The Revenant

        A look of sadness and grief on his face, Arthur Williams left the funeral early. Everyone saw him go, and nobody had to question why he wouldn’t want to attend a reception for his wife’s funeral. He would feel like they were celebrating her death, and he didn’t want that. So, his shoulders slumped, and his feet as heavy as his mood, he ordered a carriage to return to his empty home on the estate.

          He entered the carriage, and immediately the tears ceased. He smiled, proud of himself. Crying on command was a difficult skill to master, and he prided himself on this very mastery. It was an unimaginably useful talent after all.

 

   Emily Williams was curled in her chair, her legs tucked into her body as she wept. “Do you expect me to feel sorry for a worthless piece of rubbish such as yourself?!” Arthur spat at his wife. “I only married you for the money and estate! You know that, don’t you?!”

      “Stop! Please!” Emily cried desperately, her hands trembling as she wiped tears from her face.

     “Why should I stop for you! Since when have you done anything to earn that respect?” Before a response could exit her lips, he struck her, and Emily knew to silence herself. To her relief, Arthur left after that.

        “Are you quite well?” asked Adelaide, the head of the servant staff, although she knew full well the answer to that question.

    “Yes, I’m fine.” Emily responded sheepishly, gazing up at Adelaide’s tall, slender physique as Emily remained, cowering in the chair.

         “Would you fancy some tea? You look quite thirsty.” Adelaide asked, smiling reassuringly.

  “That would be lovely; thank you Adelaide.” Emily responded, smiling gratefully.

      As the carriage drove through the estate gates and through the estate, Arthur looked out at 
the pristine land and the elegant manor, all of which were now his and his alone. He grinned to himself, but quickly smothered it, and assumed a dreary demeanor as the carriage stopped  before his manor and he walked to the door, which a butler opened promptly for him. He thanked the butler solemnly and asked if he could bring some wine up to his bedchamber, and the butler complied. As Arthur went to his bedchamber and looked out the window, he didn’t notice Adelaide eyeing him suspiciously from the garden.

 

        “Please, stop this! I’ll do anything for you, just stop!” Emily screamed, but Arthur showed no mercy.

     “If you want me to stop, then respect your man!” Arthur retorted as his hand whizzed through the air to hit her. Something snapped in Emily just then though, and her hand shot out and grabbed Arthur’s wrist before Arthur could land the blow.

          “I know what you really mean.” Emily said, her voice soft and face almost tranquil. “You mean that you’ll stop if I start kissing your feet and submitting to you, but I know better now. I’ve kissed your feet, and you’ve kicked me back, I’ve submitted, and you haven’t returned any affection.”. Her voice rose just the tiniest bit, and her anger showed through as she twisted back Arthur’s hand, “I hate you, Arthur.” she said as she pounced on Arthur, her control of herself finally gone. She locked her hands around his neck and squeezed with a strength she didn’t know she had, but, unfortunately for her, the servants came in just in time to see her attacking her husband, and the husband pulling out a revolver, firing twice in defense of himself.

 

      What was that? Arthur thought he saw something pass by his chamber door. He looked, and turned back around when he saw nothing outside. Then he realized the door was open. He bit his lip for a second, and then got up from his chair and shut the door, muttering under his breath about how he thought he closed it. He had helped himself to a bit more wine than he should’ve, so it was most likely that he had just forgotten.

 

       Nobody even considered that Arthur might’ve been in the wrong. He had a knack for  dealing with people after all, and everybody who had seen it had seen the event had seen Emily attacking. So, this was remembered as the tragic day Arthur’s beloved bride had gone mad, and Arthur had been the kind soul who had put her out of her suffering and saved himself in process.

   No one except Arthur had heard the the last words that had escaped Emily’s lips before she had gone limp. “This isn’t over, I swear that you will pay for what you’ve done.”.

 

    There was a creak from behind Arthur, and he whirled around. The door had opened once again. There was no way! He stumbled over to the door and poked his head out to the hallway, there was nobody there that he could see. Then, he noticed just the tiniest bit of motion from the bottom of the stairs. He almost pursued, but then he came to his senses. “It’s only Adelaide,” he said to himself. He sighed, almost laughing, in relief before heading back and sitting down.

         Only a few minutes passed before he heard something. It was piano music. He tried to ignore it, but while he was reading, it was hard to focus. Eventually he yelled down “Could you kindly stop that music! I’m attempting to read at the moment!”. No answer came. He sighed and stomped down the stairs, “Adelaide, stop playing that! Did you even polish that silverware like you were told!”. A confused butler walked over to Arthur.

     “What are you so angry about sir?”

   “Do you hear that?!” Arthur yelled, little flecks of spittle escaping his mouth in his anger “Adelaide’s playing that wretched piano even despite my commands for her to stop!”

       “I don’t hear anything,” the butler said as he stepped back, flustered, “and you do know Adelaide left on holiday this evening, don’t you?”

          Arthur’s blood ran cold, “You mean that she isn’t…” he was at a loss for more words, and immediately dashed into the room in which that old piano lay. Just before he opened the door, the music stopped, and there was the slight creak of another door opening. He threw open the door to see something white moving through the next open door. He dashed over, and froze when he saw her.

    The figure that stood before him was tall and slender. Its head was veiled, and it was dressed in the most beautiful wedding gown. As calm as the figure was, he felt the sheer hatred and malevolence of it as it turned towards him and started to walk towards him. Its gait was patient, leisurely, almost lazy, but it filled him with terror. He ran for the front door, but the figure suddenly dashed and blocked the exit.

         Arthur ran, without thinking, up the stairs, and immediately realized his mistake. The figure blocked his way down as it walked up the staircase. He ran to his chamber and locked the door. He heard the steps of the figure as it came to the door, and heard a slight jingling. Suddenly, the door, now somehow unlocked, opened. Arthur pleaded, begged for mercy from the woman in the white gown, but it didn’t relent, it continued its inexorable approach. It was when the figure’s hand moved to the veil that Arthur’s composure was completely lost. He did not want to see the visage of his returned bride, and so he turned and ran in hopes he would find some way to escape.

     It was only as he felt the pain of the windowsill against his legs that he realized what he had done. As he dropped to his demise, the figure lifted her veil, looked out the window, and grinned in satisfaction.

2 thoughts on “The Revenant

  1. My apologies to everybody for my lack of recent activity. Tis ironic that the last weeks of school would be the most stressful and busy time of the school year. You’d think things would be winding down, but nope. That is why I will be uploading a new entry in this blog every day this week.

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