Visions of Grandeur Lost

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Literary Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
A tragedy of a sorts about rash actions, love, and what could have been. The point of this story is to illustrate how we destroy the things that we hold to tightly, along with how often as humans we give little thought to the outcome of our actions in an instant of rage.

Submitted: April 15, 2007

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Submitted: April 15, 2007

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The sky was painted with a pallet of sadness. A white film lay over the earth like a blanket; clouds that formed so close and thick that they destroyed all hints of far off blue and happy skies. The clouds filtered the sun and gave no direct light; instead immersed the scene in a dull orange sheen that almost had a physical presence it seemed so thick. This odd light silhouetted the trees and made them appear dark and foreboding as they swayed silently in a nonexistent breeze.

For an instant, a moment, creation as a whole seemed to hold its breath and stop all movement. Stillness, peace, and most of all unnatural silence prevailed. The moment hung on the edge of reality and all time, for an instant, halted to enjoy the eerie beauty of the scene. All at once the silence was broken by two loud shots in quick succession. As if jolted from a deep sleep time snapped back into place and wrapped its omnipotent iron fingers in a death grip on Emily Tinsdale as she lie bleeding on a mansion balcony, two shots to the chest.

She struggled for a moment desperate to defy death and time and keep her life, but it proved too strong. It grasp tighter and tighter and she had no hope of escape. A last defiant rattling breath escaped her dying lips and shouted forth into the heavens. She was no more. As if in response to the final plea of the dying woman the saturated clouds were set free and a torrential rain began.

Daniel Tinsdale stood on the balcony of his vast estate towering over the dead form of his wife. A wellspring of rage burst from his eyes as he stared at her, fed from his tattered and broken heart. "Don't patronize me," he muttered threateningly at the corpse that lay crumpled up before him. "You never loved me, it was all just a lie," he waved the gun he held at her, willing her to rise once more so he could shoot her again. "A fucking lie," he screamed at the top of his lungs.

The earth responded with a thunderous clap above his head. But he remained there looming over her soaked and heaving, while tears mixed with the blood and rain on the ground. "How long had you seen him?" He inquired the dead, "How long had you been fucking him behind my back?" But she offered him no response. All pretense of anger abandoned he outright sobbed, "but I loved you so much," he fell to his knees and stared into the sky. "What didn't I do for you?" His only reply was a great gleaming fork of lightning shooting across the sky.

When he had married her it was like a dream, it was too perfect. He had loved the idea of her so much that he ignored her flaws, ignored that she only wanted him for his money; he had been swept away in the pitiless lie of love. Even as she lay dead she was still as beautiful as he remembered her that night he had met her. Her dress was slightly rumpled and her beautiful blonde hair lay strung out behind her, soaked from the rain as she stared blankly up into it. But it was her face that was truly captivating, even through death she maintained her slightly curious, observant face as if exploring the life after.

Daniel stared transfixed with her, envisioning what might have been. He saw them sitting around talking for hours, content in the presence of the other. He saw their children going off to preschool, high school, then college. He saw them retiring together and his grandchildren; he saw them so clearly it seemed they were with him now skipping about the very balcony on which he wept. But it would never happen, they were all just empty promises. Torturous teasing glances of what he could have had, what they could have had.

He crawled closer to her on hands and knees, gun long ago abandoned and forgotten. He grasped her cold limp hand and whispered to her through the roar of the storm. "We could have had all babe," he paused for a moment searching for the words, "why did we do it?" he stared deep into her glazed unmoving eyes, begging her to respond. "We're too much alike," he said as a half smile of reminisce flashed across his face like the lightning behind him. "Neither of us has any self control."

He vainly tried to jar her memory as if it would bring her back to him. "Remember France honey?" He mustered between silent sobs. "Remember we didn't sleep for three days? Too busy in the clubs and art galleries, we were so tired." He smiled at the memory of how happy they had been then. "Why did I have to kill you?" he said as he grasped both of her hands and scooted closer to her, "why?"

Her eyes for a moment, an instant, seemed to brighten and in death she whispered to him, "so we could finally be together." As soon as it came it fled, almost as if it had never happened, and she lay just as dead as ever.

He laughed at the spectral words, "We shall walk the pit hand in hand, a murderer and adulteress." He let her hands fall to the ground with the last stray tears, "I'm coming babe," he told her as he stood to his feet.

The rain seemed to cease as he slowly retrieved the gun. He smiled as he cocked the hammer, and as if by its own accord Daniel found the barrel at his temple, the cold steel snug against his skull promising to reunite him with his love. He felt the wind stop with the rain, and a heavy blanket of silence fell over the whole place, and for a second time in that day time stood still while reality hovered on the edge of existence. It was broken by a single piercing shot that rang through the whole earth, that day time and death claimed two.


© Copyright 2018 Sanderland Lewis4. All rights reserved.

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