Blood longingly flickers in veins,
as well as a human mind silently flows.
Yet when usurper swallows it,
it's beauty dies.
"Sansa, start reading on the page 28, please."
The girl flipped her book so the jacket faced the ceiling. Old Greek Myths and Legends. When she opened it, she felt like she came back in time. Musty scent of old pages gradually filled the air. She crouched her nose and started to turn the pages. Paper almost tend to fall apart upon her fingertips, left microscopic silt of dirt on them, dirt that lied on it for decades. The Kingdom of gloomy Hades, screamed title of the chapter. Hades wasn't the only gloomy creature in the world, according to other student's faces.
"Deep down under the ground, the merciless and gloomy brother of Zeus reigns. His kingdom is full of low spirits and dread. Joyful beams of sunlight never reach there. Bottomless gulfs lead into the sad kingdom of Hades. Dark rivers stream there. Even the holy river Styx which freezes everything. By her water the gods implore." Her high-pitched sweet voice was in sharp contrast with content of the paragraph, which flew between her lips like a strand of muddy water. Words tend to get stuck on her tongue, clung to it as hard as lead, cracked between her teeth like a river sand. She didn't dare to guess how it must have been down there, in the underworld, if even just an old book had such effect. Even though her mind was almost always strictly rational, she slipped to her weird imagines of mythical creatures from time to time. Her peers never seemed to understand that, nor they believed in them.
"What do you think about this passage, Sansa?" Literature professor's voice yanked her out of her thoughts. Hypnos' soporific potion stopped to work in an instant and Sansa woke up in ruthless armful of reality. She shrugged and positioned herself on her chair a bit forward. Her eyes fixed to the back of the student who sat right in front of her, just to make sure she wouldn't have to look the professor in the eye.
"I don't know." Later that day, she was supposed to go on a date with Joffrey. Every now and then she glanced to the clock right above blackboard, hoping for it's tiny hand to never reach number nine. Joffrey was her childhood crush. They got acquainted somewhere at the age of eleven, because their fathers were good friends. It was nearly a rule - children of two friends always had to become friends as well. The fact that one of them was a monster and the other was his victim was in no one's concern.
The bell finally rang. That sound cut through her like a blade of a knife. Her failed attempt of analysis left the professor almost in tears. He just disgustedly waved with his hand, took a huge pile of books from his table and silently, like a shadow, left the classroom. Sansa watched him for a little while. That man always seemed very unhappy and cheerless to her. Those two words made her shiver from head to toes. From the roots of her hair to the tips of her fingernails. Joffrey has waited for her outside the school and it was well-known that he hated waiting. Sansa had exactly ten minutes to escape the labyrinth of school corridors and jump right into the throat of hell. Every time Joffrey showed up somewhere, the world seemed to darken. Clouds turned to black, gathered to create an impassable wall and never let a single chaste kiss of sunlight to caress Sansa's fearful mind.
Sansa opened the main door precisely at two o'clock. Joffrey stood at the road, cold as always. He was so pale that it seemed like blood was completely sucked out of his veins. No heartbeat. No empathy. No more sweet feelings. Golden hair with a slight white tinge bristled in every possible and impossible direction and his faint watery blue eyes pierced her like pins. Instead of a warm hug as a welcome, he only patted the expensive shining watch on his wrist with a long, slender index finger.
"You were almost late, Sansa." The girl instinctively ducked before the threat of whirlwind of anger and insults. Even though nothing came to punish her, she didn't feel calm. Suffocating uncertainty crept up her body, sank into her bones and like ink soaked into her skin. She didn't understand what charmed her about him back then. He was beautiful, gorgeous, but his beauty resembled a magic of icy wasteland more than warm oasis of peace and love. But she used to not see him like this. He used to be so chivalrous, so polite, so... perfect. However, at the moment they stood alone, prince-Charming-to-be Joffrey turned to a bloodthirsty monster. Everybody ignored bruises that covered her body. Nobody believed that Joffrey could be their cause.
"Professor lingered me," she lied and glanced to a black car which stopped just few meters far from them and purred it's luscious melody of safety. Sansa imagined herself stuck in heavenly soft seats, surrounded by the army of metal and glass in all four winds, hidden before world, before Joffrey. If she only could, if it could work out... she wouldn't hesitate even for a second and jump inside immediately. She'd place her hands on a steering wheel, tame horses who whined under the bonnet, press accelerator to the ground and like a thunderbolt go off to the unknown.
"We're going to see a movie tomorrow night. Dad's gonna borrow me his BMW, so I'm taking you there." He never gave her an option to choose. He simply set up where their footsteps will lead. If she'd let him, he would determine her entire life. That thought scared her to the core. The idea of two of them, not spending just few hours a week, but a lifetime, was horrifying. She didn't say a word that would reflect a sign of protest. She knew that if she did something like that, her face would win it. She remembered the day he slapped her for the first time. It surprised her - actually not the physical pain, but the psychical was what scared her off. She'd never think that he'd be capable of something so horrible. That day, she immediately run to her mother who told her it was normal. Even back then Sansa suspected it was hardly normal, but mother's soothing arms weighed up all her words and silenced every doubt. Catelyn Stark promoted weird kind of raising her children - she barely did. Nanny was always in the house and when Sansa addressed to her as a mother once, she got enormously scolded. There was a deep incomprehension in her blue eyes. She cared for her twenty-four hours a day, prepared her lunch, helped her with the tasks - why could she not reach her with the title that belonged to her? But the older Sansa was, the relationship with her mother improved. She was now on the threshold of maturity, and Mrs. Stark felt that it would not take long, and the eldest daughter would also fly out of the nest.
Sansa's parents worked in the ministry and therefore didn't have much time for their children. Sansa differed diametrically from her siblings. While her younger sister, Arya, was like a wild animal, constantly drowned in trouble and joyfully engaged in her brother's typical guy activities, Sansa read, led herself wander on the wings of the mythical heroes, envious of their happy lives in the fictional worlds where was no Joffrey to torment her. Every evil judge she had met in one of her stories, she asked if it was all her work. Nevertheless, there were no answers. No dark fairy wanted to take accountability of the unfair circumstances in which Sansa was born. She had everything but nothing. Everyone could be envious of her allowance, but individual coins were poisoned with streams of tears.
There was a creak of tire against asphalt. The black car pulled away slowly, and in a moment it was already driving down the street. Sansa knew she was trapped. Joffrey seemed to read her thoughts, because his mouth with thin, glossy, worm-like lips, was stretched in a cruel smile. Her guts twisted in a tangle of fear. He grasped Sansa's face in cold hands and hungrily leaned to her lips. Sansa stood there like she was scalded. Joffrey's cold nature froze her, chained her, and didn't allow any move that meant deliverance. She felt his tongue break into her mouth and she tried to not throw up from disgust. Suddenly, a suicidal thought came to her mind.
Surprisingly, she opened her mouth to greet the slimy, warm touch of his tongue, as a lecherous palm crawled over the inside of her thigh. She let him get drunk with victory and domination. At that moment, her trap was slammed down, and Joffrey broke from her lips with a choked cry, with red liquid dripping from his sleazy tongue. Sansa leaned forward and began to spit his blood in the grass as Joffrey crept down on the ground and sobbed, half pain, half rage. The taste of the iron was tingling on her tongue, squeezing into her flesh, firing the number one. Sansa wondered if she should call for help, because with every passing second, his lamentation was less audible, but a voice that had been hidden deep in the darkest shifts of her brain, whispered clear and burning no. It sounded like a viper's sigh, seductive and charming. She had never fulfilled the command with such joy as she did now. She glanced at Joffrey for the last time and ran in the same direction that the black car had left a few minutes before. The viper crawled behind her, grinning with satisfaction.
Somewhere on the other side of the familiar world, at the very edge of the universe, at the turn of the millennium, and at the very beginning of the ages and their end, the mysterious entity shivered with happiness.