Alison hesitated on the doorstep, quaking at the rigour of her own rules.
“Darling, how were your friends?” Stuart beamed.
She winced. That lie again.
“I’ve something to tell you,” they exclaimed together.
A “You go first” standoff followed, before Stuart led her to the sofa.
“I’ve been diagnosed with kidney disease. It will deteriorate. It’s likely I’ll need a transplant.”
Her eyes moistened. He held her tight, “Don’t worry, it’ll be alright. What do you have to tell me?” He asked lovingly.
“Nothing,” she cried, “I was thinking of joining the WI, that’s all.” Deceit returned like welcome succour.
A tale of love and conscience written in 100 word chapters. If you wish to read prior episodes open the category, “The Whole of the Moon”
John inserted his key almost apologetically. Amy greeted him, hair towel-turbaned. “There you are.”
He expected more. “I had to go away.”
Her laugh held no humour, “To get your head straight?”
She turned the hair dryer on full. After a brief blow through, she flung it down.
“I’m moving out.” He knew anything he said would be weak.
“It’s not working. Is that what you want to hear?” She railed.
“I love you…” the words seemed to come from outside him.
“And it’s not me, it’s you.”
The rest was weighted silence as he helped her load her car.
“I feel devious, dirty almost.”
“Not dirty, don’t say that, it’s pure,” he countered, “That’s why there’s nothing else we can do.”
As though confessing to a priest, wracked with shame she said, “I’ve already lied to him. It’s driving me mad. I’m struggling to keep my head.”
“Having lost your heart.” He quipped
“I’m not making light, just releasing the valve a bit.” He reached a hand to her face; she caught his wrist and held it.
“We must be sensitive; we tell Amy and Stuart, immediately.”
“That’s a high hurdle.”
“I couldn’t live with myself otherwise.”
At the diner, they sat on the same side of the table.
“I dreamt you kissed me. I wondered if I kissed you in your dream. Is that two dreams or one shared?” He asked.
She leant into him, her mouth slightly open, “There’s no going back,” he warned.
She patted her eyes with a tissue. “What about free will? We’re not forced to become lovers.”
“We’re already lovers. Only the physical is unconsummated.”
She smiled, “The physical’s unimportant?”
She took his hand, “We’re fated to be together, I know. Just wish it wasn’t so destructive. Poor Stuart…”
John lived a hermit’s life for two days, wandering in thought and body. There was time and distance between them, but love doesn’t recognise such obstacles.
Alison lived in his mind but if he didn’t hear from her, he’d stay away. He would sacrifice. He wouldn’t let her suffer under a burden.
Alison roiled in her bed at night, in the day no physical activity dispelled her dreams of John.
She could fight no longer; she surrendered. She saw now that she needed him.
She hated the pain and anguish it would bring but, she called him back to her.
John drove, his thoughts out-spinning the wheels. He didn’t like what he was doing, the cruel pressure exerted on the girl he loved.
He thought of Amy, his partner, how did she deserve this? He thought of Stuart, a stranger to him but a life he seemed predestined to shatter.
He feared Alison’s decision; either way held awful consequences.
He found himself in the Peak District, checked into a bed and breakfast and for two days roamed the rolling countryside, trying to understand what he was wreaking.
On the evening of the second day a text pinged, Where are you?
PHOTO PROMPT © CEayr
“It’s a shabby outhouse, why would they padlock it?”
“We’ll know when we get it open. Can you pick it?”
“If I did, would it open the door to your heart too?”
She smouldered, probably with irritation but he preferred to interpret it as desire.
“They’re hiding something.”
“Like you’re hiding your passion for me?”
She scowled at him. “Just open the door, the only prize you’ll get is what might be on the inside.”
Undefeated he said, “Hope it’s love then.”
As the door creaked open, three decaying corpses fell forwards.
“She even pukes beautifully,” he thought.
Written for Friday Fictioneers – a 100 words story based on a photo prompt. Hosted by Rochelle. Read the other entries here.