It was late and The Chauffeur didn’t want to wake anyone, so he very carefully and quietly opened the door to the mansion and slipped in to drop off the keys. He hung them quietly on the petit nail and sighed to himself. It was his last night. Despite the craziness that was his boss, he was going to miss this place. He rested his head against the wall, enjoying this last moment of the old house’s orchestra of silence, creeking, and moaning.
As he turned to leave, he heard a deafening crash to his right. He whirled around, desperately searching for the source of the sound, but could see very little in the darkness. The ringing in his ear was driving him mad so he reached for the door to make a quick escape. His haste was interrupted by a bright flash of light behind him.
He turned. To his shock he found a roaring fire behind him next to the stairwell. As unexpected as this was, the fire wasn’t the most surprising discovery. He looked at the base of the fire – at what was fueling the fire. He saw the edge of what looked like a picture frame. He crept closer. The light of the fire revealed the prized possession the frame held: a portrait.
A perfect likeness of him in his daily uniform. Who on earth painted portraits of him? And when? He dared a step closer and noticed with horror that the paintings had rips, scratches, and…maybe even incisions in the fabric across his face. And there were dozens of them. Dozens of pictures of him, all mutilated in one way or another: some with paint, some with bullet holes, and some with what he imagined were very sharp knives.
He knew immediately who had done it. “Crazy bitch,” he whispered.
He backed away from the fire, ready to leave this insane asylum behind him, then started as he discovered the faint outline of a person with bright, glowing eyes deep in the back of the hallway. He knew who it was. And he knew he didn’t want to find out what this was all about anymore. This time he didn’t let anything distract him. He fiddled clumsily with the door to make a hasty exit, fearful that he might hear the whiz of bullets or the whoosh of a knife.
He wasn’t quick enough. In a moment Miss Taylor was behind him pulling him from the door and throwing him to the ground with unbelievable strength.
“You. Are. Mine!” She screamed.
She grabbed a chair and smashed it on his chest, sending chills of pain up his side. Adrenaline pulsing through her with murderous fervor, she then pulled him up and pushed his face against the hallway mirror.
Startled by her brute force, The Chauffeur offensively shoved all his weight into her, sending her across the hallway into the stair rail.
She hardly seemed phased.
She began muttering to herself.
“I can’t keep you, I can’t keep you. There’s only one choice…”
He leaned forward to grab hold of her arms and detain her, but she thwarted his efforts. Taking advantage of his shifted balance, she threw her weight into him until his head smashed swiftly against the mirror, shattering it and leaving shards across his face and scattered on the floor.
“I can’t, I can’t,” she chanted, her eyes pulsating with a secret wound. “But I know that I will…” she continued. His eyes were shut now, The Chauffeur barely conscious. She shoved his flailing body to the floor; he was completely at her mercy.
She straddled his body, gently pulling his face close to hers.
“Why can’t you just stop?” she whispered, her eyes brimming with tears. “You’re making me do this. I get nothing. I can’t take it anymore.”
She reached next to her and picked up a shard of glass, catching a brief glance of herself in the reflection. The likeness revealed was disheveled, desperate, and ugly. She cried out in agony, squeezing the fractured glass and accidentally cutting a slit into her finger. She stared at her finger in shock. She hadn’t meant to do it. She moved her hand and the glass shard closer to his face, holding the miniature mirror against him so she could see the reflection of his skin and pores. She dragged it slowly across his cheek, slicing the skin, and covering her hand in his blood. Her breath quickened and she began to panic. He attempted to raise his head to reason with her. His movement startled her – hastily and fearlessly she plunged the shard of glass into his side, cutting away at his kidneys.
When he seemed to be sedated yet again, she moved the glass back to his face, seemingly immune to his screams. Suddenly there he was, replacing the reflection in the mirror: An old man dressed to the nines. Brown hair, brown eyes, and a look of terror adorned his face. He squirmed and struggled, his image bouncing rhythmically in and out of view of the small sharded mirror. Miss Taylor had changed as well. She was decked out in pale green ruffles, her skin young and pale, and her arms clutching a small teddy bear. She continued hovering over the shaking and convulsing body, the past becoming one with present, and the heat of the memories boiling in her blood to the point of explosion.
“You’ll never love me!” she choked, tears pouring down her cheeks. “I have no choice.”