It starts with a heavy pinpoint, sharp, deep in the middle of my heart. As I read Mic’s letter, it swells and blooms, licks like fire through my veins.
It’s a cold windy day and I’m at the window table trying to read the first letter he sent me. At least that is what I should be doing but I spend more time watching the dry leaves clattering across the sidewalk.
I sat here daily, for twenty years with a shotgun in hand. That shotgun is replaced by letters now.
He said, “I’d come back to you no matter what happens”.
I promised him, “I’ll wait for you, forever”
It’s growing dark and the streets are already empty. It has been a chilly, depressing day. I could hear howling wind and one long, repeated call — a bird perhaps.
The feeling I felt then, was love underneath, but it was wrapped in something hard and cold and perpetual.
Death has followed me for 40 years. Death came for my father first, it sputtered him out like a spent candle. I was seven then. 10 years later it took my mother. Everything I ever loved was gone with the tilt and flare of a scented candle against a curtain. Since then, I resolved never to put myself in a situation that could shatter the way my childhood did. The only way to avoid death was to run.
It worked perfectly for nine years until I met Mic. I felt life exuding from him, surging and bright. For a moment I was certain Death must be looking elsewhere. It stirred at my shoulder, tickled my ear, reminded me it was watching, waiting, poised to poison anyone I opened my heart to.
Everyday little letters from Mic, yellow envelopes addressed in green pen, would wait for me. I replied back, I told him about my father, my mother. About Death on my shoulder.
That day, I was woken from a lay-in by a tentative knock at the door. It was Mic. I was overwhelmed, frozen. He dived at me, wrapped his arms around me. My heartbeats were so golden and warm Death didn’t stand a chance.
You can’t keep him… Death whispered, nervous. Run, before it hurts.
It offered me it’s most enthusiastic ‘contrafibularities‘ that could never be defined just as death could never be defined.
I smiled. And said yes to Mic’s proposal. Because I thought Death couldn’t catch either of us if we’d run together.
The shrill call comes again, thin, high, and mournful. What kind of bird calls like that? Something is out there.
The wind is tapping branches against the window. I look out but see nothing. Dusk is falling but the street lamps are not on yet. Then I see a tiny movement right under my window. Something is crouching below the marigold bushes. A hurt bird, perhaps?
After they reported Mic dead, I began to keep the shotgun next to the front door.
I’d sit for hours beside my window table staring outside, thinking that the day he’d return, reeking of decay, I’d run a finger down the barrel of the shotgun, propped beside me.
“Thank you for coming. I waited for you” I’d say.
“I promised.” He’d smile under the bullet hole they would have put through his forehead. Dried blood would flake off of his eyelid when he’d blink.
“I’m not coming with you,” I’d say.
“Death has done us part. Let it join us together once again.” He’d say.
“I have decided to fight against it” I’d tell him.
I drape myself in a warm brown shawl and open the door to see what that thing is.
A small bundle of grey fur, a tiny kitten, hope ? almost lost in the gloom. It meows, a thin, desperate sound.
When I pick it up, it is ice cold and I can feel every vertebrae. It’s nothing but a skeleton. I look out for any scratches or bites, she was safe. I take it into the warmth and give her milk. It opens great green eyes and looks at me. It rumbles in an attempt to purr. After a while it curls up in my lap.
Some people don’t understand the promises they’re making when they make them, he can’t blame me for breaking mine. Before moving on, for twenty years, with a shotgun in my hand, I sat there and waited, but he never came back.
Okay I’m in love with the zombie apocalypse, the idea fascinates me so much. I’m sorry if it disgusts you 😉 The story is written about the time when zombies would be somehow sensible, they’d actually remember things rather than just “Brains”.
More or less 740 words story written for speakeasy. The challenge this time was to use, “I sat there and waited, but he never came back” as the last line and give some kind of reference to a scene from the British comedy show, Blackadder the Third. Hope you enjoyed. Click on the badge to see detailed rules and other entries on Tuesday.