Memento Mori

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20

We walked back to the nearest bus stop. Viola intertwined her fingers with mine and held my hand.
"Is this okay?" She asked.
I delightfully nodded my head.
The bus line had a small delay so we patiently waited.
"So a forensic anthropologist and a TV corpse. Any other fascinating jobs?"
"Well, I was a pinsetter in a bowling alley in the 1930s. In the nineteenth century, I dug up corpses and sold them to medical schools."
"Was that even legal?"
"Maybe? But due to ethics — you know."
V leaned her head on my shoulder and we both gazed at the full moon. It's glow was radiant and bewitching.
"A crime scene cleaner, a veterinary acupuncturist, and a scare actor, to name a few more."
Viola looked up at me. Her eyes were communicating frustration and sadness.
"What's wrong?" I asked.
"I'm 289 years old and I still haven't figured out the purpose of life. I thought I knew. I thought it was to do bad things to bad people. But that's not it. That's just survival of species."

I leaned down to kiss Viola. She pulled my head close and started to nibble on my lip. I wanted to pull back but the feeling was titillating. At one point she bit too hard and drew blood.
"I'm so sorry!" She said.
"It's alright."
She passed her tongue over the blood. She made a low pleasurable moan and kissed me some more. Her lips were cold and moist. I brushed her hair back from her face and tucked it behind her ear. She giggled, but then quickly became alert and vigilant.
"What? Was that corny? I'm sorry."

A group of gangbangers were speed walking towards us. They were dressed in loose-fitting sweatshirts and ripped-up jeans.
"Y'all want to smoke?" Asked one of the hoodlums.
"Fuck yeah!" Viola exclaimed.
"Alright, alright!" The cowled instigator handed Viola a cannabis cigarette. She immediately dropped it to the ground and stomped on it.
"Ohhh! This Hot Topic bitch disrespect you!" Roared another one of the thugs. The ringleader scowled at V and pulled out another cigarette. He lit it, took a puff, and passed it around.
We stood there in an uncomfortable silence.
"You graveyard fuckers bein' disrespective?"
Viola glowered at him.
"Disrespectful bitch." He took another puff from the cigarette and flicked it at V's face. Another one of the hoodlums pulled out a switchblade and lunged towards me.
"Give me your fucking wallet!"
Without thinking, I grabbed his wrist holding the knife, and grabbed his other arm with my other hand. As the two of us struggled, I took notice of Viola. Her movement depicted a homicidal ballet.
Viola did a heel palm strike to the ringleader's chin. The impact was so powerful, it crushed his lower jaw. She gracefully circled her victim; grabbing a hold of his arm and ripping it right off.
She leaped in the air and lobbed his dismembered limb at another criminal. One of them pulled out a gun, but before he could point it at V, she crushed the grip into his face. The pistol fumbled from his hand, she quickly seized it, and fired three bullets into his chest. One of the goons started to flee. Viola hurled the gun and it whacked the runaway in the back of the head.

All of this happened while I wrestled the hoodlum with the knife. Viola crept behind my assailant and with little effort, snapped his neck.

"Here take this," Viola handed me the pistol. "Follow the canal. I'll have Nasim come and pick you up. Don't talk to anyone!"
I recklessly shoved the gun into my waistline.
"What about you?"
"I'll be right behind you. Now go!"



_____________________



Viola arrived back at the house. She was covered in blood.
"Where have you been? It's only an hour till sunrise!"
I was ignored. She avoided me. She looked disgusted and angry.
"Is everything okay?"
She continued to reject me. She went upstairs and slammed the door.

I was confused. I laid down on the velvet sofa. My chest felt tight and my muscles ached. The more I thought about things, the more I felt nauseous and wanted to vomit.
I started to doze off on the sofa. Have you ever heard of the 'hypnic jerk'? It's that feeling of a falling sensation right after you drift off. Most of the time there's a dreamlike visual that accompanies it.
That happened to me.
I dreamt that I was with Viola. We were holding hands, walking down Bienville. It began to steadily rain, and we didn't have an umbrella. V slipped on the dampened brick sidewalk and accidentally tugged me down with her. I remember having an arm ache and then immediately waking up.

I woke up, and Viola was sitting beside me. Her skin looked soft and supple and her hair was slightly wet. Her sleepwear was ghostly white and adorned with lace and bows.
She took my hand and pulled me from the couch. I followed her into the small room adjoining the parlor. I followed her down the hidden hatch and into the crawl space. She yanked the blue weather resistant tarp off of the ground, and stepped into the wooden box. She extended her hand, inviting me in. We laid down, cramped and confined, face-to-face.
"I'm sorry," her voice quavered. "I put you in danger twice today."
"It's okay."
"I won't let you die. Okay?"
"Okay."
"Do you trust me?"
I nodded my head.
"Tomorrow I'm going to kill the historian. You have to be there. For me. Okay?"
"Okay."
Viola put her arm around my abdomen. She gently rested her forehead against mine.
"Tell me a story," she whispered.
The first thing that came to my mind was a reoccurring dream.
"I'm trapped in a car. It's raining extremely hard. It's absolutely pouring. The vehicle is surrounded by turbulent flooding. Inside of the vehicle is dark. The windows are covered with a tinted film. I hear wailing sounds and giant booms. Suddenly something starts battering on the windows. The windows shatter and I'm pulled out into the storm.
I'm very small and unable to stay above the water. I'm drowning in the unsteady, violent flood. My mother is there. She's hysterical. She reaches for me, but I wash away. Into darkness."

"Are you sure it's you? What if it's not you? What if you're watching it like a movie?" Viola muttered as she was nodding off.
"It looks like me."
She kissed me. Our lips were closed, but our mouths lingered.
"We're going to be busy tomorrow night. Let's get some sleep."

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