Lady in Black

This is a dream that I had in the last two years. It has stuck with me because of the powerful images it evokes and also what it reveals about the inner machinations of my mind. I have to admit I am shocked that I could be capable of such violence without remorse. In my waking life, I would never resort to such action but if I did I would be haunted by guilt.

I find myself in an old Victorian house. I visit here often. It has been the back drop of my dream world since as far back as I can remember. It rambles on and on. It contains secret passageways and rooms decorated in every style and time period. It is a reflection of me and I am its Mistress. In this place it is always Autumn and today I decide to walk my estate.

I wear a Victorian black dress, high collar, long sleeves, ankle length. It is a comfortable container. I am aware of the soothing pressure of my black button boots as they enfold my feet. I feel the satisfying crunch of leaves underfoot releasing their cinnamon perfume. As I stroll through the woods my hands brush tree trunks on either side. There is a slight chill in the air. As I crest a hill, I see two men lingering near a hidden entrance to my house. One of them is all too well known to me, M. The other is a giant, simple child. I am incensed! I imperiously tell them to leave my land and to never return. They are not welcome.

When I return home I am surprised to find them waiting for me. I demand to know what they are doing in my home and tell them to leave immediately. The giant child stands there eating something very messy, chewing with his mouth open as crumbs fall on the floor. Whatever he is eating is smeared all over his face and clothes. M stands there smirking at me, unrepentant with a twinkle in his eye, daring me to action.  My servants swarm around me speaking peace and begging mercy for them. But my heart is stone and my mind is made up.

I ask the giant if he is still hungry and if he likes cookies. He grunts and lumbers toward me. I sweetly explain that I have recently baked the most delicious cookies ever made. They are my Grandmother’s recipe and she entrusted it to me just before she died. I turn and start to lead the way, he follows unsuspecting. My servants tug and pull on him to no avail, begging him to please leave as bidden and never return but he will not. So consumed he is with his own greed.

 I walk through the drawing room, through the kitchen with its huge sink and into a dark wood paneled hallway. The clicking of my heels echo and the rustling of my skirts are amplified as I make my way down the hall. There are no doors to either the right or the left. No distraction from the room at the end of the hall with the roaring fire flickering and reflecting in the finish of the wood.

There is a story within the story of this room. Long Ago there was a woman who lived in this house with her husband. They lived happily as most newlyweds do. But time takes its toll on all of us and their relationship became strained. The husband is exposed in his infidelity and there is a tragic confrontation in this sitting room. Things become heated and she is attacked by her husband and mortally wounded. He comes in close for a final kiss, not knowing that she held her letter opener in her hand. She stabs him in the heart. He falls backward as his life blood flows onto the hard wood hearth in front of the fire. The heat bakes his blood into the wood and the stain is impossible to remove.Grief stricken and enraged the wife watches her husband die before she herself passes. She now haunts this room and it is well known that no man should ever enter. Only female servants come in and out to dust the books, set the fire, serve the tea.

It is to this room I lead the personification of all M’s vice. I bid him enter, the room is freezing despite the fire. A glittering silver tea service sits on a small table next to a large comfortable chair. I lift the plate cover to reveal the cookies. He rushes over and quickly stuffs as many as he can into his mouth chewing loudly. I calmly turn and exit the room. A few strides down the hall, I can still hear him chewing and grunting. The pocket doors slam together casting the hallway into darkness. I hear a scream, a cry of pain and then a horrible shlepping ,wet sound, bones cracking. I am surprised with my self satisfied smile as I continue to walk away.

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