Fragrance

Fragrance

He never believed her. Never in his wildest dreams did he think it was possible. Although she had told him many times she would do it. As he sat up in bed, the beads of perspiration were slowly trickling down his forehead. He pulled at his pajamas which were damp and sticky. Afraid to switch on the light, for fear of what he might see.
There it was again, the unmistakable scent of her favourite perfume. The third time this week. He cursed himself for the alcohol he had indulged himself with the previous evening, and the evening before that, and so many other evenings. In the darkness he called out to the Lord to protect him, and began to mumble what he could remember of the Lord’s prayer, which he repeated a further four times, at speed. He always asked of the Lord, but never gave to the Lord. He gripped the white bedsheets tightly, perspiration running down his forehead. He nudged the woman who lay beside him, but to no avail.  Her overindulengence in a variety of cocktails the previous evening, ensured she would be sleeping for hours. He glanced at her disheveled hair, her fading make up revealing a face ravaged by many years of heavy alcohol use. The black mascara fading from round her eyes, revealing a less than pretty face. At least not as attractive now, as it seemed last evening in the glamorous settings of the 5 star hotel, they had visited, with the other well to do people, they called friends.

While she was alive, she watched him over many years squander the family savings in a self indulgent lifestyle of illicit extra marital affairs. A hedonistic lifestyle of alcohol, the finest of food, expensive holidays, all without her. An uncaring attitude towards his family, and responsibilities he had signed up for when he had married her, and brought their children into the world. As they grew further apart, but because of religion and for appearances sake, they presented to the world, the picture of the happily married couple, and their lovely children. A couple whose life was wonderful, and harmonious. It was anything but.

‘When I die, I will come back to haunt you, You will never have any peace’.

Her voice reverberating around the dull, grey kitchen. Badly in need of updating. But as he was the breadwinner, he had steadfastly refused to spend any of his funds on anything but self indulgent activities and events.
He ignored her, while concentrating on the hearty breakfast he had fixed himself, hoping it would help with the severe hangover he was suffering from.

‘Mark my words ,’ she continued.

He laughed and scoffed at her words. Perhaps in hindsight, not the wisest choice of action. The day passed quickly, as he feared. His lady companion from the previous evening, arose from the bed come mid afternoon, and decided to return to her own home. The drunken fitful sleep, not helping her appearance , or mood in any way, whatsoever. Even though he had tired of her, and was ready to move on from her. Out of fear and insecurity, of what the night would bring, he begged her to stay. Even offering another alcohol fueled day at his expense. She briefly considered his offer. But decided against it.

‘Don’t bother coming back, then’, he shouted at her as she slammed the front door on the way out.

Another relationship, ready for the bin. Unable to settle as the evening wore on, he sat in front of the television, in the darkened room. Looking but not really seeing the flickering pictures. He poured himself a second glass of the red liquid. Holding the glass tightly. It’s strength burning his throat on it’s passage to his brain. He welcomed the effect the alcohol was beginning to have on his mind, his courage and bravado. If ever there was an elixir of life, this was it.
A miracle invention, he mumbled to himself. Contemplating had he being President he would most certainly have awarded these genius, as that’s how him viewed them, at the very least, The Congressional Medal of Honor. How he would have awarded to them the highest scientific accolades the country could offer. Such was his admiration for such a marvellous invention.
The evening passed quickly. Afraid to go to the bedroom alone, he sat in front of the television. Eventually the effects of tiredness, and a further two glasses of the red liquid, forced sleep upon him. Without him being aware of it, he was asleep.
In the dream, she stood before him, laughing. Just as he remembered her, when she was alive. How he hated her effervescent, her vibrant spirit. His attempts to destroy her lively spirit, a failure. How she would continually bounce back, was a complete, and very irritating mystery to him.

‘I told you I’d come back to haunt you’, she laughed.

With alcohol induced bravery and courage, he responded.

‘You’re only a dream, that’s all you are. When I wake up, you will be gone’.

Again she laughed.

The dream finished and he continued to a more peaceful sleep. He was awoken by his body calling to him to use the bathroom. He opened his eyes slowly, reacquainting himself with the room. In the semi darkness, her white shimmering figure, surrounded by a blue haze, hovered above the fireplace. Her vibrant laughter filling the room. He screamed, just like a woman. The more he screamed, the more she laughed. He ran from the room, perspiration dripping from his forehead. His heart beating as fast as it had ever being, if not more so. His legs shaking with fear. He called out to the Lord Jesus to protect him. He ran to the kitchen, now updated of course, and locked the door. He turned from the door breathing heavily and quickly. Again her white shimmering figure stood before him, hovering above the floor, and laughing. He ran for the door, unlocked it and ran upstairs to the spare bedroom. Entered, and locked and bolted the door behind him. Again breathing very heavily and quickly. The chemical concoction in his stomach, wild and on fire. He recognised her laughter, and her fragrance. He did not need to look. He unbolted the door at speed, and ran from the room.
Wide eyed he fled down the stairs taking steps two at a time. Her laughter and fragrance followed him. It was the last four steps that did it. The resounding thump, as his head hit the final step. The slowly seeping blood from his ear. His inability to feel his legs. His breathing becoming slow, and labored. His senses on their final journey. His hearing becoming very faint. But enough to hear her laughter and breath in the scent of her fragrance just one last time.

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The Message.

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Photo by Milos Tonchevski on Unsplash

It was the loneliness that drove her to join them. She never was one for joining groups, but had tired of being alone, always on her own. Since they had split. It was hard. When he was by her side, it was the two of them versus the world. But not now.
The world seemed a colder place, a less friendly place, and harder to deal with, when alone. No one to share with, no one to offer comfort, when life got hard, as it does for everyone. They offered comfort, companionship and a sense of belonging. She was told and understood there would be tests and initiation ceremonies, if she wanted to become one of them. But she was not expecting this. Silly teenage dares, she would welcome. Childish pranks, yes. Teasing would be boyfriends, okay. But these tests were becoming more and more bizarre and serious.

She had been driving for hours as instructed, and eventually pulled of the road to a secluded area, where she could at last open the tome and read the latest message in absolute privacy. She switched off the car engine. In the warm late evening sunshine, with only the sounds of the departing birds in the distance,she faced east, as per the ritual,and picked up a small twig. Drew a pentagram in the dry earth. She lit two black candles and placed them either side of the pentagram, and stood back. Reciting the mantra she had learned she let her voice vibrate from the depths of her body, through her throat and outward into the universe, sounding like some possessed evil spirit. She asked the Goddess to come into her life and bestow her wisdom and knowledge. She asked Lucifer, the most evil of all to come into her life and help her carry out what she was instructed to do.
Again she read the instructions, more carefully this time. She did not wish to dwell too deeply on the possible consequences. Best just do it, and let what will be, will be, she decided. Sitting in front of the pentagram she began to chant softly at first, feeling quiet inhibited. But she forced herself to chant the latin words written in the message louder and louder, and she stared at the pentagram and at the burning black candles, willing them to conjure up an image, a sense of a presence, a change in the atmosphere, a coldness perhaps. Anything to convince her, the ritual, the summoning of the evil spirits was working. But nothing. But she was told, at times during such rituals she may not feel or sense anything out of the ordinary. But to have faith that once these spirits were called, they were come to do her bidding. With the ritual complete, she put away the candles, and pushed some dry earth over the image of the pentagram.
She began her journey, guessing it would take her approx two hours to get their. Plenty of time to think, to back out, and change her mind. But then she thought of the consequences. Of the possibility of being expelled from the group, and back into an empty lonely lifestyle. The prospect of such did not appeal. Who wants to be all alone during the summer months when everyone is out and about enjoying themselves. Add to that the less than pleasant possibility of being haunted by the evil spirits she knew the group could send into her life, if they so desired.
Her phone jangled with an incoming message. She reached down, having an idea who it was from, and flipped on the screen. He just stood there staring, why did he not move. The black eyes glaring at her,unblinking. The head slightly bent stubbornly. The horns sharpened like spears. She looked up from the phone to the angry, contorted face in front of the car, and screamed. Her heart beating very fast. The butterflies in her stomach flying like crazy. Her legs began to shake uncontrollably , as the adrenaline surged through her body. She hit the brakes as hard as she could, but he just stood there, refusing to move. Why would he not move. His hooves digging at the earth in defiance. She struggled with the steering wheel, and managed to turn away, but too late. The horns broke through her side window. The sound of smashing glass. The impact throwing her across the front seats.

In the silence,she tasted the blood running from her mouth, and felt the cold hardness of the gear stick protruding slightly through her ribs. Looking through the windscreen, she watched a black raven standing on the car bonnet watching her. After a few moments, satisfied. The black raven flew into the night sky, and away……

Written in response to a photo prompt seen her ;  (http://creativewriting.ie/writing-prompts/