I watch you. I know your every move, your thoughts.

“There is no going back from this point. I watch you. I know your every move, your thoughts. I know that you are tiring of me and want to leave. Well I’ll tell you this now! You shall not leave! You have nowhere to go. Stay with me and I will make you happy. I will give you everything. Leave and I will send my people to find you and I will bring you back. I will always bring you back.”

His hands tighten around my hips, fingers digging into me. His eyes are small and hard. As I look down at him his face becomes sharp and his features change. I don’t understand the words. His face is dark and repugnant. He pulls himself upright, still grasping me tightly. He towers above me now and all I can see is the blackness of his chest and smell that earthy odour. He pulls me in to him, enfolds me in blackness and still I can feel his grip.

“You’re hurting me!” I cry out and try to pull away. “You’re scaring me! Let go!”

He recoils from himself. His face softens, his hands fall to his sides and I step back but find myself trapped between him and the table. I sit back on it, try and relax. I feel the wood, solid and real, a table. I look at him but I don’t know what he is anymore. How stupid I am. I’m here alone and know nothing about him. He runs his hand across his face as if wiping it clean and then through his thick black hair. As he does, something falls from his hand and I watch as it drifts to the table. Carefully I put my hand over it because I know he did not see it fall. I close my fingers around it and bring both hands up to my chest and rest my chin on them. I feel his hand rest for a moment on top of my head before he leaves the room. I keep my eyes closed. I hear a chicken squawk, some flapping, then those damn birds in the trees beyond the courtyard. I open my eyes to see where he is, but he’s gone. I open my hand and see a greenish black feather pressed against my palm


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