The Loneliest Woman in the World

A silly little story for you, hope you enjoy it.

 

She sat alone in her living room, the loneliest woman in the world. Her name was Mary but that was barely important anymore, very few people knew her name and those who did had no desire to speak to her. She watched the television, her face devoid of emotion, her heart empty, waiting patiently until she was able to sleep and forget her misery for a few hours at least.

It was not long ago that she was happy, her life was full of joy and satisfaction. She had a loving husband, two children both ready to make their own way in the world, a job that she enjoyed. Her life was comfortable and she had little care in the world.

It is said that all good things must come to an end but Mary could never have predicted how suddenly and how dramatically her life would shatter. It is always a shock to hear that your husband of twenty seven years has realised that he is actually gay and that he has lived a lie his entire life.

To say Mary was shocked, though, is to do her feelings a great injustice. She was devastated, felt betrayed, felt angry and for a long the arguments went back and forth. Yet she still loved the man and wanted to support him as much as she could. Perhaps if things had stayed this way then Mary’s life might not have been irrepairably damaged.

Things are never simple, as was proved when her husband met his boyfriend. The new, and indeed first, boyfriend was a venemous lawyer with a sudden and instant prejudice towards Mary. He insinuated himself into their separation and began to create such a devastating campaign against her that even her own children began to grow distant. As time went by she became entitled to less and less and, in the eyes of her family, became a figure to be reviled.

Before her husband’s boyfriend had managed to convince friends, family, and the court that Mary was practically guilty of war crimes, she relented and all ties to her old life were severed. She was forced to leave her home and, with the memories becoming too painful, elected to leave the town in which she lived.

She moved to a small house in the countryside, barely adequate for her needs, all alone and with no one she knew nearby. She hoped that she might start a new life though she was not as young as she was. She found it very difficult to make new friends and, finding the commute to her job too difficult, was forced to find work elsewhere.

The office in which she now worked was humourless and filled with row after row of cubicles. It was almost impossible for Mary to chat with the people even in the adjacent cell. On her lunchbreak she sat by herself, after many failed attempts to join the various social groups that seemed to exist in the office.

Her home life was no better. With her husband and children refusing to speak to her she tried to make new friends. She tried to join a local dance club but they always seemed to forget about her and she became frustrated. She tried to join a book club but after her third time visiting she was sick of being interrupted and ignored and even, on one occasion, not told when the meeting was cancelled.

On the few occasions that she met the postman he always asked her the same question:

“So, have you just moved to the area?”

There was a local shop at which a young girl worked who prided herself on being a people person, always remembering a face and always having a kind word to say. She had introduced herself to Mary for the fourth time only yesterday and yet again Mary had introduced herself too.

So now Mary sat in her living room, watching the end of the latest drab viewer voting talent show, barely registering anything. All she waited for was the chance to go to sleep so that tomorrow could come and the same thing could happen. Then, in a cracked voice little more than a whisper, she said a word.

To truly gauge the complexity, the intricacy, and the true meaning of this word would take page after page of letters and annotation that would throttle in the throat of even the greatest linguist. To a casual listener it sounded something like “Phweal” but that does not do the word justice for this word can only be said by someone at the very depths of loneliness and despair.

As Mary uttered this word something very odd happened. Her television set exploded. Fire erupted from the screen and soared around the room. The cheap wallpaper began to blaze and Mary, with a cry of terror, leapt for the door. Before she was within ten feet of the frame fire leapt before her, barring the only exit to the room. Desperately she looked to the windows, prepared to leap for freedom, but there too the fire blazed.

In horror she saw the fire around her television screen soar up and become an arch of flame. There was a shimmer in the air and something stepped out of the fire towards her.

It stood almost seven feet tall and clad in scraps of black armour. Its skin was the deep red of blood and its eyes were of a lizard, if a lizard ever truly could look as malevolent as this being. Its fingers were long and ended in wicked claws as sharp as razors. It raised a hand now and pointed a claw at Mary.

“You, Mortal!” It intoned in a voice as deep and forbidding as the deepest depths of the ocean, “You have spoken one of the ancient words lost to the tongue of Men. It is a sign to me to find you. I require a mortal to join me in my campaign against the forces of light. You shall help lead the endless armies of the damned in glorious conquest. What say you?”

Now Mary has some moral qualms about accepting such an offer. She was not religious herself, though her mother had been a devout member of the Church of England all her days, but deep down she felt that it probably wasn’t on to accept an offer to join the forces of what she could only describe as a demon. Not only that but it led to some fundamental questions about the nature of the universe.

Mary was about to open her mouth to make a few choice enquiries but stopped herself. She did want to try new things and meet new people. It hadn’t worked so far in this world so perhaps it would be no bad thing to attempt to make some friends in the lower planes of existence. Besides, hadn’t she always told her children ‘Never judge a book by its cover’? The creature before her may look like an unstoppable juggernaut of evil but maybe he was nice when you got to know him. It was always worth giving someone a chance.

“Ok,” she said, “I’ll give it a go.”

The creature laughed a rich, booming laugh, and waved a hand. Before him a sword appeared in the air, the blade as black as midnight and wickedly curved. He grasped it and proffered the handle towards Mary who took it carefully, for she had never held a sword before. Then the creature snapped its fingers and both he and Mary vanished from the mortal plane and she was never seen again.

In the coming months Mary made quite a name for herself as one willing to throw herself into battle with little regard for her own safety. There was no rage so great as that of a repressed middle aged woman and her foes fled before her. At first she impressed the many denizens of the underworld, the goblins, the orcs, the demons, the hellhounds, and all of the dark host; but soon this turned into a deep respect and, finally, to love and adoration. She became known as the Night Mistress and her name was chanted from darkest cavern to deepest tomb. All below knew her and loved her and Mary, for the first time in a long while, felt this love.

And the moral of the story is that love, respect, and admiration may be found in the most unlikely of places.