The Medea Complex Online - Rachel Florence Roberts

Anne

October 11th 1885

Unknown Location

What I really want to know is how the bastards did it.

It's the blackest part of the night, and I've woken up to find myself lying upon a bed made of straw. Although this in itself may sound rather conventional, it most certainly is not when a person went to sleep on a mattress stuffed with horsehair and layered with cotton.

How does one accomplish such a feat?

This is possibly the rudest thing to which I have ever borne witness. Or not, considering I was asleep. The sheer, bloody audacity of thieves these days!

I roll over and sit myself up, the utterly repellent material crunching underneath me. Something tickles my foot and I shriek, pushing the blanket away, gasping as I do so. Not only did they bring an insect breeding-ground into my house, they've stolen my quilt, too.

Of all the nerve...

Right.

I'm contacting the police. The audacious fiends shan't get away with it.

I shuffle to the end of the bed, and stand. After all, if I'm quick enough to report, they won't be too hard to find. A seven foot wide mattress is not an easy nor sensible thing to walk along a road with, even under the cover of night. I reach for my slippers, but, wait. Why am I standing on a cold floor? Where is...

They've done away with my Ambusson rug!

This is utterly outrageous.

“Beatrix!” I shout, walking towards the door. “Beatrix! Wake up, we've been robbed!” Wait, it's too dark, and I'm cold. “Beatrix! Come on in here and light a light, will you?” I raise my arms out in front of me, swinging my hands back and forth as I blindly search for my dressing gown. After walking a few steps, I bump into a wall that shouldn't be there.

I run my fingers across it.

It is cracked and in a dire state of disrepair.

This is not my wall.

Something flakes off underneath my palms, and inside my mind.

This isn't my bedroom.

I've been kidnapped.

No, no...it can't possibly be. There must be a logical explanation for this strangeness.

Did I fall from my horse again?

Is it possible I hit my head?

Could I still be asleep?

The pain that shoots through my arm as I pinch myself is suddenly overtaken by a horrible ache inside my breasts; a hot, tender, bruised sensation. I ignore it, listening for a sound.

Any sound.

Where am I?

I turn in a circle, lost.

What does one do in such a predicament?

Am I in the servant’s quarters?

My anger is swiftly replaced by fear.

“Beatrix!” I hiss, keeping my voice low this time. I am rewarded with the dreadful sound of nothingness.

What time is it?

I start to walk in a straight line, searching for something, anything, that might inform me as to my location. A lamp. A door. A dressing-table. My hands brush nothing but air until they hit what feels like another stone wall. I place my back against it, and follow it with my palms until I hit a corner.

I continue onwards, until I realize I have counted four corners and effectively walked in a square.

I'm in a room.

A small room.

A small room without a door.

As horrendous a prospect this may be, I follow my journey again. Slowly, carefully, I search for any grooves or handles that I in my haste, I undoubtedly missed the first time. Other than the bed, nothing of sufficient prominence nor irregularity informs me of my whereabouts. If I can't identify my location, then I should at least try to escape.

But I don't find anything.

I sit on the floor.

How is this possible?

Every room has a door. If someone brought me here then there is a way inside, and therefore, a way out.

I don't know how long I stay like this, thinking of everything and nothing. Frozen in place, scared to call out, too frightened to move, yet now terrified not to do both. I close my eyes for just a moment, and when I open them a small pool of light rests upon my arm.

I lift my head, searching for its source.

A small, square window hangs roughly twelve feet above the ground. It has unusual, horizontal lines across it. I squint. What could they be? Cautiously, I rise, intending to investigate, when a loud knock reverberates from somewhere nearby.

I shriek, and run towards the bed that I can now see; albeit faintly, grabbing the blanket off the floor and leaping into it. Pulling the cover over my head, I pray they won't notice me.

My heart is beating too fast. I can't breathe under this