The Woman Who Had No Face was lonely.
She had a face-ears; nose; eyes; she could breathe, in and out she breathed, standing in the line at the grocery store, clutching a bag of bread. She trembled. Her eyelids trembled. She wasn’t afraid; she was never afraid of anything and the darkness in her mind was vaster than the sea, the darkness in her heart was vast. She paid for the bag of bread and took it outside and huddled under a red tree and ate the bread and her nose was long and peaked and she snarled at anyone who tried to come in contact with her. She didn’t want to be here. She didn’t want to be anywhere.
She wanted the bread, wanted it in a way that was close to desperation more than a wantingness inside of her. She was hungry. She was on the brink of destruction.
She was one of the ones Who Could See the Dead. The Dead weren’t any more frightening than little children; the living were more frightening than the Dead. She was right about things and gave paid readings and the seer wasn’t happy. She was never happy. She couldn’t be happy because she was alone in a cruel heartless world.
The darkness surrounded her. She found comfort in the darkness. Sometimes, she dreamt about Elves. She always thought the Elves were good, kind beings and helped people in any way they could; they were mischievous and never really did any harm. The ones in her dreams were cruel and cold and heartless. They didn’t understand anything that was happening or how to change it. They didn’t understand the things going on around them.
She lived in a hut on the edge of a bubbling, brown mess of a bog. The bog smelled bad and she didn’t like the smell but it was the only place to sleep. She wandered throughout the city during the day and came home and slept on a bed of rocks. The Woman With No Face didn’t know a magic genie lived in the hut. The hut smelled like a swamp and she finished the last of the bread and sat by the bog late at night, listening to the cry of the cicadas and the swamp monster singing a sad song and the lonely song came to her and made her sad and she didn’t know how to cry.
She didn’t know anything about her past, present and future and she returned to the hut and took the dreamcatcher off the wall and went outside and tried to catch the stars in its net.
The dreamcatcher had been made by a Ianasi girl a long time ago, before she became Ignored. Being Ignored was worst than being Exiled. Maybe she had been Exiled in her thirties she didn’t know.
The bog was smelly.
It smelled worse than old shoes.