All for Love
I have a few tales to tell you, and the tales are true. If you choose not to hear them, then walk away now. The tales are short, but filled with more than imagination could ever foresee.
I see you have decided to stay. Very well, then. Let me begin.
London – 1356
Mary Annette Scott, twenty-three, was the last one to stay behind at the burial of her husband, Samuel.
Samuel had died of the gout. Doctors did all they could, but disease ran rampant in certain sections of the city. The Black Plague was a terror in itself. It struck both the wealthy and the poor.
Hard times befell many during those years, but let me just settle in on Mary Annette Scott, for a moment.
Her husband had a mill shop of which she had no idea how to run her husband’s business, and even as she knelt on the dewy grass from yet another foggy morning, she wept no tears.
“Why, Samuel,” she cried aloud, “why did you have to die this way! You leave me with very little money, and bills piled on our dinette table a foot high, and county bill collectors come to our door the very day you die!
“Two days now, they hound me. Two days I stall them with lies, for I do not know what to do other than to sell the shop, and move back in with my parents.
“Oh, if only you were alive, and could help me with this mess. I sometimes think you died to get out from under the debts, and perhaps, our marriage. I wouldn’t like to believe that were true.
“I think if you truly loved me, you would have taken better care of yourself and not died, and would work to get us out of debt.
“There, Samuel, I have said my piece. I will go home now, and make plans to return to my parents.
Now, you would think this would be the end of it, but it is only the beginning of the end.
By carriage, it takes her thirty minutes to return home from Beaker’s Cemetery. She walks up four stone steps, unlocks her front door, and immediately goes to the settee and leans back in exhaustion in the living room.
She decides to pour herself a glass of Brandy, when she hears a rustling noise behind her. She spins around, and then drops the glass of Brandy to the carpeted floor. Both hands go up to her mouth as if trying to suppress a scream. It didn’t work.
She screamed nonetheless.
“It is all right, Mar-rey. I am home now. I will take care of things, and you, forever.”
Samuel stood not three feet across from her, his clothes covered in dirt, his hair, a matted mess of dirt, leaves and maggots; his face sunken in, eyes hollow and blank. What were once a cool-blue, were now two black balls leaking the stench of the dead.
His walk was ragged and twisted. He raised one arm out to her and she felt the coldness; the bitter freezing cold of death, as it scorched through her clothing, and seemed to flash-burn her flesh.
Mary passed out.
Samuel grabbed her by her wrist and slowly, lumbering along, carried her up a single flight of steps to their bedroom. It didn’t matter to Samuel that Mary Annette’s head kept banging against each step.
What did matter was that Samuel was home, and he would take care of her, and she would no longer worry about the mounting debts and those awful bill-collectors.
Samuel did what he set out to do.
It was three days before anyone suspected anything, including Mary Annette’s parents. Do not parents visit a distraught daughter at such a time as this?
What they found, was far more disturbing than anyone could imagine.
In the bedroom, both were found, curled against each other on the bed.
Samuel’s body had rotted away further with a much stronger stench of death that would make your breath hitch, your belly churn, and you would turn away and let go whatever meal you had eaten. Even so, they had seen Mary Annette with her eyes open, and a small hole, half an inch up, and to the side of her left eyes. The derringer rested between her and Samuel’s body.
It was assumed she had dug up the body because she couldn’t bare to be away the man she so dearly loved. It was assumed that death by suicide, instead of life, was her choice to be with him.
Everyone was wrong.
No one noticed the disfigured smile on Samuel’s dead face.
He kept his promise.
Now, for another. No, it won’t take long at all. You can still leave if you wish. It is much shorter than the first one.
Berlin – 1788
Hans Gottfried, a soon-to-be-graduate from the university, was a happy, well-nurtured, bright young man.
His parents raised him properly to respect his elders, and never interrupts a conversation. You could almost say “polite” was Hans middle name.
He always attended every formal dance at the university, or those parties his parents would extend to those people with connections, those with both wealth and power. How do you say it? Yes, the in-crowd.
Hans was always in. He could never keep up with all the invitations, but he tried. He really tried.
But, at one of the huge parties his parents provided, he met, and immediately fell in love with a young lady, called: Isle.
Beautiful cat-green eyes, long slinky black hair, a winning smile that would almost blind you, and a melodious laugh that captivated you.
It did, Hans. Captivated him, I mean.
Each breaking morning to every ending night, Hans spent every possible moment with her.
His parents thought it rather odd, but then they found out that Isle, was of pure-blood stock with the D’Culas Family from Bulgaria. Old family. Old money. They left him to pursue, both this woman, and her wealth.
Isle took him back to Bulgaria to meet her family. It was to be a surprise, she told him. A secret. He agreed to the secret. Hans was smitten by her. Drawn in by her. She held his heart in the palm of her hands.
But that wasn’t all.
How quickly things turn when one is in love.
The D’Culas family held an impromptu dinner.
And they dined well that night.
Hans felt the first bite on his neck and screamed. Once.
Three days later, Isle reported to Hans parents, a terrible accident.
Hans went hunting with one of her brother’s, and fell prey to a pack of wolves. Her brother tried desperately to save his life, but there were too many wolves.
Just as there were at dinner.
There wasn’t much of Hans left to properly bury, but bury him they did.
Isle, is out and about even to this day, or so I have been told.
Now, for the last story. And it takes place here in Omaha, and the year of course being 2020.
All this talking has finally led me to this portion of the story. This is really the best part.
Because you are right next to me.
It is where you want to be.
It is the stories I have told, that holds you close to me.
But this tale is the shortest of all.
You see, my body is drawing to an end. Not my life, just this body.
I have feelings like you, and others of this world. I love life. I love to live. I love to end another’s life that will suit my purpose. Ten-thousand years I have lived life.
And for those reasons, you have become that purpose.
No, you cannot escape me.
Remember, in the beginning, I gave you the chance to walk away. Instead, you chose to stay.
So, I wonder as I stare at the shocked look in your eyes, if it was all worth trading your time to listen to facts; than settle for a dream of a happy ending?
I told you, I was told these stories were true. So too, is this last one.
I already know its ending.
Trust me. This won’t take long.
Not long at all.