Broken, Too, and Spoken For
Teen Wolf; Lydia Martin
Post-possession. I've had this for so long but forgot to post it.
Her sanity returns in a rippling, shifting change, like the tide coming in or blood congealing or the shrinking of skin after death. Her mind returns and the ghost dumps her where he found her, curled in on herself as he floats out the window, and she would say it’s a dream, but she can feel the weight of the things she’s forgotten pressing in on her.
Sometimes she'll write in steam on the shower walls, because that's where it happened; where she collapsed, where she first felt the force of something foreign pushing at her mind. When it happened, she fell to the floor and cracked a tile and a bone, had just enough time to feel the pain before she was gone, swept aside like a heap of straw or the skeletons of spiders. She stands on that broken tile now, dripping hands over her eyes, trying to remember what it was like in the time before the ghost.
When she can, she researches. Possession. The possession of humans by spirits, souls, demons, monsters. The words are different but the concept is the same: the mind is overrun, conquered, absorbed, and the being, the thing takes over. Before it happened, she’d scoffed at the supernatural. Rolled her shimmering eyes and scrubbed at her nails, the picture of indifference, but now her life has been gutted, her mind rearranged.
On the glass in the condensation she writes mathematical equations. She writes formulas, nonsense, names, pieces of lyrics. Her mascara brand. Her license plate number. She writes with shaky fingers, still trying to familiarize herself with the sensation of being in control of her limbs. She licks the water from her lips with purpose.
Since the ghost left, her life has become a scattering of sensation. Her memories are more faded than present: suggestions of action, snippets of conversation, the barest imprint of old relationships. What she has is mingled, twisted with the things he did when he had control. She remembers her best friend’s smile. She remembers cheap champagne tasting rich on his tongue. She remembers her own reflection, strips of blue-moon light moving across her skin as the ghost studied her form.
When she can, she researches exorcisms. Ghost killing. Herbs and spices and chants and dances. She finds a ritual more promising than the rest, archaic Latin, and she dredges the words she studied for weeks up out of her garbled consciousness. Eyes closed, she repeats them until the blood leaves her feet and scissor blades slide down her throat when she swallows.
The sun is down and she can’t speak anymore, and when she stops chanting she realizes that the words are coming easily now. She remembers her mother’s name. Faces she’d forgotten are vivid as a fire. Her wounds have scabbed over, and though her vision is blurry and there’s a crack in the shower floor, the ghost is gone.