Madeleine with Tea

by ahlade

Madeleine with Tea

Have to get Proust out of my system... Feedback, as my dedicated readers know, is the devil's tool for mayhem. Fight the urge to send me email. Desist! I implore you!

Pain is curious, she decides.

Just sensation-indefinite, pleasure, pain, undecided... Then nerve-endings that have forgotten to feel, respond to inducement. They recognize pain and it is familiar; and she closes her eyes in a response that is more conscious memory than reflex.

The tears come because she forces them to come. She should cry now, shouldn't she? It is what people do. It's what Lana did when her parents died. She knows because she saw the tears everyday on her wall of memory.

The needle traced intricate patterns of fire on the soft skin of her right hip. She could not see it, of course. Only the sound of the needle, metallic and hot buzzes at her accompanied by the slow breathing of the artist, and the ghost of pain, and she imagines the scales of the serpent being formed, drawn in her flesh, inked and coloured, indelible on white meat.

Flesh that can burn and char-- proteins denaturing, fat bubbling, blood boiling. Hair burning.

And unbidden, the smells of the charnel house surround her. She can never be rid of them now. No matter how much cK One-new-summer-edition is sprayed around her.

'Cause that is a smell that Chloe would never wear. As Chloe would not be tattooed on her left hip. Chloe would not stare into the fabric of the table at the tattoo parlour with such intensity that her eyes crossed and faded, making a strange mutable world in the faded chintz.

Chloe would not be a club dancer in nightclub.

Chloe could get up and look at herself in the daylight.

She was not Chloe.

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