NOTE: not all parts have been published. i have to eventually make one, long post to finish putting up this story.
[a series written a million years ago by a total goth.
unearthed for amusement. posted in parts.
a ridiculed man desperate to find evidence
of the soul embarks on a murderous journey.
PART 1, PART 2, PART 3, PART 4, PART 5.]
The Horseman’s 2nd Diary Entry
The landscape was fresh with rain. The fog tumbled icily down the pathways of the moonlit alcoves of sand and rock, swathed with sparkling and sickliness. I had found her at the bath house, sitting alone in her black swimming suit, dark long hair tucked, tufts showing here and there, within the scarf she wore to keep the strands away from her hollow eyes. She was looking off vacantly, dreamfully, devoured so by thoughts of which appeared grave; she appeared exhausted, empty as a shell that resides lonely on a beach, where only wisps of evidence can be heard repeating to those who listen, a recitation of the singular, fathomless sentence in the language of the surging ocean and its powerful tides. How like a shell she seemed—one thing on her mind weighing her down—and that one thing wholly a riddle she could not decipher. Do shells speak the language of the sea? Or is their soothers tongue foreign to them, but all they have, and so the only thing that they can repeat?
I decided then that she would be my first victim. She did appear to want to live, though I took well into account the fact that by the time she was to die by my hands that certainly she would put up a good fight. My being much taller than she I presumed with ease it would not be much of a struggle. Ending her would be quite simple if done properly, if done timely. I had found my method of stabbing would be best; slicing the throat to be specific, for surely the soul did not reside in the throat. Too delicate a thing and used mostly for deception. However, I would still examine her vocal chords once removed, along with the intricate tendons, just to be positive on this.
After she had gotten dressed I thought it might be best to introduce myself as someone conducting research, or say, interviews with the general public about souls and the afterlife, gathering beliefs and things of the sort. Certainly, with all the word coming in from New York daily about the debunking of spiritualists, she’d have a hefty if not lengthy opinion. A short one would do. The villain in me wanted a chase, but this was an unnecessary complication and only it seems a naughty delight of mine.
I caught up to her in a hurry as she took the lonely stroll to her automobile. No one was around save for me. I hoped earnestly it would remain this way.
“Miss, my apologies for disturbing you. But could I have a word perhaps?” she glanced over each inch of me in much the sterile manner a doctor would head to foot one of his new patients. She was attempting to recognize me and when she failed to her eyes met mine.
“Only a word? You’ve already had several.”
“Oh, clever thing you are! Shame on me for having troubled you, I’ll be on my way—”
“I’m only teasing you. Have your words, then, more than one. What may I help you with Mr.?”
“Graves. I am Mr. Graves, and yourself?” I extended my hand for a friendly, gentle greeting.
“Mrs. Clyde. Delphia Clyde.”
I avoided providing my first name for obvious reasons.
“Well, Mrs. Delphia Clyde, I am honored to have a word with you! Or as you say more than one,” I laughed sheepishly—she was quite an intimidating woman when her face was animate instead of statuesque—and I couldn’t help but to grow anxious to kill her. The sooner I did, the less guilt I would feel. She was beautiful in a lost way. In a way you could tell she’s wept more than laughed in her life. I continued:
“I am conducting a research experiment about spiritualism and if you would be so kind, I’d like to ask of you, your opinion on the human soul? As well, where you believe we might go in the hereafter, if there be one to go to?”
My question was jagged and an ostensibly arduous chew for a woman. Most women were not inclined toward intellectual thought, though some occasionally engaged in it or amused themselves in it, but they of course are more in tune with realms of raw emotion than men. This is what my father would inform me of, or the man who raised me, not my true father.
She savored, tasted my question slowly, taking many breaths before she considered her answer ready for me.
“I believe the human soul exists, and I believe—no—I hope that when we die, we forgot every pain we’ve had here. For if the world of darkness and the dead is full of the longing that this one is—” I noted then the welling of tears within her pensive eyes, which she gracefully attempted to restrain. “—I’d not like to be a part of either, Mr. Graves. In fact, if death came for me tonight I’d go willingly with him, oh, how this dreadful world wrongs us all.”
The anger, the sorrow, whatsoever had cut her in her life had wounded her deeply. Was this an opportunity? I endeavored to take a risk.
“Mrs. Clyde, would you be willing to perish in order for science to find the human soul?”
The look on her face is implacable. Tears struggle loose from her eyes, streaming down her face in wetted lines, smearing the mascara she wore and moistening her lips. Her eyes were wide and thoughtful, her mouth agape. Was she actually entertaining her mind with telling me yes?
“I must be on my way, Mr. Graves. I wish you luck in your research.”
The conflict was fierce, she was mighty for a woman and it took long for her to succumb to my strength. I had assaulted her as soon as she’d turned her back and covered her mouth from shouting out for help. She screamed just a few times before her body went limp voluntarily. I removed my hand out of shock and heard her say:
“Kill me. He doesn’t love me. I only beg that when you’re done, you put me in the dress inside my automobile. The beaded one.”
“My pledge to you is to do just that, Mrs. Clyde.” I’d said, and sliced eagerly the soft, delicate throat, which I held still within my grasp. The heart beat flushed out in pulsing waves over the gloved knuckle of my reapers hand, slower and slower until her body expired. Now was the time to make quick work of the deeds that needed doing.
I’ll not describe here all I’d done to the body, but I shall say I left no place unlooked at, no possible bone or structure, nook of muscle, shard of brain matter, even the eyes and the chambers of the heart and its ventricles, were thoroughly studied by my hands and eyes after having brought her body back into a secluded area of the beach, where I could work in shadow and quiet save for the sound of the waves. Nightfall had closed its curtain soon after my endeavors and I couldn’t linger long here for the risk of being caught. My heart battered against my collarbone, I would glance up often, startled by the mere hint of a presence. And soon I uncovered nothing, not one clue.
Where was the soul? Where could it hide? I observed when she lay dying in my arms, a sort of odd flickering out in her softening eyes, but this is not sufficient proof that anything immaterial is there to spark us into living, and if it did… where does this spark go, and does its life go on? The question even now fascinates and enrages me. I must find it. I must find the answer. I must know that I will go on. Where I will go to, will it be better, better than this terror I’ve called a life already. The end comes so suddenly for some and how unfair for them. My time runs out fast, only a few days left, perhaps I must employ different methods. How will I find something invisible? Where is it? It must be lodged somewhere. God help me, god help me if you’re real.
When I was done, I put her back together very carefully inside the dress she had requested me to, and I put the entirety of the pieces of her head back into the scarf she’d used to keep her hair away.
The corpse appeared a deathly bride, unrecognizable, answering the constant lullaby of the ocean with an eternal silence.
As I face you, open armed and grinning,
Weeping with felicitous defeat,
Will you not take me now, when I am ready?
Death, whom I am eager and delighted to meet?
written by: samantha lucero circa early 2000’s ©
image: the man who laughs