vel vel

Red

Fingernails sunk into the wood of her desk and clawed across its surface.   She took a breath, and tried to focus.  

 
She’d been here before.


Sweat dripped from her bow, as her eyes fell shut and her head fell to rest on the top of her desk.   Her body ached.  A trembling hand reached downs to take hold of metal knob, she managed to get her fingers wrapped around it and she pulled open a desk drawer.  


A shaky index finger ran over that lovely little vial, that promised and end to her current condition.   She had not used it yet.   She kept it close.  So close.  Her stomach churned, as she pulled her hand away and shut the drawer with a shove. 


This wasn’t the first time she’d felt this sort of hunger.  This sort of sickening, burning, ache that made every nerve in her body seem to cry out for some form of relief.   


She forced herself to sit upright in her chair.   She glanced around her office.  Blinds drawn shut.  Keeping the harsh sunlight out of her eyes which still occasionally felt strained to focus.   It had been two days now and still, every so often there was a pulse of red that blurred her vision.  Like some sort of aftershock.  A reminder. 

 
Back when that glass had been placed on the bar in front of her, she just had to drink it - didn’t she?


Celestine had planted that seed long ago.  The promise of bliss.  Then she placed that glass down in front of the monkette.  


A sip wasn’t enough.  The moment that glass was placed before her she remembered that conversation with Celestine, the way she’d teased and taunted then.  Vel didn’t understand the game the Queen played but she felt a sip was a weak response to the move Celestine had made.  So she followed that sip by drinking the whole damned glass without hesitation.   A much bolder move.   A riskier move.   And a move that two days later she was still paying for having made.   


The Queen’s claims of bliss were not exaggerated.   For Vel, so few substances worked so efficiently.   It didn’t matter what the effects were.  The onset was quick and the sensations were strong.  She hadn’t expected the hooks from the crimson elixir to be quite as strong as this.   She hadn’t expected to still feel a hunger this strongly two days removed from just one drink.  


She suspected it might burn forever.  But she would not allow herself to bend to that tempting vial she kept in that drawer.  She’d been through this before.  She knew this feeling.  She’d survive this.   The Queen’s tentacles may feel tight around her now, but they were not the first.  She was used to being starved of what she craved.  Used to having to deal with this.


She pushed herself up from her chair and steadied herself.   She had to focus.  That vial she kept in her drawer was not left untouched simply as a means by which to torment herself.   She wanted that.   A sample.   She wanted to know just what could be gleaned about the Queen from a proper examination.   She had a few ideas of who might be able to discern something from it.  She just had to get past the worst of this; or just get used to the feeling of the wolf’s teeth sinking into her neck.   Just as she got used to the constant unquenchable thirst her mother had given her.   


She placed her palms on her desk and closed her eyes.  


Work.


Focus on work.  

 
She never really saw the cycle as it repeated itself.   Distractions to distract herself from distractions.   

Work was a distraction as much as indulging in any vice was.  

She didn’t know how to be idle.   

She knew only motion.

( @wolf-queen )