A little boat; cautiously navigating through the mine field of jagged rocks and cliffs. Waves continuously crashing, threatening to tear the little boat apart. Weaving back and forth, creating an intricate lattice, just trying to find its way to shore. To safety.
I walked up to the house, the lights glowing, showing the warmth that was encompassed within. Opening the door slowly, dripping water from the entirety of my body. My clothes soaked; despite my slicker. I stripped it off and hung it on the hook by the door. As I turned back to face the fire, Nora walked into the room.
She silently walked over to the stove, slowly picked up the spoon and sluggishly began stirring an unidentifiable liquid. As she did this, I went over to my chair by the fire and sat down. I tried to absorb as much of the warmth as I could, it slowly weighing down my eyelids. It seemed, the moment my eyes finally closed, there was a clatter of pans in the kitchen; startling me awake. While she was picking up the pans, she realized I was awake and quickly said, "Dinner is ready."
I slowly meandered my way to the grimy table and chairs, where we eat. Our small home, more of a shack, suited our lifestyle fine, but neither of us would have been dissatisfied if it was a little nicer. Pulling out the wooden chair, it screeched against the stone floor. Nora, similarly, pulled out her chair, sitting across from me. I sat, my back to the fire, as she dished out the liquid and it plopped to the bottom of my bowl.
We sat there silently, not even looking at each other; the only sound the clinking of our spoons against the bowls. Nora had stopped trying to talk during dinner long ago. She would ask a question, and at first I would answer her simpleton query and get on with eating. But eventually I saw that all her questions were the same. We led lives of seclusion; no people, nothing exciting, nothing to talk about. And there are only so many questions you can ask a fisherman. So after a point I barely even acknowledged that she was there. I knew she was lonely, but what am I supposed to do, stay with her? Get her a puppy? First of all if I stayed with her we would starve, and second of all if I got her a puppy she would probably forget to feed it and it would starve. Just like the last few attempts.
After we finished eating, I returned to my chair by the fire and propped my feet up on the low mantle as Nora cleared the table, and like before I fell asleep. I awoke some time later, the fire only glowing embers now. I heard a soft whisper, and I sat up slowly. Once I had stood up the whispering stopped, and I sat back down. I looked around and didn't see Nora, so I assumed that she was in bed asleep. I walked the short distance to the door to the bedroom and opened the door. The bed was still made, and empty. It puzzled me, Where was Nora? Did she run away? Was she kidnapped? HA! If only. I would look for her tomorrow, I was too tired then, so I climbed into the empty bed and went to sleep.
I woke the next morning, just before the sun began rising. As I got ready for the day's work I noticed that Nora was asleep in the bed. Perhaps I would question her later. Walking down the short path to the boat, I saw the destruction left behind by the storm. Plants ripped from their earthen homes, a few fallen trees. I made my way to the end of the dock, preparing the nets, and began undoing the moorings. I soon completed these tasks and pushed off. The sky looked rather clear, ensuring calm sailings. The water, despite the storm looked as clear as glass, and at some points you could see to the bottom.
When the sun began to sink below the horizon I started to head back home. I quickly and efficiently docked the boat, and brought the small cooler containing the fish up to the house. As I walked up to the house I noticed that there was no light, no warmth emanating from the windows. I cautiously opened the door, wary of what might be waiting within. I slowly stepped in, one foot in front of the other, hearing a soft whisper coming from within. It was the same whisper that I heard the previous night. As I entered the room further, my steps grew louder, and the whispering came to a short halt. I paused trying to listen to see if it would resume, but all of a sudden Nora came out of the bedroom and closed the door behind her quickly.
"What was that?" I queried her sternly.
"What was what?" she answered flustered.
"I heard voices. What were you doing?"
"Oh, nothing…just this and that…you know." She tried to brush my questions aside, as if they meant nothing.
"Alright, as long as it doesn't bother me anymore" I replied, almost dismissing her. She walked over to the door, gathering the cooler. She took it over to the kitchen area where she began preparing them. Cleaning, cutting, and gutting. I turned toward the fire place to try to light it. Only to find that it was soaking wet.
"Nora. What did you do? You know I can't light a fire if it is ALL WET! What am I going to do now? Nora, why would you do this?" I asked her repeatedly.
"I'm sorry, I just didn't know. I only did what he told me to do. He simply said to just put it out. I'm very sorry." She said, her eyes cast downwards.
"Who told you to do? Who is here? What are you talking about? I knew I heard voices! Nora what have you been up to!?" I demanded.
"I didn't mean to do it, I was just doing what he told me!" she pleaded. As she finished this she ran off into the bedroom, shutting the door behind her. I sighed, and walked over to the cutting board to finish, what she had started. After I finished preparing the fish, I heated up the stove, took out a pan, and carefully placed the fish in it. While they were cooking I cleaned out the fireplace, dumped the wet ashes outside, and went to gather firewood. When I came back, Nora was standing at the stove, cooking the fish. I did not speak to her, and went to the fireplace, arranged the logs, and started the fire. After it was at a full blaze, I sat in my chair.
A little while later, Nora, almost whispering, stated that dinner was ready. We sat down at the table not saying a word to each other. Silently eating. It wasn't until I had finished my last bite that Nora spoke.
"He said I should apologize. But he said you should apologize too. He says you don't treat me right. He says I should leave you." She said in simple sentences.
"Well isn't that so. It's nice to know that you have finally lost it. That you have officially gone insane. That you are so lonely that you came up with an imaginary friend, since there is no one real you could possibly be talking to" I said harshly.
"He says that I'm not the only one you are mean to. He says you should stop hurting his friends. Find other ways to survive. You don't treat anyone right." She continued rambling on.
"Well this has been some stimulating conversation, but I think I'm going to go sit in my chair now. If that's all right with Him of course." I said, leaving my plate, and getting up.
"He says that you'll pay for this someday." She said this, and then walked into the bedroom. I decided to sleep in my chair that night. To leave her alone, let her regain some of her senses. Maybe she would be better in the morning? It doesn't matter, she was always damaged goods. Her father practically sold her as a slave to me, and she isn't good for much else. She can't breed, she's insane, and she can barely cook. What else is she good for? My train of thought drifting off until I finally fell asleep.
I sat up suddenly. Nora was standing there. Holding something in her hand. It was shiny, glimmering in the light of the moon that shown through the window. I immediately saw a threat, when I looked into her eyes. But then I realized who it was and relaxed. She couldn't do me any harm. Not with all that she owes me. I tilted my head, and reached out to her.
"Nora, what do you think you are doing?"
"He told me to do it. He says things will be better. I'm sorry, I have to listen to him." She said whispering.
"What are you talking about? Nora, just stop it. Put the knife down. Go back to sleep." I said, not taking her seriously.
"I told you. I warned you. I have to do it. Good bye." With that she took the knife and brought it to my neck and quickly whipped it across. Blood splattering; sizzling as it hit the embers of the fire. Forever staining the upholstery of my chair.
A petite woman was walking down a small path, towards the shore. She slowed to a stop just at the edge of the water, almost getting the hem of her dress wet. She scanned the water, looking for something.
"It is done. I am leaving. He is gone." She called out to the water. As she continued to look about, a fish popped up out of the water, and said, "You have done well my child. Go, and leave this suppression."
With that she began to walk into the water. She did not float to the top, or start to swim. She simply walked forward, the water reaching to her waist, then neck, and finally you could no longer even see her head, and she was completely submerged.
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