“She Was Beautiful” by Roslyn Walker

 

Lisa Runnell - 4

Photo by Lisa Runnell

 

She Was Beautiful

By Roslyn Walker

She was beautiful, just like she has been in every life before this one.
Usually, I must allow myself to have a moment of realization once I find her because the search is always so long and much more difficult than it should be. I never know where she will be, but somehow, I always find her when I least expect it, or maybe she finds me. Now I sit in a coffee shop in Alabama and I’m watching her read a novel and sip her hot drink a few tables away.

I figure she must enjoy quaint little towns because these are the places I have found her the most. They are always small, and she is always alone. She looks happy, consumed by her story, sipping her drink. But it will soon end, as it always does.

I get up to approach her. She looks up from her book and her eyes meet mine. Those beautiful, ancient eyes stare right into me.

“Miss, I think your car is parked in a tow lane,” I say to her as she looks at me confused. I point to the lady behind the counter and continue with my made-up story. “The server over there was talking about someone in a red car parked in the tow lane. She asked if it was me, and since you’re the only other customer here I assume it must be you.”

“Oh, I didn’t even realize.” She replied as she digs for her keys in her bag. “Thank you, sir. You just saved me from a fine. What a gentleman.”  She smiles the most genuine smile I’ve seen in this lifetime and walks out the door.

I follow behind her.

I must.

It is my duty.

I open the coffee shop door and step out into the rain and I’m thankful for the downpour. It goes along with the tragedy. She won’t be out here long once she realizes her car is parked in a perfectly legal parking spot. I don’t know why I always give myself a small window of time to do my job.

I see her red raincoat and relieve the weight I’ve been carrying in my jacket pocket.
She will not fight back, she doesn’t know you. Just do it.

“Miss!” I yell to her as the rain falls down on my face. “You forgot your book,”  I continue walking to her and act as if I have the book in my hand.

“Oh, thank you. Aga—“. Confusion. Fear. Perfectly round, frightened eyes stare up into mine as I get a little too close and grab her arm a little too roughly. “What are doing, sir?!”

No response from me.

I am good. I am The Light, ridding the world of all its darkness.

I am good. I am The Light, ridding the world of all its darkness.

“Let me go.” She pleads, “Please, sir, let me go!”

I can feel it building up inside me, the duty, the honor, the responsibility that I was forged from. I hold the gun in my hand and bring it up to her chest. The cold barrel is placed perfectly over her unrhythmic heart. She doesn’t speak. She doesn’t move. In this moment, she is still innocent and she is still good. But my hatred for who she is runs deep within, and I put my finger on the trigger, ready to end this existence.

I return my gaze to hers, and I soften my eyes. “It’s okay, Edith.”

In a panicked whisper she replies, “I’m not Edith, you have the wrong person. Please, you have the wrong person.” She sobs quietly.

“But I don’t.” I pull the trigger. Her crimson blood splatters all over the red car and all over my shoes. Her eyes flutter but they don’t close yet. I let her body slide down onto the wet pavement.

“267. 267. 267.” I repeat over and over. This is my ritual. I replay them all in my head, all the centuries I have known her, every similar encounter we have had, I watch them dance in my mind for days after she is gone. I pull out my knife and cut off a chunk of her long brown hair, and I get in my car and drive away watching my memories replay my life while my eyes watch passing cars.

I pull up the sleeve of my shirt and look under my forearm to see that skin is burned with a new number, 267. I have killed her 267 times, and soon we will both be reborn and I will hunt her down and kill her.

Once more.

 

She Was Beautiful © 2017 Roslyn Walker


 

About the Author

20217187_10209980082478243_1875806173_nRoslyn is a writer by night, and a mother by day. She was born and raised in a quaint town in North Georgia, where a picturesque mountain view is hidden just behind the pine trees. As a child, she spent a lot of time with her grandparents on their little farm, constantly hounding them to tell her stories from their childhood during the Great Depression. Listening to their stories made her feel surrounded by their words, and she became obsessed with the feeling. Her love for stories turned into a love for books, and her love for books turned into a love for writing when she was in the fifth grade and wrote her first short story. Before she entered high school, writing became a passion rather than a hobby, but her shyness made her have reservations about sharing it with people beyond her close friends and family. Now Roslyn spends her time chasing a toddler, scribbling ideas on waitress pads at work, and spending any free moment she has working on her first novel.

 


 

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