Story Prompt: Their marriage was not what it seemed…
Tamoor’s Story (578 words) :
………..and they lived happily ever after.
I closed the book, looking expectantly at my daughter, hoping that she had fallen asleep. She was on her third story of the night but I could still see her huddled under the Cinderella mattress, her doe-like eyes staring at me. I sighed, “Honey, you really need to sleep.”
“Can’t mommy tell me a story?” She pleaded
“Mommy is busy sweetheart, she can’t make it tonight, and look, you have soccer practice in the morning so you really need to close your eyes.” I smiled at her.
I got up to walk and walked towards the door.
“Can you turn on the night light?”
Still afraid of the dark at her age, maybe other parents would have dismissed her fears but not me. My daughter knew the truth about the dark. There are still monsters hiding in the crevices.
“There you go, sweet heart, and sweet dreams”
I walked outside and heard the door lock click into place behind me. My daughter’s room opened into a narrow hallway next to a flight of stairs leading down to the ground floor. The faded yellow light from the overhead lamps was enough to show the way down but only if you knew the place well. The light flickered like a beating heart.
As I walked down the stairs, I hear an unwelcome crack as the light bulb snapped its filament. There was enough light around for it to go fairly unnoticed. I would have to fix it some other time. I had more important things to do.
“Where is mommy?” I could still Sarah’s voice in my ears. How could I possibly tell her? The sweet child, there are some things we must hide from her, but if it was any consolation, we were good parents to her.
Our marriage was in many ways what it seemed, we were happy, we had a beautiful child and a wonderful home but we were not what we seemed. There were secrets that we both harbored from each other and once they came out……….
I descended the stairs to the basement, my feet thudding down as I reached the bolted metallic door. I felt ravenous; I knew Nadia would be waiting for me with a friend. We had a secret and it’s never good to keep secrets, that’s what our marriage counselor had told us.
I knocked 3 times feeling my heart thudding in my chest; I could hear the familiar clink of her high-heeled shoes approaching. She opened the door and I could see her standing there with a smile.
“Come in, meet our new friend.”
A woman lay on her back in the middle of the room with her arms tied with white cotton rope that dug into her flesh. A roll of silver cellophane tape covered her mouth and I could hear soft, muffled sounds coming from her mouth.
Nadia had laid out all her instruments on the floor, knives, cleavers, daggers and more. I certainly didn’t know as much about this stuff as she did.
I chose the cleaver.
The woman on the table must have caught a glimpse of the cleaver as her moans grew louder. I walked up to her and she screamed ever louder, her face turning blood red as the veins in her neck bulged and twisted
I put my hand on her mouth
“Shh.. you’ll wake up my daughter.”
………..and they lived happily ever after.
My Story (547 words):
They always did tell me I’d made a mistake marrying Alfred. A man out of nowhere, they said. How can you know what he’s like? How can you be sure?
And they said it again the months after he left, leaving me alone again. But after a while they forgot, and that was when the oddness began. Because then it was as though he’d never existed. No matter who I might mention him to, they’d act like they hadn’t known him at all. I didn’t think much at the time, but now…
He really did come out of nowhere. It was a night just like this, tail end of autumn, a crispness in the air that betrayed the upcoming winter. Moonlight caressing everything in my little garden where I’d come out for a breath of air. I had tried to sleep, but since Bernie’s passing a year back the sandman seemed more and more reluctant to pay me the old visit. I was just about to go back indoors when a dizziness overcame me and I fell to the ground.
When I opened my eyes, I was indoors and there he sat, next to my bed. The oddest thing is, I don’t recall his first words. But they must have been something compelling, because I did let him stay, and him a strange man and me a widow and all. Ten years he stayed, and we were wedded for the last seven. And then he up and left. Everyone forgot about him, but I didn’t. It was worse than losing Bernie because there I knew where I was. But when my Alf left there was nothing more in the world for me.
I couldn’t forget, you see. And that’s why he sent the letter. It arrived just as mysteriously as he did – placed on the kitchen table where we’d laughed and ate together – no postmark or anything. Made my heart leap to think he might be back. But he wasn’t. And now he won’t be.
Our marriage wasn’t what it seemed, you see. He explained that in the letter. Though we shared the same bed, though we ate and drank and laughed together. Because he wasn’t what he seemed. I don’t understand everything he’s written – been years since I touched a book except the Bible, and Lord knows these words aren’t in the Good Book. “Extra-terrestrial”, “human experiment”, “limited sample time”. My head swims every time I look at ’em.
All I can make out is that he was some sort of angel, and now he’s been called back to Heaven. He won’t be back. And no one else can remember him either. He mentions “neurochemical changes” – then says a bit more simply that our sharing of a bed meant it would take longer for his memory to seep from my head. But it will over time, the way it did more immediately with the villagers.
So he’s gone. And in going he’s given me the gift of forgetfulness. It’s started already. The earliest memories are fading. But oh, Alfred, what if I don’t want to forget? Maybe they were right, and it was a mistake marrying you. But you were the best mistake I made. What if I don’t want to forget?
Some points: Both of us seem to have independently taken a third person story prompt and written a first person story. Because marriages are best seen from the inside? Perhaps. Also, although Tamoor doesn’t like to read or watch horror, and I’m the crazy horror fiction fan, it is Tamoor’s story that has the horror ending. Interesting, eh?
See you guys tomorrow!