The door unlocks with the turn of a key. Nina enters the apartmant with an expecting, yet dreading expression.

But her mother isn't there. Isnt watching her from the chair by the window, nor is she hiding behind the door after it is closed. The entire complex is silent and dark as the outside world.

At first, she thinks to call out to her. But then... Why would she? Isn't her mother involed enough as it is with her life?

With a deep sigh, she hangs up her pink coat and walks over to her bedroom, brushing back lengths of dark brown hair out of her face. But she pauses. Her door is half-open, and a very dim light is on- probably a nightlight. She can hear a woman's hoarse breathing, along with the faint creaks of the box-springs under her bed.

"Mother?" Nina demands, banging the door open, taking a cautious step into the room.

Laying on her back, blood streaming down from her nose, Nina's mother looks content. An empty bottle of pills slips out of her numb fingers and hits the edge of the nightstand before rolling out of sight under the bed.

Leave her there.

But Nina shakes her head, thinking, But this is my room- I mean, but she's my mother!

Grimancing, Nina walks over to the dying woman and places a hand over hers. "Mom...? Are you all right?" she asks quietly. "You need to wake up."

But as soon as she says that, she realizes her mother's eyes are wide open, staring right at her. Her mouth moves and forms unrecognizable words, moaning angrily, blood running down her nose more quickly, more thickly, running down her neck and sinking under her clothes.

"It's all right... I'm here now." Nina rubs her hand gingerly, like petting a baby rabbit.

But the woman sits up with a loud shriek, exposing the blood-covered sheets she was laying on, a knife in her hand.

Nina pulls her hand away and screams in alarm.

But her mother doesnt attack Nina. She begins cutting into her stomach, making a deep wound that splits open the skin and reveals all the bloody secrets within, spitting out words from her quivering mouth, which over-flows with red foam: "I wish you'd never been born!"

"Mother?" Nina cries out in distress.

She continues cutting into her stomach, blood pouring out of her body. She cries out in pain, her hair matted with blood and grease, her face shiny with sweat; seduction for the devil.

Then, as if sliding a letter in a mail box, Nina's mother slides the knife inside her body and tucks it away under a fold of skin.

Looking on, the ballet-dancer breathes heavily, terror-stricken. The harsh, warm smell of blood cuts through the air, burning the world in a red haze.

Voice very gutterual, the mother on the bed speaks through limp, drooling lips. " girl..." Then her eyes roll back and her body gives up, throwing itself into the floor.

Nina looks down at her, and sees a shadow looming over her mother. The shadow of a woman holding a knife. The girl turns around, searching, then she looks down at herself.

Her clothes stained red, Nina finds herself wearing a wicked smile as she is filled with a deep satisfaction- with the murder weapon in her hand.


Nina arrived earlier to the dance studio than anyone else, but Thomas knew she'd be the last to leave. Nina had just finished re-enacting the White Swan dance and she stands in waiting in the middle of the dance floor.

There is a slight, almost tender hint of sadness in his voice when he requests her to do the Swan Queen again. Usually he would tell her to stop and start practicing the Black Swan. But something had changed when she preformed the White Swan. And he wanted to watch it again to find out what it was.

So at his request, Nina dances. She raises her arms high and begins to sway beautifully in a fluid motion of toe-tapping. She bends herself over, extending a leg high above herself, and twirls in place before leaping away with frantic arm-flaps.

Then, he sees it. Her face; it is full of such pain, and at the same time, it is full of longing. A longing for her Prince; pain for not being able to seduce him.

She is playing the perfect role. She has such real, raw emotion on her face that Thomas Leroy almost tells her to come sit in this chair and calm down, for he thought something might be troubling her. But as soon as the piano-man hits the last note of the song, Nina straightens up and her face is full of nothing but pride.

Thomas has to wet his lips before speaking. "Now the Black Swan." he says.

Nina's face changes once more: From prideful accomplishment, to an unexplainable look of pleasure, mixed with anguish; an envious desire to take over a Prince with full knowledge that she was sending the White Swan to her doom.

She skips backwards with her thin, frail arms extending at her sides, her lovely face turning gruesome and arousing at the same time as she smiles.

Thomas sits down slowly, feeling his heart beat quicken. He feels dirty, as if he is peeping on a woman undressing- but he wants to be caught.

The black, wingless dancer performs the Black Swan effortlessly, a heedy expression of lust becoming a makeup for her pale face. She twists her body around the floor, jumping from side to side, stepping lightly to try and fly away. She spins quickly in place, digging a toe into the floor and spinning her body with the movement of her other leg. She moves faster and faster, her face unchanging, her eyes unblinking- massive black wings growing...

The instructor stands up, clasping his hands in front of himself. "That is it...!" says Thomas in awe. Here Nina was preforming such a magnifacent display of the Black Swan, that he could see her in full costume- or, better yet, as a Black Swan herself, seducing her audiance so that they may fall off the cliff with their White Queen. She waves her arms around her body; wings to hide her deadly secrets.

"Excelent, Nina! Excelent!" praises Leroy louder, clapping. He feels his face begin sweating; his eyes watch the dancer's every movement with a selfish pleasure. "Yes..."

The piano-man's fingers shake on the keys; sexual tension in the air is so strong that both men feel feverish with horomones. But the song is finished with a fierce bang of keys, and Nina bows, her feathered body sweeping the floor. She stands back up, her body loose and inviting.

"Even Lily couldn't've have done a better job." says Thomas aloud, nearly studdering.

The illusion fades away once she starts walking over to Thomas. He holds out a fresh towel to her so she can wipe her face.

But she takes hold of his wrist and places his hand on her breasts, leaning into him for a kiss. He opens his mouth and allows her to enter, allowing himself to be filled with pain.