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The girl and the hag
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icon 04.07.2020 icon 0x icon 778x
“Am I dismembered yet? Am I dismembered yet?” she cried every time I walked past the painting that was hanging on the wall, utterly frightened, pleading me to give her the answer she didn´t want to hear... The answer she already knew... And yet she uttered that question over and over again, in a high pitch voice that declined in the closing of the sentence.
That “yet” was the end of everything to her, simply because it never came. It was just waiting for it, waiting for the night that would lull her to sleep and then threw the horror of the day into her moon-like face hiding behind the painting that was hanging on the wall. She would scream with utmost fear and yet her lips were sealed, and her head felt so heavy that it was easiest to just turn it off... But when she did, there she was (she was always there), it was always her, just looking at her, pale, torn out of the time and numbed into the state of stillness that sometimes scared her even more than those languishing fingers that the hag was going to cut off...
The moment before it came was all she knew, that moment formed her whole life. It was never after, she never actually lost her hands, it was just this tensive, tiring, yet strangely final feeling that it was going to happen... “Now, now, now,” she whispered frenziedly, her hands frantically moving, moving, everywhere, as if they were trying to hide from the hagʼs saw, but wait, she was not there yet, she was only about to arrive now... now... now... But she never did, she never did...! She ought to! her thoughts were screaming at her in despair that she did not show, she was that face, calm, indifferent, and suddenly, the figure in the painting wasnʼt still anymore, it was her that was desperately trying to climb out of the frame, tottering towards me, bleeding from her hands that were almost gone... And as she leaned forward, and her long hair spread all over her face, I saw her... I saw the old, withered hag, holding a large saw with her both hands, creeping behind her, smiling, as if she knew she had no chance of escaping this whatsoever... She got ready for the final stroke that would complete the dismemberment.
But in the end, she didn´t have to. It was I who pulled the palms of her hands, loosely hanging on a bare piece of skin and weary tendon... and she remained there, stretched in the frame, handless, and as I looked into her eyes, the hag began to laugh... And then we both laughed because I knew what would come, and I closed my eyes, readily...
When I opened them, the hag was gone and so was the pale girl with dismembered hands. I sighed with relief but then my eyes noticed something unusual... I was wrong, all this time, it wasn´t the painting... I was looking into an antique mirror with a shiny gilded frame... There were several scratches on its stained surface but I could still see my reflection... And as I came closer, I saw that my face looked just like the face of that girl, pale and strangely calm, as if she were waiting for something that would never happen...
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