Mind Tricks - Chapter VIMind Tricks - Chapter VI in Drama More Like This
And in that hall of memory,
I found a portrait of myself --
Painted in the color of my death
* * *
Poltergeists track their prey in the blind spots, where vision means nothing and instincts are beyond useless.
Mileena can see the silence: a velvet veil drifting in the air. The palace does not wear it well. Usually there is an echo of footsteps against ceramic tile, wind sailing down vacant corridors, granular laugh of guardsmen, sonar-cries of bats. The absence of atmosphere has transformed the Edenian palace into a twenty-acre marble catacomb.
But not Kitana's private hallway, and especially not the vibrant garden down below. Presently walking along the carpet, Mileena realizes that this place has an azure cadence to it, a higher order of atmosphere. The way it wears the moonlight which filters in from the open roof above the courtyard, that rich aroma of the flowers, wafting like perfume... Mileena would do anything for the chance to take her sweet time absor
Mind Tricks - Chapter IIIMind Tricks - Chapter III in Drama More Like This
Remember for me that portrait --
Buried beneath the ashes of ages
* * *
The forest is the only place in this part of Edenia that does not belong to Mileena. She never once thought to make it hers.
This is due to its reputation as a twisted maze of gnarled, decaying trees and constricting vines, steeped in a sea of blackened fog. A mass grave for foolish wanderers. Mileena admires it, but even she knows it is like a Venus flytrap: a place where someone of her caliber would expect to thrive, and yet still be eaten. The mercenaries are either wise or foolish to hide in such a place, especially this deep inside, let alone find a grove in which to camp.
But where Mileena had expected disarray, a scene of frightened men trying desperately to hold rank, there is instead rigid order. The mercenaries have transformed their hidden grove into a makeshift clock-face. All twelve of them stand in circular formation around a roaring campfire, their bodies stone-still, their shadows
Mind Tricks - Chapter IIMind Tricks - Chapter II in Drama More Like This
Our masks hide our smiles, our frowns
But even without, I am still concealed
* * *
The candles bathe her room in amber light, casting shadows along the walls. Imaginary landscapes, rising and falling in great mountain ranges, treetops, grandiose palaces all silhouettes, but no less real to Mileena.
These, too, are hers.
Every night, in those long minutes before she falls asleep, Mileena immerses herself in that landscape. She imagines herself as a shadow, running through those ephemeral forests, standing atop those ethereal plateaus, walking along the shores of those ghostly lakes. A world of her creation, dedicated to her and her alone. Anyone else she comes across is simply an imaginary friend, conjured on a whim. Sometimes she whispers narrations to herself about "Mileena's Adventures in the Shadow Lands", dictating her own deeds to her empty room. She will deepen her voice when she imagines herself coming across a man, and heightens it when encounter
Mind Tricks - Chapter IVMind Tricks - Chapter IV in Drama More Like This
Walk with me on the limbic shores
Where memory's tide rises and falls
* * *
She runs her finger through the still waters.
Listens as each ripple plays its own note.
She laughs. It is so simple. But the more she thinks about simple things, the more amusing they become.
She adores the way the sunlight glitters off the tremulous surface. So much so that she tries to write her name in the water, so that it, too, may be decorated in those sparks of light. But each time she tries to spell out a letter, the water washes her progress away.
She is confused.
She tries again. It is easy to run one's finger through the water. It does not resist. It is simply there, waiting to be played with. But once again it rushes over her written word, as if eager to reject her.
She is angry.
She stabs her finger into the water, furiously etches her name before it can be erased, hoping to beat it at its own game. But by the time she spells out the last "a" in her name, it is all gone.
"No!" she wa
Mind Tricks - Chapter IMind Tricks - Chapter I in Drama More Like This
My winding hall of memory,
Lined with portraits of you
* * *
"Wake up, Sister."
A touch on her shoulder casts off the veil of sleep, and the day rushes in. She cannot see the light coming until it blinds her. Cannot feel it until it burns.
This is the way she knows the blade which pierces her abdomen.
Arms go numb. Legs, too. Body inert.
But she is still trapped inside.
She forces her body to cry out, because the Pain is not a dream anymore. Not like it used to be. Now it is real, and it erupts from inside of her.
This frightens her.
This Immobility. The not knowing until it is there, until it is too late.
The blade burrows into her stomach, stops mere inches from her spine. It rests there, waiting, radiating frost. Fear. Her numb fingers grasp at the hilt, begging it to go away.
Then the blade fans out, nearly bifurcates her at the waist. Again there is Pain, that flaring crimson, so acute now, but there is also Force. The person inside of her shrieks, but her body only
Mind Tricks - Chapter VMind Tricks - Chapter V in Drama More Like This
Do not knock, nor disturb --
I am solving puzzles in my asylum
* * *
She triple-checks the lock on her door. Slams her window shut, for fear that poltergeists might creep in and wail nostalgic hymns. Draws the curtains, so that the moonlight may seep through the linen in lavender streaks. She then takes the wick dipper on her dresser and extinguishes the two-dozen candles placed throughout her room. Each wax-drowned flame submerges her shadow lands deeper into darkness. She spares the lone candle on her nightstand, all too aware of the fine line between asylum and abyss.
None of these precautions stop Mileena's trembling. It is a kind of fear she cannot fight, cannot hide from. Only one from which she can wake up. Which is why, as she starts building a barricade of dolls at the foot of her door, she pinches herself in the arm at intervals, each time harder and more desperately.
And all the while her imagination pirouettes and somersaults; it chases, catches, and evisce