“We are unfashioned creatures, but half made up,
if one wiser, better, dearer than ourselves—
such a friend ought to be—do not lend his aid to
perfectionate our weak and faulty natures.”
The candlelight shadows shivered at the sudden opening of the door behind her.
She caught her breath and readjusted herself—but didn’t get up from the chair. Two heartbeats later, she recognized who it was by the faint smell of rotting flesh beneath the perfume and alcohol and decided to stay still. If he was going to kill her there would be no stopping him, anyway.
Without preamble: “Who is Fritz?” the monstrous visitor demanded.
She had to sigh at that: “Who, indeed?”
The daemon circled into view, towering over her with the grave air of a parent about to tuck their child in for bed. Beneath his overcoat and breaches, he was wrapped from head to toe in soaked bandages of methanol and gin. And where bandages failed, so, too, had his yellow flesh—rather the sinews and blood-soaked innards underneath were quite visible.
But she did not avert her eyes. She did not scream.Continue reading “Friederike”