The end to a one sided romance.
|970 word entry into the August "Murder, Massacre and Mayhem Competition"
There she was, Miss Emma May Thorn, standing above us with her cleaver in hand. How many voices like mine had cried out from the ground, “No more. No more. We are too many for one grave.”
The dirty patch of wild ground, thistle, sick weed and poison ivy she cultivated lay enriched with our blood. “Sharp. Sharp. Swing and cut. My blade flashes. It bites,” Not one prickle bit back as it fell to the dark earth.
Miss Emma May Thorn, cleaved to all of us. Her visits, we nightmares revisited by the madness in her eyes. “Hello, John Tower. Cleave to me only, your sharp tongue not as cutting as what I hold in my hand. You thought to own, control me, now you lie, lie, lie in your deathbed.”
How could she not hear the pain of our chorus as she rocked, wept and moaned the lyrics to her fevered song? I, the newest member of this massacre, felt the prod of my fellows restless buried bones.
“And you, Nathan Wood, secret admirer, offering me your heart. One stroke and it lay open, so ripe and red, gushing for me. You will be forever mine.”
I felt her tremble, rising, standing above us. Her weight pressing us down. How long had I lain here cut to the quick above the others. I, Richard Seymour, her confidant, friend and teacher weeping my blood and tears.
The very mud clawed walls of the dead and dying sealing us up had sorely closed my wounds. They opened as I moaned and swallowed trickling rubble choking the life out of my whispered sound. “Alive,” more thought than spoken word kissed my lips.
This shallow grave, my new home for scarce one day, one night, fizzured, cracked, broke above me. My left hand twitched into crawling movement, seeking release. Strangers become fingers wormed their way past a corpse, felt, caressed, and rose. Was this so close, the boot heel of Miss Emma May Thorn?
“Counting on my fingers and thumbs, so many lovers. Have I missed one? Counting, counting, who counts most? You each are such bleeding hearted suitors giving your all.”
My one good eye opened it's lid beneath a crack in the broken sky. I blinked up at gray fog. The misty curtain rose, lifted a foot above ground. It swirled, curled with the hem of her dress hiking up above one knee.
She hummed along with the metronome swing of her meat cleaver mirroring bright, clutched loosely in her right hand. The mayhem was so close. My teeth gnashed on pebbles cursing the return of feeling, the memory of life’s pain.
“Merry, marry, merry me. In private ceremonies until death do we part? Not even then.” The storm of her words met that of mother nature's. Pelting angry falling wet rain roared, thundered, flashed white hot lightning.
The dark shadow of her presence moved within reach. One fingertip caressed the air, touched, felt the sharp swing of her blade slice its way through my knuckle. Pain shot my hand upward where the digit fell, clamping her wrist, jerking me up and pulling her off balance.
We met eye to eye. The twisted smile on her face welcomed the sight of me. We lay together as lovers, full length. “Richard Seymour. We meet again face to face. Chop, chop. Let us not delay.”
The cleaver grated across stone, loosened earth and bramble out of immediate reach. Her passion to see me clearly and at no distance freed my movement even more. How I wanted to clutch her throat, feel her life pulse feebly beneath my clawed hands digging into her warm flesh.
Our struggle felt obscene as she moved with me, striving to keep me buried alive. Her madness spoke. “May I have this last dance?”
She paused the slip and slide attempt to grasp at her cleaver to laugh. My one good eye met hers an inch away. Our hands met flesh to flesh. Mine as free as her own. “You’ve risen to the challenge, dear and lonely heart.”
My hand broke away, slithered from the growing mud between us like a snake. It sank it’s three fingered fangs into her mouth. Miss Emma May Thorn knew ours was a dance with death as much as it was our own. She gagged, vomiting them out. “You slime.”
I could not have done what I did alone. White sepulcher bones rose around our struggle, thrust up by the unrest of my fellow lost souls. One speared her down thrust cleaver arm. How the young maid arched above me, throat bared, hair a tumble in the howling storm wind.
The madness pulsing in her neck gave her inhuman strength. I watched the transfer of the cleaver to her free hand and waited for my fate. “Cut it out. Cut it out,” she screamed.
My arms clenched her ripping dress to me, wrapping up and shielding me from her next blow. The naked blade raised up ready to swing our dance to its close.
Lightning did the honors. I heard it crack, saw the flame race down the tall old weathered pine. I felt the impact of it hammer the sharp edge of the cleaver into my breast. Miss Emma May Thorn hissed, following, buried alive, facing me.
Mud swallowed us whole as the trunk clothed in flames flickered and died out. I kissed Miss Emma May Thorn's wide open mouth, making her sad lonely sigh my next breath.
"Welcome," I whispered. The ground she knew so well settled around us, poisoned by Miss Emma May Thorn, by that which grew above and by we who lay here with her.
We may be forgotten. She’d never search for happiness or be unsatisfied and made lonely again.