F is for

I can’t say how long I was in that place…

Hi, I’m Felicity. Funny, really, because the name is supposed to mean good fortune, and I wouldn’t say I’ve been lucky, exactly. Although things have definitely improved for me recently.

I’ve been in a dark place for a few years. That’s not a metaphor, although it’s hardly been fun. I mean it literally: I’ve been in a dusty, dark hole in a rather gloomy old building. A very old building, it’s been there for a few centuries, and it’s got some history. It took me a while to understand how I’d got there.

I’d been out one night for a couple of Babychams with the girls, and I started to feel strange. It wasn’t a hangover – it didn’t start until a couple of days afterwards. But I began to feel I was sharing my head with somebody. She started talking to me. She said “My name is Pearl, and I’m really sorry.”

Over the next few weeks our conversations grew more frequent and more persistent, until there was little room in my head for anything else. Then it wasn’t a dialogue any more – I no longer participated, I was just listening to Pearl’s stream of consciousness. She had a strange way of talking, and I couldn’t always understand her. I wondered how old she must be. I felt like a stranger in my own head.

I went to bed exhausted one night and woke up next day in a dingy, dusty hole, more of a cupboard than a room. I seemed to be imprisoned there. I had no idea how I had got there but I knew that Pearl was involved somehow. I didn’t get thirsty or hungry or anything, I was just…there. Of course, I was angry about what she had done. But looking back, she did try to help me.

After my imprisonment, she didn’t leave me straight away, I could still hear her talking. She told me about a priest who had been betrayed, dragged out from his hiding place and put to death, who had cursed the place with his last breath. And about the dusty old mirror, and how it might help me.

I can’t say how long I was in that place – I stopped counting after twenty Christmases. And I tried many, many times to get out, but I could never time it right. I could sense that I was getting closer, though.

Then one bright winter’s day, eight people came and sat in sight of the mirror. Christmas had been and gone, but through the mirror I could make out that they were wearing green paper hats. They started off fairly quiet, but got louder after a drink or two.

Eventually I saw one of them point her camera at the mirror. I picked my target and leapt through the mirror. At last, my timing was perfect, I landed and was startled and ecstatic to see through her eyes and hear through her ears. After this effort I had to lie low for a couple of days, regaining my strength, watching, listening and learning.

She seemed a very nice person, and I felt misgivings about what I would have to do. But I’d spent long enough in that place. It was someone else’s turn now. So I said to her “My name is Felicity, and I’m really sorry.”

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