Abridged (short story)

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The gasps of which would flutter from her mouth would be no more, as the breath itself had seized. In my despair at her departure, I had to wonder if the songs of torment would also release there beheld corruptions from such a once lovely and regal w...

The gasps of which would flutter from her mouth would be no more, as the breath itself had seized. In my despair at her departure, I had to wonder if the songs of torment would also release there beheld corruptions from such a once lovely and regal woman. My eyes moved away from her bloodied body upon the floor and the chaos of décor that lay around her, and they set there vision upon the table where three-hundred pages of manuscript sat. The pages of her last write in life now sat in silence, almost glaring at me from the small round, dark wooden, antique table. I then moved over to the large velvet drapes and pulled them open to allow for some morning light to expose the room. What had happened here in the night I will probably never know, but, that stack of pages may hold the key to my dear friends misfortune and demise.
As I moved towards the table that held firmly the manuscript, a faint smell of sulfur filled my nostrils. I glanced about briefly but all was still quite calm, there was an eerie presence to it all that was making me quite uncomfortable. I almost had the impression that I was no longer in the realm with which I belong; among the living. Quickly my head turned to the manuscript as I realized the scent that was filling the room was coming from that area, and then I noticed a small puff of smoke arise from the pages.
“No!” I yelled out as I leaped to the table and reached for the final writings of my dear colleague who now lay crippled and broken at my feet. The manuscript burned my hands immediately and I let out a painful cry as the pages crumbled between my fingers, turning to ash upon the table. Wincing I knelt down near my friend and looked at her auburn hair that was tattered and knotted with blood,
“I will never know what tormented you my dear one, I will never understand. This will forever be a curse upon my life; those pages..”
I stopped myself from continuing and sat there with my hands resting upon my knees, they were a bright red from the burn.

​After some time I arose slowly and made my way down the narrow flight of stairs and out into the morning air, I would reach the constable and explain the horrific scene. My explanation was that of a rambling madman, but after some days there was no other evidence to go on and I would be released. Released to explore the itch that now moved over my very existence, the wonder of that life taken, and the words that were now burned into me.

​Over the months that pass my life would take on some kind of normality, and I would feign my way through friendships and daily life. Between all of that I would sit for long hours at my typewriter waiting, hoping, almost pleading for the itch to come forth and reveal itself.

Then one morning as I was finishing my tea I noticed a strange glint from the typewriter. I moved to it with haste and sat before it with bated breath, and with fluid movements my fingers began to dance over the keys. One sentence emerged from it and lay plain upon the page; It read simply: ‘The bitter sweet of a wanton toil.”

 

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