Thursday, May 24, 2007

Still, She Loves

My friends, here's the romance mingler I promised. It's nowhere as intense as the last one, and I think it's more of a romance in it's own way. I don't know. Please feel free to let me know what you honestly think. Thanks again for reading!!!!



Still, She Loves

By
Lucas Pederson


When Emily died, James’s entire world crumbled into a vague nothingness, void of love, empty of life and happiness.

Luckily, Susan, Emily’s best friend, came along. If it hadn’t been for Susan, James just might have spiraled out of sanity and, well…

He didn’t want to think of what might have happened. Not with his six year old daughter so close by. James wondered if she remembered her mother. Granted Rachel had only been a year old at the time James came home and discovered his wife’s body in the bath tub, cold water spraying onto her stiff naked body. She had slipped in the tub while taking a shower, cracked her head open like an egg on the edge of the porcelain tub and died nearly instantly, according to the coroner. James liked to think she didn’t suffer. He prayed she had not suffered.

Still, James had to wonder if his dear precious daughter could remember her mother. They’ve never talked about it, he supposed. The subject just never came up. Maybe that was for the best. It happened five years ago now, and that’s a long time for a child. For James, though, it felt just like yesterday, and that was horrible enough.

“Daddy?”

James shook his head, cleaning the thought out of his head. He looked over at Rachel sitting on the floor a few feet from the TV. He smiled. She was a beautiful little girl, all blond curls and bright blue eyes.

“Yes?” He said.

“Why does Harry let Malfoy makes fun of him so much?”

His eyes flicked to the TV screen where a movie, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, was playing and then looked at Rachel.

“Because he knows Malfoy is a jerk. And jerks never win. Good people win, honey, good people like Harry there.”

Rachel smiled and said.

“Oh. That’s what I thought.” She turned back to her movie.

James chuckled and got up from the couch. He walked to the study, where his wife, Susan, sat before her computer, clacking away on her new romance novel. He stood in the doorway, watching her work, and falling in love with her all over again. She would never replace Emily, of course, but he loved her just about as much. And Christ she was beautiful!

Her long black hair, deeply tanned skin, her perfect body, revealed every bit of her Native American heritage. Emily had been blond, fair skinned, and not so lean, but Jesus, how she had made his blood hot just by looking at him! She had been his everything. God he missed her. But Emily was gone, Susan was here. Sometimes he had to remind himself of the fact.

Susan stopped typing abruptly and leaned back in her chair, staring at the computer screen, as if she had no idea what it was. James started toward her, and then stopped himself. Susan was thinking. If he interrupted her process now she’d likely lose her train of thought, derail it in fact. No. It’d be better to interrupt her while she was writing, if he had to. Then, at least, her mind isn’t in struggle mode.

She sighed and rubbed at her temples with the tips of her fingers.

James left the study, closing the door quietly behind him as he went.

Susan had one published novel, a quirky romance thriller that sold roughly a gazillion copies before they started seeing each other, and before Emily’s untimely death. It had remained on the top of the bestseller list for three months before finally dropping. Then she published another book, and that one sold even more. With the money she made, he no longer had to work, which was both a blessing and a burden. Sometimes he got bored just sitting around the house and not doing much of anything. Well, he had his small wood working business. But that wasn’t much of anything. He wished he was a writer too, then maybe he’s be busier.

An hour later Susan emerged from her study and walked into the living room, where James sat reading the morning paper and Rachel began watching another Harry Potter movie from the floor.

James looked up. Susan looked tired, drained.

“Hey sexy.” He said. She smiled.

“Dullard.” She said and plopped down beside him on the couch. She rested her head on his shoulder.
Dullard. She was always using that writer’s vocabulary on him. But he loved it. He loved her.

“Stuck, are we?” He asked and set the paper aside.

“Yeah.” She sighed.

James glanced at Rachel, and then at the TV screen. The movie was still working through the beginning, Harry’s still stuck in his horrible uncles’ house.

James said.

“Care for a refresher, then?”

Her head lifted from his shoulder and he looked at her. They’re eyes fixed. James felt his heart flutter, and his genitals stir in his jeans. Susan smiled. She had such a sexy smile. They kissed deeply. Then she whispered.

“Yes., I think I would.”

They left Rachel to watch her movie and hurried up the stairs to their bedroom. James locked the door behind him, just in case his little girl came investigating. That probably wouldn’t happen, Rachel loved the Harry Potter movies. She’d sit there on the floor until it was over.

Susan giggled as he took her in his arms. Again, they stared into each other’s eyes.

“You’re so beautiful.” He said.

She smiled up at him.

“So are you.” She said and they kissed.

Her tongue slipped into his mouth, his into hers. Joined, they became one in that instant. When their lips parted James wasn’t surprised by the throbbing erection wanting to burst out of his jeans.

Susan helped him out in that regard though. She unbuttoned his pants, unzipped the fly and pulled them down as he lifted off the blue t-shirt she was wearing. They stood, he in his boxers, his penis large and swollen, she in her bra. He could tell how taut her nipples were, even through the bra’s white fabric.

They embraced, kissing. He undid her bra from the back, as she gently gripped his manhood in one caressing hand. James shivered and then she left his lips and pulled down his boxers, her breasts jiggling nicely as she did. She came back up kissed him and then before he knew it they were on the bed. She stripped off her own jeans and her plain cotton panties. He pulled off his t-shirt. Then she was on top of him, and when he slipped inside of her sweetness, he couldn’t suppress the shuddering moan that escaped his mouth. The air about them seemed to thicken with passion. A swirling happiness that consumed them both at sent them into a world where only they existed.

And-

“Whoa.” He said. Susan stopped, looking down at him and smiling.

He needed to stop, needed to let himself settle a little before continuing on. Otherwise he’d blow it, literally. But he only needed to stop once, thank God.

As Susan climaxed, so then did James let himself climax too. He liked the feeling of them both having orgasms at the same time, it made everything else small by comparison. And it just felt so good, so right.

Just as they were finishing up, both very satisfied, there came a loud shriek…from inside the room.

Susan’s eyes widened. James laid there, his heart suddenly quickening in his chest. His first thought was that of Rachel, somehow she had gotten into the bedroom and caught them making love. But then the shriek came again, something so shrill and so menacing that not even a six year old girl could produce it. Susan rolled off and James sat up quickly.

“Wha-“ He began and the words melted from his lips and died in the air.

Beside him, Susan gasped.

Standing in front of the door, was Emily, James’s dead wife. She was crying, he saw. But, but that couldn’t be. Emily was dead; she had gone to whatever after life awaited her. She wasn’t a ghost. And if she was then how come he hasn’t been aware of her until now? It made no sense anyway you looked at it. Ghosts weren’t real either. Yet, here she was. Emily. She wasn’t transparent. She looked solid, not like any ghost he has heard of.

“James,” Emily sobbed and took a step forward.

He shook his head. This couldn’t be happening. But it must be, because Susan was seeing Emily too. Susan spoke, her words slow, trembling.

“Emily?”

Emily’s eyes jerked to where Susan sat naked and gaping.

“You!” Emily cried. “You stole him from me! You stole my husband!”

Both James and Susan sat there, totally abashed. Emily bared her teeth at Susan and hissed like a snake. What the hell was that about?

“Emily? Is it really you?” James asked, and was great pleased to see her face soften a bit. She looked at him, nodded and began to sob again.
“But-“ Emily interrupted him curtly.

“I’m dead, I know. I’m dead.”

“Oh my God, Emily.” Susan said in an awestruck voice.

Emily straightened at the sound of Susan’s voice. Her face contorted into one of malice and rage.

“Shut up you bitch! Shut up!” Emily roared and the entire room shook violently. The windows exploded inward, spraying shards of glass everywhere. Susan screamed, started to get up off the bed and suddenly she was flying through the air, as if tossed by some mighty, giant hand.

Just before she collided with the dresser, her body was jerked away and thrown back onto the bed where she sobbed uncontrollably. Emily began to giggle shrilly.

“Stop!” James shouted, and Emily’s giggling dried up at once. She looked at him, her eyes beginning to weep again.

James stood from the bed, slipped on his jeans and slowly walked toward his dead wife. His heart ached for her, but something was different now. Emily had never in her life been as cruel as she had just to Susan. Something was off here. This couldn’t be Emily.

But as he walked toward her her composure slackened, her eyes turned out tears like waterfalls. She began to trembled and sob before him. Both of the women he loved were sobbing now. James stopped a about five feet from her. Yes. It was Emily, but oh, how angry she was. He could see her anger pulsing just under her skin, could actually see it!

“J-James.” Emily sobbed and dropped to her knees. She looked up at him crying, unable to speak now as the sobs racked her.

From behind him he heard Susan also say his name.

James, now not afraid, but confused, took a few steps forward and knelt down in front of his dead wife. He reached out and touched her tear soaked face. She was cold, but not icy, as he had expected. All the movies and books were wrong about that. Ghosts aren’t always icy cold. Emily gasped at his touch and clasped his hand to her face. She closed her eyes, and James found himself closing his own; images of their past life wafted by in his mind. Images of their wedding, of Rachel being born. All were good images, strong images. Then he opened his eyes. Emily was staring at him, her mouth quivering.

“I still love you, James.” She said.

All his strength, everything, dissolved just then. He broke down, unable to quite the weeping that spewed out of him. They embraced, becoming one with each other once again. They kissed, long and good. Yes. Good.

When they parted, Emily looked over at Susan, who was still sting on the bed naked, still crying. Emily sighed. Her eye drifted back to him.

“I-I had to come back to tell you I love you. I still love you, even though I’m dead.”

James was both horrified and pleased to hear this.

“I love you.” He breathed.

This brought a bright smile to Emily’s weepy face. They hugged again, kissed, more passionately now, and then parted. They stood from the floor, holding each other’s hands.

Emily turned to Susan on the bed. She smiled. Susan, her crying almost completely gone sat, eyes wide, shaking. Emily said.

“I’m so sorry. I-I’m just so sad that this happened. I miss all of you so much.” Emily’s eyes fixed on Susan.

“Thank you for taking care of my family, Suse. Thank you for giving James someone to love.”

Susan started crying again, although not in a terrified way anymore. This, James saw, was pure simple sorrow. They were best friends before Emily died, James never thought about how much Susan must mss Emily too.

Emily nodded at Susan and turned back to James. He saw that she was fading a little, growing transparent before his eyes, losing her solidness.

“I’ve gotta go now.” Emily said.

“Em.” James managed and tried to take her hands in his again. This time he grasped only cool air. Emily smiled.

“Tell our lovely little Rachel I love her. Tell her I will always be with her.” James agreed at once.

“And you James, I will always be with you.”

Emily faded into a fine mist. And just before that mist evaporated into nothing, James swore he heard the voice of his dead wife saying:

“I still love you.”

The End

10 comments:

Charles Gramlich said...

This is very good, Lucas. I like the title. The images are easy to see. The only thing I think you should consider adding is some sort of explanation as to why his dead wife manifests now. Surely he and Susan have made love before? Could she have been conjured, perhaps, by Something Susan was writing? Anyway, that might make the piece even stronger.

Lucas Pederson said...

Charles, thanks, and yes, I guess I forgot to put in why Emily had come back now, instead of earlier. Very good point. And I like that idea that she is conjured up by something Susan writes. That would make the story even better, I agree. Actually that sound very good. I think when I rewirte this, which I am planning to, I will add what it is Susan does to conjure up James's dead wife. Thanks Charles for that feedback!!! You got my brain working again and I'm off to start rewriting the story. I'll make it a bit longer, instead of the 2,000 word linmit I gave myself for the blog post. This is really going to be fun. Thanks again!

Susan Miller said...

Very good, Lucas. I definitely enjoyed this one.

Fab said...

I liked reading this one. You seem to like putting ghosts in your stories. Any reason?

I just wondered, if he's not the only one to see and hear her but Susan as well, how come Rachel doesn't come to check out all the noise? I mean, if he locked the door so she wouldn't walk in on them, surely she must have heard all the noise and yelling when Emily manifested herself? I know Rachel isn't important in that part of the story, or not the focus at least, but I wondered ... what about Rachel?

Donnetta Lee said...

Hi, Lucas. I enjoyed the story. I thought maybe Susan had cracked open Emily's head on the bathtub! Then, I thought Susan was writing a story about it! I liked Rachel talking about Harry Potter as a background drop and to let the reader know what kind of dad/man James was. That was a great idea. Keep up the good work!
Donnetta

Lucas Pederson said...

Susan, thanks bunches!!

Fab, thanks. I was going to have Rachel knock on the door, and Emily open it to say good bye personally, which would have made it a very emotional point in the story, but I chose to leave it out for two reasons: 1) I wanted to limit myself to about 2, 00 words after a brief edit. (although I should have edited the peice better as I see reading through it again) 2) I was going for the romance angle, a triangle actually. James is in love with two woman, both women are or have been his wife. He loves them both. Remember, these are just experiments, and I've got a lot ot learn about the romance genre in general. Thanks again for reading!!

Donnetta, as I mentioned above in response to Charles feeback, I think this story would have been much better if Susan's writing had brought Emily back from where ever she had gone after death, actually opening the doorway for her spirit to come floating through. I've got the whole thing on my re-write list. Yeha. I thought adding in the Harry Potter movies brought a sense of realism to the story, and it gave me a small cahnce to show the father daughter relationship. Thanks for stopping by, reading, and your wonderful feedback!

Travis said...

Man Lucas - this was really good. I agree with Charles about it missing the reason why Emily returns now. I thought it might have something to do with the movie Rachel was watching - something magical about the Harry Potter movie.

Oh - I know it's not important to the story, but Goblet of Fire doesn't actually begin with Harry at the Dursley residence. That's why I thought that the movie might have something to do with bringing Emily. Because GOF begins with Harry having an intense dream of Voldemort.

OK OK - I'm a Harry Potter geek. I admit it.

You did a good job with this. Keep up the experiments.

Fab said...

I see your point. Ofcourse, the focus is on the romantic story. Just that, well I don't have kids, I'm an auntie. Even when they are hypnotized in front of their favorite show and I drop something they come running over like maniacs to see. I read your story while babysitting, so my focus was a bit ... out of focus. Sorry.

Lucas Pederson said...

Travis, thanks man! I now realize the error of my ways. I meant for Rachel to be finishing up Goblet of Fire and the other movie would be an earlier one, Chamber of Secrets perhaps. I forgot to add these little snid bits in I guess. Oops! Sorry about that. My oldest daughter's really into the Harry Potter movies. I'm trying read her the books at bed time. So far we're not getting very far.

Fab, no harm done! I got the whole kid watching a movie thing from my oldest daughter. Except, unlike the children you watch, my daughter will sit through an entire movie without moving much, and will not budge if something happens beyond the make-believe worlds of Seseme Street and Harry Potter. Wierd, I guess. Thanks for stopping by again!

Fab said...

Ah, but then again, I am the favourite auntie (with all the treats!), that helps.