How Terrible It Is
To Love Something
That Death Can Touch
I never quite understand when someone claims they fear death. Why fear death when we know it is a promise? Those are the people I find most unbearable. You can tell a lot from someone by what they fear, what they are most afraid of. It fascinates me how we, as humans, allow ourselves to be consumed by a thought. My biggest fear has always been myself. No one is ever sure of what they are capable of until they are forced to do something, which is when you learn who you really truly are, rooted deep inside your soul. I had found out what I was truly capable of on a chilling winter night, the moon was a perfect circle, and the wind was so strong I could hear it’s whistle through the walls of my dust-ridden tower. The lone candle I held was the only light throughout the many rooms of my house and there was something, something I’m afraid I cannot describe, in the air that made me feel very…different.
My husband and I live a quiet, but content life in the grand tower which I inherited from my mother once she had passed. We have no use for many of the various rooms and winding staircases, many of which have not been walked up for years; but we are simply used to the old tower now couldn’t bear to part from it. I spend many of my days waiting hand and foot on my dear husband, giving him his daily baths, attempting to feed him (although he rarely keeps much down), dressing him, which I quite enjoy. For me, there is something quite satisfactory in the act of making him look smart and clean. Sometimes I read to him, and he listens for hours and hours on end never interrupting, which is a highly desirable trait in most men, I’ve heard! And then I put him to bed, where he sleeps peacefully until I am forced to wake him myself in the morning, for him sleep comes easily, however I am finding it increasing hard to fall to sleep, and usually I stay up till the early hours of the morning, listening to the bat’s flap their wings violently in search of their midnight snack.
We seem to have a bug infestation. Quite frankly the thought of them makes my skin crawl and my dear husband’s too! This is resulted into me giving my husband two daily baths now, for we both cannot stand the thought of ghastly fly’s, earworms and beetles crawling over us in the night, laying their revolting spawn on our pillows and in our hair. I have also taken to putting garlic around the main rooms that we use, not to banish vampires of course! (For me and my husband scoff at the people who believe in the existence of mythical creatures!) But because it is known to be quite an effective natural insect repellent. The smell is also gotten increasingly bad, leading me and my husband to both assume that the cause of the awful insects, is a dead animal hidden behind the walls in our house. The thought makes me feel very uneasy, for I have always taken pride in the rooms of our house we live in, and in turn has reduced my hours of sleep even less, around only three hours a night! However my husband, as always, is able to put the thought to rest and sleep throughout the night without more than a toss or turn.
I have not given my husband his daily bathes today. You see, in a person’s life, even the person we love the most can anger us sometimes. It is in our nature to have up’s and down’s throughout our life, for no reason other than what mood we awoke in the morning! We are a very emotional species. When you spend all your waking moments with another, it is hard not to get sick of them occasionally and want simply time to yourself. My husband, dear to me as he is, is a very difficult man. He is rigid when I dress him, making me drip with sweat some mornings, never lifting a muscle to help me manoeuvre his dead weight into his clothes. Most mornings I am very patient and calm with him, but some mornings, like today, it brings great frustration to me, and I feel my blood boiling at his unhelpfulness, to a point where I have to remove myself from the room and be alone, for when we are angry we say and do things we do not mean to do. When I feed him, he stares at me blankly, his eyes glazed over and uninterested in the food I have provided him. Sometimes I feel my many, many efforts go to waste, and sometimes my husband seems to need to be reminded of how much he needs me.
Today is an exciting day! It is my birthday, (my age I would rather not disclose), and I am cooking a romantic meal for me and my husband, giving us both the chance to dress-up and feel special. The bug infestation is worse than ever; flies fly constantly around my husband’s head which frustrates me hugely however he seems to put up with it. I admire him for that; he always has been much calmer than I ever was. But, it is my birthday and I am putting the awful smell behind me for today. I had put on my dress I used to wear when I and my husband went out, before when he didn’t rely on me for everything. I have dressed him in his suit and combed his thin hair back. I have also splashed him with his favourite cologne (which was a pleasant change from the usual smell of rotting flesh we put up with throughout the house) and sat him at the dinner table. He looks very dashing, if I do say so myself!
He has quietly allowed me to feed him although his head has hung heavily from his shoulders, (the change of routine has made him quite tired), and then I wheeled him over to the window where we both gazed at the perfect-circle moon, which reminded me of that one night, and filled me with a heavy melancholy. I had tried to push the memory out of my mind, for it has been such a rare evening! I have actually enjoyed myself, but the haunting memory would not leave me, and so I abruptly wheeled my husband into our room, lifted his cold body into the bed (for he had become quite tired now) and paced my room, wishing the memory to leave me. I went into the bathroom and splashed the cloudy tap water on my face.
We all do things we are not proud of.
Death is a promise.
It would have happened eventually.
The house told me to do it.
What choice did I have?
I paced around the creaking bathroom, looking into the bath where I spend many hours washing my husband. Blood and scum lined the edge of the bath and I couldn’t stand to look at it anymore. I ran, quickly, as if I could run away from the secret that was consuming me. I ripped the covers off my husband, who was still in his suit, and pulled up his shirt, to see the deep purple bruising on his loose skin, the rigor mortis already in the “softening” stage. A scream escaped my mouth, the truth of what I’ve done smacked me in the face and my hands flew to my face, hurting myself after realising the horrible, awful delusion I’ve been living under. Yes, it is true! On that chilling night where I could hear the wind and its maddening whistle, I felt a change, a change in the air of my house, telling me, forcing me to do it! I took a hammer and waited, waited and waited for my dear old husband to return while I was always left alone with nothing but my house. He had wanted to leave wanted to sell MY house and we weren’t going to let him, it was my only choice! My feet shuffled towards the door, hammer in my hand, oh but I was not scared, and not one part of me shook. The house whispered to me, getting louder and louder, telling me how great life would be without him! Oh the things it told me! I anticipated, waited for the glorious moment where I could bring the hammer SMASHING down on my dear husbands head, oh I took joy in waiting for it! I’m not afraid to admit I took pleasure in the power it brought! Then, the door creaked open and the hammer came smashing down, just as I had imagined it!
Just silence now that rang through the tower.
I looked down at my poor husband, the look of terror and confusion frozen on his face. Guilt spread over me, burning in my cheeks.
“What have I done!?” I cried out, but the house did not reply this time. It offered me no sympathy, no guidance, it just mocked me silently as my dear husband lay in a bloody pool on the floor. That is when I decided to keep him alive, and we were doing so fine! So fine! Yes, it was hard, hard to care for his every need but it was worth it, for the house had tricked me and it no longer provided me any comfort. It mocked me; it allowed bugs, HORRIBLE, AWFUL bugs into my house and crawl on my poor husband, lay eggs in his lungs. And now I lay on his lifeless body, trapped inside a house that keeps me captive and knows my awful secret. Tortures me with the memory of what it made me do!
I do not fear death. I wait for it.