To Die For (Fiction)

Years ago, her habits wouldn’t have bothered her. Her pain would subside after one or two stiff ones, her bones wouldn’t call at her, begging for relief. She wouldn’t bathe in her grief or wallow in it very long, but Patience was weaker at 47 than she was at 23, and the longer she lived, the more it weighed on her conscience.

Placing herself in society never offered much of an answer. Parties ended with young lovers made her feel wanted, needed, cared for even. Until they left her bed leaving her aching for tenderness to return to her. When it would, she couldn’t assume. She wouldn’t dream of throwing herself at a man at a bar or dressing like an easy option.

One party did leave her in want of something else and she forgot why she was there in the first place. A man had whispered something in her ear that night, she thought she had heard it before…

“Life does not give love long enough.”

Before their chatter was through, she asked for his number, and he obliged with a business card. His name was Anthony. There was no last name, no phone number. When she glanced up to inquire, he had left her sight. Looking back down, she saw an address, and got up immediately.

There was another man she had met that night, a bump on her way out the door introduced her to a very peculiar man indeed. He stared at her hard. When she had found his eyes, he said only,

“Careful Alice…”

To which she shoved him out of her way, looking back she noticed blonde hair, and a tear falling slowly down his face. This she ignored. And it was off to wherever Anthony had invited her.

At the gate to a mansion, engraved on the walkway were the words she had heard earlier that night.

“Life does not give love long enough.”

To Patience this was ominous to see at anyone’s door, let alone a man she knew very little of.

Suddenly, a woman could be heard shrieking in the distance, it seemed to have come from the home beyond the gate. But how to enter.

She pushed at it. No give. She looked for a doorbell. There wasn’t one. She looked into the house, window by window, until she saw it. Glaringly.

There he was. On the third floor terrace, looking exhausted and disappointed all at once. Anthony.

He walked out to the gate, and without a word, without any keys or buttons, let her in, led her into the foyer, and stood, as she did, waiting.

A noise at the gate caught Patience’s attention. What she saw was the blonde haired man, this time overtly weeping. He shouted when he saw her.

“Don’t listen to him! He’s a murderer! It’s a trap, girl!”

Anthony softly grabbed her elbow, and began talking at last.

“This man has lost someone dear to him. It is not wise to seek his counsel. But I must know why you are here.”

“The card. The one you gave me. I came to you.”

“Yes, you did. But now that you’re here…”

“I- I wanted to know what the words engraved at your gate mean.”

As they walked, they ascended a grand staircase, where it led only Anthony knew. Shouts still heard from the gate. 

Anthony replied.

“Life does not give love long enough.”

“Yes but surely there is time to love. Surely there is life enough to pursue it, chase it, to have it.”

“I admire your perspective. But what if I told you, that life never had to be enough to have love… My dear lady, what if I told you, that death could bring us a love far greater than life.”

Patience stopped in her steps. 

“Aren’t you assuming that ghosts are real? That Shakespeare wrote Romeo and Juliet because he heard a couple of ghosts making love in his attic? That’s very dark, Mr. Anthony.”

“Yes, but Romeo never had to die.”

“True, if he hadn’t drank the poison, Juliet would never have followed.”

“Here we have my request… I require a ghost to keep me company until I have passed myself. It may be some time, but it will be long enough to fall in love with me. Could you see yourself in love with me?”

She couldn’t believe what she was hearing. It made her uneasy to think of dying and then being a man’s spirit companion. How had he known she felt so frail? Was her weakness so obvious?

“I can tell you must think it over.”

They stepped onto a corridor that formed a tunnel out of windows. The ground carpeted in a deep red shade. Cherry wooden chairs lined the hall but they were few.

As Patience searched herself at the glass, she spotted the gate area, where the man of warnings had vanished.

When she turned, she was being stabbed in the abdomen by a short-sword. She never saw it coming. Silently she fell to the floor and lay at Anthony’s feet.

A gun shot rang through the air, glass began falling around them. And it was Anthony who fell to the ground. Caught off guard by his own kill.

Awake for a few moments, Anthony heard a man crying, footsteps running, and another gunshot before the crying stopped, then all went black.


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