Yul drifted into sleep, her head turning softly away from Mairi on the pillow as if, from slumber, she sought separation, distance, a final act of submission. Mairi looked up in supplication as those who prostrate themselves look down in mercy, her lower lids as dams staining to hold back her own doubt and fear and anger and regret. As Yul’s hand fell slack, the dam burst. +My Janus, I can’t do this. Damn you! Do you hear me, I can’t do this.+

Mairi cried and to the extent her countenance betrayed torment and dismay, Yul’s placid pale visage paid homage to lakes calm in twilight. Taking the back of her trembling fingers, Mairi brushed Yul’s silver hair from her cheek. Bending over she kissed the crest of her dimple and whispered words neither recorded nor remembered.

Three hours later:

+You did well my dear Chatelaine+

+Frail you, you frailing whore of children forgotten and abandoned.+ Mairi sobbed uncontrollably, her head pounding from the inside out as she shook as patients burning with fever shake from cold.

+You did all I could have asked, all anyone could have expected. And soon, you will love me again as only a Chatelaine can love the art of grace and execution, of passion controlled by mind and whipped by heart.+

+You lie with daggers dull and crooked; and if I had my wits I would hurl venom and hatred as the unkind do in confrontation with difference. I will never forgive nor forget, my liege, the obligation I owe to one so blessed with duplicity and greed.+

Dr X smiled. +I knew talent when I saw it, and you, my dear, are a gift beyond my dreams.+

Mairi lay on the ground, soaking wet, her eyes blurry, her immaculate makeup smeared almost beyond recognition.

+Rest my darling Null.+

Doctor #1: What happened?

Doctor #2: I have no idea. What does the tape show?

Doctor #1: You’re not going to believe this.

Doctor #2: What?

Doctor #1: It’s blank.

Categories: Story, Yul, Mairi, Dr. X