“What do you want? Can’t you see that I’m in pain?”
Everett Temple was 86 years old and dying of cancer. It was late, after 2 a.m., and yet he had a visitor in his private hospital room.
“I want to help you, Everett. I want to ease your suffering. Why won’t you let me?”
Even in the semi-darkness, the old man could see she had the appearance of a young, very attractive woman. Short, raven black hair, piercing blue eyes, succulent ruby lips, elegant yet brief black gown. His body had long abandoned the ability to react to the erotic, but he remembered when he longed for a woman like her.
Yet for all her beauty and sexual allure, there was something about her he feared. He didn’t know her name but he knew who she was. He had been running from her for years, nearly a decade, and tonight, she had finally caught him.
“You? Ease my suffering? You are my worst enemy.”
The wraith arises when it’s quiet and peaceful. When others are not near or when they still sleep. The wraith does not care if others are near as long as they are unconscious.
Precious is the wraith’s time of peace. All too soon, the others will return or they will arise. In either case, peace will turn to chaos, silent joy to suffering and turmoil.
There is no hunger for the wraith when it is quiet. There is no desire for sustenance. Only the calm of being neither hungry nor full, merely satisfied, as if there were no such thing as desire.
Near the open windows, the air is cool, but the wraith must not leave the protection of these walls. The cool air is pleasant, but the sky is too bright, too painful for his eyes. The beauty of green can only be enjoyed from within the shadows.
The wraith bleeds, not all the time, but periodically. The injury was deliberate, to correct a greater injury, but recovery is slow. The wraith does as he can to slowly purge old blood and mucus, but it reforms. How much of this is left for the wraith to endure?
Footsteps. Chaos returns. If he is minimalist, perhaps the others will be minimalist as well and not overly address the wraith.
The wraith has almost no voice. He wishes this of the others as well, not because they speak ill of him, but because they speak to him at all. When they speak, the peace recedes. He must leave his own mind. He must consider the thoughts of others rather than his own pain.