How sweetly did they float upon the wings
of silence, through the empty vaulted night.
At every fall smoothing the raven down
of darkness till it smiled.
I can’t get her face out of my mind.
I see it everywhere.
In a crowd of people, she stands among them. In my dreams she taunts me. On the television, she lurks in film footage, an extra on the edge of the screen, staring at me with those smoldering eyes of hers. I hear her voice on the radio. On the telephone, whispering. In songs from the birds in the woods that surround my home.
I didn’t think it real at first. I thought it was the product of my overactive imagination. Possibly some mild psychosis caused from missing her so damn much.
But not anymore.
I know better now.
I buried her body in the woods with my own two hands, beneath a weeping willow tree after I killed her with those same two hands.
These hands are so dirty. Dirty from all the sins they have clenched and held onto with such greedy pleasure.
But no one goes without paying recompense. And I am certainly no exception.
Please do not judge me so quickly.
Do not make the mistake of labeling me a simple murderer. Allow me the chance to explain. I assure you that you will find my actions justified, if not well--warranted.
Still, she haunts me, torments me, tempts me like the serpent in the garden. She terrorizes me, even in death.
I have noticed that the willow by which she is buried is dying of some sort of disease and that Belladonna is blooming above her shallow grave. Not so ironic, that.
Maybe I should have taken my life instead of hers, or maybe after hers. Maybe I should have just let the woman be.
But some things are not possible. Some things are just not meant to be.
Forgive me. My mind sometimes wanders from time to time. It’s a part of her craft to keep me guessing, to keep me confused.
To think that I loved her. And sadly, love her still.
I knew that she was a witch and I knew that I should have dismembered the corpse...but God help me, I could not bring myself to do such a thing.
I am not a maniac.
The police have questioned me about her sudden disappearance. I know that they suspect me of murder. I would have confessed, but I fear that they would not, could not grasp the severity of the situation.
I am not afraid of punishment. I know all too well what punishment is. I have lived these past five years with a punishment far worse than any mortal law could ever impose upon me.
Of course, I can’t blame them. They are ignorant of the most important fact.
They didn’t see the things that I did.
They weren’t there when I witnessed the horrible transformation of my beautiful wife’s face as she lay atop me, straddling me. My arms pinned by her talon hands. Her lips covering mine in a sadistic facsimile of pleasure.
They weren’t there as she stole the very breath from me, inhaling fractions of my soul, night after wonderful night.
She was a succubus, you know.
She was a whore, peddling flesh for spirit.
But as I said--I know that I am not without guilt.
No man is.
I was her willing slave. I gladly traded my soul for skin.
At first, anyway.
She was a clever witch. I’ll give her that. She wore a nearly seamless mask. She went to church every Sunday, devout to the untrained eye, so pious in her posturing. Everyone believed her to be such a loving wife, such a good woman.
But no one had a clue to what she really was!
Her sweet smile covered her secret blasphemy. Her prayers so much practiced pretense. Her sweet words hiding a cryptogram of evil.
But I knew.
I could see the evil burning in her heathen green eyes. I had witnessed that emerald spark, like St. Elmo’s fire, as they blazed so bright and lured me back to our bed each glorious night.
I alone heard her laughter. A laugh that sounded like grinding teeth when she came and dug deep burrows into my chest with those twisted claws. How she would leave me lying atop the tangled sheets so weak and waiting, praying for death to claim me from her beautiful malice.
And still, the next morning I would awaken, feeling hung over yet she would begin anew her games. She would ask me what was wrong. Had my insomnia returned? Had she said or done anything to offend me?
She tried to convince me that I needed to see a shrink. She tried to make me doubt my own sanity. That she worried about my swinging moods. Telling me how much she loved me as she ran her soft little hands across my scarred chest. How I loathed that tender touch, but how I ached for that crucifixion. She told me that I needed help. That maybe some medication would ease the "nightmares."
It was a clever ploy.
But I knew. Yes! I knew!
I saw her trying to lure others toward her vile embrace. She grew stronger from the breath of men. Poor pitiful creatures, unable to see through her charade.
She was a master of manipulation.
The priest that she said was praying for me...Oh yes. I knew about their little rendezvous in the private confines of the confessional.
The doctor and the lawyer that she had entranced with her craft, that were conspiring to commit me to the asylum. I saw the way they looked at her. I knew she had bewitched them. She could be very convincing with her tears, but they were always cheap from her eyes. She was an accomplished actress. Her stories seemed so heartfelt, so sincere, so perfect. She had even almost convinced me that I was crazy. But none so ‘crazy’ had ever seen so clearly. None had ever been so lucid.
I regret killing those conspirators.
I realize that they had been charmed by that witch and were not wholly at fault. But I could not risk the possibility of them locking me away in some institution. It was in that desperation and that necessity that I killed them. If I had been confined then she could not have been stopped and many more would have become slaves to her devious whims.
It wasn’t personal, their deaths. So I know that God won’t hold me accountable for that.
Do you see that I was only doing what I had to?
In essence, I probably saved those I killed by sparing their souls the suffering from that wicked whore, the same suffering that I had endured all these years. I shouldn’t have
to keep these secrets sealed so tightly, but I know the uneducated would never believe me.
The police were here again yesterday. They look at me with such contempt and loathing, they do not even attempt to hide their disdain, but it is because they have no concrete evidence. God provided me with a cunning mind that most men cannot fathom.
There is, of course, my journal. But it is written in code and without the cipher it is unreadable. They would never crack its encryption...unless she has been whispering secrets to them from her grave, as well.
No. That can’t be. I have been the only one to be cursed with that.
She knows everything I do. She’s always watching me. She gives me no peace. She’s always there.
I can see her when I lay down to sleep. She doesn’t know that I can see her.
But I can.
She is subtle. Most would not even pay her any mind. Even I have to sometimes squint my eyes to see her.
But then, she always did underestimate me.
Sometimes she pretends to be a shadow on the wall. Watching me as I wait for sleep, she waits to drain more of my soul.
But she can’t...if I’m careful.
Sometimes she pretends to be the willow outside my window. Raking her long thin branches against the glass like fingers, begging me to dig up her body and lay it in bed with me so she can, again, drink her fill.
Sometimes I wake up missing her dark embrace, and I want nothing more than to run to where she lays with my shovel. But then I remember the Belladonna growing from her grave, and I remember the poison that rots beneath its fragile blossoms.
But even that deadly nightshade tempts me. I ache to drink the evening dew from the deceptively innocent looking petals that adorn her tomb.
I miss her so much!
I can hear her moaning in her soft, seductive voice. Even now as I write this. She whispers her love to me. A love that death cannot claim for its own. Lies! Lies, I so want to believe!
Why did God damn me with this weak heart that so easily forgives? Why did He damn me with this weak flesh that so wants to feel her leave me a little more empty?
I want her so damn much!
Her lips on mine. Her talons pinning me helpless against the mattress, her eyes beguiling me with their emerald fire, her lies that sound so sweet echoing through this empty heart, that shudders through these veins, that murmurs through my pounding brain, that throbs between my legs.
I cannot wait any longer!
I would carry her to my bed this instant. But she seems to have hidden my door.
I see only antiseptic walls, sterile and white.
Clever, clever witch.
Ahhhh! But wait! I can hear her coming to me as I speak.
Yes. Yes! I can see her!
So beautiful in her white dress and sensible shoes. She looks so different now. But I know it is her. She leans over me and I can smell the scent of the ground that lingers upon her skin beneath her starched white dress.
I look into her eyes. She has changed the color of them.
I liked green better. But she tells me those familiar lies. She tells me to relax. That this won’t hurt a bit. That she will take away the nightmares.
It sounds so much like home it’s scary.
I have to smile, in spite of myself. She still doesn’t realize that I know her ugly truth.
But I know. Yes. I know it well.
She doesn’t physically pin my arms.
I miss that.
These restraints are new. But it’s a nice touch.
She doesn’t breathe in my spirit anymore. She’s changed her approach. This way is slier, craftier. Now she uses a needle and tells me ‘this will help you sleep’. The routine is different but the outcome is the same. I am feeling that familiar weakness settling in.
I laugh out loud.
I have missed her so much. Then my mind drowns in that darkness I dread so much and I know that I have sinned again.
I know that it is a sin because I anxiously await her each night...and I feel like a man when she comes.
I am not averse to a little role playing. Whether it be as my wife or a nurse, succubus or syringe, witch or white dress, I will always be her willing slave.
God. I hate that bitch.
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