By Tina Andersen
I: Scenes of a Mundane Life
The rain pattered relentlessly against the sidewalk and the umbrellas carried by the people walking it. Cars swished by, sending splashes of water up over the curb, in a monotone singe-filed line.
Maria walked under the umbrella of Laine, chatting amiably about whatever caught her fancy, and around her the rest of her clique followed suit. Maria was no one special; just one of the girls. But she had recently been asked out by a young man dubbed, "dreamy," by the girls around her, and she basked in her fifteen minutes of glory.
Carefully navigating puddles, oblivious to how she was driving Laine into them, she chattered on about Jonathan and how she was sure he was the One.
"You're such a romantic," breathed Clara, clutching her umbrella tightly.
Maria smiled and hefted her back into a more comfortable position. "But I'm sure! I can just see it in his eyes, we were meant to be..."
Maria froze at the sudden sound, blinking around. "What was that?"
The other girls looked around, confused. "What was what?" Laine asked, looking nervously at her. "Are you all right?"
"Y-yeah," said Maria, looking around at the curious faces. "I'm fine. Just... drifted off for a second."
They set off again, the chatter somewhat forced. Maria did her best to ignore the thoughts racing through her head, and the odd feeling the voice had left in the pit of her stomach. She focused her attention on the people around her as they waited by the bus stop.
A soft crooning purr reached her through the insistent noise of the street and the rain pounding down mercilessly around her. There were no words, nothing but a melodious hum, and Maria felt her knees weaken. Looking around, making sure the other girls didn't hear her, she meekly called, "Hello...?"
ich vista vous imytew vaade bettucher
Maria jumped, the voice seeming to echo around her, lewd and suggestive, though no one else noticed.
Laine frowned at her. "Jesus, Maria, what's wrong with you?"
"N-nothing," said Maria, ducking her head. "I just... I thought I saw Jonathan, that's all..."
The girls around her giggled and she smiled weakly, going with the flow as the bus slowly pulled up to the curb.
sewen votre kopf sewen votre bet
Maria snapped around to look behind her - she was certain the voice, the persistant voice, was close - but there was nothing there.
"Maria! C'mon, the bus'll leave without us!"
"Right... sorry..." She let Laine drag her onto the overcrowded bus, recognising the feeling the voice brought her for what it was. It frightened her that a voice could do that to her.
di re zu mig
She hid her face in her hands, leaning against the window in an attempt to shut out the voice. All through her body it raced, so alluring, so pleading, haunting her.
di re zu mig...
Maria picked at her food with lacking interest, tracing the intricate, abstract pattern on the plate.
Her mother looked perturbed, her impeccable hairdo and primly painted lips seeming out of place next to her despondent daughter. "Maria. Eat something."
"I have, mom," answered Maria dully, shoving some mashed potato around on the plate.
Her brother looked up, thin lips drawing into a stupid grin. "Betcha Maria's getting that anorexic shit; betcha she's stupid 'nough to think it's smart."
"Michael, watch your language," admonished their mother sharply, before looking to her husband. "George, say something."
The man looked up and sighed. "Behave, you two."
Maria gave him a disgusted look, but managed to hide it quickly. She didn't belong here; she never had. A part of her had always wished that she was adopted and that, one day, her real parents would come to get her. She also knew it wasn't true. Everyone was always telling her how much she looked like her mother.
vous est beneret vous est djaf
Maria's fork froze before skewering a hapless pea. The voice had all but purred into her ear. She felt something brush her leg and, ever so carefully, put the fork down, eyes wide at her plate.
en dunkel kaa kehet dio kalt
She felt a hand, an actual hand, caress her shin, slowly working its way up. It gently massaged her muscle, tracing intricate patterns as it crept upwards.
She felt a punding through her body. For some reason, the prayers her grandmother had taught her popped up in her head. The hand had reached her knee, slowly trailing a firey path over her skin.
sema rakeh vista darunter
It leered. She could hear the leer in the voice. It made its way up past her knee, and she stood sharply. "Mom, dad, I'm really not hungry. May I be excused? Please?"
Her parents looked irritated, but one look at her wild face made them allow her to leave.
"Do you think she's all right, Clarissa?" asked George quietly as Maria left hurriedly.
His wife sighed. "I don't know; I really don't. Maybe I should contact that psychiatrist after all..."
Micheal snorted into his food, trying to look innocent at the attention he had suddenly called on himself.
"What's going on with me?" pleaded Maria at the air in a choked voice, throwing herself on her bed. "I'm losing my mind!" She could feel power shimmering around her, and the room fluttered before her eyes like a heat mist. "Wh-what do you want with me? What are you?"
ich kan khepere alten du medew
"I-I don't understand..." She was sure it laughed at her. "I don't!"
di re zu mig
DI RE ZU MIG
She cried out and hid her face in the pillow. "O-our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy Kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven." She realised vaguely that she was babbling so fast that it was unintelligible. She didn't care; she could feel the presence. "Give us this day our daily bread. Forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. Amen."
The laughter echoed around her.
neb nicht sekew fur din kaa
"Please, leave me alone!" She could feel the tears, the pressure behind her eyes.
mich merit djoser rose som bluhen bei raawy re enfers
It purred in her ear, so close she could nearly feel its breath. A hand trailed down her back.
Suddenly her every nerve was on fire and she understood. Every word, every gesture, she understood and she loved in way she never had before.
payi djoser rose
--My holy rose.
She turned to face the demon behind her, and he slowly took the shape of a human. He shifted faces too fast for her to follow until he settled into a face she vaguely recognised as Jonathan's. Jonathan? Who was he again?
Hetit. His voice was suddenly distinct and he leant down, hand tracing her locks.
She stared at him, her tears drying. "Y-yes..."
Wesha payi ren, und khepere kun hetit.
--Utter my name, and become only mine.
"Emelarhkaz," she sighed, the world spinning madly around her, a merry go round with a twisted mirror at its center. "You are Emelarhkaz."
He knelt on the bed with her, hands caressing and undressing. Di re zu mig. Kun hetit.
--Give in to me. Only mine.
"Techen," yours, she said, comfirming his pleas in a language she barely understood. "Kun techen." Only yours. She drowned herself in his kiss; she never noticed the memories slipping from her mind.
He murmured things to her, in a myriad of languages; warmed her, froze her, terrified and calmed her. She clung to him, and she knew nothing else. Her name was gone - she didn't even know where she was and, with him there, she didn't care.
"Techen," she whispered raggedly. "Techen, min merit." Yours, my love. She vaguely realised that the world really was spinning around them, but he entered her - in mind and body - and the world went black.
The room of Maria Smith went still and silent; and completely abandoned.