The White King Enters
Start Chapter 9:
Elizabeth was still screaming. Her knees gave out from beneath her once more, and she fell to the floor retching and sobbing. Rebecca's blood crept across the floor and soaked Elizabeth's knees as she desperately tried not to vomit. Her mouth tasted sour, her head pounded and she was shivering as though she were freezing though the room was as warm as a sauna. The blood was congealing quickly, painting the door and walls in a morbid decoration, a sticky, bloody mural. Michael was using the blood to draw on the walls. He painted what seemed to be his family, flowers, cars, superheroes but there was something else there... Beyond the happy scene with a painful medium.
"Michael... Michael... Mike..." She stumbled over her words, still sobbing, still screaming. She couldn't do anything but repeat herself.
Michael smiled happily, still painting with the blood, "Rebecca went out with the man and he said I had to draw. She said she would be back soon."
"But she's... she's... Michael-"
The panorama Michael was creating was coming together. A tall figure dominated the scene, its long limbs reaching around the other stick figures. Elizabeth wailed more, as she at last saw the creatures tentacles made up the rest of Michael's picture. The wavering limbs made up each figure, each house, each flower, each hero and villain; the message was clear. The monster was everywhere and everything. It built up the world, from the roots to the branches. Everything was his.
Elizabeth stared up at the roots. The blood was surrounding her. Was this what Rebecca had discovered? What Michael might have learned?
Dacre burst through the front door, and stopped at the sight of the blood. Trembling slightly, the young man moved towards Elizabeth, slipping an arm around her shoulders. "I- it's-" he tried to speak, but the words caught in his mouth and spluttered out like a broken engine exhaust.
He took a deep shuddering gasp and tried again; "Michael? What are you- what happened?"
"Rebecca went away so I stay here to play," hummed Michael in a singsong voice.
Dacre shivered, looking seriously unwell, and pulled Elizabet up off the floor, moving her away from the growing pool of blood, "Stay here, okay? Don't move. Don't look. I'm going to go call the Police but I won't leave you alone, okay? I'll be right back. Okay, Elizabeth? Don't move. You're safe here. It's going to be alright."
He left her alone in the room with her son and her thoughts, both of which were difficult enough to deal with. She wanted to feel in control again. There had never been a time she had felt more uncertain, more unsafe, and she wanted to get out of it, she wanted to escape, she felt sick and scared and sorry. Her world was burning, and she was losing everything, and she couldn't handle it. She felt tight across her chest and her muscles were aching, her skin prickling, and the world was... her world was burning. A singed smell mingled with the blood. Her fingers were burning, smoke rising off her skin as the fire burned her flesh. She screeched again, the pain terrible and all consuming. She leaped up from her seat, as the flames consumed her arms, her legs, her head. She fled the room, blinded by the flames. She felt like her blood was boiling and bubbling under her skin, that was crisping beneath the fire that was consuming her body.
As she ran, she couldn't see her own feet, and she tripped. Elizabeth fell down the stairs, her bones crunching as she hit each step. As she crashed into the wall at the bottom of the stairs, her vision began to fade, but was clear enough to be able to see that there were no flames on her body. Her hysteria had been unwarranted; there had been no fire at all. Was she going mad? Perhaps. But in the end in either case it was her own mental weakness that drove her to fell such pain, see such hallucinations.
She would wake up in hospital three days later, on Thursday the Fifth of May.
End Chapter Nine
The White King Exits.