A short scene depicting a defining moment and Marianne's internal struggle.
| Another sleepless night. It's almost funny in a sense. Here I lay in the finest of imported silken gowns, atop a custom mattress no one in the world could reproduce with sheets of equal quality of comfort... and yet I am unable to find rest. How can I when every time I close my eyes I see her face? I can see her even now. Hair of the softest auburn that cascades down to her shoulders. She has pale skin, almost as pale a complexion as my own, that feels smooth as porcelain to the touch. Her hazel eyes, her cute button nose.. and a gentle smile so warm I'd bet it could melt the ninth circle itself.
Then I see the face I am so besotted by twisted in shock and horror. My mind's eye feels burned by the vision and yet I am unable to look away. I can't help but pull my legs to my chest as I repeat the phrase she yelled while running away. "Stay away from me, you monster..." It's already been a month and yet my eyes still sting with salty tears. It hurts, it hurts so much. I'm glad I had the power to save her from damnation... even if it was at the cost of being exiled from her presence. I'm suddenly pulled from my rumination by a knock at the door.
"Marianne? May I come in to speak with you?" Mother. I guess I've been brooding so much tonight she's gotten a scent of it.
I took a moment to gather myself and slow my breathing before I replied, "You may, Mother." In as even a voice I could manage.
She walked with an ethereal elegance that was always about her. A slight paradox considering the infernal visage she was bearing in the moment. Her hair was composed of a sparkling, lavender flame that should be crackling... and yet is silent. Her eyes were sockets that sunk back into an endless abyss save singular, small dots of purple light that stood in for pupils. She knelt down to keep her long, ridged horns from hitting the door frame while pulling in her tattered, fleshy wings and pointed tail for similar reasons.
"Going au naturale tonight?" I asked, blinking my eyes in an attempt to hide my tears. She regarded me with the nearest thing her current face could be to maternal concern. The floor trembled under her steps before she sat on the edge of the bed. The frame creaked deeply under her weight. "I've no reason to hide from one of my daughters. I've grown concerned, however. You haven't been practicing your demonic abilities as of late. I'm worried you migh-"
I clenched my teeth, I had to interject.
"Might what!? Get rusty? Become unable to defend myself? I aetherized that angel in mere seconds, didn't I?" I would have gone on, but Mother tenderly grasped my chin in her clawed hand.
"Now Mary, I'm not questioning your combat abilities. I was going to say I'm worried you might be rejecting half of your lineage." I had to blink my eyes as more tears formed at my sore ducts. I felt Mother's thumb gently wipe them away. "I'm sorry I couldn't protect you from this. I may be older than this earth is young, but I'm not all knowing. So, I'm sorry." When I opened my eyes again Mother resumed her usual appearance. The one she wears for the public. Her long, black hair hung down her back... only now did I realize Mother was in the nude.
"You couldn't be bothered to put on a robe?" I asked.
She looked sidelong at me and smirked, "Find me a robe that's in my size with holes wide enough for my wings, and I'll consider it." I admit, even in my bitter mood she managed to get a laugh out of me. "There's my cheerful girl." Her body became wreathed in lavender fire before coalescing into a white, silken nightgown which wrapped around her dark, ebony skin.
After I settled down from my giggles, I looked down over my knees and hugged them closer. "You don't need to worry about that." I said after a few moments, continuing the conversation where she'd left off. "I know I'm a demon in human flesh, to claim otherwise would be foolish..." This earned a nod from Mother. "That said... I can't bring myself to use it. Not after hurting Becca."
Mother finally pulled her hand back from my chin and sighed. "If anything, the most you did was scare the poor girl. The experience was likely good for her considering she was dumb enough to try summoning demonic familiars without a field of protection." She smiled and turned to face me, "Take it from someone who's scared her own fair share of mortals, the girl will be fine."
I wanted to believe her. I desperately wanted to believe her. On the face of it the argument even made sense. But then I saw that once beautiful face again screwed up in unadulterated terror at what I was.. perhaps even disgust over what she and I had done given... No, the thought that every memory of our time together might have been re-contextualized... "That may be... but I still can't. Water won't answer my call, and I can't even make snowflakes anymore."
Mother simply stood up from the bed, the wood in the frame making it's gratitude audibly known. "That is most disconcerting..." She said while biting a finger in thought. "Still... I believe this is a trauma that will heal itself with time. In the meantime, assuming you're serious about not relying on your demonic powers anymore. I suggest you start studying your craft with renewed intensity." She walked toward the door, only pausing at the frame to look back, "If I'm correct about things to come, and I typically am, you'll need to become a better witch than your father, and quite soon."
After she closed the door I was once again left with my thoughts. I go to lay down, but as I close my eyes I still see Becca's face in all of it's beauty. I see her beauty replaced with terror and disgust. I'm still finishing off this semester living at home instead of our dorm room... I couldn't imagine what seeing her again in the flesh would do to me. Still, after talking with Mother, maybe I can finally get to sleep tonight.