The Lovely Seeker

Halloween month won’t just be movies.  I’ll also on occasion be including other horror related stuffs and today’s is actually a short story I wrote.  I think it’s appropriate for this month’s creepy factor although I don’t know if it’s exactly horror.  It’s also been rejected from a multitude of magazines so it may be terrifically bad.  And I trust you guys to tell me if it is (but nicely please…looking at you Tyson Carter….;))…So hopefully you’ll enjoy and if not maybe you won’t hate me so much you never return.

The Lovely Seeker

I sought Death.

Death isn’t an easy fellow to find, not if you’re trying that is.  If you’re not expecting him, he’ll surely come knocking at your door but for me he was elusive.

I’d been searching for him since I was a child.  I admit he scared me but he utterly fascinated me all the same.  Death was exotic and unknown.  Other girls could make do with the rough and tumble boys from the wrong side of town but not me.  Motorcycles and gangs, sex and rock’n’roll held no interest for me.  I wanted the greatest high there was….I was a foolish girl.

I can admit that now after these long, long years.  I’ve spent a lifetime, possibly two by this point, searching.  And now I simply wait as the years go by.  I wait and watch as the world around me changes to something unfamiliar and new.  I wait alone with no one around because everyone I’ve ever known has already met Death.

They call me Donna Paura.  They whisper my name in the streets as they pass by.  It doesn’t matter that they’ve not seen me before, that nobody has seen me for at least 25 years, they know I’m still here.  The children cross to the other side of the street when they see my house.  “Donna Paura”, they say.  It doesn’t bother me.  Nothing can bother me much anymore.  The longing takes over everything I am, consuming me till there’s no room for whispers in the wind.

The clock chimes now, three a.m., the witching hour, and the hour he should appear but never does.  I sit in my rocking chair bundled in quilts, the stitching wearing apart, the colors faded with age.  Everything in this small room, this small house is fading.  The yellow flowers in the carpet have turned brown and the red roses of the wallpaper have turned to pink.  Even Old Faithful, the clock itself is starting to fade.  Each chime rings fainter and fainter yet.

Then one… two… three knocks on the front door that are barely audible.  I wait as the door knob turns slowly and the door begins to creak.  I have no fear of what or who might be coming into my humble home.  Fear leaves a person when the consummation of their being cannot be found.

He enters quietly.  He does not shut the door behind him.

“You found me,” I say in my quavering voice.

“Indeed,” he replies in dulcet tones.

“You’ve finally come, my love,” I whisper unable to cry out with joy like I would have had I been young and spry.

“I must admit I was curious.”

I am intrigued.  I had no idea he even knew who I was.  I had assumed that we were to him what ants were to us, nothing but small, unimportant, nameless creatures.

“You’ve been seeking me for a very long time,” he says.  “Did you never wonder why I didn’t come?”

“Of course I did.”

He slowly walks around my small living room, examining the few photos in frames on the walls.  He pauses at one of myself taken when I was sixteen.  “So young, so vital,” he reaches out and touches the unsmiling face of the girl in the picture.

“Nothing mattered though, nothing but you,” I whisper.

He does not turn to me as he replies.  “You wasted your life.”

I am speechless.  How could he not understand how I feel about him?  How could he think that my love and adoration all of these years have been for naught?

“You wasted your life looking for what was not yours,” he says.  And now he turns.  “This is why I have never come for you.  And this is why I will never return again.”

“But you’re here now,” I cry, unwilling to let him go.  “You’re here now and that’s all I need.  Take me with you and finally I can be happy!”

He shakes his head slowly.  “You could have been happy long before now had you not reached out for things that were not to be had.  You never understood the cardinal rule.  One does not seek Death, Death seeks you.”

I stare at him utterly heartbroken, tears unable to come at this point because age has left me withered and dry.

“You have tried so long to find me and for what? You could have been living. You should have been living.  Instead you’ve been dead for many, many years.  But you will never truly die.  Not now, not ever.”

I look at him with fear widened eyes.  I thought fear had no hold on me anymore but I was wrong.  “I don’t understand….please?”

He gives me one lingering look before he turns to go.  “Goodbye, my ever wandering soul.  We shall not meet again.”

Then he is gone and I am left alone in my faded and withered room trying to grasp his meaning, trying to remember my one and only glimpse of the face of the one I have loved for so long….

And so I sit and wait for the day that will never come to me now.  I was a foolish girl.

About mistylayne

I'm a Z movie loving, horror hound, Buffy quoting, Dr. Who watching, geekazoid and seeker of all things unusual. I'm a gypsy wanderer, lover of words, Wendy of the damned and all that jazz. What can I say? I'm complicated.

Posted on 2012.2.October, in Horror, Irregular Posting, Short Stories and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 37 Comments.

  1. Victor De Leon

    “One does not seek Death, Death seeks you.” Awesome. I really enjoyed that! Good job. It flowed well, had very good prose and Donna was a very interesting (and creepy) character. I liked that Death was not what she expected, too. And this short was rejected…Why???

  2. Great little story Misty. I’ll be totally honest and admit that I’m not sure if it’s horror either but you certainly capture an uneasy atmosphere. It read more like a poem to me but I like it.

    • Thanks so much, Mark. 🙂 It (like the majority of my work) is hard to classify. Like you said, not sure if it’s horror but not sure it qualifies as literary. And I absolutely see how it reads like a poem…maybe I should submit it somewhere as that.

  3. I really liked it! I think the reason why they rejected could be that it’s not really horror(istic) enough (?) but it’s still good whatever the genre is:)

  4. I like it M.L. ! I don’t think you or I can ever get anything published unless we grew up next door to the senior editor or have five MFAs and went to an artsy Wesleyan school. This reminds me that about five months ago we talked and I was going to send you something I wrote to get your thoughts on submitting it somewhere? Are you still game??

    • Thanks, E! But make not doubt about it, I will be published. I have a novella that needs major major edits but it’s good. (And I know that mostly because a whole bunch of people have told me ;)). And I think you can get published somewhere too – I just think it’ll be more difficult for us. And YES!! Send it my way, please!

  5. I like the story. It reminds me of the Emily Dickinson poem, “Because I could not stop for Death.” Horror can be kind of a nebulous genre, so I wouldn’t balk at defining it as that. The cardinal rule I learned in fiction writing workshop is that readers always want more. In my opinion, I think you could make the story better by adding more to it. We understand that Donna has a weird romantic fixation on Death, but it might be interesting to know why, if there’s any reason. I also think the impact of Death’s words, “You wasted your life,” and “One does not seek Death, Death seeks you,” could be made all the more crushing if the conversation between Donna and Death was extended, giving us some time to experience her acting out the desperate devotion to Death. This should all be taken with a grain of salt, since I’ve never published a story before and the one I’m writing probably won’t pass muster at a literary magazine, but I think I’ve learned a thing or two about stories.

    • Thanks, Vincent! And thanks for all your suggestions. My writing group said something similar about adding to it a bit too so that I think it the number one thing. Your feedback is ALWAYS appreciated. 🙂

  6. Well, now, the idea of not being able to die IS scary!

  7. LOL! I’m flattered to be mentioned, love that you have such a high opinion of me, nothing but nice to you. 🙂

    On a serious note – great job! My humble 2 cents would be I think I know why no magazine etc will use it, you’re missing the one vital key ingredient these days for a top seller – BDSM. People love that Fifty Shades rubbish. Honestly, give your characters some love beads and a whip (keeping it family, no filthy comments from me here, classy!) magazines will bite your hand off for your work! Remember, people will witness this so 50/50 on the financial side yeah!?

    Keep up the great work Misty, it’s their loss, just persevere and all will come good.

  8. This was great, really enjoyed this and like Ty said, it’s missing BDSM and some terrible prose for it to be picked up – Adding a simple me to the below turns this into something I dare not think about :O


    “He enters *me* quietly. He does not shut the door behind him.


    On another note, this or something like this from yourself can most certainly feature in the proposed magazine I suggested a few days back – would make a great little added feature I think!

    • Oh ew…ew…that’s so horrible. *giggles*

      Thank you for enjoying it (even if my head is now in a bad bad place, lol). And that would be wonderful! Excited to hear more about the magazine! 🙂

  9. This story had a very poetic quality about it and is well written. Good job. I guess if it had to be classified, I would call it dark poetry or dark fantasy. But who cares about labels anyway? Have you thought about self-publishing?

    • Hi Jp! Thank you! I think dark fantasy might actually be a good fit, I’d never thought of that! I’ve self-published a book of poetry in the past but had no luck with it – 1) because it was poetry and 2) because I knew nothing about marketing. I have a novella I’m editing that deals with depression and addiction (I physicalized the emotions – it’s a fantasy) and if I can’t get that published traditionally, I’ll self-publish. I used Lulu last time but think I’ll go a different route this time.

  10. This is definitely a great story. The hardest part about getting published is finding the right publication to host your work. The small market is a quirky place. Publishers have a very narrow focus on what they believe will be liked by their readers. You just haven’t found the right place for this yet.

  11. Ooohhhh, look at you the writer 😀
    Good stuff, my chills are multiplying haha

  12. My magazine articles keep getting rejected cause I swear too fucking much. Go figure


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