The Dance of the Dead

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction & Films' started by Eggyman, Mar 12, 2008.

  1. Eggyman The Oval Avenger

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    Ok, here's a little story I whipped up. I'll start it in the next post down. I've had some trouble with the formatting because it jumps from present to past. So for simple reading I've put headings on each passage just to make it clear - the actual manuscript doesn't do that . . . it just has the back story in italics, but I didn't want to do that in here. So let me know what you think, and any ideas about the formatting will be much appreciated :)
     
  2. Eggyman The Oval Avenger

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    The Dance of the Dead



    The Anniversary

    The musky room lay in shades of solitude: the curtains drawn and the house silent. There was a small table lamp lighting the far corner next to the armchair where Tom Mills sat. He was thinking deeply about what was soon to be.

    He rarely moved from the tatty armchair in the evenings. He would just sit there and endure his terrible curse, and then he would wake the next morning, perched in the chair, stiff-backed and sore, in time for work.

    But tonight was special: this time last year his wife, Jane, would be having her last minutes of life before being brutally killed. In five minutes, Tom was expecting a performance of a lifetime from his late wife who was always on time.

    For the past year he had been privy to his wife’s phantom death scenes. From his shabby vigil, he would see it re-enacted in all of its splendid brutality. He was the only thing missing from the scene, but that didn’t stop his wife from putting on a dammed good show. He would see her running through the door and tripping like in some cheesy horror film. He could remember that he followed her, feeling clumsy and arrogant – a combination that’s exclusive to the drunk.


    First Meeting

    He walked through the multicoloured membrane of lights towards the bar. She was the prettiest little thing he had ever seen. He had left his friend Dave by the cigarette machine to watch his progress.

    ‘Can I buy you a drink?’ he shouted over the loud music.

    ‘Maybe if you tell me your name . . .’ she said.

    ‘My name’s Tom. And yours?’

    ‘I’m Jane, and yes, I s’pose you can buy me a drink.’

    ‘Well that was easier than I thought.’ The bar was crowded: plenty of time for conversation.

    ‘I only said you could buy me a drink.’ She raised her eyebrow and smirked. Her hair fell over one shoulder in a silky wave that Tom thought would smell sweet and fresh if not for the looming clouds of cigarette smoke that filled his local pub.

    ‘I’m just wondering why I’ve never seen you before – I come in here all the time.’

    ‘That was a nice variation of an old, well-used line.’ She giggled and Tom noticed how her hand crept to her mouth as she did so.

    ‘It’s “old” and “well-used” for a reason,’ he replied, starting to feel a little more confident since she had shown humour and a cheeky attitude that made him want her more.

    ‘What you having?’

    ‘Whatever’s dearest,’ she said with her eyes sparkling from the disco lights.

    ‘Half a lager it is then!’

    After getting the drinks (it ended up being a pint of lager for him, and a vodka and lemonade for her), Tom weaved his way through the crowd of drinkers, leaving a wake for Jane to follow. He found the only free seats in the place, nicely secluded in a small corner decorated by the bland paintings in the style of Courier and Ives.

    Tom could see Dave over the other side of the pub, smirking and nodding – get in there my son, it seemed to say. It made Tom feel bad that he had deserted his friend. ‘So, who are you out with?’

    ‘Just my friend, Jean. I don’t know where she’s gone or what she’s up to though. I feel a bit bad for leaving her.’ She started to look around, her eyes searching for the friend that Tom had unwittingly guided her away from.

    ‘Tell you what,’ Tom said, ‘why don’t you go and find her – I’m in a similar situation and think that maybe it would work if we set our friends up. What d’you think?

    ‘Sounds like a plan!’ she said. She had one final sip of her drink, drawing Tom’s attention to her full lips, and then went off to find her friend whose name Tom had already forgotten. He watched her walk across the dance floor, weaving in and out of the drunken crowd with a grace that made him feel slightly besotted.

    When she came back, he decided he would ask her to dance.


    The Anniversary

    Over the nights of watching this, Tom began to think of it as a dance of some kind. The movements of his wife – her head thrown back by invisible fists – were getting to the point of being graceful in his outlook. A dance . . . where he led and she followed. He could remember his steps, how every punch justified the movement of his wife’s body, how every bite led to the blood appearing on her phantom neck. But he couldn’t remember what had made him turn so viciously on her. He did know one thing: he was steam-rolling drunk that night, but never before had it made him aggressive . . . and never since.

    She would not be long in delivering. Soon she would be gliding into the room, reciting her greatest moment.


    The Honeymoon

    ‘Storm’s comin’,’ he said, looking at the thunderheads that were marching toward them.

    ‘We better go in then,’ his wife said.

    ‘We’ve got time yet.’

    The sun was still beating a path along the ocean before heading for the other side of the world. The wind had picked up, but it was warm and sweet, smelling of spicy foods and salt from the ocean that lapped at the rocks not four feet from the newlyweds. And apart from the black clouds that threatened rain, the sky was a bright blue, even for the late hour.

    Tom had always imagined his honeymoon, and had always thought that it would be exactly like this: sat by the sea with his beautiful wife, watching the sunset, feeling more content than he ever thought possible. ‘I love you.’

    Jane’s eyes glimmered. ‘I love you, too,’ she replied. Then she took his hand and kissed his cheek so softly that it almost tickled him. ‘Do you think married life will always be so peaceful?’

    Tom laughed. ‘I’m sure there’ll be bumps in the road, but we love each other, so we’ll always hit the smooth ground soon enough.’

    They sat there, the spray from the sea getting thicker as the wind picked up and the sky darkened. They held each other until the sun sank into the blue depths of the ocean, then they kissed again.

    ‘Come on,’ he said, ‘let’s go and have something to eat.’

    ‘Christ! I’m gonna be the size of a whale by the time we get home.’

    Tom looked in her eyes and smiled.

    The thunderheads moved closer.


    The Anniversary

    Tom couldn’t think of a time when she had ever looked so beautiful than on the night of her death – her swelling breasts pushing against her silk nightgown, her smooth legs glistening with her florescent blood, and the look of knowledge on her face when she realised it was the end. Now the wraith that came was a mere shadow of her, her flesh rotten and her eyes dead.

    As each second ticked quickly by in the electric silence, Tom’s tension grew. His fingers dug into the threadbare armrests, making his dry knuckles turn white with strain. The time was getting closer, the air turning thick. The second hand on his watch was eagerly doing laps . . . but his heart was beating faster.

    His eyes scanned the room, taking in the last remnants of peace before the macabre home movie played again. His cigarette had distributed a cloud of smoke across the living room, and he knew that when his wife performed she would not disturb it. The rest of the room looked like it usually did: clean, yet untidy.

    His eyes focused in on the picture of his wife, which was standing on his corner desk. Her smile on the—

    Tick-tick-tick

    —picture was its usual pretty self, but the for some reason Tom imagined that tonight that smile had more meaning.

    Nothing happened. The time had arrived; his wife had not.

    Normally she would be in and performing by now, so eager to act out her end of the blows. It normally happened in a burst as though she had been waiting impatiently for her cue to centre stage. Had he survived all that she could offer? Had he been able to live through the punishment? Had his curse lifted?

    He had been sick with fear deep down in the dark pit of his stomach. He had become familiar, almost, with the nightly shows; the night of her anniversary had loomed in his mind.

    Now it was here . . . seemingly void of any sign of her, his wife.

    He had lasted the year, and now it seemed his punishment had ended. He could live once more, and stop dwelling on the dead. Celebration was in order. It was time to call some old friends.
     
  3. Eggyman The Oval Avenger

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    The Cracks Appear

    ‘Your tea’s burnt. Did you have a good time with your friends?’

    Tom looked at her, trying to read the signs on his wife’s face. Signs that he’d become very familiar with. ‘I only stopped for a couple . . .’ he said, steadying himself for the inevitable argument.

    ‘I’ve seen you drink, remember. You’re four hours late – you’d’ve had more than a “couple”.’

    Here it comes, he thought. ‘Don’t start.’

    ‘I’ll “start” when I damn well want! I cooked your tea, had you a bath running . . . why couldn’t you have rang and let me know?’ Her face and neck had gone a patchy red; Tom knew that she was furious.

    ‘Look, I’ve had a hard day – just leave it, eh?’ He hated the sound of his voice, like he was pleading with her. His temper started to rise.

    ‘You’ve had a hard day?’ Jane laughed in mock amusement, unknowingly infuriating her husband more.

    ‘I can’t put up with this,’ he said as his wife looked at him like he was a naughty child that had just stepped mud through the kitchen.

    ‘Well don’t put up with it then.’ Jane’s voice had gone high and it trembled in harmony with her lips.

    ‘Don’t worry, I’m not going to. I’m gonna go pub instead.’ He turned and started for the door, pulling his coat off the back of the kitchen chair.

    ‘Go on! Go back to the pub and burn our money. Seek solace in your friends, you selfish prick.’

    The door slammed and she watched her husband’s balding head bob past the window as he retreated for his haven. She started to cry. She then proceeded to shout almost as if he was still there.

    ‘Don’t worry, I’ll clean the place while you’re having a good time with your friends . . .’


    The Anniversary

    Tom had tried to make the place more presentable, rearranging misplaced household objects into what he viewed to be their place; other items were simply hidden – brushed under the carpet, so to speak. He had arranged glasses and bottled spirits that he and his wife had bought the previous year, placing them on the small coffee table that was central in the room. Soon his friends would be here, and the drink would go well with the company.

    Knock knock

    Tom smiled at how much you could miss something as trivial as a knock at the door. He hadn’t heard that knock in a year because Dave hadn’t been round since the death of Jane. He hadn’t been wanted, to be truthful.

    He made his way to the front door, stepping into the hall with a sense of nostalgia brought on by merely illuminating the musty room. No visible sign through the glass gave away the identity of his visitor as Tom reached the door. Taking a deep breath, preparing for the old times to come forth, Tom opened the door.

    Two things happened as he opened the door: the lights in the living room went out, and a gust of foul smelling breeze nearly knocked him off his feet. Once adjusted, Tom peered into the open night, looking for who had summoned him.

    Kids, he thought as he started to close the—

    Then, right in front of him, his wife. She was grinning, and baring her teeth at him. She was not some replay this time, but real – rotted almost to the point of liquidation; he could see her breath and the night was still warm. With her feet squelching, she stepped up to him with longing in her eyes.

    He ran through the door into the dark living room, looking over his shoulder to see if his tormentor was in tow. Tom saw her step through the door. He ran towards the kitchen and tripped over the rug. He had only managed a squatting position before she was on him, with her breath putrid in his face: a stinking heat, rancid and potent.

    She seemed furious as she jerked him to his feet, giving him a hard blow with the back of her hand. He could feel the looseness of her jellified flesh as the hand connected. It felt weak, but at the same time surely something so dead should be relatively invulnerable, Tom thought. Another blow arrived as she screeched in her madness to the ceiling. Her crazed eyes then fell upon him, gazed into his soul for a moment. The waters calmed and then the dance continued.


    An Act of Violence

    Tom looked into her shocked eyes. Her cheek was already swelling. Out of everything he had ever done in his life, he wished that he could take that one thing back. Just make it not there. ‘Jane . . .’

    ‘I . . . I can’t believe you hit me. You bastard!’ She spat the words into his face, tears already spilling down her cheeks, over the knuckle marks on her soft skin.

    ‘I didn’t mean to,’ he said, exasperated and confused. Panic was rushing his system, and his head was spinning. The small bathroom where he and his wife stood facing each other now seemed even smaller.

    ‘You bastard! Don’t tell me you didn’t mean to. You’ve been looking for an excuse to argue with me ever since you got home from the pub.’ She gasped for air after this, her breath hitching, the tears falling. ‘I never thought you’d do that. I know we’ve had our bad patched – like everyone – but I never thought you’d hit me. Ever!’

    ‘Darlin’, I’m sorry.’ Desperation was in his every word and movement now. Tom didn’t understand how things had gone so far, so fast. How everything had gone so wrong, so bad. He didn’t know how he could lose control of his actions – lose control of his own Goddamn body. He could remember clearly, now even thinking about doing such a thing when it actually happened.

    Jane started screaming at him, no real sentences, just words. Her crying made it hard for Tom to think. Her crying was loud and sharp, hurting Tom’s ears. She started hitting his chest, clawing at him, and shouting into his vacant face. Her tears seemed to have no end.

    Tom hit her across the other cheek with the back of his hand.


    The Anniversary

    The real horror began, exploding in his face the true evil of this atrocity. Her eyes burned with fire, and the wounds that were still present from last year’s fight quivered in anticipation. She wanted him. Her maniacal fury engulfed Tom: tearing at him, slapping him, punching and biting him.

    He realised once the horror had saturated him that the throws of this fight were much the same as the routine dance of his dead wife, but this time she was leading, and she had learned her moves well. Blow after blow connected, paying homage to there creator.

    Any minute now would be the final blow. The assault was almost over, soon she would be content with the wounds she had inflicted and reach for the killing tool.

    As if triggered by the thought, Jane withdrew her attacks and heaved her shoulders, imitating her husband’s gasps for air. Tom watched wide-eyed as she leaned backwards and grabbed a bottle of whiskey from the table – positioned almost exactly as the bottle of wine Tom had used last year. But before he had time to curse himself, she lunged. The bottle connected and smashed, as he knew it would, sending glass shards into his eyes. The pain was bearable. He knew what was coming.

    The broken bottle tore through his throat, sending a fountain of crimson rain into the air and splashing the walls.

    His phantom wife quivered and vaporised into the stale air, leaving Tom to gurgle and die a painful death all alone just as she had endured the year before.

    It didn’t take long for the darkness to come, but no numbness shielded the pain while he was dying. He felt the agony of his death cling to him as he fell down and down the dark hole . . .



    They danced for eternity, to and fro, among the new couples that came and went in a blur of mundane life, like a traffic photograph shot with a slow shutter. They danced with misty grace while faceless children and pets watched them with rapt caution. They danced the dance of the dead.



    The End
     
  4. tzarinna Mamochka

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    Very good, eggy. :yay:
    Love all the imagery.
    Certainly achieved a creepy feel. :up:
     
  5. Sensi Me

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    Wow what a talent.. That was amazingly well written. Your imagery and style of expression allows the reader to feel the tension and excitement as it swells and swirls around them until the end. Truly a fantastically captivating story. Thank you for sharing your story and talent with us.
     
  6. Lobo Liv is Life

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    Loving it so far Eggy :applaud
     
  7. squeekness The mighty squeek!

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    Wow, eggy! That was great! :D You did a great job with the pacing and the switch back and forth from past to present wasn't hard to follow at all. Very nice!
     
  8. Eggyman The Oval Avenger

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    Thanks you lot! :)
     
  9. hammy American Ham

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    The way your mind works. :D Great story, eggster. :up:
     
  10. Eggyman The Oval Avenger

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    Thank you, missus! I have a strange mind :D
     
  11. Ring Deacon Got 6? We do.

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  12. Eggyman The Oval Avenger

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    :lmao: :o

    Thanks for the heads up :D

    Cheating *********! :cmad: :hehe:
     
  13. Arcturus Registered

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    Excellent story, eggyman.

    :up:
     
  14. Eggyman The Oval Avenger

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    Thank you very much, mate :)
     
  15. jokersminion I got my puddin

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    Thank you for showing this to me Eggy! It reminded me of Edgar Allen Poe's story "The Black Cat" which I love! I love how you describe things, it makes it easy to imagine and bring to life, or in this case death ;)
     
  16. Eggyman The Oval Avenger

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    Spectacular bump there, JM. You have awesome taste :D

    Could do with a lil salt, NOM NOM NOM :)
     
  17. jokersminion I got my puddin

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    :o :hehe:
    Yummy! :oldrazz:
     

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