He walked the spirals willingly, each step a memory. Here was her hair like fine silk on his pillow, there taut tendons as he stretched her beneath him. A twist brought mornings spent tending their bruises – some on the inside, where the dark thing grew.
A thousand steps for the days he’d kept her. A thousand pinpricks, each in a different spot, his poisoned nerves dying upward, until he could barely make the final turn.
She stood, pitiless and perfect, her malice a reflection of his love. At her feet, the darkling child crooned to taste his heart.