Chatper Three - Vermillion
Slowly opening my eyes, I winced as the bright daylight flooded through the windows and into the kitchen. Stretching and yawning, I got up and porued water onto the burning embers of the furnace I was sat before.
Fortunately, the sensation of someone behind me had gone for now: I only felt that someone else had been here, quite recently.
"Don't be silly," I whispered to myself, "it's just that imaginary creep you keep thinking you're seeing.
So, ignoring my gut feeling, I trudged up the stairs into my bedroom. On my small, uncomfortable bed was an outfit already laid out for me - I always had my clothes out in the morning. It's not as if I had many though; I was very poor now that I didn't have my family with me.
I slipped out of my grey evening gown, tattered at the edges, and dumped the green shawl on the damp carpet. Curling my toes into the rotting threadbare rug, I braced myself against the sudden cold and stepped into a duck egg-blue skirt. As I tightened the matching corset round my bony torso, I gazed out the window; I felt so trapped in here.
Telling myself not to get upset with such thoughts, I put my familiar shawl back on and sat on the bed. It was very small, with a woollen blanket and thin pillow. The sheets were a sickly yellow-grey, as they hadn't been washed for weeks - why should I bother? It's not as if anyone saw me, so my appearance and cleanliness never really bothered me.
Sitting down, I closed my eyes and tried to remember exactly what that imaginary man with the horrible face looked like. I always seem to make him have some sort of hunger in his eyes (for what he is hungry, I have no idea) even though I can't see them properly. His skin seems to be too large for his skeletal frame, hanging helplessly from his mutated features in brown folds. Behind the deep cut in his face that I assumed was his mouth, I could sometimes spot lips: there were blood red and torn, as if some creature had attacked him there. Any occasional glimpse of his teeth left me feeling nauseous; they were yellow and pointed, and there were far too many of them for my comfort.
Though of course, he wasn't real. So why was I worrying?
Swallowing pointless, I stood up and straighted my old dress out and coughed loudly. For some reason, I felt quite awkward and self-concious - as if someone could see me! God, I'm so on edge these days...but who can blame me when there's the most horrific-looking man ever following me?
Jesus, Vermillion! Stop scaring yourself, I thought to myself scornfully. You're being a delusional coward; you're all alone in this place. Anyway, no-one would bother following you; you're as ugly as Hell and a complete mental wreck!
Shaking my nervousness from me, I squared my bony shoulder and walked downstairs and out the front door, as if I didn't have a care in the world.