Five years. It has been five years since I last woke, and my, how things have changed. Frail. The doctors said I was too frail to stand on my own, much less walk. I’ll hear none of it. After half a decade on my back, not quite living, I open my heavy eyes then to be denied my freedom from the chains that bound me to that bed, but it’s not as if they could restrain me. It disgusts me that I must steal into the night like a thief. I do it anyway. The walls were far too familiar, their embrace was like that over an obsessive mother, suffocating and mad. It was surreal, asleep one moment and awakened to another time. Unbelievable but I cannot deny the reality that pressed down upon me, and the one that stands wearily before me now.
Rosa Square was a deserted maid, her name now so ironic, a mere shadow of her zesty past. The skeletal limbs of the dead trees scrape at the sky, a vain attempt to reveal the sunset kiss of colours hidden beneath charcoal smear of clouds. I was a sign perhaps of what happened here before those forgotten years. A sign as if to say that I must remember, it’s not over yet. Maybe it fell asleep when I had. Resolutely, I held my parasol over my head and stepped towards the center of the cobbled ground where it became a circle. My steps echoed emptily, ebbing and touching hollow shell of the tailor’s shop.
I close my eyes and spun slowly around, the sound of my skirts brushed my ears in the quietness. In my mind it all happened as if it was only hours ago. He was what I suspected him to be. He found out. Fortunately he hadn’t known who I was. Nor was he aware that I wasn’t alone, the reason why I’m still alive and he’s barely clinging to life this very minute. The world isn’t ready as yet for creatures like him, until then we protect their illusions of normalcy. I remember the clash of slim steel against steel. Splints of the wooden stake dug into my palms as blood ran rich and red. Roars of unbearable agony and glares of ruby red.
Something rustled close by, my eyes flew open as I turned around. No one, but there was something. A few feet away lay a single stalk of a white rose, picking it up, it smelled fresh … and familiar! My heart leaped unsteadily. Surely, it couldn’t be … after all this time. Perhaps … perhaps I’m still not alone in this. But where the deuce is he? The wicked man. I’ve known this one too long to give into the impulse of calling out. I know my partner as much as I know myself. I’m positive he is here, this means one thing for sure. The hunt is on.