No longer of the living, but never to join his one true love amongst the dead. Nathaniel must now navigate through the New World, start afresh and live out the rest of his immortal life. For decades and centuries he lived on his own, mingling with the mortals he would never be again, until she walked in to his life.
I gripped the handle of the dagger tightly, slowly becoming inspired in its presence. The gold finishing, with delicate ivory inlay sparkled in the winter’s afternoon sun, and mesmerized my thoughts into a painful fog. I could still smell the death that surrounded her on that morning, I could still feel her life ebbing away as she took her last breath and soon my own would come to pass. I dug my nails into my palm as I tightened my grip on the dagger’s handle, my whole fist consuming the glistening gold in one tight hold.
I lifted my eyes as I heard footsteps approaching my door and I shoved the dagger in my boot and shifted my weight away from the open window and towards the bed I had not slept in, in over a week. I looked down at the silk sheets folded at the end of the mattress and the pillows, fluffed and covered with cotton and lace pillowcases rested at the head of the bed and still retained their shape. The door opened and in stepped Naomi, the housemaid. She looked so plump and merry, though I knew she was nearing old age and would not be with us for much longer. I gave her a false smile and inclined my head towards her, quietly removing myself from the room as quickly as possible.
The blade rubbed against my ankle and cut through my sock and threatened to tear out the hide of my boot. I slowed my steps and came to stop at the end of the hallway where a large picture window let in the winter’s afternoon sun that filled the hall with a radiant glow and warmth. How she would never feel this sensation ever again brought tears to my eyes, and my throat began to close as a lump the size of my heart tried to escape my body. My love, my dear sweet love, dead and buried beneath the snow would never be free to walk with me in the spring ever again.
I turned quickly, the feeling of being watched overcame me and ice-cold chills ran down my spine. There was no one there, but the feeling never evaporated so I chose to return to my old room in the top tower of my home where even the housemaid would not go for fear of ghosts and horrible beasts. My love had always laughed at my employees’ worries of the ancient house and had teased the younger handmaidens that feared the goblins within their closets; oh she was such a delight to have here. Only she could bring the light to chase away such fears in the evening’s cold embrace.
Her voice echoed in the stairwell and my limbs turned to ice, my face frozen in horror. I swiveled in the narrow space to see if I could catch just one glimpse of her face, but nothing, only the sound echoing off the stone walls that enclosed me. My body defrosted and I once again ascended to the haunted halls of my hallowed room, where the scent of her still assaulted my senses with brutal force. Her name was still carved into the bedside table from the first night we’d spent together here, Emily. Sweet, loving, caring Emily, yet all that remained of her now was a smell and the carved wood resembling her name.
I could hear her calling out to me, this time panic trickling through into her voice and I spun yet again to catch a glimpse of her face but I only found an old dress hanging from the back of the closet door. It was such a haunted feeling staring at a piece of the dead, and I ripped it down from the door without detaching it and it tore in half. The pale blue fabric making an awful sound as the seams split and stretched and gave way, I felt my heart do the same.
She called to me again and this time pleading, all that she’d done that night when her life had been taken so unceremoniously. Her world had been brought to a stop all because of her beauty and love for everything, because she was too fair and kind and it caused me pain to see her no longer in such a state. Anger consumed me, flaring up inside me as if my body were being pushed into an open flame. I leaned down and brought the dagger from my boot, it was covered in blood from my ankle and brought with it fabric from my sock. Soon it would be deep within my heart, taking me from this world to join that of Emily’s, a world away from pain and horror.
I was still being watched, but at that moment I had no care to meet the eyes of whoever was in the room with me. I took the dagger and raised it in the air over my head; it shone so brilliantly, just as its owner once had. With one swift and strong motion I plunged it into my chest and through my heart and I felt the cold take over me, though the fire had changed its will I felt throbs of pain and fell into darkness.