The following short story was presented at the Jersey City Writers’ monthly genre event–Creepypasta: A Literary Reading of Web Horror. Please enjoy.
He caressed her face, kissed her lips and marveled at the contours of her body. She’d been dead for only minutes. He never meant to take her life. It was an accident. She spent her afternoons out while he was at work — out with her friends. Well, that is what she always told him. He had his suspicions but denial would not let him see the truth. Yet he felt it. He had to follow her that day. He felt guilty, terrible that he started to lose faith in her. His friends kept warning him. Telling him that they saw her with another man. They were lying. They had to be. She loved him, promised to love him and keep herself only onto him for the rest of her life. She wouldn’t lie to him so blatantly in front of God and witnesses. Would she?
He watched as she pulled in front of The Grand Hotel. He watched as they walked into the hotel together. His heart sank. It’s all true. Why! He buried his head in his hands. A white heat flushed through his body. He felt weak, unable to move. His hands shook. Finally, gathering his thoughts, he started his car and headed home. He could not remember driving home that morning. He felt a calm come over him. He felt as if his soul had left his body and he could see himself go into the closet and take out her favorite scarf. He saw himself sit down and wait for her to come home. Yes, he thought. He would just wait.
He sat in her favorite corner of the sofa. He could hear the keys just outside of the door. Funny how he never noticed that sound before. She entered and was startled, surprised that he was home so early in the day. He stood as she approached him and she put her arms around him, told him how wonderful it was to see him home so early, asked him about his day and tried to kiss him.
He pulled his head back, which surprised her. He had never done that before. The room was dark from the shades being closed. From a light that crept through the curtain, she could see a faint smile on his face. She knew she was being careful so he wouldn’t suspect, or worse, know. He gathered himself. He could sense her fear and he did not want to let on. He smiled, told her his day was good and kissed her on the cheek, which surprised her. He’s always kissed her full on the mouth. Trying not to give herself away, she smiled timidly. He turned and would not look at her. She asked if he was alright. He told her that he was tired.
She noticed the scarf in his hand. He held it up and asked if she remembered how she fell in love with it when they were on their honeymoon. She told him, how could she forget? She said it was the happiest day in her life. Fury rose in him. His legs grew numb. He wanted to cry; he wanted to scream. He put his arms around her and led her into their bedroom. He told her that he found the scarf while looking for something and he thought of their honeymoon. He asked her to wear it for him. She put it on. He told her that he wanted her to model it for him, naked. She was tired and wanted to take a nap. He looked at her. She saw that look in his eyes again. He put his hands around her neck. A slight fear went through her. Then she was reassured as he gently lifted her head and kissed her on the forehead. Again, she thought that strange. He whispered in her ear, softly that he wanted her to model it for him, naked. She did not argue. She felt excitement. Thinking he must be playing some sort of game. He imagined her with another man and it made him sick. He told her to lay on her stomach that he wanted to massage her. Her excitement rose. She had to please him. Or better, please herself. She lay on her stomach. He straddled her and put his knees on her elbows. So hard she felt he was going to break her arms. She tried to scream as pain sent her adrenaline soaring. He squeezed the scarf around her neck. She struggled but fell unconscious.
In the shower he scrubbed her clean. Dried her and dropped her limp body back onto the bed and did to her all of things he imagined this strange man must have done to her. She was going in and out of consciousness. Damnit! He had to kill her now. He looked at her naked body and felt an arousal come over him. Again he entered her, put the scarf around her neck and felt her life leave her body as he poured himself into her.
He put fresh linen on the bed and lay her body down dressed in his favorite nighty. She looked so peaceful. So beautiful. He could not resist touching her. He had to find out. Who is this strange man who meets his wife at a hotel? He was mentally exhausted. He needed to think. Needed to sleep. He lay next to her dead body. Put his arms around her. He could still feel the warmth of her. He caressed her everywhere. She was still warm in places he loved to explore. Finally, with his head on her shoulder, he slept. When he woke and with a clear head, he searched through her phone. He would find the answers there.
The man? A banquet manager at The Grand Hotel. He had an appointment. A meeting with wifey to show her the banquet halls that she could rent for his her husband’s surprise 40th birthday party. A surprise birthday party? For me? Desperately he tried to open her desk drawer. It was locked. Why? It was never locked before. He broke through the lock. His fingers bleeding and splintered. It was all there. Invitations to all of their family and friends. Time and place. The Grand Hotel. The horror and the terror that went through his body was more than he could stand. He could not believe what he had just done. No. It was an accident. He had to tell himself that in order to keep his sanity, but to no avail.
He reached into his night table drawer and pulled out his .38 revolver that she hated so. He lay in the bed next to her, held her hand and placed the nozzle of the revolver against his chest. His last thought before ending his life was that she did keep her promise and kept herself only unto him.