And now, I am not one but two—the creature lurks within me. At night, it speaks to me, it’s arcane murmurs filling my ears. I long to rip it from my gut, but the footmen watch me day and night. As soon as sleep finally arrives, I find my psyche plagued by nightmares of terrifying vividness—10,000 horses drowning in pus; crimson-eyed children feasting on the head of King Richard II; a smiling, dagger-toothed worm wriggling in viscous slime. And in the morning, it—the twisted, expanding it—demands its food: pebbles, mud, raw beef, and ale. The concoction twists my stomach in endless knots, and the beast inside me growls with satisfaction.
And William—vile, uncaring William—is nowhere to be seen. On the infrequent occasion he does arrive at my bedside I cannot bear to look at him; I recoil from his touch. Indeed, my only happiness in the past weeks has been the warm smile of the nursemaid who cleans my body and washes my hair, preparing me for the coming of the homunculus.
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