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Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/view_item/item_id/2211716-The-Book
Rated: 13+ · Short Story · Contest Entry · #2211716
Distorted Minds Contest Entry February 2020 - Prompt 1 - 2nd Place
Amanda stood at the window and stared longingly at her nightstand. At least it used to be her nightstand, when she was alive. She had no idea how long she'd been standing there, time took strange leaps and stalls in this state, she didn't even know when she had died...or how. Her memories were not complete. The one thing she did remember, the book, she had not finished the book. So she stood and stared at it as it sat innocently on her nightstand.

Every Valentine's Day her boyfriend, Daniel, brought her a rose. Him being such a romantic it figured he would choose Valentine's Day to come and talk to her. He would stand outside and talk about how much she meant to him, how much he still loved her, and that he missed her. It always felt so personal, so intimate, like he knew she was there listening, hanging on every word.

She still hasn't figured out why she is in the backyard and why she can't go into the house. Truth be told, she didn't really care about that anymore, she just needed to know how the book ended. It called to her. Such an engrossing tale of love, intrigue, and deception. She could not banish the story from her mind as she had the why's and wherefore's of her demise.

One day a woman appeared. She slept in Daniel's bed, in Amanda's place. Surprising herself, Amanda realized she was not jealous of the replacement, she wanted Daniel to be happy.

Then, the replacement picked up the book.

Joy enveloped Amanda when the woman, Jill (Daniel had called her), brought the book into the backyard to read. Amanda got to read it all again in preparation for that last chapter, the one that didn't get finished the first time.

Together they read.

Time passed. Jill seemed to enjoy the story as much as Amanda, she had been outside reading at every opportunity.

Once more the story came alive. The three players and all their angst, their passion. Their love.

Finally. Finally, Amanda breathed a soft sigh, a new page was turned. A page she had not read before. Contented excitement bubbled inside of her as she knelt beside Jill and read the fresh new verbiage. The story growing with every word, expanding her imagination, filling her heart.

Finishing that page, Jill slammed the book and bounced back into the house.

Amanda didn't care. Her patience had been rewarded and renewed. She danced around the backyard as her mind replayed the new pieces of the story. Everything had fallen into place in preparation for the last act.

Jill and Daniel were arguing somewhere in the house, somewhere Amanda couldn't see from her backyard view point. Angry voices filled the air. Amanda stood at the window staring at the book, waiting.

Silence.

Amanda leaned against a tree watching Daniel dig nearby. She had no idea how long she had been standing there. As she watched him she was thinking of one of the characters in the book; strong, sinewy, tanned from the sun, building a house for the woman he loved.

Amanda started. Daniel was coming out of the house now, a large bundle over his shoulder. Jill on his heels, ranting and raving, trying to hit him in her extreme anger.

Jill stopped, frozen in her tracks, when she saw Amanda.

As Amanda watched Daniel dump the body into the hole her memories returned. She now knew why she was in the backyard, why she couldn't go into the house, and most importantly, she knew how she died.

Daniel shoveled dirt onto the body in the hole, Jill stood next to him once again on a rampage. The air around them disturbed and crisp with a violence he never felt. Amanda walked to the other side of the tree. Her grave now blended nicely with the rest of the yard. A ghostly tear slid down her cheek.

When the burial was complete Daniel went inside, Jill tried to follow only to discover she could not enter, he returned in a relatively short amount of time with two roses. He laid one on each side of the tree. One for Amanda and one for Jill. Then he talked to Amanda, the usual rhetoric, the same old tale of love, false love. This time Amanda didn't stick around to listen, she went to the furthest point in the yard and covered her ears.

Jill sat on her grave and cried, the inconsolable heart wrenching cry of the damned.

She had no idea how much time had passed since Jill's untimely death. Time doesn't have a whole lot of meaning or stability in this place. Amanda had taken up her vigil by the window once more. Eventually Jill calmed and came to stand by Amanda. Together they stared longingly at the book.

Word count = 814
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