She was hungry, mad, and beautiful.
Sitting in the Child’s house, with pipe lit and the smoke curling up around me, I look at the box upon the table in front of me. The wood is old, inlaid with silver, and no larger than my hand. My fingers tremble as I slip the locks up and take the long lock of deep black hair from it.
The hair is sleek, warm, and delicate upon my skin, and I think of her and the door.
The door I’ve not opened since 1784 when last I closed it.
The door is in the oldest barn, a relic of centuries past. Rarely do I venture there, for the creature behind the door still lives. Still hungers.
And I cannot bring myself to kill her.
I found her when I was sixteen, long before the nation existed. She was on the edge of Gods’ Hollow, bathing in the waters of a small, vernal pool. Her skin glowed in the sunlight, shined upon her bright, sharp teeth, and drowned in her pure black eyes.
I watched as she washed blood off her mouth and bare chest, her long black hair hanging in damp locks. She saw me, laughed, and licked her full lips with a forked tongue which would later speak the greatest of lies in the sweetest of whispers.
I can remember her embrace, the graceful terror of her teeth upon my throat, and the way she shuddered within my arms. We spent long hours and nights that passed too quickly by that pool.
And then, one day, we left the pool together.
I brought her home with me, snuck her to my room and hardly slept for days. None knew she was there, not until she slew my uncle Obadiah and ate him.
My father was out, and I was alone with a half-eaten corpse.
Heartbroken, I bound her in iron and dragged her screaming to the barn. With my own knife, I carve the sigils into the wood, and with my own blood, I sealed them.
I placed her in the unlit room and freed her of the chains. On my back, I bear the scars of her teeth and nails. My ears bled from the rage which spewed from her mouth.
Occasionally, I return to the barn, and I listen and speak with her. Always she asks to be freed. Always I deny her.
She tells me she loves me still, and I say the same.
It is a painful truth we both speak in darkness.