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Rated: 13+ · Short Story · Mystery · #1077341
This was based off Edgar Allan Poe's "Annabel Lee" for an english assignment.
The thing about love is that one would do anything to be with the one they love, to make the one they love happy, no matter what the cost. I, Aiden Rabelais, am living proof of this.

You see, two years ago the Red Death killed my wife, Anastasia. She was put to rest in the mausoleum on the shore of the Black Sea. My Anastasia meant the world to me. Everything I wanted, needed, she had. I couldn’t bear to live without her.

This being the case, I didn’t. Every night, I visited her in the mausoleum. I shared the news of the town, the gossip among our old friends, the hardships of work, and updated her on the case of our child’s kidnapping. I took special care not to let other people know, for I don’t think they’d appreciate the dedication. I would certainly be locked away in a mental hospital, which to be completely honest, is where I belonged.

I’ve always heard people talk about having loved and lost. Never could I relate to these people, for I had only loved Anastasia, and I still do. However, one night, on the way to Anastasia’s mausoleum, I overheard a woman crying. Being a very curious man, I wondered toward the sound. I didn’t know at the time it would alter my life so drastically. A young girl, maybe 14 years of age, was sitting in the sand. Her toes were buried beneath the sand, hugging her knees to her chest. Long, dark hair cascaded down her back in thick curls. The night’s thick silence was broken only by an occasional sob that escaped her lips. I tilted my head slightly, trying to recognize the girl. I didn’t.

Carefully stepping over great logs of driftwood, I slowly made my way over to her, making sure to approach from the side. I knelt down next to her, brushing a lock of curls away from her eyes. She inhaled sharply, clearly startled, and rose quickly to her feet.

“I-I’m sorry,” she stammered. “I didn’t know anyone else was around.” She quickly wiped the tears from her eyes, patting the ones on her cheeks dry. Her skirt was covered in sand and she feverishly brushed it off. I reached out and gently stopped her arms.

“What is wrong?” I kept my voice at a whisper; she obviously didn’t want people knowing she was here. Now that I had interacted with the girl, we had a strange kind of bond.

“I can’t say. He’ll get in trouble!” her voice trailed off and she choked on a sob. I put my arm around her shoulders and walked her over to a large, flat boulder. I sat her down and again brushed a lock of hair from her face. She turned to me and gave me a weak smile.

I tilted my head quizzically. Something about that smile was oh so familiar. Had I met this girl before? I didn’t think so, but it was a possibility. “What is your name?” I inquired.

“Alyzae.”

I stared at her for a moment. Did I know her? No, I didn’t think so. I might have seen her around town, but the name didn’t ring a bell.

“And yours?” Her voice was clear and curious. She wasn’t crying anymore, which changed the entire atmosphere. I relaxed a little.

“I am Aiden Rabelais.” I smiled warmly and gently shook her hand. She beamed, clearly enjoying herself. There was a familiar twinkle in her eyes. “I’m a writer. I live just outside of town in a small cabin, and I was just on my way home.” Not entirely true. I was a writer, and I did have a cabin outside of town. I was just going to join my deceased wife in her mausoleum bed for the night.

She doesn’t need to know that.

I turned my attention away from my own thoughts and back to Alyzae. She had just said something. How had I missed that?

“I’m sorry, what?” I felt like a fool.

“I said, is it a long walk to your cabin?” She was so innocent. I grinned.

“Not too bad, only about a twenty-minute walk. I usually welcome the quiet after a long day.” I was developing feelings for the girl. Already. How did that happen? I blinked. “And what are you doing out so late alone?”

Alyzae looked down at her hands. I followed suit and felt my eyes widen with shock. In the moonlight I could see large, dark bruises that covered her forearms, accompanied by deep, bleeding gashes. What the hell was that from? And why hadn’t I noticed it before? “You see, he doesn’t like it when I sing. He says that it’s improper for a young girl. But I love to sing, so I do it. I’ve been warned, and I guess I ran out of warnings.” Her voice was quiet and sad. I felt my heart ache with sympathy.

I stood up suddenly.

She is not going back to him. Whoever “he” is.

“Come with me.”

The girl stared at me as if I wasn’t real. God, what was I thinking? I couldn’t take in this girl just because she was abused. The idea was absurd.

“Alright, then, let’s get going.”

I stared at her with what I was sure was the same shocked look I had just received. We were truly crazy. I gently took her less injured left hand in my right, and we started down the gravel road that led to my cabin. Hand in hand, we walked past houses, barns, the mausoleum housing my forgotten wife, the church, and the Catholic cemetery. We walked in silence, each smiling with contentment. Why was I so drawn to this Alyzae?

All too soon we arrived at the cabin. Now what? What would I do with a girl at my house? I hadn’t had another person in my house since Anastasia had passed away. I opened the door, allowing her to enter first. Once inside, I lit the few candles I had to illuminate the room. Alyzae yawned. Where would she sleep? I turned to the sofa, which was more accurately a couple of scarcely padded chairs pushed together. I was at a loss as to what to do and the silence was rapidly becoming more and more awkward.

Alyzae stretched and casually dropped onto a chair.

OK, one problem solved.

I walked into the back room and returned a moment later with an over-sized shirt. I laid it on the chair next to her. “Well, I guess get some sleep.” I rubbed my neck awkwardly. “I, uh, I’ll see you in the morning.” I stood for a second longer, then walked up the stairs and into my bedroom, changed my clothes, and went to bed.

Hours later, I was still lying awake. What was it about this girl? It was driving me mad! Something about her seemed familiar. I just didn’t remember it. Perhaps it was in a dream that I had met her? A small glimpse of the future? No, I didn’t believe in that kind of thing.

The next morning came all too quickly. I walked down the stairs aimlessly, stumbling over a towel that I had thrown on the floor the previous day.

“Good morning.” Alyzae’s voice was so innocent. She had no idea what kind of man she was dealing with. Imagine! A sweet girl like her with a crazy man like me. It was impossible.

I rubbed my eyes. “Mornin’. How’d you sleep?” I motioned toward the chairs.

Alyzae chuckled. “Much better than I would have at home.” I didn’t want to think about that. “And you?”

I stared at the girl. I was constantly amazed at how naïve she was. “Oh, I slept just fine. It’s a bit cold upstairs, but nothing too bad.” I grinned. I knew what I would do with her. My smile widened as my plan began to develop inside my head.

I once read a story about a man who met a girl, pretended to fall in love with her, and took her maidenhead. Having got what he wanted, he no longer had any need for the girl. While she was sleeping, he tied her to the bed she was on. He began stabbing small holes in her wrists, some puncturing veins, some not. The girl awakened, screaming and thrashing about violently. The man then cut off her feet and mailed them to the girl’s mother. He cut up the rest of her body then, and buried the separate pieces in random spots in his backyard.

I had no intention to do that. But the girl did have to die. She had awakened too much emotion inside of me. I couldn’t let her go, but I couldn’t keep her here. And if she continued to live, then she would continue to disturb me. I could not rest until she was dead.

Having decided that, I felt much better. I spent the next few days smiling constantly, and Alyzae did the same. I grew on her quickly, and it wasn’t long before she promised to be with me as long as she lived.

This is what I had been waiting for.

I looked over at her as we sat eating the wonderful breakfast that she had prepared. It was early on a Sunday morning. I would miss her meals, as they were absolutely divine. I shrugged.

Win some, lose some.

The silverware made a dull clinking noise as I sat them down. Alyzae looked at me questioningly. I smiled.

“It is time, my love.”

Ha! My love!

Alyzae simply smiled back. “Ok.”

I stood and walked her outside to the backyard. I pointed out the wonderful garden that Anastasia had grown, the tree house we had built for our child, the trail of worn grass from the dog running it over and over. As we walked, I told her my life story. I told her about the kidnapping of our dear child, the death of my poor Anastasia, and the death of Chino, our beloved dog.

Alyzae listened intently, not missing a word. When we reached the foot of the ladder that led up to the tree house, she stopped dead. She stared at the old, worn out ladder and gently ran her hand up the side of the rotting wood. What was this woman doing? Maybe she was as crazy as I. No, she couldn’t be. I would have known before now.

When Alyzae turned back to me, there were tears streaming down her face.

“What is it, my love?” I gently stroked her cheek, wiping away her tears as I did so.

There was a long pause. I was getting anxious. Finally, right as I was about to further inquire about what was bothering her, she spoke in a weak whisper.

“...Dad?”

I stared at her. What the hell was she talking about? I wasn’t her dad! I found her on a beach, nurtured her back to a healthy, happy state of mind, and now was off to finish the task. This could present a slight delay.

“Um, no, I’m not your dad. My child was kidnapped at the age of-”

“-2.”

What? How does she know that?

I stared at her. This didn’t make any sense. This couldn’t be right.

But the more I thought about it, the more sense it made. It explained everything: my being drawn to her, why she looked so familiar, how we just sort of clicked. I shook my head as if to clear it. If this was my daughter...my thoughts flashed to the previous months that I had spent with this girl, with my daughter. It was all sinking in now.

I leaned over and retched, spilling her wonderful breakfast at her feet. I vaguely heard her scream.
This couldn’t be happening! Could it? I wasn’t so sure anymore. I wasn’t sure about anything.

Scratch that. I was sure of one thing. I had to finish my task even more now than I had before.

I reached into my pocket, producing a large kitchen knife. She had used this just hours before preparing my breakfast. How sad for her. With my left hand, I grabbed her shirt, pulling her close to me. I held the knife tightly in my right hand. As she got closer, I plunged the knife into her chest.

Once.

Twice.

Thrice.

In the end, I had stabbed her at least 15 times. I dragged her behind my shed, where I kept a storage bin that I used for leaves in the fall. I threw her into the bin, slamming the lid behind her. Blood-drenched, I pulled the heavy thing down a short path leading to a cliff that overlooked the sea. Many a night had been spent sitting on this very cliff with Alyzae, watching the sunset. I stopped, leaned over, and retched again. Once I righted myself again, I continued, still lugging the heavy bin behind me.

I was running now, my breaths coming in short bursts. My heart was racing. Then I had an idea. I remembered Anastasia telling me once that all she wanted was to be back with her child. I could give her that. That would prove my everlasting love for her. I stopped running and bent over, taking a moment to catch my breath. I don’t know why I didn’t think of it before.

The bin scraped the gravel road loudly as I walked into town. It was early enough that all the townspeople were in church. That was good. That way, they couldn’t see the horrible things I was doing on their Sabbath Day. I grinned maliciously.

I made it into the mausoleum without difficulty. The candles inside the mausoleum were all burned out, but I had been there enough that I didn’t need them. I made my way over to the altar upon which Anastasia lay. There was just enough room for another person. I had made sure of that when I had slept here. After securely shutting the door, I clumsily pulled Alyzae from the bin and heaved her onto the altar. I arranged her limbs so she looked comfortable and made sure her eyes and mouth were closed. Then I stood back to admire my work. They did indeed look peaceful.

I had done it. I had given Anastasia the last gift I could. I had found our child. I had granted each of them peacefulness. I had done all I could do. Now that they could rest in peace, I thought I would do the same. I smiled and left the mausoleum, holding my head high as I began the walk back to my empty cabin.

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