Tread Softly, My Love

William Blake’s “The Night of Enitharmon’s Joy”

The smell of smoke lingered in the air.  Angelique couldn’t escape the haunting aroma.  Hundreds of years had passed; yet, when she closed her eyes she could still see Mary’s body burning as she struggled to try to escape the flames.  The reflection of the embers in Cain’s eyes.  The helplessness she felt as she watched her love burn to the ground.  Every moment was etched into her memory like an epitaph on a headstone.

She gazed upon her latest acquisition in her collection of antiquities.  William Blake’s painting “The Night of Enitharmon’s Joy”.  It was an exquisite piece that spoke of a woman’s desire to be stronger than man.  Certainly it had a morbid quality about it.  But it spoke to Angelique unlike any other painting that she owned.  She understood the desire to be stronger than man better than any person possibly could.

Cain took Mary from this world and, while Angelique was stronger than all other beings on earth, she wasn’t stronger than him. They all lived but through his good graces, because he had not chosen to destroy them, yet.

Angelique longed for a day when she could outsmart him, or at least manage to outlast him. She held the unlikely hope that one day he would grow bored of the game and choose to await the sunrise.

“Is that the new piece?” James asked, coming up behind her.  It always amazed her at how silent he was now that he was one of her kind.  He was so very loud when he was human.  She loved the way his scent excited her in a way no other had since Mary and she was glad it hadn’t changed much.

“Yes, do you like it?” Angelique asked.

“It is unusual.  There is such darkness in this piece.  It’s like a person terrified of losing control of their own future.”

“That is very astute.  I never thought about that,” Angelique replied, turning to look at James.  The look in his eyes reflected what he had seen in the painting.  She imagined that her eyes also reflected the same thing. She kissed him softly on the lips and turned back to the painting.

“So, where shall we go to summer?” she asked James.  “Venice, perhaps?”

“Anywhere you are is perfectly fine with me,” he answered and wrapped his arms around her slim waist.

“I will make the arrangements first thing in the morning.  You will love my apartment there.  And my art gallery there will be the perfect place to display my newest piece.”

It took a month to make all the necessary preparations for the trip to Venice.  Angelique’s condo had to be closed up and their things needed to be shipped ahead of them.  But, finally, they arrived in Venice on an exquisite night in May.

Her servants had opened and aired her apartment before their arrival so everything was perfectly in place that night.  Unfortunately, one of them had forgotten to lock the door.  Angelique knew immediately that Cain was there waiting for them.  She had rather hoped he would choose to stay in the states.

“Angelique, my love, how good to see that you are well!” Cain approached her with unwarranted enthusiasm and wrapped his arms around her in a mocking warm embrace.

“What are you doing here, Cain?”

“Haven’t you heard?  Apparently some fool decided to burn down my house while I was sleeping the other day.  Now, who would do such a foolish thing, do you suppose?”

“I have no idea, Cain,” Angelique replied.  “Perhaps you have made too many enemies as of late.”

“Nonsense!  I don’t have enemies, my love!” he responded.  His eyes darkened as he spoke, as if he hoped to have caught her in a lie.

Angelique was grateful for the fact that her heart no longer beat otherwise he would notice a very rapid heartbeat indicating her lie.  She knew it was a slim chance that setting fire to his house would actually destroy him, but she had hoped that it would catch him off-guard.  He didn’t even appear to be singed by the ordeal.

“I really must bid you farewell, Cain.  I have a gallery to open and there is much still left to do.  I trust that your villa here in Venice remains unharmed?”

“Yes, yes, of course.  Do be careful, my love.  If I do indeed have an enemy, it would be wise for you to tread softly for a while.”

“I always tread softly.”

750 WORDS

Inspired by:  The Speakeasy

 

Angelique is a character that I use regularly in short stories.  I have started developing her character a bit more since I found Writing.com and created my WordPress blog.  I’d be interested in hearing all constructive criticism regarding her and the stories I place her in.

Dreamscape

Picture borrowed from: http://www.yeahwrite.me/speakeasy/badges-133/ Copyright remains that of the original owner.

Picture borrowed from:
http://www.yeahwrite.me/speakeasy/badges-133/
Copyright remains that of the original owner.

Main Street was like a ghost town, except for one lit storefront.  John and Rose were making their way to that store.  Music was piped into the speakers on every street corner.  “This is Halloween” was playing as they walked down the street.

“Great, that song is going to be stuck in my head all night,” Rose commented.

“Don’t worry.  I’m sure there will be plenty of songs to get stuck in your head at this party,” John replied.

“Are you sure about this?  There aren’t even any cars in the street,” Rose mentioned as she looked around and noticed that there really weren’t ANY cars on the street.

“I’m positive,” John said.  “This is the place.”  He knocked three times on the door of the lit storefront.  The door creaked open and they made their way inside.

“Everyone hail the Pumpkin King!” someone yelled in the crowd.

“Hail Pumpkin King!” everyone screamed.

 

Rose awoke with a blazing headache.  It took her a moment to realize where she was.  She looked around and recognized her own bedroom, but something was wrong.  She couldn’t remember how she got there or what she was doing before she went sleep.  Had she been drinking?  Could she have passed out?  Who was she with?  Where did she go?

She looked down and realized she was dressed in her pajamas.  She got up and looked in her mirror.  She wasn’t wearing any makeup.  What day was it?

She quickly turned on her computer to check the date.  October 31, 2013 and it was almost 8:00p.m.  She’d better hurry.  John was supposed to pick her up and take her to the Halloween party in just a few minutes.

“This is Halloween, this is Halloween,” she started singing to herself as she got ready.

297 WORDS

Inspired by:  The Speakeasy

Nightmare Radio

nightmare

“He only did one thing well.”

“What was that, Master?”

“He dug the hole deep enough to hide the body.”

“Yes, he did, Master.”

Kayla came awake with a start. What was that buzzing noise? It took her a few moments to clear her head of the dream before she realized that her radio was making that sound. It was caught in between radio stations. That was odd. She could have sworn she had shut off the alarm before going to bed last night.

Her cat must have gotten on the table during the night and pressed one of the buttons. She hated when he did that. The radio always managed to interfere with her dreams.

She shut off the radio and went back to sleep.

The shadowy figures hovered around a body dressed all in white. The closer Kayla got, the more she recognized of the body. It was a woman of approximate middle age with dark brown hair and pale skin. She hadn’t been dead for long, for her cheeks still had a flush to them.

The shadowy figures were talking to each other. She didn’t dare get close enough to hear what they were saying, but it was obvious they were arguing with each other. Finally, the smaller shadow of the two picked up the woman’s body and tossed it into the grave. Both of them began shoveling dirt on top of her. They seemed to be in a hurry to get it over with.

When they were done, they turned in Kayla’s direction. She could see the glowing red of their eyes and the evil grins on their faces. They were coming right for her.

She came awake in her bed again. The buzzing of the radio was heard over the pounding of her heart.

“Do you think she saw us, Master?” she heard a voice on the radio over the buzzing sound.

“Of course she did, you idiot.”

“So what do we do now?”

“We wait. She has to sleep sometime.”

Kayla ripped the radio out of the wall and tossed it into the garbage can. She stayed awake the rest of the night too afraid of the nightmare to go back to sleep.

369 WORDS

Inspired by: The Speakeasy



I’m completely flattered to have won the popular vote AND Editor’s Pick!  Thank you so much to everyone who voted for this twisted little story!

Beautiful Surrender

Picture borrowed from: http://intano.deviantart.com/art/GHOST-OPERA-134951417 Copyright remains that of the original owner.

Picture borrowed from:
http://intano.deviantart.com/art/GHOST-OPERA-134951417
Copyright remains that of the original owner.

The melody filled my head
Tormenting me beyond measure
I closed my eyes
Letting it consume me
The haunting sound
Moved my body in rhythm
The spirits of the night surrounded me
Pulling me towards them
Filling me with pleasure and dread
At the same time
I moved with the darkness
Dancing to its beat
Something moved in the shadows
Something haunting
Something beautiful
I danced my way towards it
Letting it fill me with its wonder
This beautiful surrender
This music of the night

Inspired by: The Speakeasy