The Anniversary Waltz
(33 Moliko 413: The Crossing, Zoluren)
She gazed at the rose in her hand. It was beautiful. Nowhere near as delicate as stories say. Quite the contrary, a rose is a hardy creation. She brought it to her nose to inhale the aroma. Suddenly there was a sharp pain in her finger as it was pricked by a thorn.
“Ach! This is going to hurt for a few days now. How clumsy of me.” The rose made no retort, but lay still, elegant, beautiful, and dangerous.
She remembered the first flower he brought her. It was a golden Lyranda blossom. She still has it, preserved and pressed in a very special book. With a glance into his blue eyes, she smiled. He caught her and slipped a copper into her pocket with a wink.
They both laughed and she leaned close to him, whispering softly. She got a wink from a sparkling eye as he nodded to her. Some things never grew old or common.
Her finger throbbed where it was pricked. With a great show, he bent over her hand and kissed the finger. She was chuckling as he straightened back up, when to her horror, she saw he had turned into some dreadful skeleton! Her mind reeled in confusion as she tried to back away.
He careened toward her like a terror caught in a danse macabre. She called his name, but when her mouth opened, nothing came out. Panic filled her veins with sluggishness and numbed her mind with fear.
She turned to run. Behind her, she could hear a gurgling, graveling voice making sounds that sent chills down her spine. As she started to move, she could not. She was trapped.
She could not look back. A noiseless scream for help went unheard when … the thing that was no longer him, grabbed her and spun her around. She looked for his eyes, and found only empty sockets.
And then the … thing … put his arm around her waist and pulled her into his dreadful dance. She was helpless to fight against it. Where she contacted it (Him? it, what is it…) her body took on the cold of the dead.
When it leaned it’s bony gruesome face near hers as if to smooch her, she felt herself go stiff, and began to scream. There was no noise, and she did not care, she screamed anyway.
Her eyes flew open to something hovering over their bed, and she was screaming at the top of her lungs. As she blinked back the terror and the familiar outlines of the apartment became clear to her mind, she got a hold of the scream. Her throat was already sore. She knew she was going to pay for that.
Her pulse was still racing as she gasped aloud, “Oh, I am so sorry to wake you,” it all rushed out in a quick run-on sentence without even a breath, “everything was fine, then it was a dreadful nightmare when you turned into a ghoul, and made me dance and I thought it was going to kiss me, kill me, eat me something, and I was so scared…”
Her mind registers pain in her finger. Curious. She turns, searching for the gleam of his eyes in the dark, reaching for him in her need; her voice trails off when she realizes, or is it remembers, she is by herself.