Poor Patience, she would never have her wedding night with Michele Guyon. As he came to her bed the night of her lavish wedding, I hid in the shadows. The poor thing was lying there smiling like an eager wench when I took her. I slipped into her as she lay there breathing for him. Her breath was heavy as I lingered across her mouth, letting the air around her lips saturate my soul with delirium. How I longed for it. She felt me take her. She felt my soul cling to hers and force it out. She fought me like a captured animal, but I pushed my light into her veins. I forced my being into her flesh. My possession was quite brief. Within moments I moved in her bloodstream. She had lost. She screamed just once, and was gone.
My darkness was replaced with a vague sight of your earth. Faintly, I could hear the wood as it creaked under Michele’s step. As he entered the room, he wore a black velvet robe and carried a decanter of wine. I lay back on my pillows and stared. He seemed so very different now.
“Michele?” I whispered.
He smiled into the light of the candle. His face seemed to hold thoughts I could not read. He seemed so much older, so much older than the handsome Michele I had seen from my darkness. The lines in his face traversed his skin like cul-de-sacs that led to places I would not trace with my hand for fear I would never be recovered.
I found myself praying that he would not touch me, would not further reveal his skin to me as it lay against the open velvet like hard white stone.
“Yes?” he answered.
His voice was harsh and seemed to lash out at the night air. He was staring at me as though he sought to hypnotize me. His gaze seemed haunting and sinister. My body stiffened as he moved toward me. Suddenly, I felt myself shudder. The room had become terribly cold. He seemed to be aware of my flesh as it chilled.
“Shall I build a fire?” he asked me.
“Yes,” I whispered.
He set the wine near me and walked to the mantle. The nearness of his flesh had repulsed me. What is happening; how can this be?
Soon the flames were flickering like fighting cats and the crimson warmth filled my new flesh like food. He turned back to me. I noticed that his eyes looked like fire in the light.
“Annabel,” I thought I heard him say.
A chill went down my spine.
“What did you call me?”
I took my head from the pillows and sat straight up. I had just become Patience Stokes Guyon. He had never called that horrid woman anything else but Patience.
“Annabel,” he said again.
I shuddered as he spoke it. He came to me and took me in his arms. I fought to free myself from his embrace. I would not consummate a marriage with this imposter. I heard the wine fall to the floor. I heard the glass shatter. He held me tighter.
“Who are you?” I screamed.
“Do not fight me, Annabel.”
As he held me down, I felt myself in a horrific spin.
“I have you now, my lost avenging angel,” he said fiercely.
He took my hair and held my head back with it. I made my hands into fists and beat him wildly upon the arm.
“Look, Annabel,” he demanded.
Suddenly a sharp, vivid light blinded my eyes. An awful pain shot through my head.
“I bring you through time, my little one,” he whispered.
I felt the earth as it spun around me with such velocity that I had no other choice but to hold on to him and bury my face in his neck. In a matter of seconds, the sharp white light gave way to sky. When I lifted my head, I immediately noticed that my vision was clear and sharp. I had not seen the blue of the sky with such vividness for a century. I turned quickly around. To my right was the sea. It was the very same sea that surrounded my village. I was sure of it. My sense of hearing was suddenly as normal as if I were a girl again in Salem. I began to weep as I listened to the sound of water falling over a rock. I had not heard the sound that water makes as it runs for so many of your years. I felt the dampness of dirt on my back as he held me on the ground and ripped off my gown. The blessed smell of the dirt filled my lungs. My good God! I was surely in the village of Salem again and the devil himself was forcing his dalliance upon me…wielding his large, hard appendage before me like some proud royal scepter. I tried to free myself but he held me so very tightly. I tried to run back to the home on the other side of the hill, where my father must surely be kneeling in evening prayer.
“Let me go, Michele!” I demanded.
He laughed so loud that the tree branches trembled. I screamed out as he placed his mouth on mine. I pounded my fists against his chest, but he held me to the damp earth and forced my legs toward heaven with his hands.
“Annabel,” he said. “I give you life!”
I fell into darkness. When I awoke, my bed was empty, and the demon was gone.
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