Now that I’ve had a dagger thrust keenly into my belly, I can absolutely say it’s a fucking awful sensation—the kind of pain so brutal, it hasn’t allowed me to cry out. Maybe I won’t have the chance.
I sensed the steel was hot with hatred; my skin prickled upon the piercing. And all of my guts began to itch and burn the deeper the blade was plunged; the barbed sort of burning keeps me hushed.
I didn’t scream or start when I caught him walking up this morning; I was kneeling in my flower garden, dazed by the thrilling and sour sight of him. I only gasped, and he was on me before I could stand, though he didn’t stick me right away.
He said—no, he mocked, “I can never unknow you.” His skin smelled of posh French cologne, and his breath of Irish whiskey.
He forced me onto my feet by the nape of my neck; the neck he loved once—or maybe still does love? I asked him why he couldn’t have stayed by his darling seaside to brood beneath those thick grey skies. He stuck me then, and I dropped my trowel. The hilt press against me. I looked up into his scorpion eyes, and thought, he’s going to totally eviscerate me now. But he didn’t. That’s how much he hates me. I’ve been bleeding to death in my own motherfucking backyard ever since.
Above me the brainless silver maples blithely wave their fine branches; the underside of uncountable leaves twinkle, stunning against the backdrop of sky blue. The clouds are bleached white, and the summer sun is looking directly upon us. My killer is lying beside me, running his red tacky fingers through my hair; if not for my life leaking out of me, staining my clothes and the grass all around me, I would think it a rather romantic scene.
I don’t want to see any more of the world I’m about to leave behind; I must close my eyes.
I conceive it is night. I can see him, drunk with grief and stinking of his Irish whiskey, standing on a stony coast and shaking his fist at silvery swells. In his melodramatic style, he strikes the empty bottle against the rocks, and with a crude edge of green tinted glass he spills his blood. His life rushes out of him in crimson bursts, staining his clothes, his flesh, and the earth beneath him. He doesn’t panic—clutch at his neck. He simply moans a guttural gurgle, staggers, then falls dead right there on the beach. In the moonlight, his alabaster face is beautiful, streaked with radiant red.
I can’t go out mutely. “I hate you.” A scratch of a whisper, but I know he heard.
“And I, you.” He has his hands wrapped up in my matted and sticky hair, and he’s weeping all over my face.
Or maybe those are my own tears rolling hotly down my cheeks, my neck.
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Ligeia, under dimmed lights/Oloriel
A Moment of Dying/Kindra Austin