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Murder or Love?

Short story By: anonbuzz
Romance



The story of a man awaiting deaths door, in death row. Why was he there? Who had he become? Had he murdered the light of his life, the essence of perfection that was- Jenifer.

This is a short "ghost" story i wrote for an assignment. I would really appreciate it if you could give me some constructive feedback, my tutor mentioned to me 'try to use some narrative hooks to suggest the ending' (?!?!?) Thanks.


Submitted:Jan 7, 2013    Reads: 41    Comments: 0    Likes: 0   


1972

"No man survives death row" I remembered Nesbit telling me once, as I sauntered past his cell. He looked at me with his sharp green eyes and ran his mucky fingers through his coarse brown hair, letting it fall softly to his shoulders.
"see ya' in hell Burt," he panted, trying to keep his tough exterior, even though it look like he was holding back tears. I said nothing as the guard pulled me away. Blinking back my emotions, I walked my final walk, down the corridor, down death row…

1969

Waking up in a cell, a cell in death row is far from the best thing. I often dreamt of waking up on a tropical beach- the waves lapping on the shore, the smell of crisp fresh air and the feeling of incandescent warmth from the sun, peaking over the horizon, brightening the sky, lightening the now cyan water… but that was just a dream. One far-fetched dream for a man awaiting deaths door to be opened. Death row was new to me on that bright may morning, I did not know how or why I was there. MY memory was and still is a partial blur. So, I got up and walked over the mirror then looked at myself. I was not who I remembered from 1920- most certainly not. My face was pale and washed out; my eyes had faded from a bight hazel to a misty grey; and my skin sagged and was creased. Once thick brown hair was now bleak and grey. Shuddering at the sight, I walked away. A guard was pacing down the corridor, taking some sort of register. Eventually, he got to me and Nesbit (a friendly Texan in the cell beside me).
"Albert Gough," the guard mumbled, I nodded apprehensively, "in for the murder of Jenifer Parker."
"WHAT?!" I protested
"what…?" the guard questioned, unfazed. He walked on by, leaving me stunned. I sat on the tiled floor and put my head in my hands- Jenifer… How? Why? Jenifer. Silence filled the air.

Nesbit ambled over to his door, his eyes bloodshot and his teeth biting his bottom lip, anxiously. Possibly a side-effect of not smoking his lungs dry, I figured.
"So, who's this Jenifer?" he inquired, "…if she is anyone, I guess?"
"No, no. She is, well 'was', someone," I replied.

1933

It was a warm Septembers night in New York- the city that never sleeps; the concrete jungle where dreams are made. And that's exactly what we were doing, Jenifer and I, chasing our dreams together. We met back in our home town and had been friends ever since- we were young, with our spring in our steps, in our mild sub-urban lifestyle. But in 1928 we made the move to the Big Apple, and it was great!

So, on that night we had just been to a dance- waltzing and lindy hopping the night away. It was perfect… she was perfect. She was a tall, skinny lady, with long locks of mousy blonde hair that she always tied back elegantly in a loose bun, letting curls fall softly around her face. She had the brightest blue eyes that sparkled in the night time glow of New York, as she tapped down the cobbled street, glancing at me occasionally. Then she stopped in her tracks, turned and spoke to me. I can't remember what she said… probably some sweet, innocent admiration of the city, but all I remember was her structured nose, jaw and cheek bones; her eye brows moving up and down comically as she spoke with her pale pink lips. She laughed the sweetest sing-song laugh, showing off her pearly white teeth and making light creases around her eyes.

1969

I closed my eyes and remembered. Well, tried to remember that night. Something terrible happened that night, something so dark that my mind has blocked it out of my memory. I remember flashes of images- Jenifer's face washed out and grey, with her eyes too sharp and outlined in the reddest of reds; my hand, tensed and shaking; a rocking chair creaking slowly backward and forwards; and a room so dark yet so vivid in my memory. Gasping, I opened my eyes to see the same image I have seen for weeks and many weeks more, my cell.

1933

We were in an old dark building, a room with a window looking out over night time New York. And by that I don't mean Central Park and the statue of Liberty- I mean a run-down cabaret bar and a few Jeane Kelly wanabes, prancing down the poorly lit street, drinking out of suspicious looking bottles. I turned to see Jenifer sat facing away from me on a chair, her head was dipped down and her hands were held closely to her chest. Something wasn't right. I paced over to her, slowly letting my feet roll- heel to toe, heel to toe, heel to toe over the dusty floorboards, creaking as I went. Pulling up a stool, I sat next to her and placed my hand on her knee. This startled her; she sharply turned around revealing a face washed out and grey, with her eyes too sharp and outlined in the reddest of reds. It looked like she had seen things so painful. Deep emotions filled her eyes as they drooped a little at the outer corners. It hurt me to see her like that, "Oh Jenifer!" I whimpered, almost inaudibly. And then we sat, in complete silence, just staring into each other's eyes. Just staring, almost tranced… Something wasn't right… Just staring… Staring in silence, until she stopped grabbed me by the shoulders, her pupil's dilated and her breaths deep and cold on my neck.
"Go! You've got to go, Albert!" her voice was gravelly and hoarse, like she was struggling to breathe, "They're coming… they're coming for us… GO ALBERT!"
"What? What's going on Jenifer?" I hastily replied.
"It's too late for me; you have to go, before you do something that you'll regret!" Jenifer protested. She turned and looked away… she was right, something was coming. I looked at my hand tensed and shaking on my knee, back up at the eerily dark room. She had gone; it was empty apart from the rocking chair, creaking slowly backwards and forwards.
"Jenifer!" I called, running out into the hallway. No sign. My heart was pounding in my chest. I turned, looking back into the room. There she was, at the window, looking hauntingly white. Ambling towards her I exclaimed "Jenifer!" She had gone… I looked around the dark room… something was coming, and it was close. I fell to the floor and felt a cold chill pass through me. I felt compelled to find her… "JENIFER!" I shrieked louder than a siren. There she was, in the corner, by the rocking chair. I grabbed her fragile wrist. What was happening to me?
"They're coming" we chorused. I felt trickles of sweat drip down my forehead and a soft breeze shiver down my spine. Jenifer looked so scared… What was happening? Her face was washed out and grey, with her eyes too sharp and outline din the reddest of reds…what was happening?!?
"Please…" she cried so breathlessly. Then it all went white.

1972

That's all I remember- it all went white… was I a murderer? It doesn't matter now because today is the day I die. Today is the day I say goodbye to everything, to life. Over the years Nesbit and I became good friends, I suppose we didn't have much choice- friends or foes? A friendly Texan with moustache and a slight alcohol problem and a mild sub-urban man, who must have killed the most perfect person on the planet. What was there to go wrong? Ha. But here I am now, ready to die.

"No man survives death row" I remembered Nesbit telling me once, as I sauntered past his cell. He looked at me with his sharp green eyes and ran his mucky fingers through his coarse brown hair, letting it fall softly to his shoulders.
"See ya' in hell Burt," he panted, trying to keep his tough exterior, even though it look like he was holding back tears. I said nothing as the guard pulled me away. Blinking back my emotions, I walked my final walk, down the corridor, down death row…

I appeared into a sunny courtyard with a small crowd of people in it, mostly guards and sick reporters, and walked step by step onto a platform. I muttered to myself, "I am not scared of death," As the handcuffs were released.
"Any last words?" a sheepish looking man in a pin-striped suit timidly asked me. I looked out into the crowd and scanned my eyes across it. A woman caught my eye. She was looking down and was wearing a light floral blouse. She had thick white hair, pinned back. Then she looked up. The sun caught her hair revealing mousy blonde undertones. Her face was washed out and grey, with her eyes too sharp and outlined in the reddest of reds. Her structured nose, jaw and cheeks fluttered and her pale pink lips glistened. She muttered to herself, expressionless yet revealing pearly white teeth and now deep lines around her face. Tall, skinny, blonde hair, blue eyes… I knew this woman, all too well…
"Jenifer…"





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