The Roman Valentine
Laura Thomas Communications: Junior Author’s Literary Contest
Honorable Mentioned, Published Poet
Certificate of Excellence
Another attempt at a scary story after my first one: Harold and the Herald of Silence.
I arranged to meet at Central Het Park.
“Come at midnight,” I told her gratifyingly. “I know just the way to end our Valentine’s.” Despite the unfortunate exhaustion that comes with eventful days, Lily eagerly agreed. This was the finishing touch–the lovely velvet bow that wraps all the cards, flowers, and chocolates I gave her into one delightful present.
“I-I cannot tell you how grateful I am!” she giggled.
There was a strange stirring in the wind that night, but Lily must have been distracted by how gracefully her red hair danced in it to notice. She was the most beautiful person I had–and will–ever see. I wanted her and her love, but most importantly, I wanted to be her. I loved her out of such a wicked jealously.
“This park reminds me of my parents, Lily. I feel so nostalgic–in more ways than you know.” I stared out into the dark distance of the park. The shadows wrapped around red swing sets and playgrounds, dousing their fiery colors with a hideous blue.
“Adam, I know you more than you know yourself.” She brushed her arm against mine and rested her head sleepily on my shoulder. “Those damn Azurirists killed your parents, but you got your revenge. You were the best Red Fox infantry the army had ever known; you practically won the war.” She raised her hand and combed my black hair gently.
“Adam… Let it go.”
My blood froze, but only for a second. Her red hair reminded me of what I would lose if I acted on instinct, so I let the insult pierce my heart for now.
“I’ll try, baby. Thanks for your support.”
We spent ten minutes in stark isolation, I leaning against a tree and she gently propped against my shoulder. I had forgotten why we were there, so uncomfortably lost in the midst of all that midnight blue, and yet, for the strangest of reasons, I had remembered why I was there. The blue brooch she wore in her hair sparkled so pretentiously, dampening the vermillion of her hair. It was such a spiteful sight.
The wind from before returned with a hint of vengeance in its voice. Its colder sound prompted Lily to wrap her arms around my neck, for she was wearing very little to counter it.
“Don’t worry, baby. I got you.” I proffered an awkward hug–awkward only because that brooch revolted me so. I would never do such a thing in good will.
She started to pull away, but I held her close.
“Wait. Please don’t leave me, baby,” I whispered in her ear as I uncontrollably tightened my grip. Her heart started to pound against my chest–so wonderfully active and healthy, that heart.
“Adam! W-what are you doing? You’re… holding too tightly.”
“No. I love you, baby.” She started to struggle against my embrace; I could feel how tense her muscles were, how… delicate her will seemed. She was entirely mine from the moment we hugged: I decided how she would break.
“Adam! Please!” The urgency in her voice was undoubtable. I felt her hands slap against my back. “Let me go–I can’t breathe!”
Breathe? I turned my nose to her silken hair and took my first breath. It smelled of strawberries and cream, so pleasant I started to loosen my arms unconsciously. Lily tore herself away, her face darkened by some sort of distrust and fear. You look upset. Why are y–what? She turned suddenly and sprinted towards the park gate, the erratic clunk of her heels slowly turning into the steady slap of her bare feet.
She was leaving me.
After everything I did and said, she was leaving me.
I had never knew desperation like this. My legs shot forward as I tried to imitate her movement, to follow in her footsteps. The most horrid nightmare consumed my mind right then. I dreamed she would disappear forever–fall into the arms of another man who embraces less passionately. My soul drifted off along with the gust that blew across the field, chilling her run by empowering mine. I charged forward with the fervidity of lust and seized Lily by the neck. She shrieked, perhaps for the trees to help her, but the wind negated her vocality. I shoved her down onto the pavement and heaved myself on top of her lungs.
“How could you do this to me?!” Tears cascaded down my cheeks, distorting my vision. “How?!”
The traitor kept thrashing her bruised limbs, but we both knew it was useless. She forced the last of her breath out in one constrained cry for help, but it didn’t matter. Would she have really screamed if no one was around it hear?
The night grew chillier. Two minutes into the struggle I had regained my insanity. I hesitantly withdrew my hands from her throat. I was relieved to see that she had stop moving.
The trees rustled urgently; the grass shivered uncomfortably. Silence crowded around the corpse, stumbling over one another to glimpse at Lily. Nature’s band gradually started to play: the sewer stream came in between the calm chaos and lulled it all to serenity. I continued my work in peace, gouging a hole in her chest and slicing her veins. I had never seen a red so luscious on Valentine’s. I drenched my hands in the warm fluid as I severed her heart from its cavity.
It was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen.
I slowly lifted my prize up for all to admire. Despite being pacified by the water, silence rose once again in enthusiasm as it clapped and roared and cheered its deafening chants. Blood flowed freely down my arms, drawing lines of crimson. Those were the marks of victory–hard-earned, invigorating victory.
I got up slowly and left the scene; my inaudible spectators laid a sanguine carpet beneath my feet as I paraded down aisle.
A wonderful success, but a greater collection for my jar of hearts.
That was my favorite Valentine’s.
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