She had pallid skin that, at times, in the right light, seemed a faint grey. And her eyes smoldered brilliantly deep and blue—electric—it paralyzed, hypnotized…kept all in their place as effortlessly as a blink. Always appearing in scorn, she held the world back at arm's length. None could draw very near, though it was difficult to stray too far lest she fall from sight.
She was not like the females I knew; she was callous and crude, ill-tempered and at the best of times, completely undignified. But, that's what captivated me. She let her feelings free—they were birds to her…pigeons—without regard as to where they might go. And while some chastised her (secretly obsessed), I struggled to contain my awe. And despite all she let us see, I wanted to know more. She comprised a book that I could not read and that frustrated me. There were no notes, no reports, past entries detailing her onces and nows. She was as enigmatic as the sea, and I would only be able to understand how deep she ran by closing my eyes, seizing a breath, and diving in.
That day came when I first heard her sing. She sat alone for all she knew, swathed in cool darkness and accompanied by the faint effervescence of the courtyard lights. She detested these cordial get-togethers, but she always arrived at a perfect 11 minutes and 43 seconds after the posted time—never a second before or behind. She sported Victorian gowns, hide dresses with teeth still snapping, and garments of the most luxurious silk. She knew how to dress, though she did it with flare…with a style quite…unique. And tonight in the courtyard, surrounded by floral peers, cloaked in a dark dress with a red veil covering her head, she stole all the breath from my lungs. I'd stumbled upon a sight so majestic, like a doe tending her fawn in a field. She removed the veil and fumbled with it before tossing it to the ground. Leaning against the fencepost, she pulled back her hair—I caught sight of something pointed—and opened her mouth.
The most beautiful sound emerged, sweeter than anything my young ears had known. Goosebumps formed all along my neck and arms—I began to tremble in reverence. But as gorgeous as it resounded, I began to feel heavy as the song became blatantly woeful. Her tone carried though my inner bits—my soul if I knew I had one—awakening in me a deep sorrow and lament and a poignant disgust toward whatever horrible thing had harmed her. What began as a magnificent lullaby blossomed into a magnificent elegy.
She finished in quivers, weeping now into her hands. I've always kept my distance, always wishing for words, a place at her side (at least nearer than the end of the dining hall.) Seizing my chance, I stepped out from my vantage point, but a hand arrested my advance.
"You," bellowed my uncle. "Where have you been?" he growled and yanked me hither. "You've allowed several gusts to leave without bidding any farewells!"
"But," I protested, looking back to see the subject of my enchantment staring right back at me, that look of derision enveloping each of her sharp features.
My uncle caught on and sneered, "evening, Miss Marceline. I wish you a safe trip home."
"Thank you," she hissed with all the rigidity and prickliness of an alley cat. I raised my hand to wave her off, but my uncle pushed it down, so I watched in silence as she whisked past us, offering a hand that my uncle kissed before once again wishing her pleasantries.
"That woman is a monster, Bonnibel," my uncle murmured as the last guests funneled out.
"If you dislike her so, then why invite her every time?"
"Because she is nobility, and while we may disapprove, that fact cannot be betrayed."
"I enjoy her."
He gasped as though he'd been struck. "Dear child, no! She's evil, as wicked as the darkness."
"But darkness can be beautiful and gentle."
"It hides truth and decency, covers fact and stifles knowledge. You are young; I don't expect you to understand, but know you this—that woman is a demon. There's a reason why all these parties are held at night, and until she's punished for her crimes, they will go on as such."
"Never mind that, Bonnibel. It's time for us to retire for the night."
"Ah, you go on; I left something in the courtyard."
"Alright," he said, kneeling down and kissing my forehead. We hugged and separated, my uncle to his chambers and myself to the brisk outside where, as I'd hoped, rested a cherry red veil. I brought it off the ground, dusted off the soil and plucked out the leaves and miscellaneous organic matter from the fabric that had ravished it whilst unprotected.
"I don't understand," I mused, clutching the veil close to heart. "I've never known a monster to weep."