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hi...im guessing, for the moment, that people can read others by… - House Of Echos
a place for hauntings
x_kristyn_x
houseofechos
x_kristyn_x
hi...im guessing, for the moment, that people can read others by their work, so here we go: this is a short story i worte a few months ago


Hearts and Knives

“Hi,” he says and grins.
“Hello,” I respond, not really paying attention to him.
“What can I do for you?”
“Nothing, I’m just looking.” I just want him to leave me alone.
“My name is Jim. Give me a shout if you need me” he says cheerfully, while walking back to the counter.
Okay, I think, Jim. Maybe I will call him back again. It would be better than beginning the long, lonely walk back to my apartment.



* * * * *


I wake screaming. My body is covered in sweat. The sheets are crumpled into a ball at the bottom of my bed. Damn these nightmares. Damn past, I think. I wish it would just leave me alone and let me live my life. I begin to cry, muffling it with my pillow.


* * * * *


Daylight again, and I return to the store. I hope to see Jim again. Walking in, I scan the room, and just as I am beginning to give up and leave, I see him. If he didn’t have a name tag, I wouldn’t have recognized him.
“Hey. Nice to see you again,” Jim says when he sees me. “Did you find something you liked yesterday and just decided to hide it from me?”
“No,” I return. “I just decided to come back and look again.”
“I didn’t catch your name last time we talked,” he quickly inserts.
“I’m Theresa,” and the handshake. Eyes wide: he caught me off guard with a kiss to the back of my hand. He reminds me of Darren. I have to stop thinking about him!


* * * * *


The sun is bright, and the flowers are beautiful: all the roses, blood red, with a strong flowery scent. But the occasion deserves a dark, miserable day. Putting a friend, a lover, to rest is not a joyous occasion. Stunned, Sam and I sat in the room full of people, staring at our friend’s eternal bed.


* * * * *


Jim asks me to dinner and a movie and I surprise myself by accepting, even though I haven’t gone out since Darren had been killed.


* * * * *


Sitting in the hard pews of the church, holding on to Sam as if I were falling down a cliff, and he is the branch in the stone wall, I pass out, plunging into darkness: Sam catches me. Looking at the blue cross on the white fabric that covers the casket doesn’t seem to wrench him, he only looks sad.
The priest says good-bye to the body of Darren, and asks heaven to welcome his soul. I replay memories in my mind: of the phone call from Sam, of how he looked in the hospital, of our good-bye. Tears pour from my eyes, but I don’t feel them. I don’t feel anything.
Dancing around a coffee table to our song, Darren and I are happy. Then a memory of a fight passes by the movie screen within my mind. It was a fight about nothing, and was dissolved in an hour, but it was painful to know that we wasted so much time fighting and had so little in the first place. A picture of Darren in the hospital remains on the screen longer than any other before. He is lying there, in the bed, after someone had brutally beaten, and robbed him. Stab wounds show from the serrated kitchen knife. There is mud on the carpet in his house. Only one thing is missing: a picture of Darren and I that is mounted in a silver frame, one that is etched with Xs and hearts. One other item is broken and sits near the : a picture of Darren and a friend or a cousin in a frame to match the stolen one. This still leaves me baffled: who would bother beating a person into a coma, then break one picture and steal another?
Another scene, of me this time, passes through my mind. Sitting on my bed, looking out the window at the stars. An arm grazes my neck and comes to rest on my shoulder. I lean into it. I imagine I am looking to see Darren in the stars, where I hoped he would be safe. I start to weep. Sam holds me.


* * * * *


Jim and I go out a few times in the next week, and each time Jim acts like a perfect gentleman, reminding me more and more of Darren. I even begin to see Darren in his face, they look amazingly alike.


* * * * *


I stare at the hole in the ground, still hoping that he did not have to be covered with dirt. I shed no more tears, I don’t have any tears left to shed.
I think to the day he left the living world, and tears spring to my eyes again, as if the spring were suddenly rejuvenated. The last words he said to me, between laboured breaths, replay in my mind: “I love you, Theresa, forever and always. Don’t ever forget that.” He then closed his eyes and his hand fell from my cheek. It landed beside mine, on the bed, lifeless, before I could respond. A single tear fell down my cheek to meet the hand of my lover.


* * * * *


I decide that the roses I leave for Darren’s soul to ponder will suffice for a few days, and I leave, not sure of where to go. The investigation is not interesting to me, I just want the case over with, and to let Darren rest in peace. Maybe I should go to see Jim again. I’m not sure of what the connection between us is, or why I am pulled towards him, but I am.
I walk into the store, and find him at his usual place behind the counter. He looks tired, but enthused. “Theresa!” he exclaims as soon as he sees me. “I didn’t expect you to visit me. This is a pleasant surprise.”
I blush. I haven’t had this much attention since Darren was killed. “I just wanted to take you up on your offer, and what better way is there than to accept in person?” I hint.
“Good point. How about we meet at my place, around 5. I’ll make you supper.”


* * * * *


I sit on my bed, looking through the window again, and my thoughts envelope me. Sam comes to mind. I’ll have to go over there soon, and check to see that he is all right. Last time we talked, he was thinking about a girl, and what line he should use to woo her. Darren comes back; he is always there, in the back of my mind, his bloody figure still with me. Sam found him on the floor of their apartment, and said that it looked like a robbery, but there was no forced entry. I feel Darren’s bloody hand touch me and yelp. Wide eyed, I look around for the source of the creepy feeling, finding nothing in sight, then look at the clock. Time to get ready for Jim’s house.


* * * * *


The buzzer on the apartment door makes a high pitched squealing sound as Jim allows entrance into the building. Running up the stairs, I almost knock an older lady down, and I quickly apologize, feeling quite silly. All because I have this funny feeling in the pit of my stomach.
“Hey!” Jim pounces on me for a hug at the door. “Come on in and have a seat!”
“Thank you, Jim.” We make small talk while the soup simmers in the pot on the stove. As I gaze around the room, I see many books, and pieces furniture that once belonged to matching sets, but are now thrown together as if it didn’t matter anymore. One coffee table, a red oak stained dark, had a familiar frame on it, silver with Xs and hearts. In that frame is a picture of me. Upon another glance, I notice that half the picture is ripped out. “Jim… where did you get this?” I ask, pointing at the frame.
He looks around, trying to understand what is happening. I wish that I did. Finally, he looks to where I am pointing and answers, “I found it.” I just look at him, not quite knowing how to react. I have mixed feelings of recognizance, bewilderment and pain: as if there were millions of spiders crawling over my body, and some are biting.
“If you really must know, I’ll tell you.” Jim’s voice changes. It takes on a new tone, one that is fierce and spiteful and he walks to the door. “I took it. And I kept it. It is mine now. You see,” as he changes to a voice that a little boy may use, “I found you first and my cousin didn’t deserve you. He was a jealous man. He didn’t like me looking at you, but it’s my right. I felt that it was my duty to rescue you from that controlling dragon, and remove any sins he made you commit. And that is what I am doing. There is only one step left,” he says as he approaches the couch again after locking the door. He holds up his hand and, to my surprise, in it is a serrated kitchen knife.

emotion: calm calm
noise: zamphir

thinking