It's All Black
Scene Title It's All Black
Synopsis Chromatics - the science of colors.
Date August 7, 2019

Something about clean, white tile always gives bathroom lighting a garish effect. A large mirror here only multiples the crisp pristine illumination as it falls across plush white linens and fresh blue bathmats. The shelves in the standing shower are arranged just so, labels fronted and bottles organized from large to small. A curling iron is warming on the back of the toilet next to carefully arrange hair pins and combs. It’s pristine.

Except it’s not.

The vanity is cluttered with tubes and bottles. Creams and salves. Some are tipped over, spilled or leaking a thick paste onto the faux marble counter around the sink basin. Others are shriveled and emptied entirely. Around them are curled up, empty wax-paper wrappings: ‘2” x 2” Gauze Pads’. The movement of something, or someone, nearby sets the crinkly wrappers rustling.

Ssshhhkkkt. The sound of peeling tape. Like one of the rolls of black or lime green ‘flex bandage’ sitting there amidst the chaotic collection of ointments. A spent strip of wrinkled tape falls into the sink.


Black. It’s a beautiful color when you think about it. It can be peaceful - like a perfect dreamless sleep. Or, it can be ominous - like the lurking shadow at the end of a long, narrowing hall. Truly, more mysterious than any other hue.

But, no flesh should be the color, or texture, of burnt coal.

About an inch and a half across, a blotchy circle of pitch-hued, cracked flesh is made more painfully obvious by the pallor of white skin around it - bandages have left a soggy-wrinkled quality surrounding.

A hole. There’s a fucking hole in the center as dark, darker perhaps, than the rest of the necrotic tissue.

”No. No-no-nonono.”

”NO!” An brown glass bottle of some useless salve hits the unyielding bottom of the sink and shatters, spattering shards and murky liquid up the mirror and the reflection therein.


The Isis that looks back from the mirror is beaded with sweat. Garnet locks are stringy and looped into a messy tangle at the crown of her head, at least where they haven’t fallen loose in disarray. There are gray crescents under her eyes, stark against an eggshell glossy complexion.

Hazel eyes flick back and forth, up and down, unsettlingly restless in the way they attack her own reflection for signs of life in the corpse-like macabre visage that peers back. Her panting suddenly stops, bottled up tight around all the terror threatening to spill out.

She lashes out - a flash of a little white hand swipes forward but bypasses the reflection and latches a claw-like grip around that unassuming curling iron…

There’s no scream. There’s only a tongue-bitten grunt and then no sound at all to muffle the hiss and sizzle of skin, both dead and alive, broiling under the hot iron rod.

The little curling rod clatters to the floor, light winking out.

Isis follows. Hands and knees on the tile, her back heaves with muffled sobs as the singed, necrotic blob inside the soft, little crook of her elbow still bears an unmistakable hole in the abyssal black tissue. A single stripe of burnt pink skin juts out uselessly from either side of the dead flesh.

Its several minutes before her shaking hand reaches to a pocket and procures her phone. He’s on speed dial now. After the rash appeared, just before the fever started to set in - he’s even her ICE contact, though he doesn’t know it. Yet.


Not six seconds later, and the phone's screen indicates the recipient has picked up. But he does not speak immediately - first, the rustle of clothes - blankets? Then, a groan. And finally, Zachery's voice rasps out in a tired shade of unhappy, "… Literally the only day I've had to myself in five weeks, Jitters. The only one. Five weeks."

She hisses. Not out, but in. Rocking forward with one hand still pressed to the floor. “I wanna be such a smart ass right now…” It’s a croak, a shell of her usually honey-alto.

“It’s black.”

“I hope you’ve got some necromancer voodoo doctor shit up your sleeve.” Isis tries to laugh, finally lifting her face. Tears have cleaned a few branching paths across her clammy cheeks.

“It’s black. I think I’m dying, Zach…” For reals this time.

Again, there is a silence. Then, more fabric being moved. When Zachery's voice comes through the phone's speaker again, he sounds a little clearer. "Alright. First of all, you're not dying. Repeat, please." He no longer sounds tired.

More rustling, distant, the sound of feet hitting floor.

Isis rolls over to siit on the floor, back against the cool wall. She pulls the phone away from her ear to rub her sweat dappled brow with the back of her forearm. The other arm doesn’t move. “Sorry to wake you.” There's not enough energy for sarcasm. Though, there's not an ounce of genuine apology to be found, either. “I said: It’s black.”

“I’ve had a fever a few days.” Correction: a week. “The spot’s been achy.” Correction: everything’s been achy. “And now… now it looks like… fucking death,” in her very medical opinion.

"Thank you, Dr. WebMD," comes from speakers so dry it could give the Atacama Desert a run for its money. "What's black? How much?" But before she can answer him, he adds, "Take a picture. I'm on my way. Address?"

“Come on now, you can’t put on a better bedside manner for your favorite gerbil?” Isis cracks a bitterly angled smile, a short-lived expression when she glances down at the black blotch demanding attention in her periphery. “My place,” she deadpans. “I’ll text it.”

The line disconnects. With a few taps and swipes, quiet bloops and wooshes suggest the requested information is on it’s way to one Dr. Necromancer.

Elsewhere, a car door slams shut. Only a few minutes have been allowed to pass before Zachery is sitting in the driver's seat of his hearse, pulling the seatbelt across his torso and clicking it into place. He swipes his phone off of the dashboard and unlocks it, broken screen coming to life.

The picture he finds waiting for him has his brow knit. "This isn't…" he breathes quietly, distress cracking his voice before he stops himself and his sentence in its tracks.

"… It's no problem." Better. Sinking momentarily halfway against the steering wheel while his eye stays on the phone in his hand, he stares at the blackened, dead results of his handiwork. "It's absolutely no problem."

Below the address, Isis finds a simple message returned to her.

Stay put. You're fine.

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