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Rated: 18+ · Short Story · Activity · #2197461
Secret keeping is deadly.
Cost Of Secrets

Secrecy exacts a price. I’ve always known that. It’s just that I’ve never had to pay it before!

But I guess that doesn’t tell you much of anything. I’m not sure why I think anyone will read this, I want to get it down anyway. It’s funny that I want to write things down, something I’ve never risked doing before.

You could say I’ve been drawn to secrets most of my life, probably from the time I knew what a secret was. Maybe it’s the power having secrets gives you. Or simply the fact that when you have secrets, you possess knowledge that few other people have.

After all this time, getting and keeping secrets has become force of habit. Sadly, I’ve forgotten any other way.

I’ve had time to mull over all this, although my watch broke in the fall. Even if I had light, I wouldn’t know how much time I have. I’m not sure it even matters.

I am writing in my pocket notebook by feel. Hopefully, it will be legible when I run out of paper. No matter, it comforts me regardless.

My leg and arm are on fire and I know I’m feverish. But I’m so dehydrated, I’ve stopped sweating. The walls are damp, but licking them hasn’t done enough.

The secret that brought me here is almost ancient. It’s one I’ve kept for a very long time. I’d almost forgotten it.

But secrets can never be truly forgotten. If you never share them, they fester within you until death releases them. That’s how I will go out of this life, keeping all of my secrets. But, if I write them down, I can be at peace in whatever place comes after Death.

Should I start with the very first secret in my collection? It’s almost minor, compared to those I gathered later. But since I must start somewhere...

It seems incredible how the number and complexity of the secrets that came to me, increased with time. Becoming a spy seemed to be a natural progression from collecting secrets as a hobby. Being paid to do what I loved was amazing!

But collecting secrets to share them as part of a job, became tedious. Hoarding secrets is more fun but not as lucrative. Hoarding secrets became dangerous.

The one whose secret I stole so long ago, found me. I’m not sure how.

The rage in her was palpable. It radiated from her like a furnace blast. All protestations of denial fell on deaf ears.

She knew that I knew. My years of secret-keeping had made me smug. I underestimated her!

The result of such folly was finding myself shoved down this dry well. I heard her drag the cover back over and weight it with rocks. I tried shouting, but I knew no one could hear.

I finally lost my voice, and I knew that unless I could get myself out, I would die here. The first try, I dislocated my shoulder and broke my arm. In spite of only being able to use one arm, I almost made it to the top the second time.

That fall was further and more jarring, leaving me with a broken hip. I think the small bones I landed on that second time pierced my flesh like shards of glass. They were the only evidence of her secret, except in my mind.

It figured that she might exact such retribution. Years ago in college, when she told me she was pregnant, I decided to talk her into an abortion. Although she tearfully agreed, she insisted that her baby be buried somewhere, not thrown out like trash.

The abandoned well on her grandparents’ farm was my idea. As the blanket wrapped bundle was dropped, we pinky swore to keep the secret forever. Apparently, she couldn’t, when she started therapy for chronic depression.

I think she resented me because I knew the secret and kept it, when she couldn’t. I guess it finally pushed her over the edge. However it happened, I am having to live, or should I say die, for it.

I’m weakening. I can’t hold the pencil any more. Is that a baby crying?

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