Tell A Tale — Gothic Fiction

I am the egret By Author Jon Clynch

Once more I dream of a white bird, an egret, bathed in sunshine, radiating purity. I hasten towards it, overwhelmed, bursting with joy at the beauty of nature. But my joy dissolves, fading to horror and confusion; the creature is pinned down by cruel steel needles, a web of twine keeps her fast to the ground. She does not struggle, only stares piteously, uttering pathetic cries. My sobs waken me, I fall into my love's strong arms for comfort.

His work keeps him from me at times, and on those nights I sob alone. But I respect his dedication to furthering his understanding of the secrets of life.

He is secretive, only allowing the briefest of details as to his methods. I don't press him, besides, what would I understand of such matters? He loves me, that is all I care. He tells me often, I am his pure and perfect specimen. How he makes me laugh with his earnest face as he says these things!

A surprise today; he invites me to his laboratory, his holy of holies. I am privileged!

I admit to nervousness as I tread past stacked cages, the stench of formaldehyde and fear heavy on the air. A menagerie of animals peers out at me with defeated expressions.

I did not know his work involved this foulness. He reads my concern, laughing at my displeasure.

“They are mere tools, my dear. My work is almost complete!”

He leads me to a hall that starkly contrasts with the animal chamber, resembling a cathedral nave. Chalk symbols mark the floor, along with stains of deep scarlet; the blood of countless poor creatures. Around the fringes immense glass tubes house spectral forms, suggesting they were once animals, now in spirit form. A seed of panic forms in the depths of my being, growing along with my understanding.

I turn to flee but he grips my arms, pure adoration pouring from his brown eyes.

“I have found it.” he whispers, trembling, “The answer to my nightmare. I can keep you by me, safe, forever, and no other can look upon you or harm you!” his eyes shine with passion, but I see only madness.

He means to possess me entirely, his love is become an insanity that consumes him, has made one man become another entirely.

I vainly attempt to break his grip but his strength is too great. Unheeding of my tears, he speaks on.

“Science has for too long been divorced from spirituality. I have remedied this!”

Pinning me down to the floor, bright with occult glyphs, he recites incantations as he fastens tubes to my vein, my lifeblood surging into nearby machinery.

“Why?” I scream, “If you love me, stop this!”

His expression is one of confusion.

“I do this because I love you, do you not see?.” and oblivion closes in.

I waken, a beautiful white mist within an eternal glass prison.

And I do see; I am the egret...

 


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