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A man enters my vision. He is stalky, in an old way. The weight and dropped proportions of age. I cannot tell, however, because he too wears a mask. It is a mask of Janus, with two faces looking in opposite directions. He wears all white as well, white trousers, jacket and vest, shirt and tie.
He stands before me, saying nothing. Janus. Janus is a god of beginnings. If this is all indeed a reality, which I am persistent in my debate with that idea, then it has clearly been formulated by a perversely intellectual being. Any torture, no matter how physical, will be on a deeply symbolic level, as it appears, thus, more than anything, my mind is at stake. Instantly I become territorial with my mind, protective of it, as though a dark fear comes to surface and I suspect my mind is in danger of being sucked out of my head, so I must try to keep it inside.
But there is a gap, an opening, which I still have the control enough to close. That is nothing, because somehow, this man stands before me with the key to get inside and change things around, disorient me. I am a prey, a toy, and yet I can’t even say any of this without questioning it.
“Where is my daughter.”
“Where is my daughter!” I demand.
He presses a button on his desk and in comes the serpent and the raven. They begin to spread honey I think, in a thin coat all over my feet with a basting brush. As they are finishing, the dog comes in with a large container, placing it before my feet. The three women back off to the side in a line as the man approaches.
He stands directly before me. No voice. No movement. A long time passes.
He lifts his hand, a sign to the women who instantly respond. They come over, the raven and the serpent take either foot and place them in the container rapidly as the dog removes the lid.
I cannot lift my own feet, because of the ropes, so I must suffer the bites of hundreds of fire ants, feasting on the honey and my skin underneath. The bites are far more painful than bee stings, and of course more numerous than I’ve ever had to endure in my whole lifetime, let alone in one moment. I holler and wriggle. There is no way to break free or to stop them from crawling up my pant legs, throughout my clothing. It doesn’t take them long to be all over my body, on my face, in my hair. I am afraid that the amount of bites will kill me.
But they mustn’t. Where is my Fay?
“You bastard!” I spit the words along with a couple of ants from my lips.
…to be continued…