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Guises Of The Reaper

Guises Of The Reaper

By Christine71

    Late one spring night in the last century, an Englishman found himself , to his astonishment, standing in the garden outside his house. It was quite bewildering. He remembered going to bed and falling asleep, but had no memory of waking up or walking out the front door. Yet there he was, shivering in the chill of the night air, his feet buried in rain soaked grass. another surprise awaited him when he tried the front door and found it to be locked.
    The moon had set and the familiar garden had become a foreign landscape painted in shades of grey and black. His prized privet hedge was an anonymous, humped-backed blur, larger than it looked by daylight, the still bare branches of the trees were like skeletal arms stretched wide against the stars.
    From the window of his bedroom, light shone warm and welcoming into the night. He made for the window at once, his wife would trust him and admit him into the house without any nervousness or fear normally reserved for strangers.
    His bed where his wife laid was directly opposite the window and he observed with some disapproval that his wife had fallen asleep whilst the candles still burned. He was puzzled now, for he remembered blowing out the candles when he and his wife had retired for the night. His disapproval was increased by the unnatural effect of the candle's flames flickering upon his wife. Her face, sunk among the mounds of pillows, looked old and sallow, her hands, curled upon the counterpane, seemed pitted by age.
    Not wishing to frighten his wife by rapping upon the window, he stepped close to the panes and peered, concentrating all his will upon her to make her awake and see him standing there. The faithfulness of his wife obeyed, obedient even in her sleep, she stirred and sat up. Her eyes focused on the window, looking directly into his own, and he gave her a warm, reassuring smile.
    The result was not what he had hoped. For a moment, his wife did nothing. Then her head began to swayed from side to side on a straining neck.  Her eyes widened and bulged, her mouth opened, her lips drawn back tight. She screamed, as those in nightmares scream, without a sound.
    Unnerved, he took a step back as his wife found her voice and her shriek ripped the air and battered the window panes. It went on crazily on and on, punctuated by hoarse and gasping breaths, rising and falling and rising again. After a few moments he raised his arm and knocked on the window to put an end to the appalling noise.
    He saw a curious sight then. He saw it quite clearly and all at once, the gleaming white bones of his forearm, neatly articulated to the bones of his wrist, the pebbly joints of his five fingers loosely bound by frayed strings of ligaments, and the fluttering shreds of his own winding sheet surrounding his fleshless body.

Author Notes: Hi...

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17 Feb, 2015
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