Queen Dairy
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  • Desolation

    Elyra feels her back tearing open from the whip's lashes. The barren desert under the red giant's sunset is a particular shade of orange, reminding her of the colour dyes her grandmother used to imbue her dresses. For a moment, she could recall the taste of chewing on freshly-peeled oranges..

    "Tell us you're sorry!" her two captors yell.

    She wonders if the pain would go so deep as to end her unwilling two-month pregnancy. That would be the lucky outcome. Once, she tried deliberately inhaling some of the noxious fumes by the detritus, such that the poison would sicken her body and put an end to her wretched life. When John and Vishnu found out, they bound her limbs with barbed wire for a whole week.

    "Say it! SAY IT!"

    It's a test of how far her spite towards those men would carry her, until her nervous system caves in and she's reduced to primal, animalistic cries. Soon, she hears John tire from the way his breaths quiver. The whip is handed over to Vishnu, who pummels Elyra in the face with the handle as he throws the full weight of his torso behind the blows.

    As it turns out, the small and yet vital part of her, longing for its own continuation – she breaks down crying, submitting finally to their will. Her tears are like crocodile tears at this point, knowing full well that there isn't another soul on Earth who'd ever offer her sympathy. Is this what she'd deserved?

    Before the end began, she left someone hanging..

    "I'm sorry that I hurt you," she wrote him in a letter. "I know you adore me like a beautiful flower in a jar, and I've mistakenly given you a kiss which you treasure in your memories. But I don't know you. Thanks to you, my day is worse whenever I see your face. I do my best to blot out everything you say to me, or do for me.. you're nothing, now. Go away."

    In the days which passed, his absence is like a vacumn in the air which she gingerly ignores, as she carries on with her life, though there's a small pang of regret when she encountered a news article about how he'd taken his own life from heartbreak. Only a small pang, though.

    When John and Visnhu have fallen asleep in a stupor after indulging themselves with vodka, Elyra pulls out the little bone from her rags. She'd fashioned the baby elephant's tusk into a knife over the last weeks; grinding the bone against any nearby rock she'd find – not too long though, or else she wouldn't have the energy to endure the next day.

    Her makeshift knife is now sharp enough that by pricking her finger on the edge, it slices cleanly through the fingertip.

    The thing now is to muster up the courage to flip the Monopoly board over.. Elyra cries out for a washroom break.

    She knows Vishnu has a soft spot; when he's not obeying John's barks for the next thing, sometimes his vulnerable side pops out as he confides to her his growing resentment towards John; how it seems like John knows everything as the unquestionable narcissist – a self-proclaimed messiah who sees the future of humanity in raping her for a child. Usually after hearing Vishnu out, his fury boils over the next day, taking it out on her with a fervent force when an excuse arises as to pin a wrong upon her. As if he was weaseling himself out of feeling any gratitude for her listening to him like another person.

    Vishnu stirs, while John clutches onto the vodka jug like a beloved teddy. Elyra calls out again, and finally, Vishnu stirs forth – his movements slurred like in a sleepwalk. He undoes her chains, and he stands by – following a habit of standing guard while she does her stuff.

    And briefly, Elyra hesitates, as if starting to feel sorry for Vishnu and what she's about to do to him. But she's able to muster the cold hate she's harboured for so long, and her makeshift knife jams through his eyes.

    Vishnu convulses on the ground, with the knife still protruding from his eyelid. All Elyra has to do is wiggle the knife a few inches deeper, before Vishnu is still. Turned into a decaying marionette.

    Elyra follows up with John.

    As she wanders the desert, she grows thirsty. The water pitchers are empty, after she's relished the freedom of downing entire loads without anyone slapping her face in anger. With the multiple stains on her dress, a fresh one marks the end of the life she's been made to carry in John's name. What a shame, since only John knows how to felch water from under the sands.. it was his expertise that allowed him to wield such control. Well, he knew. He wouldn't let her or even Vishnu learn.

    Elyra senses there won't be anything to encounter for a while. You could see the broad swathes of flatness, extending into the farthest distances..

    Still, she carries on lugging the wagon towards the sunset, with nothing else left to do.

    Eventually her legs give out, and with her mouth left aching from the arid heat, she thinks she sees a tree in the distance. She lets go of the caravan's handles, and squeezes out step after step, over to that long-barren trunk. She leans her back against it, and as the sunset recedes – as her vision grows faint, she recalls faces. Family. The smiles of those everyday strangers as she'd board the metro.

    The person who she'd rejected.. who told her she was like a beautifully-winged fairy who's been pulled out of the picture books into real life, and clung onto her with that wondrous illusion. Her thoughts devolve into a haze. As the stars begin to twinkle amidst the clouds, Elyra whispers an unspoken prayer.. asking to be forgiven for her heart's fickleness. If she'd known any better, she wouldn't have left him with that letter.. but a hopeful embrace in person, pouring all her heart behind it.

    But the wind blows, indifferent to what once was. The dust breezes past the remains of civilizations, and soon, her body slowly topples over.