(Illustration by Katie Dea)
Downtown Magnets High School

Creative short story: Wilting

Her face stands separate to mine. Strands of hair flow within the liquid of the casket, as if a plant were thriving right before my very eyes, growing in a basement lab with only the fundamentals around her. She looks at me, pale thin skin, feeble lips, and a slender; bony body. She is the point of perfection. An absolute wonder, with zero flaws, zero gaps, and zero life. Yes, she is indeed the point of perfection. I hug her through the casket, and comfort her with the cloth of a million silk bugs. Every seem lined with love.

I adjust some knobs on the dial pad attached to the casket, humming to myself as if I knew the words to a song written not so long ago. “Threw her in the sea, the edge lying so deep.  She gave me a pair, and always would swear her devout love for me.” I kicked a bit while humming. That kick turned into a sway, and that sway turned into a waltz. Silly me, adjusting the knobs to my beloved’s chamber, and all the while dancing in plain sight.  I waltz, as if I was a ballroom of pure ebony, with no curtains of light in sight.  The ballroom turns white, and every little detail pours out into my pupils.  As I dance the day away, I couldn’t help but to continue. 

At first it was pleasant.  Hours gone by like seconds, and zero effort was made to forfeit this role of mine. But, then it grew … unpleasant. It lasted longer than I had hoped for.  Hours now seemed like weeks, and weeks now seemed like years, and yet I couldn’t contain myself from jigging.  I couldn’t stop, but to dance in my research. All of that work, years of lines and graphs, stomped on.

Dancing, and humming, and dancing, and humming, and dancing, and HUMMING.  A hum in my laboratory, but not of my own. A hum, which trickles through my ears and poisons my brain before the rest of me could even react. Like a nymph’s song, pulling people into a dark forest where they can never waltz out of. I waltz and spiral into an enraged tantrum.  A fly is buzzing near me, buzzing near my beloved, buzzing near my work, waiting to be squashed!

I search every nook and cranny for that sound, as if it was a purge which was hyding.   I turn, and corner that sound.  “Hum” it went, and hum it did.  I take a step to the right, forward, and forward in advance.  Where did I reach?  Did my eyes deceive me?  Did my brain start to rot?  Well it must have, because the humming was coming from my dead wife’s casket.  

I was furious instead of pleased. Oh, how long I waited till my lovely was revived!  How long I could count was her body, disinfecting itself of mold! But instead, I was furious.  Because, I didn’t see my wife, but a large disgusting fly instead. In my doll’s place, there is a grotesque, gigantic, wriggling fly which had decided to remove her and take her spot in her own bed!  A hateful and spiteful fly who had a voice. This was her voice. I knew this voice well, I knew her voice well. I knew it was her voice, exactly.

I couldn’t help it, I couldn’t contain my BOILING anger. This giant is mocking me, he is mocking me and my wife with the voice I love so much. I lost control. I ripped open her casket! Liquid suddenly started to flow out, and I was grabbing her vitals immediately as they did. Her blossoming bud was covered from her head, brimming with wretched worms and polymer. With bug eyes and bug legs, and a bug smile, deforming that wretched bug continuously. I strangled her, I pinched her, and I didn’t stop.

I see her, gasping for air.  Eyes rolling into her head, her breast wrinkling into a sack of air.  There was no blood, there was no wife, there was no man, no house, no casket, no face, no fly, no hum! There was only rage. SEETHING RAGE.

Several minutes passed by, and I started to gain control of myself.  My hands went numb, and my skull felt deprived.  Deprived of any feeling entirely.  I look at my hands.  They were soiled with black ink, and dirtied with mud and silt.  I look right next to me, a body, a wife.  A body of a wife. Instead of a fly, whom I murdered, dismembered, and slaughtered, there was just the body of a wife, bruised and tattered, and as air deprived as me.  

But instead of feeling sad, I felt euphoric. Instead of laughing, I cried. And instead of humming, I stayed silent. And only silent.