SURREAL ADVENTURES FROM THE SOUTH SANDWICH ISLANDS

Monday, August 25, 2008

The third wife (I)

There was total silence until the end of our short journey. Only the ship engine and the sound of the waves breaking on the keel were heard as we approached the jetty. Ed looked straight ahead, pretending to ignore me. His coldness and indifference were killing me, but I suppose I asked for it.

Hellgirl warned me about Ed’s moods. But she never told me he was as sensitive and moody as hell.

It was nice to play this little game with him for some weeks. Of course, I knew he was serious and his soft spot for me was growing into something bigger. He had sent me a zillion signals I systematically and deliberately ignored, naïvely trying to be loyal and faithful to my former engagement –or whatever the hell it was- with Bob. And yet I played with fire.

And love, the big word: a simple name for a beautiful feeling. Like a slow dance in the moonlight, or the steady flight of a thousand fireflies in the dark of night. Sometimes just an illusion caused by twisted perceptions of reality; followed by excruciatingly unfair balance from the fight over always giving and never getting; ended by fear to useless efforts clashing against numb bodies of no senses, commonly known as rejection and unrequittance.

I had a taste for danger and a clear inclination for silliness; I could be blamed for double-crossing someone, but whom?

When we arrived on solid ground, he jumped off the ship and helped me get to the deck. There, he held my wrists firmly and gazing into my eyes, said:

- Go now, while you can.
- I’m not going.

- Leni, don’t make this harder than it has to be. –he said, raising his voice-
- I’m not going! We have to finish our book! –I whined-
- Go.
- You got cranky because I said ‘Emotional porn’?
- I got cranky because you hurt me, but I’m not going to discuss it with you.
- I’m sorry.
- It’s so easy to say ‘I’m sorry’.
- I didn’t mean to hurt you.


He didn’t answer; he quietly turned his back on me instead and walked towards the mansion. I rushed beside him.

- Ed.
- Yes?
–he said, still walking-
- I’m not going. -I insisted-
- You can do as you please, honey. I don’t give a fucking shit. Not anymore.

That finished me.

- But we’re writing a book… - I said-
- You're good enough to finish on your own. You don’t need me. Go!

He kept on walking, leaving me behind. I called him several times but he wouldn’t turn round. My natural empathy started working after the mess I had made and was totally responsible for: when Ed disappeared into thin air, I felt the deep sting of disappointment.

- How can you possibly be so silly, Leni Q? There’s a thin line between loyalty and stupidity and you're crossing it all the time. –said a woman’s voice behind me-

Jeez, another supernatural offering advice. It was Lavinia, Ed’s second dead wife, the less scary of both. She held in her arms a little blond baby boy.

- Hello again, Lavinia.
- Hello, Leni. This is Seymour, my baby
. –she said, smiling-
- Aww… he’s so cute –I said, stroking his blond curls-
- He was six months old when our ship wrecked in the Ocean, on our way to the colonies –she answered-. Then… time stopped.
- You mean you... died?

She nodded. The whole story was becoming very scary, as usual. I was talking to the ghost of Ed’s second wife and son. I got the shivers.

- Leni Qinan, it’s written in “The book of life and death” that you’ll be Edward Davies’s third wife and will make him happy for the rest of his life. -she said-
- Come on, Lavinia. That’s just nonsense. Do you really believe that? -I asked-
- Of course, I do. Every man has his own destiny and Ed is blessed with true visions of the future.
- That’s just because of his wild imagination. Nobody can predict the future.
- He can.


I stared into her blue eyes and she nodded again.

- How can he possibly tell the future and not be mad, having lost his two wives and four kids? –I asked-. Every man is the architect of his fate, Lavinia. I refuse to accept alternate options.
- You’re wrong. Ed can predict the future and he’s waiting for you.
–she whispered-.

Damn. She left me speechless.

- Ok. If and only if, supposing I had no choice but becoming Ed’s third wife, I’d like to know something more about him, right? –I asked, very curious-
- His story is a sad one: He was a good man, born in Burdishland three centuries ago and a good physician in the king’s court. We had a happy but short marriage: he was sent to the colonies, to stop the Black Death. We travelled with him and... died in the shipwreck. Ed survived, but almost died of loneliness when Seymour and I passed away. Then he became a gloomy chemist; an isolated third rate healer who focussed on preparing useless concoctions to bring people back to life. In bitterness and desperation, he intended to make a deal with the devil to revive Seymour and me, forgetting that not even the devil can do that. Hopeless and alone, he hid in the old streets of Vienna, drowning in pain. He became addicted to absinthe, opium and cocaine. He begged the devil for mercy and asked him to take his life. But the devil tempted him with money, success and a long life.
- It's a very sad story. I know the rest, thanks. -I said, with a low voice-

Lavinia looked down sadly.

- The other day he asked you and Ioana to go back to your… world. -I said-
- That’s right. But you mistakenly thought we appeared here because we were jealous, right?
- Eew… yes.

Lavinia laughed loud.

- You’re making a big mistake again, Leni. Ioana and I are dead. Ashes to ashes. Dust to dust. You must take over as Ed’s wife. That’s the reason why we were here. He needs you. –she said, solemnly-
- Hey hey hey… wait a second! This could be very cool in the eighteenth century, when you guys lived, but we’re in 2008 now. We have cars and planes and internet and women’s lib. But I’m here to write a book, not to marry the editor! –I shouted in panic-. Wouldn't it be simpler to bring you and Seymour back here?
- That can’t be possible, as I said before.
- What if he travelled to your world?
- The devil gave him a long life. It’s not death time for him yet.
- Gosh… but why me???
-I shouted-
- It’s written, Leni. You will be Ed’s third wife. You can't change that.

And to think I was there to spend some quiet holidays! Everything was becoming sinister and evil. I remembered Ed’s words: “Go now, while you can”. It sounded like a terrible forebonding of what could be happening to me. Everybody was assuming what was written in that book.

- There’s a busy world under the building's foudations. Ed usually spends some time down there. Would you like to pay a visit? –she asked, challenging me-

I was not sure if it was a good idea, but curiosity made me answer hastily:

- Yes.

She wrapped Seymour in a white blanket and floated on the air, beautiful and light as a feather. Her immaculate dress dragged on the floor. I followed her as fast as I could to the house.




"Trust" (The Cure)

9 comments:

max said...

I can't wait to read what's down in the basement. Sounds like a horror movie is waiting for you there. I hope I'm wrong.

Take care, Leni.

max said...

Hey and you've been working on the settings and layout here. It looks good!

Leni Qinan said...

Hey Max!

You will know what happened in the basement very soon -it was not that scary, lol-. Thanks for caring!

And thanks a lot for taking a look at my new layout, and nice to hear you like it! You can't do much with the current blogger's templates, but I was a bit bored with the previous design.

Big kiss.

Mister Potato said...

Hey! I've noticed you add me in your list of blogs you like to read... Thanks!! I am really glad to see that I am not writing for myself, hehe.

I'll keep an eye on your work ;)

Greetings!

Leni Qinan said...

Hi Mr Potato! Welcome!

No, dear, you're not alone in the blogsphere. And not writing for yourself either. Your blog has useful recommendations, is funny and I find it somewhow slightly naïve and very interesting. I'm sure you have some readerships there -isn't it hard sometimes to blog? I hope you don't get the blogger crisis! It's bad! :)-

I can't remember how I found you, but I like to read your blog -I have several friends who went on Erasmus in Sweden and told me about the country, the people and their wonderful experience over there. My curiosity and your friendliness did the rest, lol.-

Thanks a lot for your comment, I really appreciate and hope to hear from you again! I'm keeping an eye on yours too. :))

hanny said...

It's me again. Boss was gone and had some time to read from the beginning up to March so far. Didn't have time to leave a comment on each post though.

I would have to do better on multi-tasking so I can get my job done and read your blog, lol. I dont have much time for other stuff at home among a pre-schooler, houseworks, my hobbies (crocheting and sewing) and my hubby.

I really have been enjoying your blogs! You'll see me more 'hanging out' if I dont get so busy here at work. It's good to know more about you and I am looking forward on what is in the basement, lol.

Glad I "met' you thru Grass. :))

Leni Qinan said...

Hi Hanny, what a nice surprise!

Lol, glad to know your boss was gone (they should do that more often, don't you think so?).

Don't worry about the comments -no need to leave a comment on each post, that's huge work!-. Just do it when you have the time and you feel like doing it! I'm very happy to know you enjoy reading my stories. My goal is to entertain the readers!

I can imagine being a busy mom and having a day work you don't have much time to read (first thing first!) so I feel very honoured with your visits and comments, Hanny.

I'm also glad to have met you through Grass. :)

(You will find out on Thursday what happened in the basement, lol).

XXX.

Kindness said...

Hi Leni! I just quick-read this post and now I am going to be doing some back-reading I see. I love your style and will steal away every chance I get...

...and thanks for adding my blog-link as I have done so with yours.

Leni Qinan said...

Hi Kindness!!! Welcome!!! Nice to see you here!
Thanks for visiting and reading, I really appreciate that. :))

And thanks too for adding me in your blog! I feel very honoured. ;)