She ran into the room and slammed the door shut behind her. The sound it made rattled her bones. It shut with a creak on its hinges and such force that the paintings shook on the walls. She
locked the door with shaking hands.
Tonight was the night.
She put some Chopin on the phonograph and flung open the curtains to the flowing, crackling recording. The moonlight poured in and entangled itself in her hair. The stars seemed to weep for
her and her lost dreams. She opened the window and let the cool fall breeze into the stuffy room. It had been ages since she had enjoyed the evening such as she was now. Though she knew she must do
it now or forever remain tormented within her own body.
Quick now, she thought, before mum and dad return home.
She stuck her head out the window and inhaled deeply the bittersweet scent of the night and the mist and the rain. Foggy London lay bare below her window and as far as she could see crooked
towers and smoke toggled up into the sullen clouds hanging low ‘round the chimneys. What lay beyond was beyond her but she didn’t care.
She took her head from the window and walked daintily across her room and checked again to assure herself the door was indeed locked. On her table, she had cleared the Poe and Dickens and
placed a silver antique tea service that had belonged to her grandmother. She poured herself a cup of tea. From a drawer she procured a small flask of lost dreams and angel’s tears marked
‘cyanide’. She filled the cup up the rest of the way with it.
She sat a moment in the old chair and enjoyed for one last time the sweet tinkling of piano keys and the breeze cool on her bare legs, the comfort of the chair, the smell of London, the
warmth of the tea cup in her shivering hands, the way the curtains billowed with each sigh of wind. The way her room appeared in the dark, the paintings on the walls, the softness of the cotton
dress, everything she had not noticed before. But in this brief moment of bliss she was reminded of the sadness which riddled her life. These simple things would not bring her joy and poise and
love, they were just occasional happenings which were pleasant. Nothing more, nothing less. They were not the love of another human, they were not the warmth of a hand in hers, they were not the
kind words uttered from the lips of her relations.
And so, with that she let out a cry and a tear rolled from her blushed cheek, and she took a long sip of her tea. With the cup still clutched in her hands, she went to the window and gazed
out over the city once more. She took another sip, her lips against the porcelain as if the cup was the cheek of her only true love. She smiled and sighed again and the whole world seemed to swirl
up into an array of colours twisting and turning and in a single swift motion they forced themselves into a tight spiral and went straight into her heart. A quiet void, hermetically sealed, swooped
around her ears and in the deafening silence, she dropped her tea cup and the shatter of the ceramic on the oak wood floor was astonishing and quiet and it reminded her of the patter of the Chopin
Nocturne. Suddenly, the colours rushed out again, flowing like a waterfall from her fingertips and the palms of her hands, and her heart.
She seemed to be floating and she looked down to a quiet and peaceful London, all swirling below her like a puddle after spring’s first rain. Her dress twisted ‘round her knees and the soft
wind tousled her hair. She stretched out her hands and tried to touch the surrounding world, but nothing was real. I must be inside my mind, she thought. The cyanide and Lady Grey coursed through
her veins and she twirled in a circle. The roofs of the houses looked like toast and marmalade in the quiet sunrise. She exhaled and floated down to the brick streets. Her feet landed lightly and
all over her was golden sunlight, warm against her clammy skin. Where am I? She asked herself. Suddenly, a warm hand was on her waist and thekindly and handsomeface of a gentleman appeared at her
side. “In Heaven,” he said. “Now come, ‘tis four o’clock.”
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