EXTRACT FROM "MILADY'S ROOM"
"A mix of awe and tenderness arouse in her and instinctively she lowered her eyes, as if the sever eyes she was in front of were real and not belonging to a portrait.
Turning on herself, on her bare feet, on her plain night gown and her loose hair, she felt ashamed and miserable, as if the woman was really alive, judging her from above.
The majestic portrayed woman was strong and fierce.
The small living thing underneath was vulnerable and trembling.She could scarcely move, as though a sudden movement of hers could provoke a changing in the portrait. The absurdity of her supposition didn’t help her and the remembrance of the episode of the birds heightened her bad feelings.
She lifted her eyes. She had the feeling that someone had caught her thoughts.
It was then that she felt it.
The terrible stench that had fulfilled my nostrils any single time I had trespassed that room on the West wing, was now pervading Lady Page, almost attacking her like a predator: the smell of blood.
It hadn’t appeared before, like hidden in ambush, waiting for the right moment to wrap its prey and subside her, as a smart winding boa.
A sudden warmth between her legs made her startling.
She gazed at herself and found that her immaculate night gown was red stained by her lap. The stain was growing larger and larger, like a red ink blotch: as if an invisible whimsical hand had spilled on purpose a red ink bottle over a perfectly white sheet.
While her reason was hastening to a plausible explanation, trying to understand the sudden flowing of menstrual blood during a time it wasn’t expected at all, her forces fainted and she fell down to the floor, finding her own hands tangled in the dense fluid.
She felt that her conscience was abandoning her. She was gradually passing the threshold of a dimension where time and space were not defined lines anymore. An incredible fit of pain rose from her lap and she produced an acute shriek"