Fiction: Always His

She closed her eyes and took in a deep breath, a cleansing breath, an ill-fated attempt to relax even though she knew the very minute he arrived she’d be wound up as tightly as a spring.

The sweet smell of gardenias filled the room, preceding his materialization. When Elizabeth finally opened her eyes, he stood before her, as she knew he would. Dressed head to toe in alabaster, the fragrant white flowers in his lapel, he was strikingly handsome with angular cheekbones and cornflower blue eyes. He had no right to be so beautiful, so alluring.

“It’s time,” Louis stated, his soft baritone enfolding her like a thick fog, clouding her mind, weakening her resolve.

“No, not yet,” Elizabeth pleaded. Every year on her birthday for as long as she could remember, Louis came to visit, reminding her of the pact her mother had made, the obligation that only she could fulfill. Her eyes found the glass on the nightstand, and suddenly she felt thirsty.

“You’re 21 today. The debt must be paid,” he emphasized, “It’s not as if you haven’t known your lot in life since the day you were born,” he added.

“But my mother is dead!” Elizabeth shouted. “Surely her death negates any debts she incurred!” Elizabeth tried to sound convincing despite her weak position. He was right, her whole life was predecated on this moment. “This whole first-born child thing is ridiculous. How can you take away her very wish?”

“Elizabeth, my price has always been the same. You know I was magnanimous. Normally I take the child immediately after birth. But because your mother’s dearest wish was for a child, I agreed to let her keep you for 21 years, and I honored that despite her death. You were never really hers. You were always mine. It’s time to come home.”

Louis looked deeply into her eyes, trying to calm her, to draw her to him. She was perfect, with long dark hair cascading down her back and deep brown eyes. He’d known for years that she was the one. He’d convince her soon enough.

She felt his magnitism as she struggled to look away. “No,” Elizabeth cried, moving sideways towards the nightstand, “I’ll never go with you.”  No matter how much she’d loved her mother, she couldn’t pay the price.

The gardenia’s weren’t enough to mask the scent of bitter almonds as Elizabeth downed the draught sitting on the bedside table.

Her eyes fluttered as she met his gaze. “I win,” she whispered.

Louis gave her a cold hard stare.  Victorious, Elizabeth slipped into unconsciousness.

Breaking into a sly smile, he waited for her heart to stop.

The suicides always belonged to him.

_______

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25 Responses to “Fiction: Always His”

  1. Sam MerelNovember 4, 2013 at 5:32 pm #

    Yikes, creepy! I’ve missed your fiction!

    • StacieNovember 4, 2013 at 5:49 pm #

      Thanks Sam, glad to be back!

  2. Jamie@southmainmuseNovember 4, 2013 at 5:49 pm #

    Wow. Dang. That didn’t end like I thought it was going to. Great job.

    • StacieNovember 4, 2013 at 5:51 pm #

      Aw thanks. And that’s good because being the one writing it, I always worry it’s obvious!

  3. GinaNovember 4, 2013 at 9:12 pm #

    Oh, Stacie! Not at all what I was thinking!!!!! Wow!!!

    • StacieNovember 4, 2013 at 9:14 pm #

      Yay!

  4. Ginny MarieNovember 4, 2013 at 9:21 pm #

    A modern day twist on Rumpelstiltskin? I love it! Your fiction is always fun to read.

    • StacieNovember 5, 2013 at 8:44 am #

      Thanks Ginny! I always have fun figuring out what to do with the prompts.

  5. Elin Stebbins WaldalNovember 5, 2013 at 2:51 am #

    Fiction too, nice!

    • StacieNovember 5, 2013 at 8:44 am #

      🙂

  6. Mandy BlakeNovember 5, 2013 at 10:36 am #

    Very gripping, I really enjoyed it.

    • StacieNovember 5, 2013 at 11:02 am #

      Thanks Mandy, nice to hear!

  7. JannaTWritesNovember 5, 2013 at 12:45 pm #

    I didn’t expect that ending! At least she died thinking she won (even though there was really no winning in her situation….)

    • StacieNovember 5, 2013 at 3:32 pm #

      Yes, it was a momentary kindness that he let her think she’d won.

  8. AlisaNovember 5, 2013 at 9:10 pm #

    That was… interesting and unexpected, and very enjoyable to read, pleasant language and story unwrapped in a very unexpected manner! Thanks!

    • StacieNovember 5, 2013 at 9:29 pm #

      No, thank you for the sweet comment!

  9. ChristineNovember 6, 2013 at 1:20 am #

    That last line was a fantastic surprise – it completely changes the perspective on the entire story. You built up the tension really well, and I really liked how you used the senses (especially smell) to draw us in. I think the one thing missing for me was a sense of dread – the way you described Louis, I couldn’t quite figure out why going with him was a fate worse than death, other than the fact of the bargain in the first place.

    • StacieNovember 6, 2013 at 6:24 pm #

      Thanks for the nice comments as well as the constructive criticism. I appreciate it all!

  10. CamgalNovember 6, 2013 at 1:30 pm #

    Creepy indeed. Well done, it was a really good read- “the suicides were his” gave me chills.

    • StacieNovember 6, 2013 at 6:25 pm #

      Thanks Camgal 🙂

  11. BastetNovember 7, 2013 at 2:44 am #

    Wow! that’s one shivvery stoy! Very well written indeed…she really should have known that suicides are “his”!

    • StacieNovember 7, 2013 at 8:46 am #

      Yes, I suppose she should have.

  12. JusticeNovember 7, 2013 at 9:56 am #

    Creepy…but I like it! Nicely done. You can feel the tension and terror.

  13. SuzanneNovember 7, 2013 at 1:02 pm #

    Oh wow, this is so creepy! Love the way you used scent. And that ending – fantastic! So glad you’re writing fiction again!

  14. daily shortsNovember 7, 2013 at 4:08 pm #

    That definitely didn’t end the way I expected. I really enjoyed reading this.

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