Amalieya sat hunkered over beneath her long berch dining room table, nibbling on a small clump of mold covered bread. It wasn't hunger that compelled her to digest the sickening morsel of decay, nor even a will to eat. It her great urge to recover at least a little of her past normallcy. The few memories she had left of food, real food not what she held in her hands, were vague and sullied. Like an oil painting being seen through a mud filled pond. She urged to taste the crisp flavor of rippened fruit, the succulants of freshly roasted pork. And yet at the same time she knew she didn't deserve food. Every thought that now ran through her mind was of her total responsibilty for the death of her beloved. No rational reason even ran through her mind, simply the idea that it was her fault.

As the clear morning sun slowly sank into the abyss of the horizon, Amalieya sat upon the long porch that opened onto the massive inner courtyard of her dungeon. The biting autumn air had caused the strong oak tree's leaves to shrival and fall away. When her world still had meaning to it, Amalieya so did hate the fall season. How she would wait and wait for spring to arrive so that she could continue to tend her garden, a garden she had crafted herself using the most beautiful flowers she could find. But now the garden's bright crisp colors and sweet aromas served as a mockery of her past self. The anguish she felt whenever she caught so much as a glimpse for there gleefull hues seemed to burn her eyes and puncture her heart. Now, thankfully, the deathly chill of winter was upon the flowers. No more color sang from their sweet petals, nor did their delicate smell tingle for nose.

Goose bumps ran along her exposed arms and legs as sat unmoving on the thick oak planks, her body not willing to rise. The dull fall sun was now hidden behind the horizon. The chill, biting air now forced Amalieya to glumly slink back into her torture chamber. She had decided to forgo her nightly star gazing, her body was unable to undertake the simply sat upon the stair well and stared upward into the dark abyss that was the upper story.

Amalieya hadn't dared to return to that floor, for that was where their bedroom sat. Even now her imagination went wild with horride images of what her beloved's corpse must now look like. She hadn't the heart to move his body so there it has stayed, rotting and festering into a grisle breeding ground for maggots. She could almost feel the inescapable stench of decomposition as it choked and smoothered the air. Vomit rose in her mouth as she tryed to push those depraved thoughts into the back of her mind. Her body raked into a fit of dry sobbes as she slowly slumped back down onto the floor of the ground level. There she sat until the sunlight began to creep back into the cold autumn air.

That day wore on like so meny others, bleak, pointless, full of nothing but self hatred and desolation. That night was unusually harsh. Her fingers ached at the absents of blood. Her bones locked and throbbed in pain. Amalieya Decided for the first time since her world ended that she would start a fire, for fear of hypothermia. And yet as she slowly proded the glowing embers with the fireplace's long iron poker, she couldn't help but ask her self why she had started it. Every fiber of her mind begged for death and yet every time she had come close, for some reason she would continue to live. Was it some primal survival instinct that forced her to fight, or was it simple the fact that no matter what she was a coward. Although the world she now lived in held no reason for her to live, Amalieya's fear of hell was far greater then her urge for death. She was stuck between life and death, Salvation and Damnation.

And so staring at the pulsating living flames, her mind racing, Amalieya grasped the hot iron in her hands and brought it down onto her exposed arm. Her scream pierced the cold night air like a saber as her skin boiled beneath the glowing iron. Her Flesh, being stuck to the metal, tore as she carefully removed the poker. Amalieya gingerly ran a finger along her new six inch scar. So she sat and did so until the early morning, when she was taken be restless sleep.