Drusilla - an extract

Drusilla was my light and the very air I breathed - the one constant fixation in my life - she sustained me, she was my very essence and yet, my opposite. If she was pureness and light and life then I was putridness and darkness and death.

Yet she was weak. She suffered from a severely deteriorating illness and had a cataleptical character. Yet I was strong and sure that we were so connected that nothing could happen to her.

I locked myself in my library; among the stale, rank books I loved so and allowed Drusilla to waste away into nothingness while I spent countless long lonely hours devouring books like they were my only sustenance.

And now the one thing I treasured above all was gone from me. I sank deeper into melancholy, taking solace in the shackles of opium and began to spend all my time in the library with one solitary candle standing on the desk, casting its flickering light in an inconsequential pool on the books and papers gathered there.

There came a point where I could no longer read my precious books, and 'the heaven and hell of Swedenborg,' 'the Directorium Inquisitorum' and 'The City of God' all lay aside in favour of simply standing at the long, narrow window with its many panes of glass, alternately intently studying the lead surrounds of the panes, and staring - head rested on the glass - at the graveyard that stood directly opposite.

I began to fear I was going mad. I no longer left the library - I simply sat on the floor by the window - fixedly gazing out at row upon row of hideous gravestones rising up at me like demonic teeth. An insane idea formed itself inside my mind and slowly began to capture my thoughts - if I wasn't mad before, this thought soon began to drive me to madness.

I thought that if Drusilla was the opposite of everything that I am, then surely I could absorb her light and good into me. For without her I was becoming cruel and monstrous. The servants fled from me like rats before a cat. I no longer ate. I became more and more emaciated, my reflection in the glass showed my cheeks becoming sunken and my bone structure clearly visible.

When my vision failed me from lack of sleep I took to breathing what little air I could suck into my lungs onto the glass and tracing the shape of my despicable idea.

* * *

I found myself sitting slumped against the window, a wild storm raging outside - as though God Himself were come to judge us - and a nebulous feeling of horror pervaded my senses.

As I cast my glance about me the feeling intensified. There to my left lay a shovel, and to my right a trail of mud and blood. I began to shake violently as the memory of what I had thought was a dream flooded my senses.

Flashes of lightening lit the ground as I stumbled through the banks of graves.

They seemed to move into my path as if to stop me in my terrible deed.

I stumbled and began to dig fervently.

Yes! This was it! I paused in my horrific act to hungrily scan the gravestone - there was her name - Drusilla - the name seemed to resound in my ears as the deafening peals of thunder rolled overhead.

My blood ran cold and I couldn't bear to remember what happened next.

Suddenly the memory burst through my mind like a wave enfolding the deck of a ship - an open grave - an open coffin - a long knife - clawing hands - a pulsing organ - and a scream of utmost terror.

My hands flew to my mouth as I gazed down at my withered form. Wasting flesh was spattered over my garments, and as I drew my hands from my mouth the full horror of what I had done hit me - for there on my hands were the remains of Drusilla's heart!