So okay, most of my internal conflict is littered throughout scenes of dialogue, so I tried to find internal conflict that was by itself-- I ended up not all that successful. But this seemed like it was the most fitting. It takes place a few years after the Sif scene from the Bad-girl blogfest, which you can read here. Needless to say, Sif was successful in making Eve's life miserable--this was the result.
When he touched her hair she shrank away from the movement. The man sighed, his expression full of remorse, and for a moment she could have sworn his eyes flashed white, but it was probably just her vision playing tricks on her after all the blood she'd lost.I so need to get back to working on this, sometime...
"Here," he said, his voice gentle. "Drink this."
She flinched back from the arm he extended, and then stared at the vial he offered. But this was all in her head, wasn't it? If it was all in her head, what did it matter what she drank? What he gave her to drink? She could hardly poison herself by her will alone, as much as she might have wanted to die.
She pressed her hand to her stomach, feeling the softness where there had once been life. Life she hadn't even realized was there. It didn't hurt less to lose in spite of her ignorance, and she wondered what gift this man from her subconscious was trying to give her in response. Something to help her sleep instead of cry?
It was a sad day when you couldn't even decide what your own delusion was trying to tell you, she decided, and snatched the vial from his fingers. She removed the cork and sniffed at the liquid. It smelled sweet and sharp, and she frowned.
The man looming over her nodded once, stepping back against the wall of the small cell and crossing his arms over his broad chest. She stared at his face, still dark with worry and sympathy. He was clean shaven with striking red-gold hair. It was so odd to conjure a delusion of him looking so strange. She could remember him clearly, with dirty blonde hair and a neatly trimmed beard more brown than red.
She took a sip of the rum, quickly realizing that there was more than alcohol in the vial. But by then it was too late, and it was already hitting her stomach, starting a warm burn in her middle that wasn't entirely unpleasant in the cold cell. She shifted uncomfortably on the narrow cot, the only furnishing in the room, her eyes falling on the restraints that were fitted to the frame. She shivered, and she saw him move out of the corner of her eye. He had taken a half step forward, and then stopped, his mouth twisted into a determined line, as though he had felt her fear. Or seen it in her face.
"I wish it really were you," she said, meeting his blue eyes.
The apparition, her delusion, the man who had once been her husband so long ago, before the ocean currents in the north had shifted, and Scandinavia had become bitter with cold, stepped forward again, dropping on one knee by the side of the bed. He was so tall that even kneeling he was taller than she was while she sat on the bed.
He had always been an immense man, and somehow it made sense that she would see him now, regardless of accuracy. That she would see him at his strongest, and borrow strength from the memory, from the feeling of safety he'd always brought her. Now when she was no longer safe. When the doctors thought she was crazy, and forced lithium down her throat until she shook so hard her teeth rattled, and her stomach felt as though it would never accept food again. The memory of him, of their life together, had always been her strength.
He reached toward her again, but this time she didn't flinch. There was no point in flinching from something that wasn't there. Something that didn't exist outside of her own exhausted mind. His hand was hot against her cheek, and his touch caused another slow burn, this time moving from the outside in. She closed her eyes against the pressure of tears and took a deep ragged breath.
She didn't care if he was an illusion. Didn't care if he wasn't. But she didn't think a ghost would be so warm to the touch, so comforting a presence. She felt herself shaking again, but not from the drugs this time. Or from the loss of the life that had been inside her, wracking her womb with cramps. His touch was a tonic, real or not, and when he drew her into his arms, for the first time since she had found herself here, in this awful place, she felt some kind of peace. And the lifting of a great weight from her shoulders.
She fell against him, wrapping her arms around his neck and hiding her face against his shoulder as she cried.
"Shh," he said. She felt his breath against her ear, the hallucination was so well wrought. "I'm going to find a way to help you. To free you from here. I promise."
A scuffing sound came from the hall, and the noise of a key being fit into the lock on the door. She felt her whole body tingle with spider-webs and electricity, and she was alone.
The door opened and she scrambled back from the edge of the bed to the corner against the wall. She could still feel the slow warmth in her body, and the vial was still clutched in her hand as the nurse looked into the room, frowning suspiciously. But there was nothing to be seen. Nothing out of place.
She waited for the nurse to leave again, and then collapsed on the bed. Whatever that drink had been, whatever that delusion had meant, she felt alive again for the first time since they had come to take her away.
It was no wonder she was lost in her past. In the life she had lived so long ago. No wonder she was seeing people long dead. No wonder she had needed a drink so badly she had conjured one in her mind, and the strongest man, the strongest protector she had ever known to bring it.
Her fingers closed around the cold glass of the vial in her hand, the hard form of it reassuring somehow. Yes. She felt much better now. Even if she was still trapped in a mental ward. She sighed. If she hadn't been crazy when she came in, she could see easily now she might well become so before she ever got back out.
Happy Internal Conflict Blogfest Day!