Friday, October 26, 2018
Vengeance is Mine Part 2 by Dellani Oakes
Gasping loudly, she spun around, clutching her throat. She is a pretty thing, delicate of feature. Her dark brown eyes look nearly black in the twilight. She takes a step away, tripping over a divot of soil. I, ever the gentleman, reach out to steady her. Her skin is warm and she smells sweet. Though she is certainly afraid, she doesn't pull away as one might expect.
“There you are.” She smiled up at me.
“I do not know you. Do I?”
“Then why have you brought me back, to this? Have I wronged you in life?”
“No, not at all.”
“Then why,” I asked again, more patiently, “have you brought me back?”
“I need your help.”
“Dear madam, surely a living man would be of more help to you than I.”
“No, you are precisely what I need.”
“I beg you, tell me how. For I cannot conceive of how I will be any help at all.”
“I need for you to retrieve something of mine that was stolen. It is a very dangerous task, and cannot be entrusted to anyone living.”
Crossing my arms, I frowned at her. It must be a horrifying sight, for she cringes away from me once more.
“It must be a very precious item, indeed, for a lass such as you to go to the trouble of raising a dead man. This is extremely inconvenient,” I continued. “I should like to have been consulted.”
“I couldn't consult you before hand, you were dead.”
“Because you are newly dead. Too old a corpse, and the body has forgotten what it means to be alive. You can't call the spirit back. You have been dead a handful of weeks. Your spirit was still lingering. It was quiet easy to summon you.”
I dislike the idea that I can be called like a dog, to do her bidding. The words formed on my lips, but I didn't utter them. I can see her casting about, afraid.
“Can we leave here?” she asked.
“I don't know if I can. I haven't tried. There is nothing here to hurt you. No other spirits linger.” I objected strenuously to that word, for it makes it sound as if my spirit hung about like a pair of old socks. “Only you and I, and I shall not harm you.”
I tried to blink, but I'm not sure I accomplished it. “I have no reason to do so.”
“I should still, very much, like to leave.”
“We can hardly wander the city together. I fear I look a sight. I can't be certain, but logic dictates....”
“Aside from being somewhat pale, you don't look too bad. You were a handsome man, William. Pity we never met when you were alive.”
“Precious little good it does either of us now that I'm dead,” I muttered.
She is not a bad looking woman, with hair and eyes like coal. Her complexion gleams pale in the moonlight. It occurs to me that she is not much more rosy cheeked than I. Though a most resounding difference separates us—she has breath. I do not.
We walk a very long time, or so it seems. I was a robust fellow in life, and such a walk would not have hurt me, but she is slender and more delicate. I slow my pace, setting my steps to match her own, which she seems to appreciate.
“What is it that you need of me?”
“I'll tell you when I get you home. It is not something easily described.”
So I had gathered, for why else resurrect a dead man if the task were easily accomplished by a living one?
We come to a row of flats, neatly stacked side by side, and one upon the other. She is on the bottom floor, her apartment somewhat submerged. The windows look out upon the mews, such as it is. More of a rubbish bin and scraps of paper twisting and billowing in the wind; not quite writhing away.
“Would you like some tea?” she asked as we entered her flat. “Can you drink tea? That is....”
“No, thank you. I no longer drink nor eat. I have no notion if I even have my organs anymore.”
She wrinkled her nose at that remark. It's not a pretty image to instill in her mind, but it is the fact of my existence and I find that such things no longer make me squeamish.
“Do you mind if I do?”
“No. Perhaps while the kettle boils, you can tell me what you need of me.”
© 2018 Dellani Oakes
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