CHAPTER 7: THE CUSTOMERS
She was awake and she was screaming.
In the darkness she tried to marshal her thoughts. Why was she screaming?
Not a dream, she didn’t have those anymore.
She felt like hot lead was being poured on her chest.
The pain had gotten worse while she had been sleeping.
It had gotten steadily more painful since her arrival in the City, and that had been four days ago. Now, it felt like it was killing her. Whimpering, she stumbled out of bed and felt her way down the corridor. Through a skylight over her head she could see the sky. It was early morning judging by the slightly lighter shade of grey. She did not know what made day or night pass in this place. It had been a long time since she had seen a sun.
The pain was now so bad it almost felt like her feet weren’t touching the ground, like she was being suspended in the air by a swarm of stinging hornets. Angela will know what to do, she has to.
There was a ball of fire in her chest.
She struggled on down the corridor, and came to the top of the stairs.
Her legs gave out and she tripped, rolling down the stair way, bruising her stomach and back on the hard wooden steps one after the other until she came to rest on the grey stone floor.
She lay there in the pale morning half-light, limp as a rag doll, unable even to move.
“Do not turn your back to the guilt. Do not push it away. Do not try to protect yourself from it. Guilt is the pain of the soul. It is the bleeding scar tissue left by your sin. It wants to hurt you. “
Angela’s clipped voice could be heard in the furthest corner of the hall, it cut into the last dusty grey nook in the rafters.
“Let it.” she said simply.