I was there when he was born. I bided my time.

They wrapped him in rags, left him behind the hospital, St. Vincent’s . . . whether they believed he’d be found, or they’d return, I can’t say – but they left him. Left us . . .

Perhaps if our natural symbiosis had been allowed to develop, we’d have come to know our true power, but, no, it wasn’t to be. Not after he became the child of those two fathers – Jacob and John, who called himself Paracelsus. One trying to purge me, the other trying to employ me!

At least both Jacob and John saw me in him. Anna, she was the one who started it – the nurturing without acknowledging me. She set the precedent for everyone else to just see the good in him, the intellect, the obedience . . .

By all the Crowns, he had the weaponry! Fangs and claws, strength and form, endurance, self loathing. Believe me, I wasn’t to be overlooked. I suppressed his every smile and his every thought of acceptance as long as I could.

I moved in him as he matured. I restrained myself. I have great patience. I’m due some respect in that. Oh, we had our chances; Lisa, then, years later, Lena, but he never followed through.

I lingered with him after that Lisa business . . . but, he seemed to always have something else to go on striving for. Father, with that relentless reading! I was ready to abandon him then and there, but I choose to take a lesser place and wait . . .

That frozen bitch, Lisa! And, Lena, the sultry tart! Bi-polar attractions! Ummm . . . , but how they could draw fire along the loins! Poor Vincent! Never to be acquainted with Libido, fearing the very thing you wish for. If he’d only let me – just once . . .

Numerous times, I sought to eliminate them all, especially her – Catherine. She was the most worthy opponent. She’s not like us – she’s . . . integrated.

How could I reveal our secret when she was there? Of course, she was always there, through that insipid bond, that connection they established the night he found her. He’ll never know, but it was I who arranged for her death that first night. I knew she was coming. I already had a sense of her, the danger she could pose to us. Except that those fools didn’t complete the job, and the fatality was that Vincent found her.

Every time I set her up to die, he interfered. They became more connected over time.

At one point, he questioned his own existence, was actually asking for help. He would have turned to me. But, as ever, she was there as a guiding image.

After her father died, she stayed Below. She would have opened up like an oyster for him to pluck the pearl. However, yet again, he failed me.

I came excruciatingly close after Paracelsus thrust him over the edge – ha ha! What was it he said? "Like copper and fire on the tongue!" Very satisfying, indeed!

Patricide! Marvelous! There’s a scene that replays! Of course, Paracelsus wasn’t really the true father. He was never able to influence Vincent to actually kill an innocent person – more’s the pity!

Then, when Vincent was in her rooms, insane, in his throes, she would have fallen to us, we had her right between us – a ménage a trios! Yessss! Right where we wanted her . . . I looked him straight in the eyes, called to him. He smashed our image in the glass. I worked my hardest up to that point with him. It’s not that he defeated me, he resisted me, rejected me.

Once he returned Below, the apocalypse came that night in the cavern. My best opportunity presented itself that particular night . . . when she came in after him . . .

Ah, he was ripe for the harvest at that moment – exquisitely dangerous, acutely psychotic! We could have prepared her to die like a lamb on the spit. He was ready! I never felt closer to him. I circled them, I reminded him of Shakespeare’s "beast with two backs." I called to him . . . By all the Principalities I swear, he was ready! "Put your stones into it!" I told him. "Stuff her!"

What stopped him? I’ll never understand it.

It was that incessant praying! Or chanting, or whatever it was! She was hiding in a crevice, talking to him, she wouldn’t stop . . . Her voice reciting . . . Solomon’s Song . . . that swill!

I almost had him, but she . . .! Arrrrrrh! The one thing I’ve planned for, waited for! Changed in an instant to mutual consent! Bah!

* * *

I know there’s limited space for me now. I can stand by. There’s a depth and a sweep to their relationship that confounds me. This Catherine, she seems to be continuing . . .