This yarn really is on the nose. Regardless, I will place it up here, shame on me. If you aren’t up for the read, and straight up, it will save you the nausea, clip the picture above. An old ‘Cure number follows.
After the last spell had been cast, the Hag finally laid the stick down between the stark white bones and desiccated grass, the wand Agatha had known with an intimacy. The Hag urinated on it once more, cleansing it of all goodness the girl may have infected it with Agatha rasped ‘is my torment complete?’
‘Complete?’ the word insinuating itself from the Hags lip to the hole where Agatha’s ear had long ago been, ‘no you defiled beast. It has only just begun.’
Begin it did.
Each skerrick of every unfinished deed ever committed by Agatha, every ill told or dealt, all thoughts unjust or deceptive against anything or herself deep within. All of the miniscule, seemingly minor nastiness ever played out by her. Each and every underhanded action. Every lie, every horrid intention dealt by Agatha was extracted bit by pathetically tiny bit from her. Plucked delicately like unwanted hairs from an unruly eyebrow, any long dismissed and item of her mind, long lost from the vaults of her memories was drawn out until all that remained was the bareness of her soul. Just facts, the fictions discarded as the detritus they truly are.
‘What crossed your mind as you stole from your mother?’
‘Regret and sorrow.’
‘Another lie,’ said the Hag staring through her, elicited in the monotonous tones unchanged since torments start, ‘yet another lie.’
‘The bitch deserved to starve, she deserved squalor, she deserved death,’ whispered Agatha, ‘that is what I thought.’
Picking life’s scab’s from Agatha’s mind, body, and soul the Hag, slowly, deftly worked. Every second of Agatha’s life was drawn and quartered, dissecting it, opening the pith and extracting from within the bare substance of her existence. Yet physical pain was not inflicted, it was the psyche that was cast asunder.
Within the pocket of time, time external to the goings on within the time of Agatha’s pre-torment existence remained stopped. It was the time within the Hags bubble of torment and pain that passed. Days, weeks, years, millennia, yet Agatha did not age, as time within that pocket remained as stagnant as a pool left in a dried creek in midsummer. The psychological torment far worse to endure than the previous thousand years of corporeal endurance.
Finally another thousand years passed within the void of the Hags pocketed time, and the Hag was done.
‘Is it over?’ Thought Agatha, speech long ago lost.
‘No. We are in a wheel, and the cycle can only repeat,’ said the Hag, reading her mind.
Repeat it did. Over and over, and in time Agatha learnt the Hags incantations through repetition. Repetition compounding the horrors Agatha no longer felt or found, yet remained deep down at the base of her subconscious. With each turn of the wheel the Hag no longer heard ill truths, found fewer scabs ripe for the picking, saw no more memories of deplorable acts enacted. Words of prayer were long lost from her lips; all that remained was her subhuman howling. Unceasing both in pitch and power.