Happily Ever After...?

Happily Ever After...?

A Story by Luna Evangeline

 

The doors to the Emergency Room swing open and crash into the nondescript tile walls. Entering through them is a stately man, by the name of Duke, cradling a lovely but lifeless woman. He is dressed in pressed black pants and a spotless white button-up shirt; his coat is draped across the woman’s blue and yellow sundress that is speckled with mud. Her head, hanging limp on her neck, snaps back and forth as he frantically staggers through the doors.

                A startled secretary looks up as they enter, then continues to briskly click on her keyboard.

                “I need help! This lady is dying!” he cries.

                A surgeon hurries out, clad in mint-green scrubs. He’s older, with frosty hair and skin fanning out in thin wrinkles from his icy blue eyes. After taking a moment to assess the human damage, he bellows down the hallway for a gurney. Duke gently lays her down, his feather-light touches lingering on her silken skin.

                The doctor wheels her along the hallway to an operating room, her young rescuer jogging alongside.

                 “Are you related to this woman?”

                “No.”

                “Are you her spouse?”

                “No.”

                “Are you a close friend?”

                “No.”

                “Then I must ask you to wait outside. I will call for you when I am ready.”

                The ER door closes with a decisive and final slam, leaving him standing helplessly on the outside.

                Duke sighs and wanders into the waiting room. It smells of harsh, acrid cleaning chemicals and the nervous salty sweat of patients. He flops down into a chair, then begins to pick at the unraveling green thread. The strings float to the ground, clinging to the dull maroon carpet. His dress shoes, with black leather polished to glistening perfection, squeak as he taps his feet. A small television plays some kind of sitcom, but he ignores it. He leans back, counting the black flecks on the white tile ceiling. Running his fingers anxiously through expertly styled mahogany hair, he glances at his Rolex. It’s been five minutes.

                A breaking news notification blares from the television, and he looks up, startled.

                The young blonde anchorwoman says, “This is Fox News bringing you this just in story. The infamous gang of killers that lived in the woods on the outskirts of the town has been arrested.  All seven men have been detained and are awaiting questioning. It’s apparent that each man will plea guilty to killing several women on the grounds of insanity…”

                 His iPhone rings. He hits Ignore. It rings again, and he shuts it off.

                “…and it’s now apparent to us that there is another victim, an unnamed woman, who is currently being treated in the county hospital. It’s unclear if she’s dead, but we know that her rescuer, Duke McKinney, will be questioned as soon as he is located…”

                Duke lets out a sigh of frustration.

                It’s been eight minutes.

                Holding his head in his hands, he takes deep breaths, broad shoulders rising and falling as he fills his lungs. He scrubs his palm over a sharp jaw line coated with short stubble, heart kicking into an impatient double time.

                Ten minutes. Every tick of the clock on the ugly beige wall scrapes at his ears like sandpaper. The spearmint gum in his mouth has become hard and tasteless after him constantly gnashing his teeth together; it’s a nervous habit he’s never been able to shake. A cool, mint aftertaste lingers, so he spits out the worn gray wad into the trash.

 To pass the time he thinks of the woman’s delicate features as she slowly began to die in the woods, and the soft, rose-petal lips that never parted to take a breath in that unbroken moment that he simply watched her. He remembers whispering, “She cannot be dead.

                She was carefully arranged on the forest floor, with dainty arms resting over her chest and petite legs crossed at the ankles. A heavy summer rain had passed earlier, so she’d been practically swimming in a shallow pool of mud. It was a strange sight to see a woman abandoned in such a way, but he ignored the circumstances.

He’d cocooned her in his coat"never mind that it’s Giorgio Armani"and gingerly buckled her into his Porsche. She sat in his passenger side, supported only by the seat belt, with her head leaning against the window. She didn’t move, but when he cracked open the sunroof just a bit, the wind rushing in lifted her soot-colored hair and swirled it about her neck and collarbone. He hadn’t been able to help but noticing the curls dancing around in the breeze, and the stark contrast of her hair to her alabaster skin. Her eyes remained closed; her cherry lips never twitched nor frowned nor smiled.

                Normally, he’s careful not to speed, but getting the surreally beautiful woman to the hospital seemed to be a worthy cause. Driving along the freeway, coasting over the overpasses, he’d spared glances at her and thought, Boy, she’s awfully pretty.

                Fifteen minutes have passed, and Duke is allowed into the room. His fair damsel in distress lies on a hospital bed, leashed by wires to many hulking machines that beep occasionally. Other machines line the wall, and charts are tacked up with pictures of organs and systems foreign to him. Everywhere, he sees green. Green tile walls, green tile floor. Forest cabinets, hunter counter, shamrock bed sheets. It makes his stomach rock and churn, attempting to pitch breakfast into his mouth. He stares at her entrancing face for comfort, peaceful in sleep. As his knees go weak, his muscular body leans against the counter for support.

“Please, sir. Don’t touch the counter. It’s sterile.”

                “Sorry. How is she?”

                “We dislodged this from her throat, sir.”

                In the surgeon’s palm rests a small, partially chewed hunk of apple.

                “She was choking?”

                “Hardly. The apple was poisoned.”

                Who could wish death upon such a stunning woman, such a pleasing picture of perfection?

                Gazing at her, his heart begins to flutter. He’s entranced, absolutely enraptured, tangled in the web of her beauty. An overwhelming cloud of desire settles over his thoughts, and knots of heat form low in his stomach.  He longs to reach for her, to stroke her cheek and hold her tight against him.

                “Why, her hair is as black as ebony,” he whispers.

                “Sir, that is because she was lying in mud.”

                “Well, her lips are as red as blood,” he breathes.

                “Sir, that is because she has been internally bleeding.”

                “But, her skin is as white as snow,” he murmurs.

                “Sir, that is because she is dead. People can’t just come back to life, you know. That’s only the stuff of fairytales.”


© 2013 Luna Evangeline



Author's Note

Luna Evangeline
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Reviews

I like the detail and description of each situation. I like the thoughts of the man. Feeling sadness for the lost of a beautiful woman. I like the way you made the story seem real. With the capture of the seven men. It was a very good story. When I write. I need a editor for my story. Hardest part of writing is to make the story easy to read for the reader. Thank you for the excellent story.
Coyote

Posted 4 Years Ago


Luna Evangeline

4 Years Ago

Thank you again Coyote, I will be dropping by to read your work soon.
Neat update on a classic, got that tongue in cheek kind of humor. Might make for a good sketch, as you have described the scene with a lot of details, it would be easy.

Posted 4 Years Ago


Astro

4 Years Ago

Sketch comedy my friend.
Luna Evangeline

4 Years Ago

*embarrassed blush* I knew that.
Astro

4 Years Ago

lol that's o.k.
Yes. That's all I have to say, nothing more, nothing less.
I found this short story to be a delicious meal that I thoroughly enjoyed from beginning to end. The beginning of the story you left with so many possibilities, leaving the reader anything but bored, which allows you to pull them in at whatever pace they please. I loved how time seems to be hampered down, but is coerced onto moving forward. So much happens in so little time, and so much is learned during this period. Three fourths of the way through, I expected this to become an adventure, where Duke frantically searches for the truth, or how he his later hunted by the gang members for saving the girl. However, you ended it with an ending that wraps the story up rather well.

All I have to say is, I had fun reading this, and didn't get bored half way, the way I usually do with short stories. Great job, and continue on the good work.

Posted 4 Years Ago


Luna Evangeline

4 Years Ago

Thank you Soma, Im glad to see your thoughtful review.
What a wonderful and unexpected finish! Could have been fleshed out even more maybe!

This story's format is much easier to read, and the flow of your words really flew.. if you'll excuse my silly phrasing! There are some great descriptions - a little too long re. clothing, but the man's persona is nicely graphic. Liked the announcement re. the deaths, seem to be a red herring, unless i've misunderstood. Then we're back to that super clever finish.

You're very aware of punctuation, put me to shame, use words very well. You certainly know how to write and look forward to reading more of your posts very soon. :)

Posted 4 Years Ago


Luna Evangeline

4 Years Ago

Thank you for the thoughtful reviews Emma, always glad to hear them.
Oh this was fantastic! The real story of Snow White; a duke instead of a prince and 7 culprits. The apple gave it away : ) The only niggle I had was what was duke doing perusing the forest floor? What was he doing there? Other than that I found this to be a most compelling and a pretty darn exciting story! I loved so many descriptions in this piece, the surgeon's eyes, her soot colored hair,her cherry lips never twitching, frowning or smiling. The ending was ironic perfection.

Posted 4 Years Ago


Luna Evangeline

4 Years Ago

You've hit the nail on the head, my friend! The rewrite is underway.
icelandicblue

4 Years Ago

Send me a r/r when you've completed the rewrite.
Luna Evangeline

4 Years Ago

Will do.

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Added on May 14, 2013
Last Updated on May 14, 2013

Author

Luna Evangeline
Luna Evangeline

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If Walt Whitman were still alive I'd be his groupie. more..

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One One

A Chapter by Luna Evangeline



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