Time was running out. She knew it. She could feel it. The life flowing through her body was seeping out into the air, like someone had poked a small hole in her and she was slowly deflating.
The big clock against the wall ticked. She coughed and closed her eyes. Fragmented visions filled her mind.
A cherubic face with black eyes. Wind and rain and fire. Someone screaming. Velvet curtains and something red, like blood.
She opened her eyes and hoped to God the visions would stop after she was gone. She hoped there was no heaven, no hell. She hoped these memories would rot away with the rest of her. Forever.
Her only comfort was the secret she had kept, that only she and this creaky, horrible old house knew. A secret that would slash the veil of darkness and spill stinging, acidic light on everything. And the nightmare would finally be over, as she hoped hers would soon be.
As she took her final breath, her mind filled again with her face. Those eyes. Black as coal.