AlvernoINK Spring / Fall 2017 - Page 37

wife to stand paralyzed in fear. He knows I am here. I think he actually gets off on the fact that I am stuck here watching his new life unfold.

He kisses Angelique on the forehead as though he is bating me to continue to toy with her. I hate to let him win, but I just can’t help myself. As Luke leaves the room I give him what he wants. I brush my fingers down her bare arms as she slips into my negligee. I can feel the steam from her breath as my presence chills the air around her. I am almost aroused by the power I have over this woman’s emotions.

“It’s a drafty house Angelique.” I chuckle as she repeats this to herself, as though it somehow reassures her that she is safe here. I am not the one she should be afraid of. She will soon find that out the way that I did.

Angelique glides down the stairs in my silky, white negligee to Luke’s toothy-white smile. He is wearing that stupid red smoker’s jacket that once belonged to his grandfather. I hate that jacket. I hate his wretched grandfather even more. You can taste the stale smoke from the many cigars that have been smoked in that old rag. Why Luke idolizes that misogynous old bastard, I will never understand.

I know that Luke wears that jacket with pride as he thinks about the man who taught him everything he knows about women and marriage. And murder.

Luke comes from a long line of psychopaths, his grandfather being, quite possibly, the worst. That old pig required that the men of the family to have pretty, young wives (preferably blonde) on their arms. If you don’t, you had damn well better be looking for one. Oh, and never pick your ladies from in the town. It is always best to choose someone who lived at least 100 miles outside of the area to ensure no one will miss her when she is gone. I am from Seattle. I believe that Angelique is from Arizona.

The Valentine men actually established this old New England town and are well-liked in the community. So much so that their little, how should I say, indiscretions are simply overlooked.

I’m sure that it doesn’t hurt that the Valentine men are very handsome and extremely smooth with the ladies. I suppose you could say that they are quite the lady killers. Luke swept me off my feet immediately with his good looks and velvet words. My heart didn’t stand a chance with him. Unfortunately, the Valentine men do not behave as wonderfully in this house as they do in the community.

Angelique slips into Luke’s arms, not even noticing the crimson stain of my blood still brandishing the carpet upon which she walks. This will never do. She must learn to be more observant. She needs to understand that her life depends on it. I think I should give her little nudge so that she is forced to see the stain.

“Are you alright my darling?” Luke says as he picks his young, frail bride up off of the floor.

“Why did you push me down like that? You could have broken my ankle!”

“I did not push you my love!”

“Well somebody did, and you are the only one here with me. I felt your hands on my back!”

I can’t believe it! If only she could hear my voice, I could much more easily warn her of her fate if I could speak to her. She will soon find out all on her own, of this I am certain.

“Darling, I assure you that my hands were at no point on your back. You lost your footing. That’s all. This is an old house and the floors have a tendency to move if you will.” Luke holds back a chuckle. He knows exactly who pushed his beautiful bride. I certainly have given him a good shove when I can. For Luke, it is comforting to get attention from a former lover in this big old house. For Angelique, it is downright frightening.

“What is this stain on the carpet? Is this, is this where she, you know?” Angelique’s voice begins to tremble. She can’t even say the word. Died, you impish bitch. The word is DIED!

Luke nervously clears his throat, “Let’s not talk about that right now. Come my love, let’s have a drink by the fire. I will have the carpet replaced next week.”

This is your chance to get a clue my dear Angelique. I certainly wish I would have heeded my predecessor’s warnings. Maybe my fate in this house would have been different. Soon you will have your own stain to be explained in this house.

He came up behind me and began to gently kiss my neck as he unzipped the back of my dress. With each move his breath gently caressed the back of my neck. My entire body tingled with anticipation of his touch. As he slid me into the bath, each of his fingers played along my skin causing me to moan with excitement. It had been so long since I had felt Luke’s touch that I had forgotten how soft his and gentle his hands were. Not a single callus or rough spot on his fingers. Just smooth, silken skin.

Luke carried me to the bed where the rose petals continued to lead the way. As he laid my naked body out on the white silk sheets his mouth took hold of mine. Both of us were consumed with passion like animals in heat. Waves of pleasure overtook my body as I hit my peak. I don’t think we had ever made love like this before.

“I love you Luke.” I thought that we were finally back on track, that our marriage was actually going to be okay.

“I am going to go and get us some wine.” He kissed me passionately before he left the bedroom.

Little did I know that Luke was crushing up sleeping pills and mixing them into my glass of wine. I suppose he thought that this would do me in once and for all. In a way, I guess it did, but not in the way he had anticipated.

I could sense Luke’s anxiety when I was simply a little dizzy from the wine. He was suddenly short and angry with me, as if I should somehow have understood that I should be unconscious right now.

“Luke, what is wrong, I thought that we were having a wonderful evening?”

“WHAT?” he snapped at me. “Oh, yeah. A good time. Yes. I…I need some fresh air.”

Luke stormed out of the bedroom. I got up to follow him and the room began to spin. I had never had a problem holding my liquor so I was quite surprised that one glass of wine would make me drunk like this. I held onto whatever I could find as I stumbled out of the bedroom.

I made it to the top of the stairs when I felt something sharp pierce through my back. I looked down to see a blade of a sword peeking out from between my breasts. Hot liquid began to run down my naked body and pool at my feet. The room was growing dark and I could feel my legs crumbling like an accordion. Then I felt the push from behind me and then the room went black. I assume that I fell down the stairs as they found my body in a crimson pool of blood on the antique rug at the bottom of the staircase. That son of a bitch stabbed me and pushed me down the stairs.

A year has passed and Angelique has suffered much the same as I had. Of course, the first few months of their marriage was happy and they had sex like rabbits. It hit that six-month mark and Luke begins to grow distant and seems to have fallen out of love. This is just what he does. I understand that now. Tonight, Angelique will understand it too. Tonight, she will meet the rest of us.

I was not Luke’s first wife, hell, I wasn’t even his third. I was his tenth wife. I am Julia, the one he stabbed and pushed down the stairs. Tonight, Angelique will not only meet me but she will also meet Carry. She was number nine. Luke killed her with morphine.

Number eight was Trisha whom he drowned in the bathtub. Sarah was number seven, also a bathtub murder but with electrocution with a hair dryer. Leslie was number six and her breaks were cut causing her to drive off of a cliff. Numbers four and five, Jessica and Christine, both suffered gunshot wounds to the head. He made them look like suicides. Number three was stabbed with garden shears, her name was Vicki. Adeline was number two. She had succumbed to the rat poison in her oatmeal. And number one, well that was Christine. She was strangled with a leather belt. We all made it to our one year anniversary, and our gift from Luke was death. He buried us all in the rose garden where his father had buried all of his brides. We all live together in this old family home and we are each responsible for trying to warn the wife that comes after us. Soon, Angelique will join us. Finally, she too will understand that Luke just can’t help himself.

I can’t wait to meet number twelve!