The darkness has a face.
Gray skin stretched over a craggy skull, black veins pulsing at the temples and cheeks. It has no nose, no lips – only voids crusted with liquid decay. Broken teeth jut up from the gums like yellow stalagmites. A white, wormlike tongue wags to taste the air. Tufts of hair top half-rotted ears, leaves and debris tangled in the elbow-length strands.
The darkness has a voice. Sometimes it’s wet, like pipes choking through a clog. Other times it’s dry and slithery, like snake scales gliding over rock. It depends on whether she’s laughing. Mary likes to laugh, but only if she’s bled someone. That’s when the raspiest rattles echo from her throat.