Vidanja spent several hours on the lounge in the quiet tattoo room with the breeze from the wall chinks blowing onto her skin. She had stripped herself of her clothing, skin feeling like it was on fire. The room wasn’t recognizable to her any more: the darkness bled into the flickering light and the voice of the tattooist faded in and out of her perception. Ayudante Baron was nowhere to be found, but Vidanja didn’t know if she had left the room or simply faded into the shadows. In the tortured world she was inhabiting she was alone.
Abruptly she began to speak in choppy bursts, babbling whatever came to her mind. Once again the world fell away from her and she seemed to be looking inside of herself. Her field of vision went black and she reached out instinctively to find the strong, cool hand for reassurance. Sparks exploded in the blackness and at that she burst into tears, seeing beauty and wonder and even love. She didn’t know how to explain these things clearly so she just uttered breathless shibboleths, feeling that now was the time to confess the shape of herself that she saw. Completely unaware of time, she spoke on and on, soothing herself as she talked. Eventually, exhausted, she maneuvered herself to be directly in the stream of the cool air looping across her skin and sank into what she felt, at that moment, would surely be her death.
Some time later she awoke and lay for a while unmoving. When she opened her eyes they were fixed on the wall directly opposite her which was bare of torches. She realized when she tried to look around the room that she was so positioned that she did not have to look at the bright flames, which hurt her eyes. Upon lifting her head she became aware of the powerfully heavy ache of her muscles and she groaned. Her head was remarkably clear though she could scarcely remember anything that happened. It was all a fog of confused memory. There was a cup on a small table that she hadn’t noticed before and she shakily reached for it and took a drink. She’d forgotten about her lips and jerked the cup away.
“You’ll want to take that very gently, young lady. Your mouth has yet to heal.” Ayudante Baron spoke up and took a step into Vidanja’s field of vision. “You slept for quite a while. La torsion takes a lot out of you. ” Vidanja nodded, her throat raspy and burning from the force of her screams and her repeated vomiting. After gingerly taking another sip, she slowly sat up and leaned her back against the cool wall. The tattooist had gone and the table which had held her supplies was bare.