The Widower
The Widower short story stories
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lyrical_dream
lyrical_dream Community member
Autoplay OFF   •   5 months ago

I still hear the echoes of his howlish cries from time to time- like a dog being beat into submission. There were moments when he seemed more a phantom than myself, lurking spectrally through the halls and mumbling nonsense to the air, and there were moments when he smiled madly into the nefarious looking glass of pure ecstasy- higher than a kite. There were nights when he sat in the family cemetery for hours, begging flesh and stone alike to hear his crazed plea, praying that he may one day press his ear to the soil and hear the slow thrum of his late wife's heart. I knew that, in these moments, more warmth could be found in the blood of a corpse than his. He was as numb as the dead- nothing more than dry bones dragged along by a frigid masquerade of living flesh, and so, I made his flesh my own.

The first thing I noticed upon possessing him was the burning stench of liquor- a fetor so strong that it momentarily dulled my other newly acquired senses to a near extinction. He was not a gaunt man, but he was weak. His skins were pale as Death, save for the purple crescents on the swollen undersides of his droopy, bloodshot eyes. I pitied him more than anything. I wished that I could awaken the dead and cure him of his grief-induced madness, but then it occurred to me that, perhaps, I could. 

I could hear his voice echoing through our skull. It was a low, inarticulate humming at first. I suppose this was because he was adjusting to me as much as I was to him (though, perhaps it was the drugs muddying our connection.) Eventually, however, he became as clear as my own thoughts. He sounded frantic, like a terrified child, as he pleaded with me to let him out, but I wouldn't. I understand that he must have felt slightly claustrophobic. He was powerless- a prisoner to his flesh, trapped in the back of his own mind like some second-hand thought. He would scream and our fingers would twitch. Clearly, he wanted his body back, but I needed to help him.

I waddled through the empty halls like a toddler, still adjusting to the body. I've hovered these halls for generations, but I've never actually walked across the creaking floorboards. It was a sound similar to the screeching cry of a wounded animal. One unsteady step in front of the other, I walked until I was greeted by a great door. I grabbed the knob with clumsy fingers and pulled open the exit.

The outside was beautiful. Ivy weaved through the cracks of the old winding stone path. Skeletal rows of trees, crowned in crimson, lined the walkway to the manor. At the heart of it all stood an intimidating marble fountain, the gurgling of the dirtied water melodic as it resonated in the surrounding silence.

By the time I'd made my way around back, the man had stopped pleading to be freed. Instead, he insisted that I, at the very least, down a couple of morphine pills. When I refused, the moaning cries started again, but I ignored them.

I grabbed a knife and a shovel from the shed and began to dig up her grave. The soil had grown thick and wet from the previous night's rain. It took several hours to reach her casket, but when I finally did, I was faced with a dilemma. I certainly couldn't pull the box to the surface. By now, I was standing on top of it with the dirt about a foot and a half above our head. So, I widened the hole enough to allow me to step to the side and open it from within.

She wasn't as beautiful as I'd expected. She was still wearing the same delicate, white gown she was buried in. Her blond hair still fell over her face, but most of her had decomposed by now. The bones of her teeth bulged through what little was left of her ghostly-pale skin and her eyes were shriveled and black. The stench was gut wrenching, like an abandoned slaughterhouse with rotting hogs still dangling from the butcher's hooks. The man screamed and sobbed, our hands and arms twitching violently.  Nevertheless, there was still hope.

I took the knife...

The Widower

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