Till Death Do We Part
By Nomar Knight
I glide through fog, dodging dying trees, listening for your heartbeat. Anger beckons me like a moth to a flame. Surely you didn’t think I wouldn’t find you? With one furious strike you plunged the blade into my chest and left me to die in this godforsaken forest.
The sound of splintered branches stops me cold. I tremble, not from fear, but intense anticipation. I shut my eyes to allow your retreat to guide me, when chills run along my spine as your broken whimpers lift up my spirit.
I whisper, hoping my voice can break through clouded barriers. “I’m coming for you, darling.”
Never one for confrontation, I had shied away from revealing the truth, that I knew you had a forbidden lover. I clutch my aching chest, still in awe of your reaction to my illuminating revelation. Peeking up at the starless heaven, I wonder how you could plunge the blade and destroy all that we once were.
More whimpers lead me to adjust my course and travel west. The sound of something dragging on drenched terrain, just ahead, adds to my desire to make things right.
The temptation to call out and ask if you’re hurt is silenced by my need to surprise you. How could you know that I’m extraordinary? Your violent reaction forced me to tear my shirt and make a tourniquet to control the bleeding.
Somewhere in the midst of white blindness, I sense you rise, step hard on the ground and hear you cry out as your body lands with a thud.
I step closer and at last the fog lifts just enough to reveal you holding a swollen ankle.
Desperation rings from your voice. I stop, surprised that I don’t attack you. There are so many things I want to tell you, so much love left inside me to give.
I glance at my right hand and realize my knuckles turned white for the tight grip on the knife’s handle serves to transfer my pain.
“Honey, I’m coming for you.”
I step through, marveling at how the purity of the clouds surrounds us. Your gaping mouth and trembling body increases my desire to have you.
“This can’t be. You’re dead.”
You bury your head in your hands and shudder. Each sob stabs sorrow into my heart.
“I’m sorry, Nestor.” You say, “I didn’t know what else to do. I panicked.”
I drop the knife, step closer and gently pull down your hands. Our eyes meet. “We’re married for better or worse.”
With nose running and cheeks filled with tears, you sigh, “I cheated. I’m sorry.”
“We can get passed this.”
“But I stabbed you in the heart. How can you be alive?”
I reach to stroke your hair, never expecting you to push me to the ground. I land on my back and watch with horror as you lunge for the knife.
“Why won’t you just die?”
You take the blade and jab at my foot, coming within an inch of reaching my shoe.
“This doesn’t have to be like this.”
“Die! You bastard!”
You slither forward and plunge the knife down, narrowly missing my crotch.
I grab your wrist, reverse our positions, and put my weight on your chest, struggling to keep the blade off both our necks.
“Stop it! I love you!”
“I hate you!”
Your words maim me more than any weapon ever could. I gather enough air and whisper, “Why?”
“Because you’re my brother.”
I disarm you and roll on my back until I’m sitting against a tree stump. I watch as your body shakes and you reach into the back of your jeans pocket and pull out a folded paper.
I yank the paper, unfold it and read your birth certificate. Low and behold, your father’s name matches mine.
“I didn’t know.”
Without warning, you reach for the knife, shoving it while still in my grip toward my wound.
I had heard rumors about father being locked away in a mental institution. Schizophrenia they called it. I read about how it’s possible for a family member to suffer from the same illness.
I push the tip of the knife off my bleeding chest and with one swift motion; slice the blade across your throat. Blood squirts on my face, forming sanguinary tears.
“I’m sorry you got father’s sickness. I could have helped you.”
I stroke your matted hair as you lie on the ground, choking on your own blood.
“The funny thing about genes, I inherited another condition he had. I inherited situs inversus. That’s when the organs are reversed.”
I guide your hands to the middle of my chest, closer to the right side. “This is where my heart is.”
I cry when I see the sparkle of life abandon your eyes.
“Till death do we part, my darling sister, my darling bride.”
© Copyright Nomar Knight 2011. All rights reserved.
A Knight Chills Flash Fiction Presentation.