Published author and Univ. Of Colorado grad. Buy my novel "One Day, Forty Nights" at any online bookstore. It's Editor's choice - I need money.
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She was warm in my hands. Even in the icy rain that showered down on me that fateful night, she felt warm in my hands in the dim moonlight. She must have been there for no longer than an hour; she was still surprisingly fresh and not sour. The chill and grim mist in the air did what it could do to cool her lifeless flesh, but it still felt warm to my touch in the grimy mess. Against the wishes of the rain and the steady stream of murky water that had trickled through the gutter, blood had remained pooled around her form in gothic manner. A flash of a camera, and a smoky crackle that was like thunder to my spine, lit the scene for an instant, and within that moment, the whole world seemed to be silent, still, and rather carelessly distant. It was not like the warmth within my grasp.
The passing world wouldn’t have noticed that scene on any other night. It was just a snippet, hardly a grain of sand, in the fabric of time and space that was unrelenting in its motion forward like any other night. Another flash from the camera, followed by another toll of bell, and the scene was frozen; locked in an inescapable cell. However, it was not the photograph that trapped this scene in a bondage of context, spectacle, and interpretation. It was the feeling of that setting, the atmosphere of that gloomy night, that will haunt my observation. She was still warm in my hands.
The cobblestones of the alley did nothing to cushion that giver of life. She would dance and beat no more after that fateful night. It took all my fortitude, all my constitution and will, to look down upon such a dismal sight. There was nothing I could do, nothing I could say, that would deter such feeling misery and blight. She was surprisingly strong, must have put up quite the fight, even though she had been battered, bruised, and cast out during every midnight. I could do no more with the horror at my feet. I called for my carriage and left the sight. All I could do was remember warmth, and hope that some pearly gates she did meet.
The horses thundered through the narrow streets; their hooves echoing off the bricks of the path and close-knitted buildings. The driver hopped from his perch atop the carriage and opened the door so I could quickly take my seat. However, I was in no mood to hurry from the graphic scene of dread amongst the dreary sleet. I marched past the powerful horses to my ride, and I swore their strong, bounding hearts could be heard from their chests. Thud-thud-thud-thud went their organs deep within their breasts. One last look back toward her was all I could muster. The thought of her warmness was all that conjured within my mind without much fluster.
Darkness engulfed me as I climbed into the carriage. I had escaped the rain from the heavens above, but the devilish carnage of the scene still clawed at my soul. The crack of a whip shook the foundation of my being, and away we went with great haste and flow. The carriage rumbled and tumbled through the town with a grim howl, and all I found myself doing was wandering back to that image of foul. No manner of comfort in that coach could resurrect me from the depression that weighed on me that eve for I found it cold and muggy like a moor once owned by thee. The lacking of the warmth that my fingers had once touched plagued my concentration that entire ride home.
To my bed chamber I did climb, hoping to escape the reality of the world and to leave her far behind. The rain continued outside, much harder than before, pounding the roof in a manner that resembled a drum. My soggy clothes fell from my body like a snake that had shed its skin, and in that moment of being cold and in the nude, I found myself surprisingly numb. My flesh was balmy and cool, unlike the smooth, warm touch of hers. Enough of that madness and dreary thought; to bed I went to forget the mortal sin and dark plot. But no manner of bedding or furs warmed my slumber; all I could think of was her warmth and temperature.
My eyes felt heavy, and against the wishes of the outside world, I fell into sleep. Tossing and turning, my rest was disturbed with the nightmares that did creep. They seeped into my consciousness, these dreams for me to keep, and soon there she was in front of me as I counted sheep. So full of life and love she once was. Even through all the turmoil, the unrelenting strain, and the constant need to resist every perversion that would do her harm, she remained true to her cause. No manner of destruction seemed to stop or tarnish the thought of beauty, love, and compassion that fueled her strength. The auras of beauty and romance were what attracted her the most, and to obtain this she went to such great length. But no manner of travels seemed to fulfill her need for warmth.
Closer she came to me; she was so full of desire. Each step she took sent trembles through the air. Boom-boom-boom-boom; each strike of the chord stimulated my passion for her love and made it into a raging fire. I could feel with warmth of what I saw and inspired, especially in my breast. With great determination and will, it took a leap of faith into the dismal quagmire to retrieve the long sunken chest. The key is old, sturdy and worn, especially in these dark times, but no manner of lock was to keep affection from being born. Her hands gently pressed against my chest, and they felt warm; just like the standard norm.
But the stroke of midnight did much to unravel such a blissful dream. Gong-gong-gong-gong – like old father time – and all happiness was tore away at the seam. The warmth of her touch across my breast vanished. The strain was intense, a pain unlike no other, and she was ripped away and banished. Screams filled my ears, blocking all that would be music in my slumbering delusion. She, my once loving, compassionate mistress, was then turned into a vile mirage of fear. No longer was she warm to the touch. She was cold as ice and left me in great distress.
Broken was my slumber, and upward from the sheets my body sprang. My revolver on nightstand was my protection against all evil, and my hands quickly grasped the cold steel of the firearm. BANG!-BANG!-BANG! My shots echoed through the chamber, but no manner of bullets could stop the evil that lingered. I stretched the pistol ahead of me, into the darkness of my room, but there was nothing, nothing at all. The wind howled outside my bedroom window, rattling pictures on the far wall. I shouted for the demon to show itself; I got no response. I clenched at my chest; my heart should have been racing and ready to launch. But there was nothing, nothing at all.
There was no pounding or turmoil within my breast. My organ should have been furiously beating as if to abandon its nest. But nothing, nothing at all resonated from my chest. I was awestruck with fear and terror until it all became clear. The images of her laying there on the stones brought back the feeling of dread and fear. Instead of the being full of life and passion which once was her calling, she was shattered, abandoned, and trampled from continually falling. She was what I cherished most in this reality, my reason for living, and all that was left was a hole in my humanity.
There I sat, amongst the covers of my bed, the feeling of nothingness enveloping my fat. There was no life, no passion, remaining within me in a world that was for the taking. She had fought with all her might, but sadly, she couldn’t withstand my blight. Forward time went, into a future so bleak, with me playing the living dead, a lifeless wreck. No compassion, no love, healed the grave that was left. She was all I had, and all the warmth I felt came from her; she was a piece of art. T’was miserable what happened to her my beloved heart.