Mary Christof, Queen of Hearts

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Winnie's Frisson

“St. Michael the Archangel,
defend us in battle.
Be our defense against the wickedness and snares of the Devil.
May God rebuke him, we humbly pray,
and do thou,
O Prince of the heavenly hosts,
by the power of God,
thrust into hell Satan,
and all the evil spirits,
who prowl about the world

seeking the ruin of souls. Amen...”

-Prayer to St. Michael

"He's sown bitterness into me. I can feel it like a snake coiling around my neck and I hate it," I murmured to myself, looking at the portrait of Saint Jude on the wall, "--so is this what hell looks like? Just a whole lot of torment, and then there's a Tantalus kind of situation where people look up at heaven because they can't get there? What about heaven? I mean, I'm a lost cause, sure, but what does that look like? They can't be happy all the time, else it'd be dystopian and totalitarian, clearly no one wants that. Are they more content, though?"

I stood there waiting for an answer of some sort, because at this point I didn't care if I sounded bonkers, I'd already talked to so many people already that my head hurt. I was sleepless and stressed and strung out. I was tricked by the devil, maybe.
"You know, I expected you to come see me sooner or later. I just never expected--well, to meet you like this. Head throbbing--it's probably gonna last all, man. Anyway, aside from the insane rambling about what heaven and hell actually are, I'm kinda stuck. What on Earth did I get into? Since I bought her home, it feels like a fucking drug trip and I'm facing the brunt of that now. Hard drugs, man."
I shook my head and smiled, grateful he didn't move this time like the other ones did. Finally, some semblance of sanity.
"I mean, not that everyone else isn't fun or personable to talk to, but Oh My at a time, please...and don't feed into the whole fear-of-being-stalked thing--it's taxing! Even Jerome sort of burnt into my head a little bit and he's the guy the cat recommended! Like, ow, no offense, but...yikes. I need some breathing room, you know? Worse, because they're who they are, I can't actually tell her that for fear of stepping..."
There was a feeling of utter calmness (aside from a pounding headache or two) in the room, as though several weights had been lifted. I wasn't quite normal, per say, for I was still shivering and had a lingering sense of dread hanging over me.
"A secretary is not a toy, no my boy, not a toy, so do not go jumping for joy...a secretary is not, a tinker toy! I'm happy to be in her service...but I need to remember that. I am my own person too...right?"

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