My Darling

Happy Halloweekend! Here’s a slightly haunting story for you to start the festivities.

Just a note to say the ending is quoted from my favourite poem, ‘Sing no sad songs’ by Christina Rossetti – a poem with perspective from the grave and highly recommended.

I hope you enjoy…

 Flickering images on the television set illuminated the crevices in Spencer’s skeleton, and he was glad he couldn’t see his reflection in the mirror, now draped with an old bed sheet. He remained plastered in this position, slouched to the right, elbow on the chair arm and hand propping up the chin, until a swift pink satin ribbon swept across the screen. Immediately, the box was shut off and the room enveloped in darkness. With no sight, Spencer heard the words spoken five years ago echoing from five feet away:

“My darling, do you believe it is possible to die of a broken heart?”

Five years younger, Spencer would have answered no differently to the present day. It is not possible.

Whirring in the gloom, Spencer stumbled to the brass handle and through to the stair, hands on the wall with a side-stepping motion. It is late and the clock in the kitchen doesn’t let Spencer forget, as it ticks every second until two am. Each step on each stair is like climbing a mountain and seeing a new view every time. A stressful battle with delusional reward.

Spencer senses limp life coursing through the brick and the light above him flits a dim light, highlighting ancient picturesque. Peggy, violent blonde hair whipping back with the wind, walking down a pier as her red painted lips draw back in excited grinning. But the words are lost in translation and the image is out of sync with the noise furrowing Spencer’s mind.

“My darling, do you believe it is possible to die of a broken heart?”

Peggy is laughing and spinning as though walking on air, as the carrousel horses leap and the music blare from the grand stand. Spencer’s head and eyes become sore, as though the sunshine of that memory has burst into the hall and boils him into cold sweat. Rippling over his body like the waves, he begins to lose balance and breath as he drowns in the strong, salty stench. Psychotic, Peggy continued to laugh and spin, aware and teasing that Spencer could not reach her.

“My darling, do you believe it is possible to die of a broken heart?”

Spencer wants to tear those ghostly words from under his skin, but they are deeper than he could scratch, carved on his bones like his vows to his heart. As he makes the effort to reach the last stair, Peggy mimics his steps to the end of the pier.

Their countenances greet, Spencer’s pale and crumbling; Peggy’s bright, with eyes wide and her pin-up smile mouths yes. Spencer’s skin heavily seemed to drag him onto his knees, stretching the sag under his eyes and he remembers it was a shout above the music and carnival dancers. But the same words resound his empty halls.

“My darling, do you believe it is possible to die of a broken heart?”

That was the best day of Peggy’s life, Spencer thought as the house was cut from power once more. Fumbling on his knees, using his palms to navigate around the corner, he stumbled into her worst.

Though the room was black, Spencer sensed it was full like an obstacle course. He stood with his back against the wall, trying to catch his breath past the heavy scent of flowers and thick mug, while his lungs became weighted like lead balloons. The bed was in the centre of the room creating a force field which Spencer dare not step into.

Behind his head, Spencer heard a faint buzz of life surge around the house. Raising his hand to the light switch,  preparing himself for the sight of heart monitors, needles and the intravenous drip, at the risk of breaking his lungs Spencer took a long, deep breath.

When his sight adjusted to the light, there was only a bare room; the nightmare was coming to a close. Exhausted, Spencer lay on the white sheets and his lungs like anchors kept him solidified. Experiencing a second, that lasted an eternity, Spencer felt a warm life appear next to him. But instead of the headache and vivid illusion, Spencer let a cool smile sweep his face as the words clearly sounded, “My darling, do you believe it is possible to die of a broken heart?”

Just smiling, Spencer lay and happily remembered…

…and happily forget.

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