The old woman before him has already been marked 'a crazy', her eccentricity and hermit-like qualities spinning tales of chickens' feet and missing children. But, is there any truth to it? Because isn't there a modicum of truth in every lie? Every rumor? Urban legend? Myth? Most of the time, at least. All of that goes through the man's head as he surveys the small, hunch-backed, wiry-haired, yuck-mouthed woman before him...a woman who it is also said, is a psychic, able to predict the future. And because of this, he has sought her out, the man peering at her all-over-the-place eyes, a gaze that will not hold still for too long - probably because whatever it is people have marked her as - is true! Because eyes are nothing but windows to the soul, and one can only wonder what hers looks like.
This living fossil is something else, an anomaly even to herself. She stretches forth her bony hand, gnarled, already-bent and crooked finger forced into a line of straightness, the hag croaking out in a voice that consists of dust, cut diamond and spidersilk,"As you stand before me, looking at me with eyes of disbelief, I see those same eyes melting from their sockets and rolling down your cheeks in oily rivers, spreading into the corners of your corpsely mouth. I see that flesh falling off, breaking down...worms coiling up from your pores and emerging into freedom. I see decay. I see....DEATH! Death...that happens before my very eyes."
That pointed finger holds so much power, so much force, the phenomenon of intention, accusation, conviction, and truth brought together in one space and place, within the tip of the index-finger, that long, hard nail curled over and under the pad of the digit as if to encapsulate everything and condense it into one copmlete energy -- a single point. That finger is shaking to its very foundation -- the hand. And the man? He is shivering as she holds the finger upon him, the effects of such a vocalized notion leaving him afraid, it seen in his body language, his person. He shakes his head, rejecting her statement, stumbling while backing away,"You're lying! You don't know what you're talking about. You don't even know what you are! So why should I believe anything you say?"
The old lady throws back her head in laughter, unleashing a cackle that fades into a harsh half-growl,"I don't know why you would believe me...but you do. I can see it in your eyes, even as you try to convince yourself otherwise. Were you not the one who called me for my 'services'? And so, here I am. You asked for this, boy. You brought this on yourself! Seek and ye shall find. Yes...I see you. I know you. You are like me. And I am like you. And I know you oh-so-WELL. Ahhh, but Death knows you even better. But Death wants to know you more. Do you hear me? DEATHHHH!"
The last word is rained down on his head like wrath or a curse, almost a providential proclamation. But, what does one do when something horrible is whispered in their ear? Something horrible before their eyes? Something horrible at their back? They cover those ears, they cover those eyes...and they run. They turn tail...and run and run and run, until what is at their back is no more. But even as he tries to shake this feeling, this entity (the witch standing there still laughing), he knows in his heart that it is too late, the thing having already taken over, invaded. He hears the laughter the fills the night, the instigating moon and stars, eavesdropping, a haunting backdrop to it all, as if they are watching a great injustice with much leisure. Where is God? Where is Iron Will? Where is Destiny? Where are the Powers That Be? So much sadism, mockery. That laughter still pursues him -- chasing him into the depths of madness. And on the outskirts? Nothing, but the spot of Self.
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