Memories of Fading

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It was her face behind the glass, staring at him. The same carefully composed countenance he had remembered in her absence peered at him calmly, as it had in so many sleepless nights. It was a gradual moment of attrition, followed by disbelief. This was merely another dream. No! This was no nightly deceit; this apparition before him seemed as tangible as she was when she was still among the living.

She was there with him, as he had thought her to be, as he had always wished her to be. Her hair was waving behind her head in an unnatural sway, as one would expect when submerged under water. He reached out, as he had planned to do for so long, but was met with the cold surface of the glass.

A transparent veil was all that separated past and present being as one; a veil unable to be removed without the loss of all rational thought. Fading back into nonexistence, she fell slowly into the infinite darkness which lay behind her; no word was said, no cries were uttered. Her face had lost its mask of composure, and was now naked in pallor.

He had watched her die again once more, as he had every night for two years now. Nicholas lay still in his bed, a marble figure, a motionless element in a room of pale shades. These nightmares had been haunting him since the day Isabelle was taken, but none were as strong as this one. This was not merely in his head anymore. Isabelle was there with him. If this was his own subconscious deceit he must either be brilliant or insane, he assured himself, for no ordinary mind could produce something like this; memories so consistent and relentless, yet still terrifying enough to invoke death’s presence upon every attempt.

If one of the most powerful and prominent plagues in his life was no more than a trick of the mind, nothing else may be considered truly real for him. His alarm clock read that it was almost morning, and he knew he would not be able to sleep tonight; not after this terrifying dream. It was raining heavily outside, not that the weather would have any influence on him leaving the room. Nicholas did not blame himself for Isabelle’s death. He could not have prevented that dreadful occurrence from happening even if he tried.

They say the killer waited by the side of the road at night, standing outside of his car, attempting to draw attention to his predicament, waiting for someone kind enough to pull over. Isabelle did. Her body was found by the side of the road the next morning. The killer hadn’t even attempted to hide his work.

There had been no witnesses. Isabelle was one of very few who would have stopped for a stranger in need. That was the reason he took her. Dozens drove past him, but only one stopped to spend her final moments at the edge of a stranger’s knife. It couldn’t have been anyone but her, only she was kind enough to stop for a stranger.

Nicholas heard a male voice screaming from further down the hallway. Silent and terrified, he reached inside his bedside cupboard. Efficient footsteps emanated through the walls, and soon the voice was stifled by force and narcotics, as if nothing had ever taken place. Nicholas withdrew his hand, clenching religiously to his personal deliverance. While there were occasional passers-by, sedated and safe behind whatever they should believe, he would be alone this time.

He stepped from his secluded, shaded shelter into a world of impenetrable darkness, where he was no longer a shadow, only a sentient extension of everything around him. Lucid and blissful, he gazed into the face of oblivion. One final valueless breath and it all died. Isabelle was gone, Nicholas was gone, and all memories regarding the pair vanished with his fatal volition. He will accept his fate and await God’s open arms and hope to meet Isabelle once again in heaven, his memories fading into oblivion, just as he was ready to accept it.

When the warden got a phone call about a murder, he entered Room 202 approximately five hours later after the dreadful occurrence. All he found was lifeless body of Nicholas, sprawled on the floor.

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