It's where she goes when the world gets to be too much. When too much outside gets in, stretching tendrils around her insides, squeezing until the slow burn rises in her chest and in her throat.
She shuts them all down and out, closes open doors so she can sort the wheat from chaff. Self from Other. She grants menial tidings--now and again. A promise that the distance will close again. Eventually. When the grip loosens and she can draw a breath...any breath at all beyond the shallow pant of survival.
She feels the searching. Reaching. Seeking. But she coats herself in an oily cocoon that lets them slip past; faint wonder where she went rather than confusion as to why she's gone.
Eventually they will learn.
They have to.
Some pieces are meant to remain in the darkness, where she hides in this lockdown place. Pieces that broke off long ago, edges worn by time and nervous caresses of fumbling fingers...and eventually care. Love, even because darkness grants contrast, shade and shadow. The greys, where all the interesting stuff lives.
She flirts with that grey. Walking the razors edge, balancing the Darkness and the Light. Hips swaying gently side to side as she moves in sensual rhythms, never so far she falls. But close. So close. Sometimes too close.
And just before the fall.
She locks herself inside again.