* This one took a while to write. Please don’t be put of by the length – it has a very fast rhythm and reads much quicker than it appears to. * Eternal. The widower sat in silent dismay and questioned how he would face the new day. He sat by a candle and watched its bright flame, and knew then that life was brimming with pain. As sure as the candle was bound to burn out, his own thoughts would fill up with visions of doubt. He questioned the presence of some higher power, sitting there thinking in the nocturnal hour. All of a sudden, a plot is conceived: A vile plan of action by the Bereaved. “But, should I dare to act on this notion… Have ethics a place in themes of devotion?” A mind in the throws of anguish cares little, especially when it is damaged and brittle. So, off he went and saddled his horse to ride through the night and let fate take its course. He rode past plantations of cotton so white: As pale as the moon that shone bright in the night. The landscape then swiftly had started to change, leaving the rider with feelings quite strange. He’d entered the swamps outside New Orleans: a place that could act as a nightmare or dream. Its beauty hid secrets behind every corner- secrets that might spell the end for the Mourner. Onward he trudged through the perilous mire, his companion the hymns of a songbird’s sad choir. Up in the distance a light he did see: A vague luminescence that filled him with glee. It turned out to be what he was looking for. His journey had ended in front of that door. He mounted the steps of the derelict shack, and knew in his heart there was no turning back. Before he could pluck up the courage to knock the door opened,leaving the rider quite shocked. He was beckoned in by a hoarse, whispered voice. The hesitant horseman was left with no choice. Inside he found a woman was seated next to a fire that gradually heated the room and its contents of bottles and jars, and various beasts that were caged behind bars. “Why have you come here?” the old hag inquired. The man told her then what it is he desired: “I’ve heard much about you and your reputation. The likes of which filled me with great trepidation. Still, here I am to ask for your favour. A task that, for you, is not something major. My love has passed on, and I’d be delighted if through your gifts we’d be reunited.” The witch mulled over this bizarre request. Our man then went on from where he had left: “Money’s no object; I’ll pay any price. Since she has died, my life’s filled with strife! I’m wasting away since it has occurred. I WOULD RATHER DIE THAN LIVE WITHOUT HER!” For noly a second the witch seemed to falter, and then she uncovered an impressive alter. Her shrine was adorned with bones of small creatures, as well as some other unusual features. Over its ridges blood spilled and dried. Who knew how many young victims had died? Off of a shelf she took a small vial, the contents of which resembled foul bile. She urged him to drink a bit of the brew. The young man retorted: “Well, what does it do?” “You’ll go into spirit and call up her soul, then bring her back here and I’ll make her whole. Now, cease all these questions and do as you're told, or else your dear lover you’ll never behold!” The man took the vessel and drank of its draft, and instantly felt the effects of her craft. He became very weary, his limbs turned to lead. The room started spinning, and so did his head. While in his stupor, the woman revealed a knife from her robe that she had kept concealed. Thunderous clouds had started to gather, when into his heart she thrust her sharp dagger! With a deafening crash the lightning drowned out the magical spell she had started to shout! She severed his neck with one final swipe, after which silence returned to the night. Both of them lay there in one crumpled pile. She started to get up, which took her a while. Standing above with his life-force imbued, her youth and her beauty had been renewed. Her tresses resembled thick ebony twine. Her lips had the colour of fine, blood red wine. Gone were the remnants of old, wrinkled breasts. They’d been replaced by a voluptuous chest. Casually kicking aside his wrecked head the beautiful temptress looked down, and she said: “Though I have powers that surpass your dreams, to bring back the dead is far beyond my means. Your wish has been granted, though not in the way that you’d have wanted…but, who's to say? You’ve both been united in the afterlife, safe from this world with its pain and strife. Had I not done this you’d go on to suffer with undying need for the hand of your lover. Death was my kind gift that I had to give… Life is so wasted on those who won’t live.”
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