Categories > Original > Drama1 Reviews
Blurb. Massive emo/angst/depressed. A gentleman is with a woman he loves as she dies. Reviews welcome. Second part/ending may be later removed.
She was huddled deep within the blankets of the bed, curled about herself as she hacked and coughed without end into a small kerchief. No one would disturb her. The room would be stripped and cleaned when she died, as no one thought she would get better. The doctor had done little for her, and those of the brothel less. Now, knowing the looks the mistress would give to her, she almost feared to touch the food that was brought. She was no longer useful, why keep her about?
Maybe it would be best if she did die.
A knock to the door, and she went into a new fit of coughs. There was no rest for her; lungs and body aching with the strength of her movements. She did not have the strength, nor energy, nor even curiosity now to look and see who would be entering, as it made no difference who the mortician would be.
A cool hand was placed upon her forehead, drawing back her hair. "Mary?" the voice spoke softly, worried, as she knew instinctively who it would be. Her eyes opened as she tried to breath. Blue eyes looked back at her.
"Go away!" she managed to cough out, then nearly choked from the effort. He would get sick as well. That was why no one else stayed with her. That was why they dressed like nuns at the hospital when they entered even just to the door.
A worse cough tore past her throat, as red dyed the whiteness within her hand. Tightly fingers wrapped about the cloth and dug it out of view. She would not let him see. Let him simply go away.
But the gentleman would not be so easily shunned aside. Her body was so weak now, and unable to fight off the smallest touch. Gently, fingers were pried apart, the grime mark of her health before them both.
He sighed, unable to ignore the evidence. Last week they had only said that she was sick. They had not said she was near dead. Now was the time when sickness of this sort found so many victims, it was difficult to turn a blind eye to any, but especially this one. He looked at her again with sympathy, the pain clear within his eyes. What could he do to cure her? He was not a miracle man, and never had been a healer.
But there was comfort that he could give, and did his best to give it now. The lightest tap of a kiss on her forehead, and he straighten from his place. Shoes were left at the foot of the bed and sheets pulled back. Uncaring of wrinkles or how the clothes may come to grief, the tall man of blonde hair, blue eyes and a torment to the short existence of Mary, crawled into the bed. Slowly he wrapped an arm about her, pulling the two together, and held her back safely to his chest.
"Go," she tried again, praying for once he would listen.
"Never." Never had it been so hard. Never had he found a woman so hard to simply forget. Yet in his arms he now held her, and wished for the power to do something that might ease the pain of them both.
"Then a curse on you," she attempted, with no no real feeling behind the words. The sniffle that followed, the attempt at breath, only brought on more of hacking coughs. She strained against his holding arm, trying to pull away, but there was no use for it. With no strength, there was only will, and even that was shattering.
He waited for the pause that he knew would come, and again brushed back her hair. He kissed the fevered skin above her nose, sighing as he eased away from her. "What curse would that be?" he questioned, hoping to distract if only for a moment.
"That, for..." she swallowed, wincing at the sensation. "... years, you'll never touch me." It seemed a pitiful thing, even from her own lips, but there was no strength to make it for eternity, of even for a lifetime. Soon she would be dead; how further from his touch could she be?
But he found humor and comfort in the threat, and smiled. "Years, eh? I'll be a lonely man then."
An attempt at scowling was made, as he teased her even to death. "You'll want me, but no one will have me. And..." she stopped, a racking drawing of air. The thought was lost for a time. "I'll want someone else, and you'll have to watch." That seemed the most spiteful thing; to watch the one you loved with another person. She'd seen the struggles of different girls, falling despite themselves for the charms of one they could not have. This was a place of work, not emotion, but no one could keep such things in check.
"Will I ever have a chance?" He drew a finger over her hand, feeling the bones within. So much weight she'd lost! A mere wraith of what she was before.
"Does the sky fall?" she taunted.
"Yes," he answered with out hesitation, a new firmness to his words. But the shift of her body as she tried to look at him, and the scowl was gone from his features, faster than it arrived. Now was not the time for such dark and depressing tales; now was the time for peace.
Her eyes were searching his, intelligence dancing in the wildness. But there was no answer to be found, no explanation to be offered.
"When?" she asked him, fighting off a cough without success. They would wipe her clean. Soon, the cough would be the only sound she could make. her feet shot out from her, only to be brought tightly back in. "When!" she demanded, holding out for that one single answer.
He watched her as she moved in pain, ignoring the bruises he'd earn for his efforts, simply to stay with her as long as they might have. Be it minutes, be it days, inwardly he vowed he would not leave her first.
The brown fierce eyes gazed upon him, holding out for that one detail. If it was an iron will that had kept her a virgin for so many years, it was that same will that would gain her the key to riddle.
"When people loose faith in gods," he whispered.
Mary nodded. That she could believe. Her eye lids slide down so that the lashes touched her checks, as she whispered back to him; "Hold me."
There was no need for words, as the request was a simple one. Carefully as one would touch a butterfly, he moved her closer to him. Across the broadness of his chest she lay, her breath rattling past her lips. He knew that soon she would let go, but not yet. Now she would simply try to sleep.
Without any lead in, nor cue from the resting girl, the gentleman began to speak. He told of another time, and another place, and of those who lived within it. His voice was a soft and steady rumble, a relaxing vibration of sound. He told of a king, mighty and just, and a queen who was jealous but beautiful. There were daughters and sons, each with their own skills and temperaments, games and pets, and quarrels that were made. Without rush he spoke of them, and the things that they had done. The daughter who had made a tree, and the brother who tried to drown it; the son who directed the choirs of the court, and the one who made mischief among the peasants. There was the love stories and tragedy, the war and the rewards. Everything that was in the classic stories, he wove with his breath.
Even as he knew that she was no longer listening with the ear touch to his chest, still he spoke.
"Sir?" The knock on the door was for courtesy, as one of the staff came ducked her head into the room. "Sir, you carriage is here," she announced in a soft spoken voice.
Eyes red from lack of sleep, or perhaps from crying, the gentleman raised his face, taking a long moment to understand. Eventually it sunk in though, and he nodded his head in response. "I'll be there shortly," he rasped to her, and the woman curtsied and left. There was no rush for him to leave, and no reason for him to stay. Already her body stiffened, the heat of her face finally cooled. Carefully he disentangled himself, and stood to the side of the bed. Years she had said, and then she would be with another man. That was her curse for him? He could live with that. Really, he had no choice.
Touching the top of her head once more, he slipped off the ring that was there. The necklace with it's glass rain drop made by an experts hand was taken as well, and wrapped tight within his handkerchief. She had told him once where she hide the coins she saved.... "If you wish te give me coin, put it 'ere." He smiled at the memory. She didn't have to speak so, and yet she often had.
Slipping back the curtains, and moving the obvious brick, he dipped his fingers into the crevices, and pulled out a small box. Brick replaced, he set the box to the side. Stretching tall, taller then she ever could, he tugged on a fold of cloth, draped about mirror. Eventual down came a small sack made of velvet, and the coins that she had saved. This, he promised, would not go to waste.
Placing his shoes back upon his feet, he stepped out into the hall and stopped the woman who had addressed him earlier. "Cremate her. Then bring the ashes to my home. I will pay for the service, the carriage ride, and your effort. But not until she is brought to me. Do you understand?" She nodded, slowly comprehending his look. It was all the confirmation that he needed. As he stepped into the growing dawn of the day, his fingers wrapped tight about the box.
He had years.
He had as long as there was faith in gods.