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Old 05-28-2005, 11:14 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Location: Florida
Chilling Horror

Jump If You Love Me

F-L-A-S-H!

BRRROOOM!

The room blackened. Discordant gongs from belfry bells accompanied the snapping sound of steel ripping apart. A window flung open and slammed against the wall. Panes of glass spattered to the floor and disintegrated. The sound of shattering glass pierced eardrums. "Please don't be alarmed." assured Benson calmly. "I believe lightening struck the belfry lightening rod. The lights are never off for more than fifteen seconds when the cause is from natural sources. I'll engage James to attend to the open window promptly when the lights come on again."

The resulting solitude brought anxious moments. Five seconds passed. Members' hearts beat heavily. Ten seconds passed. Someone counted -- one, two -- Breathing became pronounced -- three -- louder -- four -- louder -- more intense. The lights flashed. A chorus of sighs ensued. Carrying tools, a trashcan, and towels, as though he had been informed and summoned, James entered the room and headed straight to the open window. But no one seemed to fathom the significance of James' untimely appearance. Was it clairvoyance?

Suddenly, a skeleton draped and hooded in a white sheet floated through the open window. It sifted through James and continued towards the dining table. He was unaffected. It was as if such happenings were common. The hollows of its eyes glowed like hot cinders. It whined, "Mon dieu -- Let me die -- Let my soul rest -- mon dieu!" Its right hand held a book published more than a century ago. It was blood stained.

The guests were visibly disturbed. Everyone ducked as it circled the long table barely missing their heads chanting -- "set my spirit free." Approaching Benson, it lowered its flight and smothered Benson like a dense fog hovering over a New Orleans graveyard. "My friend, you're early. Please leave," instructed Benson politely. "You will be summoned in time."

"My crypt is cold and lonely. The earthworms are hungry, bitter enemies. The carnivorous little devils have gnawed my bones clean. As you can see, there's no flesh left. Why don't they leave me alone? I find your colleagues interesting, Benson. I have written about pathetically sick people like them."

"Yes I know. Now please leave. Your wait will be short."

'Please summon me as soon as possible. Mon dieu!"

"Try to get your act together, old man. We possess no powers to free your tormented soul: unless, by chance, the Bokor in our midst has some black magick up his sleeve."

He obeyed and sifted through the dining room's closed entrance. The audience was petrified. Everyone wondered what additional horrors the night would bring. If they only knew?

"Begging your pardon for the interruption Doctor Clarendon," spoke Benson. "I believe everyone has finished refreshments. Please continue."

"Thank you. Pray tell, Sir, who was that tormented ghost that entered through the window?"

"You shall know in time. Now, we're all piqued to hear the juicy details of your abnormal husband's demise. I must say that the provocation was unique. I'm sure everyone feels sympathetic. And I see intrigue written on faces of those present."

"I'm going to act out the ending. I'll play every part and try not to be histrionic. On the way to the car, black thoughts twirled in my cranium. His revelation and sexual desires devastated my happy world. How love could turn to sheer hate so quickly is beyond human comprehension. My mind seethed with revengeful thoughts. I couldn't allow myself to let him get away with this deep hurt I felt.

I turned around and returned to the room. He was sitting on the bed slumped over, his chin buried in his hands. He sobbed like a baby. I sat beside him and took his hand in mine. He looked at me sadly. I said, 'I'm sorry Carl. I acted irrationally. You should have told me. It would have been the right thing to do.'

'I tried several times. I was afraid to risk it. I loved you too much. Without you, I'd rather be dead.'

"I tried to relate, to feel some compassion for him. I couldn't. The shock had been too great. Now, I became a scheming femme. Revenge obsessed my entire being. 'I have no desire to participate in lesbian practices. I'll stay with you and work with you to bring out your masculinity. Then, when you feel capable, we'll consummate our vows.'

'Yes, that would please me. Then we'll live as we have? We'll continue doing the things we did before this happened?'

'Yes. We'll climb the highest peaks, dance nights away, enjoy fine cuisine, and etceteras.'

Well, he'd bought my deception. In the weeks that followed, I had several sessions with him on the couch. I used hypnosis to enforce his masculinity and suppress his femininity. Revenge was always at the forefront of my schemes. So, during his hypnotic trances I would continually suggest to him 'Do you love me?'

'Yes, I love you.'

'Jump if you love me.'

He'd rise from the couch and jump as high as he could. Always he inched forward a trifle.

'How much? Jump if you love me.'

He'd jump again.

'This much.'

After a month, he was obeying my command with alacrity. I figured the time was right: that my revenge was near. I invited friends, a young couple we often climbed with, to join us on the weekend to climb our favorite mountain, Pike's Peak, because the top is circled with steep and instant drop-offs. Actually, there's a spot at the top called Lover's Leap that offers a spectacular view of the surrounding forest 3,000 feet below. Carl would invariably go to this spot, stand as close as he could to the edge -- I think he liked living close to the edge -- and ten or fifteen minutes enjoying the breath taking view. Of course, I invited my friends to provide an eyewitness account of what I knew was inevitable. I didn't want any trouble with the police, and I wanted to collect his insurance.

The day came. The mountain came. The top was reached. Our friends, slightly older than us, were tired, and they occupied a marble loveseat one of several provided by the park service. It was opposite Lover's Leap and out of hearing range. Carl and I strolled towards Lover's leap. I stopped five feet short. He continued and stopped only inches away from the edge. Excitedly, I said softly and sultrily. 'Do you love me?'

'Yes, I love you.'

'Jump if you love me.' I held my breath.

He jumped. The end of his shoes touched the edge.

'How much? Jump if you love me.'

He jumped again. His knees bent. I thought he was gone, but he steadied himself.

'How much? Jump if you love me.'

He jumped, fell forward, and yelled, 'This mucccchhhhhh.'

I heard the yell for only seconds. Suddenly, I felt emptiness so strong, that it forced me to the edge. I was at the brink of jumping when I heard my lady friend's scream, 'Oh God! Oh! Dear God! Carl's fallen over the edge. Marilyn! Don't jump. Marilyn! Marilyn! For God sake, don't jump.'

I backed away from the edge slowly. I trembled. My heart ached. My eyes filled with tears. He was lost forever.

"Doctor," said Benson, "it's a poignant story. And it is without a doubt the most perfect crime I've ever heard of. One moot point. Did your husband have life insurance?"

"Yes, he did, half of a million dollars."

"Hmmm! And you collected?"

"Yes, of course. I convinced the insurance company that Carl played his game of dare and jump, and he slipped. There was no reason to suspect differently."

"You did say the policy was worth five hundred thousands dollars?" asked Benson, his eyes gleaming.

"Yes, Worshipful Master."

"How long ago was that, Doctor?"

"Just last year." The greed in Benson's eyes had a vicious tinge now.

Read more short stories like this at my homepage.
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Last edited by stonewallja; 05-28-2005 at 11:22 AM.. Reason: Change Title
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Old 05-28-2005, 04:13 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Location: Tri-state.
when the ghost entered, i instantly felt skeptical, but i pressed on and found treasure through the end! thanks for sharing; the ending was particularly sad (but, of course, the only context I have is this entry)
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Old 05-29-2005, 08:19 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Location: Florida
Jump if You Love me

Quote:
Originally Posted by macmanmike6100
when the ghost entered, i instantly felt skeptical, but i pressed on and found treasure through the end! thanks for sharing; the ending was particularly sad (but, of course, the only context I have is this entry)
This is an excerpt taken from a book I wrote entitled "Blood Trust." The scene happens at Chimerical (mysterious) Manor (haunted mansion) where seven members of Blood Trust meet to tell their killing stories. This is just one of eight killing stories. Poe's after spirit is a honorary member of blood trust. Why did you feel skeptical when the ghost entered? Just curious...
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