Carried Away by a Moonlight Shadow
He has stalked her for seven months. Her name is Elizabeth Belle, affectionately known as “Liz”. She works at Roxie’s, a local boutique. After the departure of her coworker Rita, she has been anticipating promotion to assistant manager, a much coveted position for her. She has worked there for nearly three years. She frequently engages in light conversation with her patrons while working the counter. She connects with them. He connects with no one.
Every Tuesday after work she heads to the market for some fresh goods. She then proceeds to the corner store for the remaining groceries. On Wednesdays she goes out to dinner at a local Italian restaurant. Fridays she gets off early and makes her way to a local bar. She drinks lager by the pint. She walks home drunk and alone. On Sunday she goes to church. By the time Monday comes around her humdrum weekend has left her eager to get back behind the counter.
They’ve never met but he knows her well. Her favorite chocolate is Côte d’ore. Her favorite color is sky blue for she is often caught daydreaming staring into the clear blue skies. She always wears heels, no exceptions. She never curses. She prays every night. She is allergic to shellfish and bananas. She detests coffee therefore she starts off every morning with a fresh cup of English tea. She always walks into the boutique with a bright smile, but exits with a terribly solemn look about her face. She loves her job, but not much else out of life.
He is a creature of the night. She is in bed by ten, except on Fridays wherein she is up no later than midnight. She is an awfully lonely person, but never shows it, especially at the bar where she makes a new “friend” most everynight. He has almost no friends at all.
Her home life is considerably uninteresting. She wakes up, showers, drinks her tea, prepares a muffin and eggs, and is out the door excited for work. Every night when she gets home after work, she grabs a beer from the fridge and turns on the evening news. She prepares dinner in between her second and third brew. After dinner she drinks several more, prays, and goes to bed. She practically never has any houseguests. Her usual guests, whenever she does have any, are typically her fellow coworkers or her mother, recently deceased. She often wishes she could meet a man and start a family. She resolves that she never will. She is content with her life.
She goes to work one rainy day, a Monday, to a pleasant but thoroughly unexpected surprise, a bouquet of blue roses. They were left by Gil, a man she had become acquainted with from her last two visits to the bar. Gil was new in town, but had quickly become friendly with the locals. That evening she left Roxie’s with a glowing smile.
That Friday she went to the bar uncharacteristically chipper. She took an empty seat next to Gil and promptly ordered a beer. They began talking about their week, with Liz placing much emphasis on her anticipated promotion. They left the bar hand-in-hand at a quarter to one. Gil invited her to his place and she giddily accepted. Once they arrived they skipped the couch and television and proceeded directly to the bed. She didn’t go home that night.
The following Monday she was atypically less enthused to be at the boutique. She spent much of the day staring out the window daydreaming about Gil. Come Wednesday she sprang back to her normal self. On Friday she went to the bar and met up with Gil. They drank, and drank, and drank, until they finally made their way to Liz’s place. He left about half past four.
Monday came and went without a hitch. Wednesday night her lonesome Italian dinner was accompanied by Gil, but come Friday, on her weekly visit to the bar, she was a astonished to find that Gil was not there. In a highly unprecedented move she ordered a shot of whiskey with her lager, and steadily kept them coming throughout the night. She left the bar around two in the morning. The bright moon shone down on her as she stumbled out the door. She could hear a voice humming in the distance. It was a soft, low voice, as far as she could tell. It kept getting clearer and clearer, closer and closer. Normally this would have creeped her out, but tonight she was tossed and fearless.
Eventually the humming stopped, and when it did she paused and gazed into the face of the moon. While she stood there, entranced by the brilliantly warm glow of the moonlight, a figure appeared in the shadows. He put his arm around her as if to embrace her. He lodged his arm against her throat and carried her off to the river. They reached the river, glistening in the moonlight. He pulled out a knife and stabbed her directly in the heart, then gently pushed her into the river. She fell gracefully into the cold water with the knife protruding out of her chest seeping with thick crimson tears. He blew a kiss farewell as she was swept away by the river. He stepped back to walk away, but paused for a second before departing to stare off into the black night skies. The moon, still illuminated, was now shrouded in dark cloud cover. He has grown tired of this impersonal approach.
Carried Away by a Moonlight Shadow