From the moment he opens his eyes, Lindsey knows that this place hates him. He can feel it in the mad brightness of the light and the unscreaming pressure in his ears; the way his skin itches and won't stop. But more than anything he can feel it in the weight on his chest, heavy as a harness.
Even at home it is difficult for him. Here, it is nearly impossible.
He knows before getting up that his box will not be here. He knows this and he checks underneath the bed anyway and when he sees the empty space he finds that he cannot breathe. And his breath stops; and it will not start again. Here there is only flatness.
And suddenly he becomes aware of the harshness of his clothes against his skin; a man's clothes, starched and difficult.
The manor is strangely empty. He is, however, relieved when he arrives in the kitchen; as relieved as someone afflicted with the awful flatness might be, that is. This is because Anna has set the table already for him - for him and only him -, his breakfast covered, as is customary, with a silver cover. He must commend her, later.
As he reaches out towards the platter, a strange flash rushes along the edge of the silver cover, but it is too late— his hand— it burns —it burns! Hunched over his hand, he sees visions- Anna, laughing at him, her enormous red lips a stark contrast to her impossibly dark skin, her eyes white and empty and without pupils— the potions— his own face in the mirror that day— his beautiful hair and his high cheekbones and— and when he returns the light from the dining room's windows has dimmed, as if during evening. And before him is not food but the opened box, its handle still steaming.
And stands before him an angel, blank-eyed and empty-stared.