There was no choice except to lie about the drug use though everyone in town knew the truth. He was a heavy cranker, a tweaker and tried to keep it secret then the inevitable came, long under drug-induced strain, its parts wearing out, his heart started failing.
He had done the drug for a long time and did a good job of hiding it from most of the people in town until his best friend revealed his habit to a person close to him.
At first, he tried to explain it away by telling everyone it was a disorder ran in his family but those that did the white powder lines with him just laughed. They knew why he was having problems with his heart and soon they would be too. But the damage was done and there were no stories or excuses he could use to cover his operations and hospital stays anymore and soon the whole town knew what he was. He had hidden the instances of violence against women and kept the cops at bay by snitching when he had a little useable information and they cut him a little slack for his efforts.
But everything had changed. He became thin, gaunt and black blue circles appeared underneath his eyes, his hair fell out and he became an old man what seemed like overnight. Afraid, and rightly so, he wondered if this was the price he paid for his treacherous behavior. For the lies, he told her, the promises he broke and the damage he inflicted because of his greed. For the lives, he had destroyed from his past.
He could not shake these perceptions that tortured him night and day sitting in the back of his brain like a tightening knot that refused to be expelled. It weighed heavy on his heart and more so in his mind until his thoughts turned inward and outward and twisted like snakes. Then he remembered the last words she spoke; the crying and chills ran through his body, he began to violently tremble and his breathing quickened with the memory of her.
Then it began, in earnest, the nightmares, the echoes of crying, and gales the wind that carried words he had once spoken in pledge. He began to cringe in fear at shadows that he was convinced were lurking and lying in wait for him around each and every corner and the whimpering that came from thin air. that no one else could hear. Paranoia was consuming him and there was no controlling it. The last piece in the puzzle of his destiny had come at last to rest in its final tomb.
He could tell no one of the thoughts that consumed him like cancer lest he revealed the monster that he was. and what he had done. So, his fears festered like a rotting wound that would never heal, putrid and decaying, distrustful and suspicious of all he encountered. Counting the beats of his pulse in his wrists wondering if they would slow and stop day after day until in the end he sometimes wished and yearned for death.
There would be no escape this time or reprieve from his actions and it was not hatred that doomed him but love. Steady as the winds in the sky, the flowing waters of the earth, and even the stars that dwell throughout the universe. The emotion that was stronger some say than the face of death itself.
When the fates deemed, he had suffered enough, the bowels of the earth opened before him and they came. But they had no pity for him and it would not be the sounds of angel wings that greeted his soul. But the moans and shrieks of dark spirits from the underworld, and the smell of sulfur.
It would be her voice he heard laughing, as they took him, her small face he saw smiling until she turned and walked away slowly becoming a blurred vision. His eyes dimmed, he cried the name of the one he had wronged and he strained once more to see her before breathing his last. It was her love that had bewitched him and love that took his life.
My attempt at writing a ghost story
All Rights Reserved @ Tammy M.Darby Oct.31, 2019
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