The pool was midnight blue, adorned by the reflection of thousands of stars. It blended perfectly well with my deepest, nearly-pitch-black blue robe – unabashedly studded with thousands and thousands of crystals – in perfect synchronisation with the sky above. Twinkle twinkle little st… Alright, focus! But right now, I could not concentrate on this surreal scene. The addictive clicking of a professional camera seemed very nauseating, very distant. It was my husband, the famous photographer. I had never learnt swimming. Right now, I was drowning, faster than anyone could possibly imagine – just to serve as his model. His cherubic smile is the last thing I can recall.
Change of scene. I felt cold, awfully cold. Cold beyond imagination. Was it zero degree Celsius already? Or, lower than that? I had no idea. My limbs ached for a droplet of warmth. There was none. The light, sheer, grey dress was as cold as the Tundra snow. My vision became blurred, or was it simply because I was crying silently – in unbearable agony? My muscles turned stiff as did I. Blue? Or pale blue? What would Pantone name this shade of the skin? Is this skin pretty enough to be the Colour of the Year? Then, he put me in the big freezer in the kitchen almost in the same manner a mother cradles her first new-born. And of course, he was taking photos of me.
I had waist-length hair once. As a matter of fact, even a few moments ago, my locks used to fall about my hips. Silky, straight, and shiny – they would take men's breath away and make women green with envy. Hell, they could give Rapunzel a run for her money! Look you little narcissistic bitch, what your ooh-so-pretty hair has landed you into! They were on fire now– vivid orange fire to match with my gown perfectly–fire set by him. A toxic odor began filling the room rapidly. Who knew something as elegant as pure crepe silk could smell so foul while on fire? Feeling the heat and groaning with agony, I fainted. Nevertheless, the clicking continued, I assume.
The scene was entirely different this time. I was inside a mirror-made room– locked, to be precise. Before this moment, I actually had no idea that I was apophobic. The magnificent mirror-room was buzzing with millions of bees locked inside it, with me. I do not know when bees attack people–when they are hungry, or scared, or angry. At first, all I could feel was pain and a loud shrill scream. My scream. But after a while, the pain and the screaming ceased. I reckoned this room was sound-proof as I could neither hear his footsteps, nor the sound of lens. Looking at a mirror, I realized that my body was as red as my classic bridal Benarasee saree. Leelabaali leelabaali bhor ojubatee shoi go, ki diya shajaimu tore? I could also see his ecstatic smile, happy he was with his successful experiment.
Another episode began. He dressed me in electric blue – in a catchy cocktail number – and tied me to the chair almost lovingly. The electric-chair. The room was semi-dark. I felt kind of tired, tired of anticipation. I could see his curious face, I could see his steady hands gripping the camera. Then it came. The shock. At first mildly; but then it started to increase very, very slowly. In a rhythm. One-two, one-two-three. One-two one-two-three-four. Lavender's blue dilly dilly, lavender's green, when I'm King dilly dilly, you shall be Queen. One-two one-two-three-four, one-two, one-two-three-four. My entire frame jerked violently to absorb the shock, and I bit my lips so hard that I could taste my own blood within moments. And then, I collapsed.
Have you ever Googled Goth? Image-searched Goth? Well, right now, I looked just like one of those search results – dressed by him in pitch-black from head-to-toe – in a twentieth century gown – as if I am in a mourning scene from Penny Dreadful – with those creepy eye-makeup and scarlet lips. I always loved Eva Green so, so much. There. There goes my Eva Green dreams – straight outta penny dreadful novel. Suddenly, I had but one eye. Poisonous pain. I could not even figure out which eye it was! I sobbed uncontrollably. Only he and his lenses could see whether blood was pouring, or tears.
It was a lovely, lovely thing. Lethal, yet beautiful. Beautiful, but eerie. Eerie enough to seem divine. The knife was curved out from crystal, and as hard and as sharp as diamond. Did he get it from Swarovski? Hey, do you remember those Swarovski figurines I used to collect when I was very little? Where are those now? Lurking in the attic? Who else is in the attic? Who else is lurking in the attic? Bertha is in the attic. Bertha Mason is in the attic. Bertha Rochester is in the attic. Nay, Mrs. Rochester is in the attic. The mad woman is in the attic. The mad women are in the attic. All the women are in the attic. My brain tried to think anything to control the uncontrollable fear creeping inside me. Meanwhile, he quietly slashed my hands, my bare neck and shoulders, my back, my face. Dark crimson blood started to ooze. And then, he set to his real work. My snow-white, multi-layered, lace and tulle gown was painted with blood-red flowers by this time.
Gasping and sweating, I sat up and switched on the light. It was five in the morning. I gulped down half-a-bottle of freezing water, and tried my best to calm myself down. It did not work that well. It never worked. My heart was racing, racing as if I had been running for hours. I breathed deeply. I had no idea how many times I have had this same nightmare, over and over and over again…
T. S. Marin enjoys writing flash fiction. She is a lecturer of English at Primeasia University and the Sub Editor of Star Literature and Reviews pages.