This is a simple set of short stories that dont seem to fall in with my usual horror genre. They are about love and loss, suffering, crime...a little of everything in the human emotion range.
Hope you enjoy!
The entrance to the morgue was always a comforting sight. Home sweet home.
Okay, maybe that was a little morbid. Patricia couldn’t help it. She’d rather spend her time with the dead rather than the living. She found their stories to be fascinating.
However, being in a city as big as this, many bodies come through that tell no clear story. The homeless where the top of that list. They had very few belongings. Hardly any of them had identification or even family that wanted to claim them.
So Patricia talked to them.
She looked over their tattered bodies and belongings. She wanted them to be remembered in some small way, even if it was just in her imagination.
Body ID # 025479-78
An elderly woman. Patricia judged her to be in her late 70’s. Her weathered skin told of a story on the streets, living in shelters, and foraging for what she could. Her grey hair had been falling out, but there was a pattern to it. She wore a cap or hat most of the time. What was left of her hair was matted and knotted.
Her body was frail, a small hump in her upper back, just below the neck. Arthritis more than likely, her hands also showed signs of it, the fingers becoming curled and painful looking.
Her clothing was layers upon layers of shirts and sweaters. The woman had body lice.
When the autopsy was completed and documents signed, Patricia took a small bag from the woman’s belongings. Most of the contents made little sense. Rocks, thread and yarn. Twisty ties. A cough drop wrapper.
In all the nonsensical things, however, was a locket. Patricia picked it up carefully. She looked over the frail chain, opening the locket. Inside was a single picture. It was old, cracked and faded.
The picture was of a ballerina. Was it this woman? Was it Body # 025479-78?
Patricia let her mind open to this woman’s story.
She was a beautiful young dancer with the Russian Ballet. She was a crown jewel. Loved by all. Her fluid grace enchanted theater goers. She headlined several ballets.
She met a young soldier and fell in love. But their love was ill fated and ended in heartbreak. The performing arts kept the young ballerina quite busy, she gave up all hope of a love life.
Matters at home became worse in ways of politics.
She and her manager defected and fled to the USA. She wasn’t the crown jewel here. The competition for headlining performances was too strong.
She was failing. No longer the Princess Ballerina.
She took what she could, and modeled when she could. She didn’t have the body most men desired, however. Long and lean, rather flat chested, few curves.
Her manager left her. She took up work in a diner serving the sailors around the shipyards. That was where she met him. The man that seemed to pull her out of the fog.
They had been so happy together, for so many years. And though they shared a lovely marriage, it wasn’t without its own tragedies. He wanted children. Lots of boys.
She failed him. A series of miscarriages until her body just gave out. A hysterectomy was performed.
He took to drinking, and so did she.
And then, one night, he just didn’t come home.
Her job just wasn’t enough, and her looks were far gone.
She faced eviction. She was starving. And even with hunger gnawing at her belly, whatever assistance she did get she took to the liquor store.
She fell in with a group of women at the shelter. It was first come, first serve on the beds. Most nights she slept outside, under tunnels, or near the train yards.
And that’s where the ballerina was found.
Patricia closed the locket. She looked to Body # 025479-78. She wished she had a happier story for the woman, one with a nice ending. In Patricia’s mind, however, none of these stories had happy endings. All she could do was image some good memories for these lost people.
She stood from her desk, moving to the body. She gently tucked the locket within the old woman’s hand. She would take her most valued possession with her into the afterlife.
The Princess Ballerina.
"It's all bills, bills, bills. That's my only answer now," he said, pointing to Eva like it was all her fault.
The young woman frowned, looking to Pete. “Listen, I didn’t accumulate all those bills on my own, you know. Rent, food, electric, phones, gas, car insurance…and don’t forget your nights out with the guys blowing lord knows how much on booze. And you’re stupid online games and pay per view.” She hissed.
Pete looked to her, anger etched over every line of his face. “I don’t see you suffering none. You see something, you buy it. How can I even get you gifts when you just up and buy what catches your eye? And me going out? Christ, Eva, I can’t stand sitting in this place all the time. You may be content chatting online, but I like to be social.” He huffed out.
Eva crossed her arms. “And your porn? And titty-bars?” She was starting to dig in deeper now.
Pete certainly didn’t appreciate it. “I give you how much money? How often do I hear a ‘thank you’ for all those clothes you buy? All those matching kitchen gadgets? At least I can go to a titty-bar and see a nice rack and ass for a few bucks, and the bitches thank me for it.”
Eva drew back and slapped Pete hard across the face. The moment her hand left his cheek, she immediately regretted it.
Pete turned his head slightly, looking down his nose at his wife. His voice came out very low, each word very precise and clear. “I have had enough.”
At this point, Eva had started shaking. Pete had a temper when provoked, and slapping him was probably the worst thing she could have done. “I’m sorry, Pete, please. I love you.” She said, her voice trembling. “Please don’t leave me. I don’t want to get divorced. I’m sorry…I won’t bitch about things anymore…”
Pete cut her off with a hard stare. “Divorce? No, Eva. That isn’t gonna happen.” She had pushed just a little too hard. It was always a mistake bringing certain things up with him, and the slap just nailed things.
“Go to bed. Just… get out of my sight.” He said firmly.
Eva nodded, all but stumbling over herself to get out of the kitchen and up the stairs to the bedroom.
He watched her like a hawk, and then listened to her footfalls overhead.
He’d had enough of this shit. Everyone had warned him not to marry her. Hell, everyone had told him never to marry period. He wasn’t the type. Ill tempered.
He wouldn’t give her the satisfaction of divorce, however. She wasn’t as stupid as she acted. She knew if they divorced, she’d get half, if not more, of their liquidated assets.
He had to get rid of her.