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Friday, November 6, 2015

Sanguine Tears, Scarlet Dreams - A Short Story



After many months of facing the harsh reality trapped within their relationship, Edgar knew the finality of the situation. He could no longer hide from the inevitable. He must face the harsh truth that rested inside the decaying tomb outside Fordham. Although he hated what he was about to undertake, he knew that he must say goodbye to his dearest friend, lovely Virginia. 

Four o’clock, Edgar arrived at the entrance to the cemetery. The frigid winds howling off Long Island Sound sent a chill down his spine. He could feel the emptiness in his soul grow larger as he glanced beyond the grey willows toward the Valentine family crypt in the far corner of the graveyard. He shuddered to think about what lay before him. He loved Virginia with all his heart and her loss was slowly destroying him. 

As he crept toward the tomb, vibrant Virginia raced through his mind. He remembered how 11 years earlier an ancestral storm was spawned by his desire to wed his cousin. True, it was a forbidden love frowned upon by society, but only young Virginia made him feel complete. Her beauty, even at the mere age of 13 when they married was beyond compare, with her pale skin and dark hair flowing down the subtle curves along her cheeks. However, the comfort and understanding of her words made all of the outrage worthwhile. Many could not understand this relationship, as the specter of their shared bloodline blinded reality. For Edgar, who never consummated this relationship with his bride, the blood was not thicker than their bond. 

A life so pure, he thought, how could this damn disease ravage her so? Looking back, it seemed like yesterday when the small trickle of blood flowed from her mouth at the piano. Now, she was but a shell of herself, damaged by the years of consumption that ravaged her frail body. Edgar, too, had suffered with her, turning to cognac and whisky to drown his sorrow as his wife withered away. Not only did her ailment cause mental fatigue, his physical appearance deteriorated, his once flowing hair was now unkempt, his face sunken and scarred from many a fall in a drunken stupor. 

Finally, upon the steps to the vault, Edgar shuttered to face what was inside. Could her week inside this dismal tomb decay her beyond recognition? After a nip of cognac to ease his nerves, he opened the chamber. The crisp aroma of lily overwhelmed him. At that exact moment, his broken heart raced as he saw her lying in wait; her pallid skin stained by the lasting remnants of the sanguine tears, her pale blue eyes reflecting the candlelight. This could not be the end; God would not take her purity. 

He entered, with only the chorus of heartbeats breaking through the silence. Slowly be reached down with his rough hands and caressed her soft cheek. “I am here my love,” he whispered as her lifeless eyes looked through him, piercing his soul. Gently Edgar untied the bow on her flowing lace gown, something he longed to do for so long, but could never muster the courage. Soon, he thought, our bond will be complete. 

The shadows fell across Virginia’s striking face. Edgar thought his heart would stop, his life gasping for one last breath. “Darkness should never touch flesh so pure, consume a life as yet untainted, or steal a soul so loved,” he said as he slowly navigated his way along her slip. He could feel Virginia’s pale eyes guide him through her taut labyrinth. With every shiver, he felt an exciting a new sensation and every curve on her body ignited another flame in his heart. Edgar’s screams echoed throughout the abyss, yet Virginia’s stillness remained steadfast. At last, after 11 long years, their bodies were finally combined as one. 

Edgar fell beside his motionless love, “Darling Virginia, how did we reach this point, why did it have to be you?” His muted beauty spoke no words, as the trail of scarlet tears rained down to her breasts. Edgar realized what he had done. He did not bid farewell to his darling Virginia; he defiled her. He became one of the monsters from his stories, he was destined to survive as the tortured soul buried in the wall. 

Quickly he rose, horrified by what he saw lying before him, his mind petrified. Her magnificence was tainted by an unholy lust. Edgar knew he could not face the world again, he must send himself to Hell. Edgar reached for the candelabra and placed it beneath the vast drapes. His eyes pooled and his heart swelled with regret, as he embraced Virginia for one last time, “I am so sorry my love-- Goodbye!”

Edgar awoke in a sweat, his writing desk cluttered with days of incoherent thoughts, insane prose and empty halves of cognac. “Virginia, why did you leave me, we were meant to be,” he said staring at an empty page, “Damn you Death! You have destroyed all that I am, all that I ever wanted!”

Clarity returned, his quill alive. The words began to flow; It was many and many a year ago, In a kingdom by the sea, That a maiden there lived whom you may know, By the name of Annabel Lee…

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