Tell A Tale — Gothic Fiction

Decaying Minds By Daria Sviridova

There is more to her, uncalibrated, than a single mind. Told apart by the crumbling disaster she embodied one day; the demonic lustre in her eye the next.

She knew something others did not. But which one of her did, could she tell?

“Wait and find out.”

Her hand spread out in front of her, she took it back to when it all began – the lucid dreaming technique, searching for a distinction between dream and reality. Before that also faded away. Calmly, slowly, she let her gaze drop, take in the view. Five fingers. Is that how many there were supposed to be? Five. Look away, let your thoughts wander. Snap back quick, before the rest knew what was going on. Still five. Sigh of relief.

It was supposed to help ground her in one moment, one mind. It was supposed to help bring back the melodramatic twinges of morality that scraped along the sides of her mind, leaving gauges and a trail of steaming blood. It was supposed to help.

Like looking through a pin-hole, her eye could focus on but a limited amount of the surrounding chaos. Mouldy in some places, peeling and crumbling, yellow wallpaper. The focus blurred, sometimes before the eye even shifted. The drugs no longer helped. Everything she saw escaped her mind, diligently.

Racing randomly, allotted no purpose, flickering from one to the next, thoughts constantly blurred the lines between her realities. Something was missing from them, something craved finding it, the other screaming, warning, fading away…

Was she always holding that knife?


Until it was my turn may be no one else would have noticed. But there are demons missing from this world, and they are all trapped in my mind.

Each person holds a special purpose. And you hold that knife. It’s beautiful, isn’t it?

“Wait… Now.”

Encrusted with gleaming jewels, it didn’t seem real. Yet there it was, in her hand. Lately a lot of things went this way.

I screamed for you to let them out. Purge them, release them, restore balance to this world. Philosophers, psychopaths, poets… There is no room for them all. This room is for rituals.

I’ll show you how to do it.

She saw a girl then. She was a memory, a struggling stranger caught in the midst of something she did not understand. Her hands were ice, her hands were trembling, but her eyes, her eyes were empty. Nothing held her back and yet she waited. Waited for the knife to slide greedily across her white throat, spill rubies on the floor.

It was darker then. The walls retreated, the sound of gushing blood replaced by the wicked song of terror, by the screeching of something so powerful, held back for so long, it throbbed in the release of evil.

Maybe the demons were in the sharp, tangy smell of metal.

Maybe they hid in the patter of the droplets to the ground.

Maybe they slid down in the splatter on the mirror.

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