Sometimes the walls developed faces. One moment they were the uninspired blandness of old wood, coated with soot from the coal pot, and the next there was a face staring at me, bulging out of the wood. Sometimes the faces stared unblinking. Sometimes they tittered. Once or twice the faces morphed, twenty or so of them, fusing into one hideous gargantuan aberration of a face. Strangely, strangely I did not scream.
Toward the end, Samara wasn't eating. Thin, with dark rings around her eyes, bony wrists, bruises and cuts everywhere, she would limp down from the tower to see me. "He won't teach me as long as it's around," she said, her voice weak. I looked up at the velvet gast. Its hollow form had taken to holding a platter draped in dark cloth with bright pieces of fruit on it. They made me hungry, and I wasn't even starving.