or two. She’s not cut out for any of this sort of thing. Never ever, and she certainly has no idea how she actually bound themselves. Why is there no manual for these kind of things, she thought. It would have been easier for everybody and surely, no one will get hurt. Teg went somewhere again. He assures her that he will be back and she told him to be extra careful.
For now being in the room, with the cats is enough for her. This moment of peace is all she wants. But seeing Boon like that makes her feel like shit. She did not mean it but she cannot help being disappointed in herself.
‘Domina?’ Teg is cautiously waving at her, carrying what looks like a small box. ‘I got some of your things from your flat.’ Alex looks at the box and to him and she felt confused and wonders what he managed to squeeze in that small box.
‘Is my house alright, Teg? Or did they ransack it?’ She worries because it is her first flat and when she noticed the darkness pouring in from the windows, she wondered whether they blew up her place or made it into their hideout, assume human forms and wear her things? She’s decided that she is probably going insane.
‘No, your house is fine Domina, but I wouldn’t go back there until this is over, especially since you have the symbol on your back.’
Alex sighs and thinks. ‘Perhaps a change of clothes would do me good.’ She finally decides.
‘I took all your clothes so you won’t have to worry about choices.’ Teg says to her as if it was something out of the ordinary.
‘How can you…what do you mean you got all my clothes?’ She looks back at the box and rolls her eyes at it. ‘Please don’t tell me this is some magical box coz if it is, you’re going to give this to me and I will carry it around – especially just in case I see a hot non-human creature.’ Teg rolls her eyes at her this time and they both laugh. Alex hold her sides, wincing in pain, ‘I can’t even laugh, how cruel is this?’
The box grows in size and became as large as a normal clothes cabinet.
‘Will you teach me how to do that later?’ Alex stares at the box in amazement, looks at Teg and bats her eyelashes, trying to be cute – trying very hard.
Teg bows deeply. ‘No.’ There was a poof sound and he disappears.
Alex didn’t think that would work. She notices that the pain on her back is not as severe but it definitely still feels raw. There are many instances that she could have checked the mirror when she went into the bathroom but she couldn’t even lift her arms. Or maybe she was just scared to see what she would see.
She had hoped that she would dream about Stēlla again. Give her some insight.
It dawned on her that she sounds like those helpless girls on television or what she used to read in books. She remembered complaining about how much whining they used to do and now, she feels like she’s doing the same thing. She sighs.
There is nothing she can do right now except change her clothes.
‘I’m so screwed,’ she whispers to herself.
She moves to the side of the bed and slowly edges herself to the edge. When was the last time she was this helpless? She stands, leaning on the bed for support. Her knees still feels like jelly but she can stand. She went back through the years in her mind and she realizes that the last time was as helpless was when she was bedridden for a whole year.
She got sick. Very very sick.
She was taken to the best hospitals; the best private doctors. Alternative medicine and everything you can think of. She did it all.
She looks across the room, staring at the cabinet box’s door. Baby steps, she assures herself.
She doesn’t remember much about that time in her life except it felt like she was in a dream, going in and out of consciousness. How she got so sick was the question that burns through her mind all the time. Her parents told her that kids gets sick all the time.
She walks towards the cabinet-box with a bit of a struggle. She stops walking when she realizes that she was walking like a zombie. She grins at the thought and continued.
She remembered the man, inside the church. Her mother and Aunt Hera were at confession after the mass. She sat on the benches of the confession booths when he appeared out of nowhere. She doesn’t remember his face much but she remembers him laughing, like she said a joke to him. He put his hand on her head. He told her they will see each other again. And then he vanished.
She looked around her. Perhaps he was hiding in one of the columns. All she could hear was silence. After that, she started screaming. She felt like she was burning.
The memory lapse suddenly made her right knee give way, but she manages to keep standing. She felt like a tightrope walker. Yes, that’s right, she thought. She tells herself she can do anything as her hand reaches for the cabinet box handle. She was sweating profusely, trying to catch her breath and feels a little burning on her back.
She remembers her mother, Aunt Hera and the priests inside the confession booths running out and found her on the floor. They took her to the hospital but they couldn’t find anything. She remembers she was in and out of consciousness.
Alex tut tut’s at herself as she shakes off the lingering memories. She manages to take off her top, feeling like her joints are cemented together. She takes a look at the back of her shirt. Her tattoo bled through her shirt. She regrets getting it done now but at the same time, she strangely doesn’t. She slowly pulls her pyjamas down. She had a bit of trouble pulling them off. She feels like she’s aged at least another hundred years. She hopes this is not permanent.
‘You both will need time to recover.’
Teg’s voice assures her. She looks back at where Boon is and he is still unconscious. She made a mental note that binding together is painful – but what about separation? She thought about what Stēlla must have gone through. It must have been excruciating pain and this thought made her a little sad. There were so many questions and no answers.
Alex suddenly remembers that there was this old lady with Aunt Hera.
Alex knows her but she can’t recall as much as she tried.
Suddenly, she felt something THUD. It was like a loud heartbeat. She looks around her, her senses high on alert and listening. She grabs whatever clothes she can in the closet box, not looking in and wears it as quickly as she can. She checks Boon but he’s unchanged.
Another loud THUD – she can hear it in her mind. She doesn’t feel good about this.
She half runs to the bed. She places her cats in a small blanket all together. She carries them across the room, still struggling and hides them inside the closet, closing it quickly but carefully. Her eyes rested on her mini Latin dictionary by the side table next to the closet. She grabs it and looks for anything she can use to put it in. She finds a brown coloured pouch hanging by the wall hook. She skims through the mini dictionary and looks for the word, ‘box’.
Another loud THUD, the sound is much closer this time. She doesn’t plan on being there when it does come. She looks at the closet box. She doesn’t know if this will work. She must not hesitate. She must not hesitate. She’s scared shitless.
‘I must not hesitate; I hope this work, fack! Shit! Don’t be friggin’ scared! Your back is all bloody and you have your period,’ she assures herself. ‘They should know better than to mess with women on these hell on earth days.’
She puts her right hand on the door of the closet box. ‘Don’t worry babies, Mommy got this.’ She takes a deep breath, and concentrated on the word.
‘Arca Archa*!’ She blinks and the closet box is gone in front of her. It baffles her for a moment. She looks down and the closet box is the size of her hand. She picks it up and holds it tenderly. ‘I hope you guys are okay there,’ she whispers to it. She places the box into her pouch. Just as she was about to get Boon, she trips and falls on the floor.
‘Ahhh facckkkiinnn shiitt,’ she manages to say as she grabs the bracelet that held the stone. ‘Reddo*,’ she commands and the projection of Boon disappears.
A louder thud – they’re here, there’s no time, she thought. Just as she rolls under the bed, black shadows seeps into the room. She watches the shadow form into – feet?
‘I can still feel her…’ one of them says, hissing. Alex is surprise that she can understand them. Some of them are just whispering and she can barely hear them.
‘The Libra is very….weak…,’ a second voice tells the group. It chuckles at this find and the rest expressed their interest and amusement.
‘Silence,’ it commands the group, ‘I can hear it, her beating heart and the pulsing of the Libra….Tso…’Alex can already tell she instructed one of them to look at where she’s hiding. Where the hell is she going now?
‘Asylum,’ a voice in her head commands but weakly. It’s Boon.
* Arca Archa – box
* Reddo – return
* Asylum – shelter