THE SOUND OF THE sharpening blade reverberated through the opulent room. She sat in a lavender upholstered wingchair, humming to herself enigmatically, as a music box gently delivered its twinkling sound. Edelweiss. All the while she could hear them whispering from afar. "Hurry sister, make haste," they commanded, their voices muted by time and space. Their words were soft yet authoritative, a summons that could not be summarily ignored. Whish, whish, they called to her, a whisper from a distant place. Whish, whish.
She was vaguely aware of the screams emanating from man who stood chained to the wall, his unclad chest revealing a symphony of torment. "Please, not again!" he managed, his ragged voice tempered by terror. It was so foolish, to be afraid, or so she had always thought. It accomplished nothing in the end.
"I'm ready, sisters," the caramel haired woman murmured. Her voice, her body, they were hardly hers at all. And so she rose from the chair, the sound of white stiletto heels colliding polished marble echoed with piercing ferocity. Placing the knife against her sensuous glazed lips, she paused, eying the blonde haired man with hunger. "Shh, my lovely. You disturb heaven." She felt herself sway in the grasp of the unseen celestial power, overwhelmed by a majestic force that scourged through her senses.
The man looked away, fighting against the chains with renewed vigour. It was the fear; it drove men to acts of stupidity. "No, no, my darling," she whispered, speaking the words on behalf of the moon, "you'll hurt yourself." Her voice felt foreign to her, it held a grandeur she had long since lost. Was it hers at all?
"We can't have that, can we?" A sadistic, menacing smile curved her sensuous lips, a smile she had not conjured. "I hear you. I hear you in the darkness, in the light. I see you. I see your heart. I feel you." Reaching forward, she placed her trembling fingers on his heart. "Pulsing."
The man ceased thrashing, panic awakening in his blue-grey eyes. "Always pulsing. Breathing." She took a deep breath, letting the aroma of his sweet sweat sweep through her ancient lungs. "Life…it rages."
The young man opened his mouth, his once strong voice reduced to a sigh, a mutter scarcely heard over the singing stars. "What…what do you want?"
She allowed the knife to graze his arm. "What is your name?"
He closed his eyes. "I…I told you yesterday."
"Tell me today, my sweet." She forced the blade still deeper into his flesh, drawing a faint trail of blood.
"James," he replied swiftly, recoiling from the pain.
A child-like grin swept across her youthful face. "A pleasant name, James. It has been long, so very long, since I've known one named James." Whish whish, the stars urged, guiding the blade back to his chest. "Will it hurt, I wonder. Do you feel?"
"Please," the grown man cried, "please stop!"
She dug the knife into his chest, sufficiently distant from any vital organ. Somewhere, over the delicate sound of Edelweiss, she was aware of his agonised shriek. "Why?" The word echoed in her mind. "Why? Why? Why? Why? Why?" An accusation even the loquacious stars could not subdue.
The woman paused, placing her slender index finger over the wound. Lifting her hand, she watched as the viscous liquid raced down her forearm, staining the sleeve of her pure white dress. "Why?" The question barely registered.
Whish whish, her sisters pleaded, demanding the deed be done.
His eyes. His eyes housed his soul. She could almost see it; it glowed through his body, longed for immortality. She watched his soul as her hands guided the knife, as they carved a circle around his heart. The man shook violently against the chains. "Sister," the voices pleaded in her mind. Time. The time had come. She closed her eyes and placed her now resolved hand over the centre of the circle. His body emitted a luminous blue glow. Warmth flooded through her withered essence, restoring all that was. Another day, another week, another year, a fragment of time made possible through sacrifice.
In an instant it ended. His body slumped forward, his soul free to cross into the abyss, to voices of his very own. "Why not?" Selene whispered, feeling life pound through her heart. The voices sang with ecstasy.