The Duchess

The Duchess fussed with white curtains and spoke aloud so no one would hear:  “Speak not of eyes because everyone knows eyes are everything, and to speak about what everyone knows means nothing to no one.”

I must take down the curtains, she thought.  No, first I must shred the curtains.  No, first burn the curtains, then shred them, then take them down.

There were twelve. Twelve from childhood, each with its own position in a circle, in relation to the others. But she could not remember them. She thought perhaps if she tried to write their names on a page, then they would all make themselves known. Or perhaps they would change. After all, they were only an idea, the twelve. An idea of completeness, complete aspects to rule one, equal to three times four, a cycle and divinity.

She left the curtains up and closed them to create a wall. Behind them, she would rest her giant head until the twelve bled from her ears, as her eyes and mouth were clearly preoccupied.