Mary Christof, Queen of Hearts

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Beating Hearts and Blindness/Year of the Cat

The beating. The almost sensual moaning, the gasping...I felt like something bit me on the neck for a minute and I was still rendered blind. "Please, come join us...we would love to have you."

"Let the girl go, Christof..."

"Why? I'm just testing her, and I love the little sweetheart!"

"She's terrified of you."

"Because you and others have filled her head with fairy tales."

"Because you're an evil witch who happens to..."

"No. You filled his head and hers with that wicked lie and you know it!"

It was like a Mexican standoff. Roy was almost blue in the face, his hands numb from lack of circulation before she tossed him down onto the floor, his entire body writhing in throes of pain.

"Get out of him."

"No. He's been Lucy's servant since 1999 and I won't give him up just because some witch took affection to one of his other, would-have-been-promising creatures of habit and screwed her up good."

"She can see now, she isn't blind anymore!"

"Not blind to what YOU want her to say, just like all the others! This one, she's smarter than--"

"Her intelligence...yes. However, it has given us quite an advantage...her talent, too...once she has toned her art--"

"Through suffering..."

"--the initiation will begin for both of them."

"Oh, now you want to cheat and get this one too? That's not how this game works, Your Majesty."

The flow of her black and orange hood and dress in the fall air as she glided toward the kid, peering down at her stomach and smiling playfully, "Oh, but I have an extra piece...thanks..."

The defeated screaming from the demon lasted for a full minute before something else dawned on him. "You're gonna keep that stupid name? Hedwig Orbach Flanders?"

"I've waited long enough for her to meet Hadassah."

"Oh no. No. No're not...don't you think about..."

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