Best Eaten Coldbybabylondementia©
Night was coming with her curtain of inky black and glittering veils. Birds and other night creatures had found other places to play and hunt this night away from the silent city of granite. Twin headlights of a small car meandered disoriented thru the tree lined road to end by illuminating the massive iron gates stuck permanently ajar.
The dome light flashed on as the driver hurriedly got out, slamming the door behind him, agitatedly trying to force the gates wider. To his ire they did not budge.
With sharp words, he thoughtlessly abandoned the car to any passers and slipped awkwardly between ornate iron gate held by the stone towers. Hurrying up the wide drive.
The cemetery was well cared for. Fragrant flowers clustered on many graves like inviting cushions. But he passed these by with a hurried step. As he mounted the circular hill the fading sun touched his unkempt hair blowing in the evening air. Paisley tie askew, uneven with frantic tugging, his jacket held unsightly sweat stains under the arms. He paused at the crossroads looking for direction.
"Mari!" he cried.
Only twilight silence answered his call. He continued to run wildly up the well trimmed green velvet slope. She had to be here, his hope gave his fear new twists in the chain of his thoughts. On the top of the hill stood a tiny stone house. Stained glass windows twinkling in the fading light.
The mausoleum was closed to outsiders with a heavy padlock that had not been touched since the last time he had been here. Since he himself had closed it with the final snap of the tumblers rolling shut.
Now he produced the key and trembling forced it into the suddenly slippery metal. Grudgingly, he heard the tumblers gave, turn and pop open with a small click. Like a spike heel on stone. He threw the heavy bronze doors open. The last trickle of light slipped past him to illuminate the tiny chamber.
She sat in a wooden throne chair. Like the one the priest who had done their wedding had sat in during the services. He saw she was wearing the satin shirt that was now missing from his closet. She had loved it. The royal blue so vivid against her pale white skin, now even paler. Her long sun blonde hair shadowed her face like a birds wing. Black levis, how he had hated her to wear jeans, but she wore them now, her feet were bare alabaster petals against the carved legs.
"You're back." her voice was a whisper amongst the whispers of silence.
"I had to. You mean everything to me, see?" he held up his prize extracted from the depths of his jacket pocket, a gleaming diamond ring of 2 karats.
"I got it for you. It's much large then the one I gave you when we were first married."
"Now, you give me gifts, when before you barely gave me notice." Her head moved slightly as if she were a porcelain doll. Eye chips of sapphire glinted in fading light under the wing shadows of her hair
"It's going to be fine now, I promise, I've changed. I'm sorry I caused you so much pain." He knelt on the dusty floor before her, an ardent suitor and slipped the ring on her bony finger.
"I'm so sorry, I didn't mean to, I just didn't think." She raised her head as the rainbow flashes twinkled around the near darkness.
The beauty she had in life, remained. Her parchment skin, without a hint of the tracery of veins, stretched across her bones now knife sharp.
"You didn't think," her voice was stronger now in the shadows. "You didn't remember me, waiting at home while you were out with your friends and your lovers? You didn't think when you bought your pills and smokes and let the rent go unpaid & your children hungry?" He drew back at her soft whispered words as she flung daggers at him. "And where are your children? My children?"
He crouched down, a chastened dog, silent After her death he was too eager to palm those chattering rats off on his mother, a aging, bitter woman who would keep them out of his way by her domineering manner. He had not seen them in the three months since.
They had married for love, she a college student with dreams and a future. He, a laborer drifting from woman to woman, leaving a litter of children who carried his genes but never his name behind him.
But she was different, classy, intelligent, untouchable said rumor. A witch, some whispered behind her back, never to her face. Well no more. He challenged, he touched, he entered.
Her demand was for marriage-a cubic zircon later they were. And the baby came 7 months later. And again a scant year later. Handsome clever children, never running to him-but always, Mommy as if they knew what his heart held. And her, the ice had melted giving way to passionate artistic personality that never the less he quickly found boring.
And as she sat in the tiny apartment, the willows that were her offspring by her, he returned to his life. Woman followed girl followed woman. His paycheck quickly cashed never reached home. squandered in some dark alley to a pocket full of chemical concoctions.
The passion that had drawn him to her, was now her defense against him. To open the door gave him new agony that forced him back with the seedier forms of his occupations.
And she knew it all, where he went-who he was with, like an angel sat on her shoulder and told her all. And at last he could take no more.
Her habits were neat and precise, before bed she would take a glass of wine & sit with her journals and textbooks, for although she had dropped out of school, she intended to return she said.
"For what?" He had asked. "You got kids-stay home, take care of them, go on welfare. That's what is for." She didn't stop, asking him for money, asking him to come home.
It had been a simple matter to wait till she was asleep.
A terrible accident, she had fallen off the porch drunk. None of her friends believed it. One glass of wine yes, she had never been drunk. Just enough the coroner said that it looked like she had taken the fall on her own. And of course, his friends all remember him sitting and drinking with them, 10 miles away.
Her children shipped off, he had the place to himself. At least that was how it seemed at first.
The night after she was interred in her family crypt-it had begun. The slow creaking, as if someone was walking down the hall.
The kitchen was spotlessly clean in the morning eliciting a response of terror from the girl who had shared his marriage bed that night in sympathy of his bereavement.
He packed the children's belongings in plastic bags and hauled them to his mothers leaving them on the landing when no one answered her door. He could do without seeing those turncoats ever again.
That night there was a resounding crash in the night, his wide screen tv, the only thing that he valued in his life, lay smashed across the living room.
Her clothes disappeared from the closet and dressers before he could bag them up for the Goodwill. Her silver tea set from some long vanished age, those trinkets he could do without. It was the oddness of the disappearances, as if she had come back for her favorite belongings.
But no, he had coaxed her half asleep out to the porch with sweet words and let her fly. She was dead. He was sure of it.
Another month later, he had seen her in the doorway. In life she had gained some weight with the birth of her children, now she seemed to have shed all of it and more, a narrow fragile remnant of herself. She was behind him in mirrors, a shadow just out of plain sight, never in front of him.
He became aware of a feeling that he tried to unsuccessfully bury in the recesses of his guilty mind Was it just the conquest of her that had been so important to him? And the power of the knowledge that she would be there for him. Loyal as he was not. He had proved that to himself. She had loved him, and he had given her, nothing. How could he? He was the most important thing in his life.
"Just let me try again." he would whisper to himself as he sat alone in the house-every light burning until he drank himself to sleep. Waking up with her touching him so it seemed. The sound of her walking, humming just out of sight as he woke, made him frantically search for her in the empty house.
He had to get her back. He had to make good this time.
So he began to visit the family crypt where she was interred. A thing he never thought she would have, the huge grey stone house with her family name on it. He was to keep the key until his eldest was old enough to handle such things, and day by day after work now he sat there, talking to her. Here he could sleep without the night terrors.
Then one day the chair was there. Visible through the small window in the metal door. No sign of where it came from, it just was. As frightening as the disappearances had been, this chilled his spine.
And so it came that he took all the money he could find, and bought the ring. This day.
"They are with my mother."
"I mean that's where I put them." a nearly imperceptible tremor shook thru her body.
"And you didn't think to check on them." his mouth worked dryly, no sound came from his lips.
She had been beautiful, now her sickness shown thru the beauty, three months of healing from fatal wounds had put stresses on her that she would feel for years, the worse one being her heart.
Her hand came up. He had not seen her come so close, to hold him by his throat. She stood up, all pale and fragile in blue & black against the eloquent glitter and clink of the falling diamond ring on the stone of the floor. Like the diamond glitter she turned her icy gaze upon her husband, her murderer.
"And you just don't think." she added softly, her hair fell away from her once fine featured profile, now flesh less sharp feral cheekbones underlining her burning eyes as she faced him.
"But I love you, I promise things will be different now. I swear it." she stiffly dragged his weakly protesting body across to the bier. Lying there was her heavy coffin. The cheap satin interior was creased with the imprint of her body. Her dress that he had picked out was crumpled in the end, smelling of rot and mold and something more.
The blood rushing to his face from the constriction on his windpipe as she forced him face downward into the box.
"I think you should take some time now to think. Of what you have done, and what you had." the lid closed firmly, shutting him into darkness as he tried futilely to kick upwards thru the fabric and wood.
Thumping, scraping, he could feel the box being lifted, slipped back into its place in the wall, the solid bronze door shutting behind him. Closing his screams in with him.
Cool night wind blew the sweet scent of flowers into the crypt now thru the open door. Muted like the muffled shouts from behind the stone and metal wall.
Night had fallen like a curtain of indigo velvet across the world. At the gates of the cemetery a woman slipped thru the gates holding them open for the two small forms behind her.
She opened the car door, the dome light illuminating her pale blonde hair. And the darker blond of the girl and boy who climbed into the back seat. She helped them fasten their seat belts before she started the engine and started off. Turning away from the darkened hills. Headlights off to fade into the night.
Some say you can still hear him knocking, waiting to get out.