As I stood there watching them, horror etched onto my face and silence stitched across my tongue, I knew that this was no dream. I do not know how I knew this spectacle unfolding before me was no mere fantasy, more of a vision given for no reason known to me except as willful torture. Each and every instance played forth in my mind with startling clarity. At any moment, I felt as if I could pause time itself and examine the smallest of details. This nightmare played through as I stared, fearing my sanity had slipped loose, and still to this day haunts my sleep like a poison slowly killing all thoughts but of itself in my unconscious mind.
There was nothing remarkable about the room at all. It was comfortable and lived in, this much was obvious. The table in the center of the room was obviously old and worn, as was the yellowed cloth covering it that could have once, I assume, been a pristine white. Two dinner services had been set at the table and the smell of garlic and tomatoes filled the air. Warmth radiated from the stove and something, probably a rich sauce, bubbled contentedly above a small orange flame. The dishes on the table were plain and appeared to be made from lacquered wood and the silverware was barely that, a black film tainting the metal. If one were to take a guess, looking around the smallish kitchen, they would guess that someone was putting out the finest to entice or woo a prospective suitor. Even judging the less than spectacular nature of the finery about, there was something nicely pleasant about the ambience of the room.
But I knew it was a mirage, a pleasant veneer over the sinister oil that permeated all.
She sat at the table oblivious. Her long silken hair glistened in the waning sunlight that drifted through the threadbare curtains. She was beautiful in a classic, understated, way. I wanted to scream at her to move or at least turn around and see what was about to happen to her. I think in rapid waves, I love her and hate her in nearly the same fetid breath. Her face brightened and my mind was reminded of cattle happily walking into the slaughterhouse, unaware that a man with a large hammer stood somewhere along the uneven hall. When she grinned slightly at the man in the doorway, I can see her love for him in her perfect blue eyes. I hate her for her love. She deserves what she is about to receive.
He was tall and ruggedly handsome. His somber black suit accented his features. His choice of shirt and tie only bring out the sparkling ice in his blue eyes. He doesn’t smile at her or even seem to acknowledge her existence. He didn’t deserve her. She was an angel and he was the devil incarnate. He was the antithesis of her in every way. If they were to touch there is no reason not to believe that they would both simply cease to be. She was matter and he was anti-matter flying dangerously close to her orbit and threatening all of existence. She was the moth to his flame and the end result was assuredly an ending of each.
I watched silently as he reached into the drawer by the sink and removed something that glinted in the flickering lamplight. She sat stone solid as he walked towards her. She smiled softly to herself and I heard her humming some nonsensical tune under her breath. His hand rose and I saw what he held. It looked like a corkscrew but the screw seemed oddly hollow. There was a little thumbscrew at the base of it, after the screw but before the end. It rose slowly and I heard myself scream. He rammed it into the back of her head with a wet thud, yet she sat there patiently as if ignorant of the surely blinding pain. He smiled and rested his hand on her shoulder reassuringly. This was insanity. He grabbed a goblet off of a shelf and placed it under the device now sticking out from the base of her skull in the hollow right above her elegant neck now stained with a dribble of bright red. He turned the thumbscrew and an amber fluid, the color of the solstice sun, streamed out into the goblet. Her vacant smile seemed to deepen and I felt hot tears pouring down my cheeks. He raised the goblet to his nose and swirled it around inhaling deeply of the bouquet, then drained the goblet in one huge gulp as the room faded to black around me. I fought against the encroaching darkness, hoarse cries escaped my throat in tips and tears.
I don’t know if I screamed for her or for a sip of that golden ambrosia. It is all I can think about. My only desire. I cannot sleep. Cannot find peace. I ordered a spigot and placed it reverently in the drawer in the kitchen. I have a date coming. Sauce bubbles on the stove. And Lord help me, I have a new goblet in the cabinet. I want to cancel the date. I know I won’t. God above knows I will not. I cannot. One taste, of sunshine and life.