Copyright is held by the author.
IT WAS a deliciously wicked Halloween party, one for the ages, peopled with spellbound creatures: real ghosts and ghouls and authentic wizards and witches and not silly mortal men and women in costumes. Holly loved all of it: the stories, the food, the wine, and, of course, the company. “I’m lucky to be married to you,” she said on the walk home. She meant, of course, being married to a wizard.
Holly’s first husband was a mortal, a witless math high school teacher who contracted a virus that slowly ate away his liver and other organs. Being a healing creature, I could have helped him, but I chose not to. He spent their marriage ignoring Holly and masturbating at night in the kitchen to online porn.
I was looking forward to a few hours of late night love with my mortal baby when we found her aunt, Ms. Doris Ann Day, who lived with us, dead in her bed, and I mean capital “D” Dead. Super Dead. Ultra Dead. Elvis Dead. Whoever killed her had a grand ol’ time, disassembling her like a despised and unwanted doll. The old woman had been disemboweled, quartered and beheaded. To say the ol’ girl’s chances for recovery looked quite bleak was an understatement.
I wanted to steer my sweetie from her aunt’s bedroom to ours. Holly was looking comely in her favourite dress, a black Ann Taylor V-back complemented with black Gucci pumps, but Holly could not be detoured. She entered the room and proceeded to lift and cradle her dear aunt’s severed head. Stroking Aunt Doris’s blue hair, she said, “I don’t understand, Alex. She was perfectly fine when we left.”
I gently lifted Aunt Doris’s head from my love’s grip and tossed it back onto the bed. Seizing the opportunity to lighten the tension (Holly claimed she had married me for my humour), I replied, “You know, sweetie, given her recent diagnosis, you can’t rule out suicide.” Doris had stage two Alzheimer’s.
“Alex, please. That’s not funny.”
“Oh, I disagree. It is quite humorous.”
“Be serious. You know she was like a second mother to me. Who could have done this? Why?”
“Probably one of her jealous ex-boyfriends. The old gal was a bit of a trollop.”
“Don’t be mean!” she replied, eyes reddening. “Should we call the police? The Lazarus Council?”
“First we get a room freshener. After that, I suggest a big can of Lysol.”
Holly started to sob. “What’s wrong with you? This is horrible. Do something. Use your powers. Fix her.”
“My powers? Honey, I can, at times, cast an effective healing spell, but I’m not the blessed carpenter. I can’t put Humpty Dumpty back together again. I’m sorry, but Doris is gone.”
Mortal women — so emotional
Using my best tone of emphatic persuasion, one step short of a silencing spell, I said, “Holly Jo Martin, my eternal love, my soulful bride, my beautiful dove, please don’t cry.”
I know it’s utter drivel, but the nonsense usually worked.
Instead of calming down, Holly dropped to her knees and started bawling loudly, leaving me wondering, again, if a mortal woman was worth the effort or if I would be better off with a sweet, demure sorceress — a creature of reason and even temperament and not bat shit crazy. Then I thought of how Holly, a lowly mortal, made love — desperate and intense as if the act itself not only healed her wounded soul but also stopped time itself. Let’s not forget the taste of her lips, above and below deck.
“Oh, Alex,” Holly sobbed. “I loved her so much.”
“She was a good woman,” I said, and I meant it. Doris loved to read and passed her passion for books onto Holly. I went to work.
I grabbed my wife’s hands and raised her to her feet. I gently caressed her face, kissed her tears, and recited the soothing words I had been taught by my father: a spell to comfort, a spell to calm, and a spell to control. Then I brought her close to my chest, listening to the rhythm of her heart and feeling the rise and fall of her chest. With each breath, her sadness abated and I gathered a few more days to tack onto my own lifespan.
It’s not fair, but it’s the way of our worlds.
After a few minutes, Holly’s sobs finally abated. She lifted her head and said, “Alex, I know this is awful, but my beloved Aunt Doris is dead, but I’m not upset. Hell, I feel fine. What have you done to me?”
“Nothing, my love. Not really. Just demonstrating my love for you.”
She looked at her aunt, sighed. “What are we to do with her?”
“Box her up and mail her to her ex-husband — an early Christmas present.”
She laughed and punched my arm. “You are such a naughty wizard.”
“Don’t you mean sexy?”
Flashing a wicked smile, I guided her up to our bedroom where we made love and temporarily forgot about old headless Doris.
Afterward, as Holly slept, I thought about her question: Who killed Aunt Doris? I knew she suspected a spellbound entity. Humans preferred blaming their most vile sins on conniving demons or mad wizards, but I knew differently.
The murderer was a mortal man.
When it comes to unthinkable, unconscionable, and unimaginable acts of depravity and hate, mortal men, by far, reign supreme.
They deserve everything we do to them including taking their finest women.