Beauty in Death

A slightly macabre look at a girl in Autumn.

I smell the sweet scent of rotting leaves. As they decay, the bright colors turn the landscape into a warm rainbow of death. I’m sitting on a park bench in late October. The air is chilled slightly and the wind is tumbling over the bared branches of the trees. The same wind tousles my hair in its loose ponytail. I sit here for quite some time, watching the people walk past me. There’s a path in front of me that gets a lot of human traffic. It winds past a grove of trees on the right and slopes past my bench and then continues down a small decline to the left. I sit, hardly moving, until it gets dark. The people have stopped walking past. Now I just have to wait for the star-gazers to sit on the grassy field in front of me. I don’t have long to wait. The night is cloudless, and admittedly beautiful. The moon shines bright and full along with millions of stars all dotting the black blanket of the sky. They’re a couple. The girl, like me, isn’t wearing a jacket. Unlike me, however, she gets offered one by her partner. I’m cold. I watch the two for some time. They don’t talk, they just smile and hold hands. I look down at my own hands. They’re slightly scarred and chapped from the wind. I rub them together and blow on them, trying to warm the death-like appendages. I hear a tinkling of laughter. The man is holding the woman in an embrace, squeezing her with love. She laughs and returns the embrace. I check my watch. It is now 10:46 PM. I check my bag, and pull out the knife. I stand up silently, and turn once around, checking for anyone else. This little grove is surrounded by trees on all sides and is impossible to see into from the outside. Perfect. I slip off my shoes. On socked feet, I make my way towards the lovers, careful not to step on any decaying leaves for their crunch. They aren’t facing me, but sitting upright, facing the bottom of the hill. It’s almost too easy. I stop focusing for a moment and accidentally step on a leaf. Crunch. I freeze, knife in hand, practically red-handed. I’m saved by a squirrel who jumps on some leaves and scurries past them. The woman points it out and leans her head onto the man’s chest. I’m saved by a squirrel. Taking a deep but silent breath, I continue towards them. I finally stand behind them, not two feet away. The moon is at the perfect angle, as my shadow is not visible to them at all. The wind tousles my hair again. I look down at my knife, and at my victims’ necks. So slender is the woman’s, the moonlight shining on the front of it. The man’s is more muscular, but only slightly. His is adorned by a slight beard and a tattoo on the nape. It’s a butcher’s knife. How ironic. Looking quickly around myself again, I check for witnesses. There are none. Gripping my knife tightly, I slash through the woman’s left carotid artery, keeping the wound invisible from the man. He’s oblivious, looking to the sky in the moment that she is dead but he is not. I soon fix that. The blood runs heavily from their necks, staining their clothes and the ground around them. I step back and their heads fall to the ground, eyes unblinking, looking to the sky. The moon is reflected in their eyes. As I look to the bright crimson blood flowing from their bodies and the pristine features of their faces, I am reminded of the constant beauty that stems from death.

The End

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