On the dark nights, when the world felt like just laying itself on her shoulders, the voice always made its appearance. Never once failing to appear, it seemed almost a living thing to her, quietly creeping through the shadows in her room, slipping up onto her bed, and just sitting there. Watching. Its actual speaking voice was never heard. Aki wasnt even sure if it actually spoke or if it was just its presence that made her hear a voice.
She starred unblinkingly at the muted TV, her last vain hope at driving the shadows away, the voices path to her bed and her ear. Her mind. It needed the shadows, the darkness, to thrive.
Again. It spoke again. Thought. Thought again. Maybe the voice was just in her head? But didnt she just hear its quiet word break the chilling silence?
It didnt break the silence. Aki felt the fear creep up her spine, the kind of fear that was familiar and unwanted, like a woolen blanket in the middle of a hot summer. She refused to turn her head, to acknowledge something that couldnt possibly be there.
No. She would not turn, she would not see. But, she could see. Her peripheral vision allowed her the chance to view the voice, or what she thought was the voice. She couldnt really see anything, just a black void, and she knew that that was the voice. Its eyes were watching her (she couldnt see them, she could feel them) and it was just sitting there. On her pillow, somehow moving without her noticing it, and just sitting there.
Again. And the silence of the room was still intact, while the silence in her mind was broken. Aki whimpered, just ever so slightly, and the voice grinned in glee.
The windows were open, the cool air chilling the room further, the drapes billowing in the breeze, the new moon casting no light. The TV flickered and died. This was its territory now, the little protection the TV offered with is dim light gone. It slithered over to her, and crawled up her back, and rested on her shoulders.
Its mouth ended up right next to her ear, but she couldnt feel anything. Not its body weight, not the air escaping its mouth when it spoke. Nothing.
It was all in her head.
My name is Madness.
Her jaw clenched. She would not turn, she refused to turn. To look.
Ive been watching you for some time. Ever since you got that mark.
She could not help it. Her eyes flickered down to her arm, the one wrapped around her knees pulled against her chest. Impossibly, even though it wasnt looking at her face, it knew.
Yes. That one.
Relief washed over her. This mark was the reason the voice (Madness) visited her. It wasnt her.
She was not mad.
The Black Rose Witch was.
Hey? Room in your head for one more?
Aki moaned in despair and buried her head in her arms, shaking in fear as Madness chuckled. The sun, with its life saving rays, was a long way off.
The quality or condition of being insane.