A Murderer’s Fate
I jolted out of bed, throwing the sheets into a heap on the floor. The room was freezing cold, but I was drenched in sweat. My heart was racing as I thought of the dream which I had seen moments earlier. It was a vision I saw every time I closed my eyes at night to sleep. Every night, I was transported to the same, dark alleyway; the full moon illuminated the scene of gore in front of me. My dear wife lay in a pool of blood, both of her eyes gouged out by the cruel blade in my hand. Every time I tried to run, but my legs were frozen in place, forcing me to confront the egregious act which I had committed.
Suddenly, a forceful gust of wind tore through my drawn curtains, rattling the doors of the ancient dresser in the corner of the room. The moon cast a sickly, pale white light into my chamber, causing eerie shadows to fall where it’s light could not reach. The room, once occupied by my late wife, was more elaborate in decoration than my philistine tastes enjoyed. Fine tapestries lined the walls, and an intricate carpet covered the entire floor. I shut the window and lit an oil lamp on my nightstand to dispel the sinister silhouettes caused by the ghastly moon. As the room lit up, a terrible figure attracted my gaze, but before I could focus my attention on it, it had disappeared. Believing the specter to be merely a figment of my imagination, I moved to enter the washroom, opening the door opposite to the window, cautiously and slowly because of my irrational fear. Suddenly, I froze. The door was open merely a crack, but inside I saw a glimpse of the wraith which I previously believed had been imagined. Although I was unable to see clearly, the phantom seemed to be the same that vexed my dreams, her once pure white wedding dress stained by blood. I threw open the door to confront this vision, but once again, it disappeared before a clear view could be had. As I entered the room, I was smothered by a surge of air as cold as ice; however, just as quickly as it had turned frigid, the air returned to its former temperature, and yet, the room was still too cold to wear nothing but a nightgown. Not yet realizing what jeopardy my life was in, I turned towards the red dresser in the corner of my chamber to find a garment which would provide me with some warmth. Abruptly, the light on my nightstand vanished, leaving the room to be illuminated once more by just the sickly light of the moon. As I stumbled towards the light to reignite the flame, clumsiness always having been a foible of mine, I toppled over, tripping on something unseen in the dark. As I rose again to my feet, the red dresser began to tremble with vehement, as if being shaken by some invisible force. Then, as if from all around me, a voice rasped in a harsh whisper, “Francis….”
“Who’s there?” I called. There was a long silence until I asked again, “Who’s there?” My voice, filled with fear, cracked as I was barely able to summon the courage to whisper. Once again there was no reply. I, believing myself to have imagined the voice, continued to search for the lamp. Suddenly, from behind me, the same low whisper sounded.
I turned sharply to catch once more but a glimpse of the elusive phantom.
“H-h-hello?” I whimpered, terror oozing from every word I spoke. It finally occurred to me the precariousness of the situation.
“Francis…” the voice replied, increasing in volume. “Francis, Francis, FRANCIS!” The voice let out one final ear-splitting scream, “WHY!”
Suddenly the spirit appeared in front of me, wearing the same, terrified expression as the night of the incident. Her straight black hair stained by bright red blood, her face a scene of gore, her once beautiful personage was now terrifying. In her hand, the same baneful blade which had been used to cause her such harm glinted in the moonlight, its once sterling hilt now bright red. I backed slowly away from her, summoning all the strength in my quaking legs to escape this horrible nightmare. The bed on which I had lain mere moments before moved sharply and seemingly on its own, though most certainly of the volition of this terrible spirit who had once been so dear to me, to block my path. I desisted my futile attempts to escape my most certain fate and allowed the apparition to grow nearer to me. She walked slowly, yet I realized that it would be impossible to escape. As she approached, I became mesmerized by her hollow, empty eye sockets, unable to turn my gaze anywhere else. The closer she became to me, the slower time seemed to move until eventually, she stopped. For a moment, I believed that time had ceased to flow, until, abruptly and violently, she raised the knife.